About twenty years ago I purchased my name as a domain name. It’s an unusual name. Who would want it? I built a web site revolving around my art work and my thoughts on art, and (briefly) breathing and freeform dance as moving meditation. I didn’t update it a lot. In fact, when my Dell computer was screwed up by their “support assist” program beyond all repair in 2018, I lost all the web site software that worked on a previous operating system… but didn’t on Windows 10. So for a while, I didn’t do much with it.
I, of course, expected my domain name registrar to notify me when they expected to be paid to renew the domain name. It’s a small amount of money, no big deal. Right?
Well, no. A year ago I went to check on my web site (for which my web site host was regularly charging me a fee to keep it “running”), only to discover that MY web site no longer existed. Instead, it’s a gambling site. Apparently a Chinese gambling site. I have no idea where the ball got dropped, but whoever I had registered my domain through (WestHost, GoDaddy, SiteGround) had not bothered to notify me that my domain was due for renewal and SO… it went up for grabs. Lots of finger pointing but they all claim THEY didn’t handle the domain name registration, although all of them charged me to host the site at one point or another, and for a long long while, the web site actually did exist.
That does not however answer the question as to why some random Chinese web geek thought that my name would make a seductive and memorable web site address for people who speak (and read)… well, Chinese.
I THINK it’s Chinese. That’s my best guess. I could be wrong.
Anyhow, back to the question. Why do my domains keep getting scooped up by foreign nationals… because this is not the first time it’s happened. A gardening site I created when I was first learning HTML was also picked up by some random company in China about a decade ago. Now that I could understand, kind of. At its peak, my garden web site had about 100K work of travel a month. Not a ton, but something.
My art site under my personal name? Barely created a digital ripple. Why would ANYONE but, um… Lindley Karstens the person, want that domain name?
Which leads me to wonder if there is a flag on every domain I register so that a random foreign techno-dude can swoop in and buy it if … somehow, my payment isn’t promptly received? And if so, why? Seriously. WTF?