Startup #70 – Content for Parked Domains

tubes.jpgWow.  That is one incredibly boring title.  I should change it to “Top Ten Reasons Why Bikini Models Think the iPhone Will Kill Microsoft”.  And throw in some pictures of lolcats.  🙂

Anyway, back to domains.  As the Internet has grown, more and more people are skipping search engines and are entering a domain right in the nav bar.  For example, if I’m looking for a restaurant in Seattle, I can type in www.SeattleRestaurants.com into a browser.  Now, check out that link.  Someone has purchased that domain, but instead of a page with content about Seattle Restaurants, it’s just full of random non-targeted ads.  I’m sure the domain owner is making some decent money from this domain, but just think about how much more they would be earning if the content was even slightly relevant.

Today’s idea is a web service that provides specific content for a parked domain.  Here’s how this could work.  A domain owner could submit the domain along with several tags describing the type of content requested for that page.  The service would search sites like Wikipedia or Yelp to pull in some relevant data.  This data would be sent to a human reviewer (maybe via a crowdsourcing service like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk) who could verify the data and contribute additional data via a Google Live search.  Once the data has been gathered, the data would be added to the content database and available via a web service.  The original content requester could then access this data using their domain as the unique key.

Sound complicated for the requester?  Here’s the catch.  This service wouldn’t be aimed at the individual user, it would be sold as an add-on service to existing registrars like GoDaddy.  The registrar could do all the backend calls to and from the service, and would be responsible for displaying the content and managing the advertising.  Our service would just outsource the raw data gathering piece, which is not part of the core competency of the registrar’s business.

What do you guys think about this one?  It’s not a simple quickie Web 2.0 consumer-focused site like most of my ideas, but I think there’s definitely some untapped value here for someone who can execute this properly.

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3 responses to “Startup #70 – Content for Parked Domains

  1. Looks like Jenn posted something like for startupweekend.com… I like it!

    http://jennlog.com/2007/07/03/wasted-domains/

  2. Thanks, man. Too bad I missed your event this weekend, it would have been right up my alley! I’m actually flying out to Denver tomorrow for a conference, looking forward to spending a few summer days in beautiful Colorado.

  3. Think marchex is in this business… they haven’t implemented your idea exactly but they do buy up random domains and create content.

    I think there are also people who have built ad businesses around typos in domain names. That strikes me as an odd way to make a living, but if it works who am I to argue. Every industry and ecosystem has its bottom dwellers.

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