The Geek.Name Project-Finds Unregistered Domain Names

First off, let me start with the fact that I have been following the domain name market for many years now. It has become one of those hobbies of pure blind entertainment that you don’t really know why you got interested in it in the first place.

When I first started following domain names I was looking for unregistered domain names, and to my disappointment, I found that it seemed like all the decent names were already taken. So, after dealing with that initial blow, I found that domains were being auctioned/sold…sounds good? yes, until you realize people trying to sell domains want absorbent amounts of money for even mediocre domain names.

Somewheres around the time I disregarded the idea of buying domains for inflated prices I found that good domains were expiring every day, meaning they could be reclaimed by anyone. This really perked my interest at the time, as this was public information(provided by tld maintainers), and I figured I could snag up something decent without too much hassle.

After finding a domain name I liked I used godaddy.com’s backorder service which is roughly $20 a pop, not bad, but the problem is they only have a small number of registrars to try to snatch up a deleted domain and will almost never get a decent name successfully(the credit can be reused if it fails). This is not the case for snapnames.com, pool.com, and enom.com. If it is a decent domain name you can count on it going to one of them after it expires, and that’s no good as it goes on auction for a base price of $60 on most of them and general jumps rapidly from there as the bidding frenzy begins, even for moderate domain names.

So, recently, I came full circle and started thinking about unregistered domain names again. I decided to do a Google search for “unregistered domain name lists”, and what I found wasn’t what I was looking for, had lists of domains that were out of date, or annoyed me trying to make money off me.

For example, one of the sites I found was “makewords.com”, which is a nice site and has good made up words, but I was after the same kind of domains that were being bid on either on public auction sites or expired domain name sites, mostly core dictionary words in my case.

Then, deeper into my Google searching, I found a couple sites that listed the kind of unregistered domain names i was after, yay! …or not, the sites I found had outdated lists of dictionary-based words that when you go to register them you find they have already been taken. Quite annoying.

Finally, the deepest into my Google searching, I found a site that wanted you to pay to have a short list of dictionary-based domains e-mailed to you. Yuck.

After the years of seeing these money-grubbing domain name related sites with pay-fees and/or ads all over the place(which I have done myself, sadly) I decided I would return to making something just for the fun of it, and make a non-pay/ad-free site that did what I could not find. I plan on keeping it this way as long as my hosting plan isn’t affected by bandwidth or affected in some other monetary way, which I don’t think is likely to be a problem.

So, I began making a domain searching/polling engine to find unregistered domain names that were of the same caliber being picked off on the expiring domain name catchers mentioned before. I decided that I would make a semi-simple algorithm to rate each domain name found, so I could quickly run down an ordered list of high-rated domain names to see if I was interested. I also decided this domain name searching engine would make an ever-evolving list, and only store the domain names found for a short period of time, a few days, so as not be disappointed to find them all registered.

During the final stages of making the engine I noticed it found a domain called “geek.name”, and I thought “That’s easy to remember and quite applicable to the project i’m making”. So, POOF! The website for the project had been set. I soon designed a website to accompany the engine, and here we are.

So, all that’s left are the links for the result of the project:

http://geek.name/ – find your unregistered geeky domain name.

http://rss.geek.name/ – geek.name’s live feed.

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