May 24, 2007

Making money off Cameroonian typos

Sometimes I think this interwebs thing is less a reflection of the human world than some kind of animal kingdom: there are the kings of the jungle (Amazon, YouTube, eBay, etc.) and then there are the bottom feeders (the guys who junk up the web and just hope you're dumb enough to find yourself on a crappy ad-choked faux website).

Kevin Ham is the latter. He's made millions of dollars by buying up crappy domain names in the hope that enough stupid people will just type random names into the URL window on their browsers. And they do.

And when they do, guys like Ham are there to show you millions of useless text ads, and hey, maybe you're gullible to actually click through some of them. They actually make a nice living building completely pointless websites (ok, that's half the internet, but still...).

Here's an awesome profile of the "domainers." I especially like how they've worked out an arrangement with the Cameroonian government to steer all traffic to their pages when people accidentally mis-type ".com."

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