Buyer Quickly Becomes Big Player in .US
2003 marked the one-year anniversary of the release of
the .US extension to the general public. By the end of 2002
most domain speculators knew
which of their fellow .US players held the marquee names for America’s
official country code.
why a lot of eyebrows were raised a few months later when a guy
name Zouzas popped up in the popular domain name
forums claiming to hold such gems as movie.us, movies.us,
entertainment.us, and pictures.us just to name a few.
People aren’t always who they claim to be on
the net, but a quick check of WhoIs records showed Christian
Zouzas of Chelmsford, Massachusetts was in fact the registered
owner of those great names and many others. So, how come he only
recently popped up on everyone’s domain radar?
DNJ contacted Zouzas to find out. Though
most great .US names were acquired during the extension’s rollout
last spring, Zouzas only recently landed his key domains in the
aftermarket. That’s how the 42-year-old real estate lawyer jumped
to the head of the class almost overnight. Zouzas is quickly
developing many of his domains and though he says domains and
websites are currently just a pastime, he would quit law “in a
minute” if his internet ventures start producing enough income.
Zouzas comes from a close-knit family of Greek
heritage. He was born on a farm in Lowell, Massachusetts. He grew
up, got married and built a house right next door to mom and dad.
His brothers and sisters all stayed nearby too. As you might expect
from a guy who loves developing domains, there is already a website
devoted to his family at zeusdrive.com.
Zouzas didn’t register his first domains
until 1999, when he picked up RealEstateClosings.com
and Zouzas.com to
use in his business. Christian said he was fascinated to learn that
you could actually own a word (or words) and could create a website
that anyone in the world could view at any time of the day. Like
many bitten by the domain bug, things soon got out of hand. Zouzas
now holds close to 500 domains.
Most of his domains are listed at eAmerican.us.
He also has live sites at ebiz.us,
debate.us and zoned.us
(a directory of .US websites). Many more are scheduled to go live
over the next few months. He is primarily interested in one-word
domains. Believing that having a keyword name will eliminate the
need to do costly name branding.
“I get all excited before a site goes live,
like a little kid at Christmas”, Zouzas says. “I'm looking
forward to pictures.us going live. It will be an online
community where people can post pictures on just about every topic.
A poll will be taken to pick the best picture and it will be moved
to the front page and perhaps earn a small prize.”
He also has plans for spouses.us,
which will be an online dating service (or perhaps we should say
“mating” service). Christian says another site, TheNews.us,
will have just about every kind of news all in one place. Topics
will range from aviation news to science news and beyond. Zouzas
says “I really don’t have a favorite site because the next one
is better then the last one!”.
Zouzas claims he has just about finished
acquiring the names he really wants. “There are only 2 .US names I
still really want. I missed music.us
by about one day on Ebay.
I made an offer to the winner but he is looking for over $100,000
now!” The other name Zouzas wants is owned by a friend of his in
Massachusetts - news.us. Zouzas said “He wants
between one and five million to sell!”, so that one will have to
remain outside his portfolio for now. “I’ve gone after about 30
names this last month that were taken when the registry opened. I
got all I wanted except music.us, but I can incorporate music on entertainment.us”,
Zouzas says .US is by far the best bet for
those looking for an alternative to .com. “I think .com is so
popular because it was originally the only choice and big companies
spent a lot of money branding the extension. The only other
extension that does not need branding is .US. Look anywhere and you
will see the letters US.” Zouzas
believes .US only needs to have people realize it is now available
as a domain extension. He thinks the upcoming debut of
kids.us will help make that common knowledge in America.
It could happen. After all, two months ago
none of us had heard of Christian Zouzas. Now he’s almost a