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Domain Buyer Quickly Becomes Big Player in .US

By Ron Jackson     Archived 5-14-2004

April 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. 

That’s 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, ebook.us, closings.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 added. 

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 household name!

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