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Wired: Campaign Domain Name Speculation

By None:

Over at Wired News, they've just published a story called "Heavy Betting on Election Domains" - a story all about the traffic in speculative political domain names. Apparently, KerryClinton.com, KerryVilsack.com, KerryMcCain.com and more have all been snapped up. The story also quotes a colorful Democrat from Midland Texas who bought Bush2004.com to use as a satire site: "He's a sorry son of a bitch and I'll do anything I can to bring him down."

Here at Mandate Media, we're also quoted in the story:

Kari Chisholm, president of Mandate Media, a firm that specializes in developing Internet strategies for Democratic campaigns, doesn't believe candidates have much to fear from domain-name speculators. Although it's certainly disappointing to find out that a first-choice domain has been taken, candidates can almost always find another perfectly acceptable option.

Still, Chisholm advises candidates to think ahead and register a few of the most obvious variations of their name.

In other words, while you'd better do the smart thing and reserve some domain names (especially your-name-dot-com) there's always plenty of options for the smart, creative, flexible campaign.

While we've built the obviously-named EarlBlumenauer.com and SerenaCruz.com, we've also done the variations BradburyForOregon.com and TedForGov.com. (Of course, in the Governor's case, it's because Kulongoski is just so damned hard to spell for most people!)

The harder challenge is for ballot measure campaigns, where often a simple YesOn##.com or NoOn##.com domain is taken. Without those options, you're left trying to summarize the key message of a campaign in just a word or three.