Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Qwikster, Teaparty.com Are Hot Properties Online. How Much Would They Sell For?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Qwikster, Teaparty.com Are Hot Properties Online. How Much Would They Sell For?

Article excerpt

Qwikster on Twitter and Teaparty.com on the Web are suddenly famous. Will their less-than-famous owners sell Qwikster, Teaparty.com for big bucks? Can they?

Sometimes fame just falls into your lap. Thanks to events completely out of their control, a disbanded Canadian rock group and a young soccer enthusiast suddenly hold online properties that are hot and in demand.

Will riches follow?

First there's teaparty.com, which is not owned by the right-wing political movement, but by a Canadian rock band. The Tea Party, which hails from Windsor, Ontario, and pioneered a brand of Middle- Eastern fusion rock they call "Moroccan Roll" got together in 1990. They registered their now-valuable domain name in 1993. After peaking in the mid-1990's, the band broke up in 2005.

But the political movement of the same name has made the online moniker Tea Party suddenly valuable. Some experts are estimating that the domain name could sell for more than $1 million.

In response to the political association, the teaparty.com homepage currently reads "No politics ... just Rock and Roll." The band is sick of the confusion and may be looking to sell, according to Boomberg Businessweek,. "So much damage has been done to our name by the political movement that we're considering selling," Tea Party bassist Stuart Chatwood told the magazine.

"$1 million is about what I'd guess," says Michael Shamos, director of Carnegie Mellon University's e-commerce program in Pittsburgh.

The political tea party already owns teaparty.net, teaparty.org, and teapartypatriots.org, among others. But according to Mr. Shamos, teaparty.com is far more essential.

"It has extraordinary value, in terms of e-commerce," he says. "People want to put dotcom after everything, because it's the most commonly known. If I tell you about the Tea Party, you're going to look up teaparty. …

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