Wikia and MindTouch about the domain wiki.com. A brief history: wiki.com (the domain name) was bought last year by entrepreneur John Gotts for a staggering $2.86 Million. After purchasing it, Gotts partnered with MindTouch, a wiki vendor comprised of ex-Microsoft employees. At the time the huge domain name price was justified as a natural driver of traffic. From the August 2006 press release:Lately I've received some odd emails from wiki vendors
"With its easily identifiable name, thousands of people are visiting the site daily without the aid of a search tool, signaling increasing interest in the technology and the value of a domain that drives natural traffic."
Apparently 500 people signed up in the first five hours to wiki.com.
Then earlier this week a PR person from Wikia contacted me, saying there is a rumor that all wikis on wiki.com will be removed this week - and that Wikia intended to "rescue" those wiki.com customers. Wikia you may recall is the company co-founded by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
"Wiki.com is not affiliated in any way with Wikia.com. Wikia has no control or ownership of the domain wiki.com. This rescued wiki was created following rumors that wiki.com was closing down. At the time, there was no indication whether wiki.com wikis would disappear or not, so Wikia made plans to migrate these sites to Wikia. Since then, MindTouch have said that they have begun migrating the wiki.com wikis to new servers and that the content of these sites will be made available on a new domain in future."
What is confusing me here is that currently wiki.com actually re-directs to Wikia! But how is that possible if Wikia has no control over the domain wiki.com?
Anyway this morning I received an email from MindTouch, stating that MindTouch will officially take over all hosting and support of Wiki.com no later than January 25. However it seems that MindTouch will not get control over the domain, wiki.com. They note: "The Wiki.com domain name will not convey - all customer content will now be available at www.wik.is."
So what is going on here! What is happening to the domain wiki.com, for which such a princely sum was paid, and how does Wikia have control over the wiki.com domain currently? What seems to have happened is that MindTouch and Gotts have gone their separate ways. The domain name wrangling suggests that Gotts may've done a deal with Wikia for it. But it's all very confusing and wiki.com users must be scratching their heads and wondering where they stand.