Home Wiki Vendors Wrangle Over Wiki.com Domain

Wiki Vendors Wrangle Over Wiki.com Domain

Lately I’ve received some odd emails from wiki vendors 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:

“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.

Right now Wikia has a wiki
page up
saying that MindTouch is shutting down by January 25, 2007 (see Message from Mindtouch). Wikia’s page currently reads:

“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.

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