Congratulations, it's a!
June 5, 2001 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Congratulations, it's a! NameZero hooks up with Sequoia Hospital in California to offer free email and domain names... for newborns.
posted by hijinx (21 comments total)
This is just so gimmicky. While there are some hospitals in my area that provide a valued service - posting newborns' photos online (with the parents' permission) - is there really a need for this? Can any recent parents out there shed some light on the subject?
posted by hijinx at 12:25 PM on June 5, 2001

You realize, of course, that the domain names and email are for the parents, who have an innate desire to spread the word about their new pride and joy. Do you blame them for being excited about the new life they have created? Do you blame them for wanting to have a website with an easy-to-remember name on which to post pictures and news about the bundle of joy?

Yes, it's a gimmick. So are baby showers, pink or blue things, handing out cigars, sending Christmas cards with baby pictures on them. Should pround new parents not put up with this silliness? Should companies not be allowed to offer it for free as an advertising campaign?

posted by daveadams at 12:46 PM on June 5, 2001

Recent parent-to be here. I already got a domain for our future baby.

It's not clear to me what the value of the offer is. I wonder too if those domains will have to be something like or some other form of viral marketing. Most real names are taken already by cybersquatters.

Buying your domain+hosting independently is very cheap and has many advantages (any number of e-mails or aliases, plenty of storage for pics, videos, complete control, etc.), and with the self publishing tools already available, it's not complicated either.

Maybe if along with the domain they would include template or pre-built sites, e-mail lists for notifications, connect to gift registries, photo albums, etc. But just a domain and e-mail are not very attractive. Methinks.
posted by tremendo at 12:55 PM on June 5, 2001

Wow. Free domain registration. 9 whole bucks!
posted by justgary at 12:55 PM on June 5, 2001

Should companies not be allowed to offer it for free as an advertising campaign?

As I said, I'm not a parent. But I sure as hell wouldn't want my child's birth associated with Yet Another Corporation. I'm not downplaying birth in any way, Dave - I understand that it's really something amazing, beautiful, and invaluable. It bugs me when companies try to wedge in on this stuff. They're slapping their name on a baby.

Some (arguably ignorant) people did it voluntarily, with Iuma's promotion for instance. This is more forced. Tremendo called it: it's viral marketing. The best part? Just like a real virus, viral marketing makes you sick.
posted by hijinx at 12:59 PM on June 5, 2001

My experience with Namezero is that they are cybersquatters themselves. They offer free domain registration then hold the domain captive until you subscribe to their premium services.
posted by neuroshred at 12:59 PM on June 5, 2001

Having a baby is a market in itself, and now it's being tapped online. That's all. We should be used to our most basic human functions becoming commercialized by now.

Next up:
posted by Succa at 1:03 PM on June 5, 2001

> Next up:

Why stop there? there's all kind of events that are domain name worthy: graduations, anniversaries, first kiss/tooth/sex, etc., etc.

Back in topic. While I got domain/site/email, etc because we're expecting, for most people a digi-cam plus any e-mail is all they need. Besides, a few years down the road, it'll be the print photos that will be more valuable.
posted by tremendo at 1:23 PM on June 5, 2001

Okay, hijinx, I get what you're saying. Yes, NameZero SUCKS!!!!


Keep track of your kid's life for the world through innovative (and Still Available!) domain names!

etc. etc.
posted by daveadams at 1:34 PM on June 5, 2001

Tremendo, wait until you actually have that baby. Let the junk mail begin! You never knew how many people there are that sell formula, onesies, wraps, toys, ointment, breast pumps, bottles…
posted by rodii at 1:40 PM on June 5, 2001

>wait until you actually have that baby. Let the junk mail begin!

I had this suspicion that the OB-GYN clinics were also a link for an elaborate marketing chain. When we bought a pregnancy test kit (or anything related to babies), we tried to always pay cash because I feared the mail would start pouring in if we used a debit/credit card. I can see now there's no escape.

I wonder if would still be availabe...
posted by tremendo at 2:10 PM on June 5, 2001

So, trying to stick to the rules about no self-linking, I'm not going to post a direct link to the portion of my website where I have been keeping an online journal about my wife's pregnancy and the birth of our daughter Charlotte fifteen days ago, but let's just say that if you went to my user profile and from there went to visit my website, you'd read an awful lot about baby marketing as well as see a lot of pictures of a very pretty baby. All without the help of NameZero, thank you very much.
posted by briank at 2:30 PM on June 5, 2001

I'm looking forward to the day when everyone is assigned a phone number at birth, and we carry that number until the day we die.

Actually, I'm really not, because then I couldn't keep in touch with friends and still somehow 'miss' the calls when a server is down or something. :)
posted by SpecialK at 2:49 PM on June 5, 2001

All of my children have their own domains, and eventually they'll do what they please with them, I'm sure. No thanks to namezero, either. I just think it's silly -- if you're inclined to have a website just for a newborn, you already know how to go about getting a domain, etc. If you don't, it's yet another domain gone for no good reason, and that more than anything is what pisses me off.

And darnit, Dave Adams, my son Farley doesn't need you picking on him like that!
posted by Dreama at 2:56 PM on June 5, 2001

(Brian--congratulations. Hope you're digging these first days as much as I did.)
posted by rodii at 7:32 PM on June 5, 2001

Dreama, *shrug*. There's no reason that domain names should be limited, and will be taken by someone if it isn't taken by you.

The interesting part of this is the NameZero Terms of Service. You can't park the domain -- you have to get people to use it, 5 times a month (i.e. page-views for the ads), for the next 18 years. Otherwise NameZero can take it back. Plus, this is basically establishing you as a NameZero customer to whom they can sell enhanced services, such as hosting. You can only transfer the domain under certain limited circumstances, and for a fee. Et cetera. Basically, I bet that 80% of the people who actually take advantage of this offer are not using it at their baby's first birthday.
posted by dhartung at 9:05 PM on June 5, 2001

If you don't, it's yet another domain gone for no good reason, and that more than anything is what pisses me off.

That right there is why I very much dislike NameZero. It's the same ol' "public good with no private cost" problem: people snap domains up with reckless abandon. In a petty squabble with some forum regular? Snap up their name as a domain and publish hateful things about them! Pissed off at having to work the late shift at Company X? Snare, depriving it of someone who might use it for consumer activism purposes! I've seen it done time and again. Argh.

But at least NameZero hasn't killed off NameZero Is Cow Turds yet. 'Least I can be thankful for that.
posted by youhas at 12:03 AM on June 6, 2001

I think domain hogs are doing the world a favor by increasing the pressure for more TLDs. Treating domains like a finite resource is an insane policy. There should be as many TLDs as there are registrars willing to offer them.
posted by rcade at 6:57 AM on June 6, 2001 ?
posted by Dreama at 9:37 AM on June 6, 2001

Sounds OK at first, but the upgrades are gonna be a killer. (Kind of like parenthood in general.)
posted by rodii at 3:08 PM on June 6, 2001

Well, see, that's just it - there are no upgrades. You just pay $200 to that one time fee hosting service (haha, like that'll last) and (and farleymannaker.kid) stay up forever as cyber-babybooks. A preserved history of Farley's early days. Then, when he's old enough to have or farleymannaker.person(al) for himself, he's on his own.
posted by Dreama at 3:44 PM on June 6, 2001

« Older Bloomberg for NYC Mayor?   |   Four sites account for half of Web surfing Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments