Earlier this month, I put out a call for domain snipers. Now that the snipe has been successful, I can give you the downlow… if you care.

Back in 1999, I decided to register a domain for Urban Ambiance, my hip-hop production venture/mini record label. The problem was, at that time, domains still had to be registered through Network Solutions for $35 a pop. I was thinking about registering urbanambiance.com, but realized that I’d have to get urbanambience.com as well to cover people who used the alternate spelling of “ambiance.” Being cheap, I decided to not get either and go with uaunderground.com instead. Looking back, it was a stupid decision. But, anyway…

Earlier year I decided that since domains were available for a mere $10/year through GKG, I’d go ahead and register both names. One problem: some jackass squatter grabbed urbanambiance.com and was just sitting on it, hoping I’d beg him to sell it. I was anxious to get it, but kept up a good front. I figured I’d wait it out until the domain expired on August 14th and see what happened.

The date came and went and he didn’t renew the domain. His hosting for it ran out and as September rolled around, it became clear that the domain would soon be released back into the domain pool. The problem: there’s no exact time period that a registrar has to let go of the domain. So several times a day, I was checking WHOIS records and trying to register the domain through GKG, hoping that I’d get to it before another domain speculator did. I was even going to sign up with NameShark to automate the process, but their service was down (something I found out only after creating an account) and they never replied to me when it would become available again. Clearly, I was going to have to go the old school route and gather a group of trusted individuals to form an UrbanAmbiance.com Domain Sniping Squadron. I did: Paul helped out early on, then Kelli, Chris, and Mike joined in. The domain would be mine.

This story is really drawn out… are you still reading?

Finally, this afternoon during lunch I did my regular WHOIS check and urbanambiance.com was now listed as “available.” I quickly loaded up GKG and registered both urbanambiance.com and urbanambience.com using the “free parking” option. I had held off on registering urbanambience.com (note the -ence) because I didn’t want to grab it and then have the previous owner of urbanambiance.com notice and renew his domain at the last minute in hopes of pulling the domain out from under me again.

I’m a paranoid little bastard.

A few minutes later, I filed a request for the hosts of uaunderground.com to point urbanambiance.com and urbanambience.com at the same directories and updated the record on GKG. So, I’m proud to say, within a day or two, the DNS entries will have propagated and the universe will be realigned.

Thanks to my team for helping me keep an eye out and a middle finger to the squatter that forced me to go stealth on his ass. I’m glad he wasted $25.

Who ever said that registering domains wasn’t a contact sport?