Want to monetize '90s nostalgia on the web? You can follow Buzzfeed's lead and package it into easily digestible listicles, or you can do like Yahoo! and literally sell off a bunch of long-abandoned domain names from the days before the dot-com tech bubble burst. (The first one.)
Having already acquired the one golden domain to restore its cool factor (tumblr.com), the Marissa Mayer-helmed company just announced a week-long "Domainapalooza" auction to try and unload some musty old domain names it acquired years ago and has been neglecting ever since:
Tomorrow, we’re starting a week-long auction that includes well over a hundred premium domain names. How premium you ask? How about sandwich.com? That’s a pretty awesome name, and now it’s back on the market!
Scrolling through the full list, you'll come across other SEO-happy nuggets like sled.com (hey, it snowed yesterday!), cyberjokes.com, and (because why not?) crackers.com. But your new Internet empire will cost you: av.com alone is valued at over $1 million. Opening bids for the rest mostly range between $10,000 and $50,000.
Have that kind of cash ready, but don't know what to do with your newfound treasures? To give you some ideas, we've sifted through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine for a glimpse at how some of these domains were put to use in the 1990s, before Yahoo! snatched them up. Here's a sampling:
Back in the fall of 1999, before Urban Dictionary offered three pages of definitions of "raging," raging.com served as the cyberspace home of an online investing and financial community called Raging Bull:
Policescanner.com was exactly what you'd expect it to be, complete with a flashing siren graphic that may or may not be a direct portal to March 1997, when it looked like this:
Webcal.com ushered you to the "Web's first Interactive Time & Events Management system" in December, 1996, before time itself forgot about it:
And westerns.com? Duh. It was a fan site for film nerds who love cowboy movies. Here's the graphic that greeted intrepid cyber-visitors in late 1998:
So: ready to cough up a minor fortune? Get your domains while they're hot!
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.