Iconic influential rock band The Tea Party, notorious for making headlines for their real life musical escapades, are turning their headlines to online, highlighting the importance of protecting your digital identity. The band’s frontman Jeff Martin recently confirmed they knocked back a multi-million-dollar offer for the sale of their domain name, theteaparty.com.
The offer was made by a major political player in the US, also named the tea party, which holds conservative positions and has strong links to the Republican Party.
Martin doesn’t agree with what the political movement and its followers stand for and he’s stated in no uncertain terms that the band would never consider an offer from the party.
Although interesting in more ways than one, this is not a first. Rock bands and politicians not agreeing on policies is not unusual and nor is the demonstrated trademark and potential value of a domain name. The latter is becoming so valuable in fact, one man registered 14,962 domain names in less than 24 hours – a trend he had been involved in for years – and sold them all off to the highest bidder.
In this day and age, not only is the purchase of domain names big bucks, people are using them as part of their digital profiles. Individuals, such as Joe Blog (before he married Ms Blog and was known as Joe Antiblog), purchased his domain name joeblog.com in anticipation that one day he might meet the right topic and want to share it in the digital landscape.
This is also an emerging trend for parents, registering domain names for newborns to honour them – it appears the old traditional way of life really is slipping through our fingers. As the saying goes ‘if it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen’ – the modern (less thought provoking) version of the age old philosophical question ‘if a tree falls in the woods and nobody’s there to hear it, does it make a sound?’.
Human nature used to be most at ease with the physical, the comfort of the tangible. However this emerging trend is revealing a move away from this human nature. Could it be we are evolving to want and need the intangible like never before? Could this be the way for the world to deal with the growing population? If so, what are the opportunities and threats of these uncharted waters? Only time will tell.
A lesson is to be learned here, you must protect your digital assets. Just as you would trademark your business name in the physical world, you should do the same in the online world – you’ll be thanking yourself later. Even if it’s shelved for years before you use it, you own it and nobody can take it away from you.