Uh-oh: Gossip site buys up moguls' dot-com names

Cityfile, a compendium of news and rumors about New York's business and media leaders, has acquired Web addresses matching the names of dozens of the people it writes about.

In what's probably one part prank and one part ironic statement, New York society-pages site Cityfile announced Friday that over the past few months it has been quietly snapping up domain names corresponding to the people it covers.

You may not have heard of many of the people on the list: the obsessively name-dropping Cityfile's terrain is more focused on Gotham's business and media leaders than the likes of Britney and Paris. But among those on the list are Warner Music chief Edgar Bronfman Jr. (Cityfile now owns edgarbronfmanjr.com), Greycroft Partners' Alan Patricof, and Nerve.com founder Rufus Griscom.

Domain name speculation has been the subject of much debate for over a decade now, but the gossip site doesn't plan to simply hoard them (and there's no indication yet as to whether the site plans to sell them back to the notable people in question at a premium). The domain names now redirect to the celebrities' Cityfile-created profiles, which are rather comprehensive listings of all sorts of both savory and unsavory details pertaining to the person in question. That means more traffic--and ad revenue--for Cityfile itself. Quite shrewd of them. But there's also an ironic twist to it.

"Given the lengths to which prominent New Yorkers go to control their public profiles, you'd think they would have purchased their domain names by now," the site explained. "It's a $4 investment, which we're pretty sure billionaires like Jonathan Tisch, Steve Feinberg or Edgar Bronfman, Jr. can afford, even if this is the greatest depression ever."

Three words: Ha, ha, ha.

 

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