Lawyer to sell his heels – but not his soul – to pay for kids’ college.
ACTON, MA, April 1, 2007 (InternetsWire) — Attorney Erik J. Heels, known in the legal/Internet community for creating, in the early 1990s, The Legal List, the first Internet reference book for lawyers and the first book published simultaneously on the Internet and in print, today announced his intention to sell his “heels.com” domain name to pay for college for his kids.
We at the internets were honored to sit down with Erik J. Heels for the following exclusive one-on-one interview.
Q: When and why did you first register the heels.com domain name?
A: I first registered heels.com on 08/02/95. I wanted to preserve my family’s name as a domain name. I later registered heels.org for the same purpose.
Q: So you’re telling us that “Heels” is your last name?
A: That’s right.
Q: Hi Heels! Get it? It’s like “Hello Mr. Heels” because it’s your name and it’s also like “hi heels,” you know, the shoes. It’s like humor!
A: Wow, I’ve never heard that joke before. You win a cookie!
Q: Moving on. So, Eric, what the h*ll kind of name is “Heels”? Do you ever get “H*lls” or “Heals”?
A: I’ve seen Heals, Heel, Heal, H*ll, H*lls, and some others. And it’s Erik, with a “k,” by the way.
Q: You must have had both names misspelled a lot. And been beat up on the bus a lot as a child.
A: I’m sorry, you must ask questions in the form of a question.
Q: If “Heels” is actually your name, then what nationality is it? I’ve never heard the name before.
A: It’s an unusual surname. There are only about 17 of us in North America. Well, maybe a few more than that. But we’re all descended from one Heels who moved from England to Canada in the 1800s. So you can blame Canada.
Q: So “Heels” is an English name?
A: It’s originally Welch or Irish, we’re not sure which. Kind of depends on how my dad’s genealogy research is going. Some years we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, some years we don’t.
Q: So why the sudden decision to sell heels.com?
A: It was hardly a sudden decision. I’ve owned the domain name for nearly 12 years, and frankly it’s turned into a huge distraction lately.
Q: A distraction? What do you mean?
A: I mean that many people who are searching for “heels” on the Internet are not looking for me or for genealogical information about my obscure surname.
Q: What are they looking for?
Q: So you’re saying that people have been coming to your website who are not looking for you?
A: That’s correct. And there is so much of this traffic that it is drowning out the traffic from folks who are looking for me or my law firm.
Q: So is your law firm, Clock Tower Law Group, still using the heels.com domain name?
A: No, it’s not. I changed the name of the firm from “Law Offices of Erik J. Heels” to “Clock Tower Law Group” and changed the firm’s primary domain name from heels.com to clocktowerlaw.com as of 01/01/04. So the heels.com domain name is no longer owned by, or associated with, my law firm.
Q: Speaking of law firms, is it true that you will be represented by the law firm Russell & Tate in the eventual sale of the domain name?
A: Under advice of counsel, I have been advised not to answer that question.
Q: What about the persistent rumors that you were motivated by previous attempts to capitalize on the popularity of the Internet, including attempts by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and President George “WWW” Bush in 2001?
A: I am aware that there is money to be made from the Internet but have not specifically been motivated by one company, person, or political party.
Q: What is your asking price for heels.com?
A: Do you have any idea how much college costs for three kids?
Q: I’m sorry, but you must phrase your answers in the form on an answer. Mmm-kay?
A: That was good how you turned that into a question. According to LeapFish, the heels.com domain name is currently worth $176,103, plus or minus $0.17. I think that is a conservative number.
Q: When and how will the heels.com domain name be put up for sale?
A: I am planning on offering heels.com for sale, by auction, on 06/06/07, the one-year anniversary of when I was supposed to take over the world.
Q: Um, take over the world?
A: Yes. You see, I was born on 06/06/66, and last year I turned 40 on 06/06/06. So with the whole 666 thing, people just assumed I was taking over the world on that day. I did have a plan for doing so. I was going to post messages to all of the mailing lists I’m on asking which operating system is better, Macintosh or Windows. Flame wars would turn into riots, riots into civil wars, etc. I wasn’t sure what to do after that, but that was my plan. So maybe I’m not cut out to be a super-villain. Instead, I chickened out and offered a non-evil trademark promotion.
Q: Um, right. So is there, you know, some rational reason for choosing 06/06/07 as the auction date for heels.com?
A: Yes, that will give me two full months to have verifiable data on how much traffic the www.heels.com website generates. That data will help set the value of the domain name. It will also take time to identify all interested parties, each of whom should have a fair chance to bid on and win the domain name.
Q: So will the heels.com domain name continue to redirect to your weblog?
A: No, starting today, the heels.com domain name will no longer redirect to my weblog. The www.heels.com website will be a page of advertisements for other heels-related content.
Q: How should interested parties contact you?
A: They should fill out the contact form (including their mailing address) on my weblog.
Q: Have you chosen an auction vendor?
A: No, but I am evaluating offers from several well-known domain name auctioneers.
Q: Will you be conducting a live or a silent auction?
A: Whichever produces the best results.
Q: Will you accept a cash offer before 06/06/07?
A: No. Everyone will have an opportunity to make offers as part of the auction process. I will let the market decide the fair market value of the heels.com domain name.
Q: How do you feel about ICANN’s recent decision to disallow the “.XXX” (dot-xxx) Top-Level Domain (TLD)?
A: I think that ICANN made the right choice but probably for the wrong reason. Quite frankly, whenever ICANN introduces a new TLD, it acts as a de facto tax for every trademark holder and domain name registrant, who must race to register domain names that might be confusingly similar with their own trademarks and domain names. I also think that the creation of all of the other generic TLDs (gTLDs) (including .biz, .info) was a mistake, especially in light of ICANN’s January 2000 decision to allow longer 63-character domain names.
Q: But isn’t it true that most English words are registered as domain names and that it’s hard for new companies to forge an Internet identity in this environment?
A: It is true that most (if not all) English words have been registered as domain names. But choosing a good company name has little to do with existing English words. The best names are made-up words. Made-up words make strong trademarks, strong domain names, strong brands. It just takes imaginative thinking to choose good names. Adding TLDs doesn’t help.
Q: Are you selling domain names other than heels.com?
A: Every domain name is for sale for the right price, but one of the most intriguing properties is redstreet.com and the accompanying www.redstreet.com website. RedStreet was known for its reviews of law firm websites, published from 1997-2001. Since re-launching the RedStreet website on 01/01/07, traffic has skyrocketed, with Google indexing over 2400 pages from the RedStreet website in its database. I accidentally deleted January’s statistics, but you can see all other statistics at www.redstreet.com/logs/. I think that somebody will find this traffic valuable.
Q: What domain names do you own?
A: Clock Tower Law Group’s domain names are listed on its website. My personal domain names include the following:
Q: Can I ask you one question about beaverlaw.com?
A: Yes, and that was one.
Q: In one sentence, how would you sum up today’s announcement about the sale of heels.com?
A: The heels.com domain name will go on sale on 06/06/07, it will be auctioned to the highest bidder, and all interested parties should contact Erik J. Heels by filling out the form at erikjheels.com (including their mailing address).
Q: In one word, how would you sum up today’s announcement about the sale of heels.com?
Q: OK, thanks for your time today. Bye Heels! Get it?
A: I know where you live.
ABOUT ERIK HEELS. Erik J. Heels was born on 06/06/66, turned 40 on 06/06/06, and has no plans to take over the world. Mr. Heels was one of the first lawyers on the Internet, first dipping his toes into the interwebs in 1984 when he entered MIT. Heels put his heart and soul into writing seven editions of The Legal List in the early 1990s. He treaded into Internet business full time from 1995-2001 until the dot-com bubble burst, which was the Achilles’ heel for many dot-com startups. He was fortunate to emerge from the experience well-heeled and has been running a patent and trademark law firm, Clock Tower Law Group, since 2001. He is recovering nicely from foot surgery from an injury sustained six months ago while performing in his band the MCats, where his recent nickname has been “Hop-Along.” He may be contacted at erikjheels.com.