The Internet’s a funny place and Jews are a funny people. When the two collide, hilarity is sure to ensue. Let’s look at domain names for instance. You have a Jewish Internet project? Well then, just slap a Jew (ouch!) onto your domain name and you’re ready to go! There’s Jewschool, Jewtastic, DailyJews, Jewlarious, and of course Jewlicious. Those are just some of the active Jew-appended Web sites. Then there are Jew themed Web sites that riff off of existing Internet properties. There’s the longstanding but now dormant Jewhoo, all sorts of varieties of Joogle and even a site run by slimeballs called Jewlicioustshirts.
With the recent news of Google’s acquisition of Video sharing Web site YouTube for a sum equivalent to Uganda’s annual Gross Domestic Product, one would expect the Jewish Internet entrepreneurs to follow closely behind. And I have to say, they didn’t disappoint! Chabad of Somerset County, NJ has JTube.com and MC Rebbe, the rapping Rabbi has jewtube.co.uk/. There’s also a whole host of dreamers and schemers, shleppers and shnorrers who have registered every variant on jewtube except for jewtube.de (de stands for Deutchland where Jews were once packed into tubes on rails and sent to the gas chambers – not so good for the business plan) and a couple others too ridiculous to mention.
But what of the crown jewel of Jewish video streaming future? Namely JewTube.com? Well, back in February of 2006 one Jeremy Kossen of California snagged the attractive domain name. And he has plans, big plans! I had the pleasure of talking to Mr. Kossen and he let me in on them. Basically, JewTube will be a combination video sharing and social networking Web site aimed at Jews. Not only that but JewTube will also feature the work of up and coming Jewish film makers – a sort of online 24/7 Jewish Film Festival. Thanks to the help of a couple of unnamed angel investors, JewTube.com is going to happen and is set to launch some time this summer. We’ll let you know exactly when…
Jeremy Kossen is a cool guy, and apparently an avid Jewlicious reader. Once we got past our requisite discussion on Conservative Judaism, he shared with me some of the experiences he’s had as the owner of a very hot domain name. Of course there were the offers to buy – serious offers in the tens of thousands of dollars range. But more interesting were the chats with the aforementioned “dreamers and schemers, shleppers and shnorrers.” Jeremy was kind enough to share some emails with me – all the names have been deleted or changed so as not to cause anyone undue embarassment.
One standout was the following email:
THIS NOTICE IS TO ADVISE YOU THAT WWW.[variant on Jewtube].COM IS ALREADY IN DEVELOPMENT AND WILL BE UNVEILED THIS SUMMER. IT SEEMS THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE COMPETING SITES OFFERING SIMILAR MEDIA. GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE URGE YOU TO RECONSIDER YOUR LAUNCH.
Uh. I would advise you to not write in all caps if you want to be taken seriously. Then there’s this one – again all in caps. Sheesh:
MY NAME IS S_, I WAS TRYING TO REGISTER THE WEBSITE NAME JEWTUBE.COM WHEN YOU CAME UP AS THE OWNER. I WAS WONDERING IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SELL IT.
PLEASE CONTACT ME WHEN POSSIBLE.
OK. Fair enough. Jeremy responded and S_ replied (this time not in caps) as follows:
Thanks for the quick response. I’d prefer not to disclose my ideas for a site as they are very ambitious, and I can’t be too cautious about who may steal them. But I’d like you to know I’m willing to go as high as $100 for the domain name.
Please let me know if this is acceptable.
Wow. As high as One Hundred big American smackers. This surely caused Jeremy many sleepless nights, laying awake, wondering how he was going to spend all that loot.
Then of course there was the unintelligible:
I’m so looking forward to JewTube (OK, you beat me to it; I’m sure you hear that from everyone) but on behalf of The Tribe, thank you. I’m so f.. ing sick of all the right wing nutjobs and Christian everything. (Read: dog walking, yoga, mortgage brokers, miniature golf. Miniature golf? Yep! I’m waiting for Christian nose jobs. Sure hope this is a secure line…)
Best of luck on your new venture Jeremy and thanks for the laughs.