About the Million Word Site
The Million Word Site invites you to buy a word and “take control of your online destiny”(millionwordsite.com). For only $8, you can own Los Angeles, 1230 Main Street or your own legal name.
According to site creator, ZiQui, your word is exclusive to you. Within the Million Word Site, you can build a WordMaster© site of up to five pages per purchased word or phrase. Your words can link to your own website, blog, or Associated Content page. You can also hold your word while the site grows. Later, you will be able to auction, sell, or rent your word to others.
Why would you want to buy a word? Many are using their words to advertise businesses or services and drive traffic to their websites. But the concept of the Million Word Site is that you can use your word for almost anything as long as it is not vulgar and does not infringe on trademarks.
Interview with ZiQui
Itzhak Schier, known as ZiQui, is the creator of the Million Word Site, launched in November 2006. He lived in Russia for 13 years, returning to the United States last year. He now resides in New York City.
ZiQui recently agreed to an email interview.
How did you come up with the Million Word Site concept?
ZiQui: “I was intrigued by the rapid success of ‘The Million Word Homepage’, which consists of small pixel ads. I saw the potential for doing something far more involved, and I worked on several ideas until I came up with this at about 3:00 a.m. on a sleepless night!”
What is your ultimate goal for creating this concept/web site?
ZiQui: “It is the first of one or two more grass roots, low cost entry web sites that will revolutionize the Web. The next one will present a major challenge to a very well known site by undercutting it price wise and providing the same or better services using a different business model.”
If you could describe the Million Word Site in one word, what would it be?
ZiQui: “Microcosm (as in a microcosm of the Web itself).”
What was your biggest challenge while developing the Million Word Site?
ZiQui: “A couple of software failures and incompatibility issues when I put it together. At one point, it looked like everything I had set up was useless. Fortunately, I solved the problem. By the next day, it was ready to go and I sold my first few words.”
Where do you see the Million Word Site in five years?
ZiQui: “I see it as a fixed and permanent part of the Internet, a site that gets constant action, like MySpace or eBay. Words will be sold and traded, new features will be added, and there may be a couple of spin-off sites for members. These sites would not entail any more costs on the part of the members, but would be supported by more traditional advertising.”
What are the limits on how many words one person can buy from the Million Word Site?
ZiQui: “There is no limit, but because we are offering a discounted price, there is a limit of the number of words (50) and phrases (25) that can be purchased at this price. The next step is a slight rise in price offset by volume discounts for those who purchase a certain number of words.”
How many words are you selling a day at the Million Word Site?
ZiQui: “Anywhere from 3-50. For some reason Mondays and Tuesdays are slow.”
Right now, you are able to personally review all word requests and links to other sites. As the Million Word Site grows, how will you ensure your standards are followed: no buying trademark names, no linking to porn sites, no “obscene, vulgar, blasphemous, racist, derogatory, or otherwise unpleasant” words (millionwordsite.com)?
ZiQui: “Actually, as the site grows, filtering software will be included. And the site will always be reviewed on at least a daily basis by myself or others.”
How is the Million Word Site funded?
ZiQui: “From personal savings and other personal sources. Funds coming in from [purchased] words are also used to upgrade the site, and once we reach critical mass, I will spend quite a bit to have some customizations made so that it is more automated and easier to navigate.”
Many word owners want to generate interest in products, services, blogs, or personal websites. Is there a way for word owners to see how many hits they get on their words?
ZiQui: “This will be added later in the spring as the site grows.”
What other web site statistics are available to word owners?
ZiQui: “During this preliminary period, the focus is on building critical mass. Soon, I will try to make full statistics counters available both for the site as a whole and as an option for individual sites.”
What else would you like people to know about the Million Word Site?
ZiQui: “We are strong supporters of open source software, which is indeed the basis of the site architecture. Therefore, after the initial period, 3% of our net revenues will be earmarked for support of the main programs that are used in the site. In addition, 7% of net revenues will support non-sectarian and non-political general charities such as medical research and disaster relief; we may well decide which ones by vote.”
I have personally purchased several words on the Million Word Site. ZiQui has been responsive and helpful as I’ve learned how the website works.
ZiQui welcomes all email communications. Please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.