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What's In A (Web) Name? Plenty

Internet property shares three qualities with real property, reports CBS News Computer Consultant Larry Magid: location, location and location. If a Website has a recognizable and memorable name, people will visit it.

So when the highly recognizable and memorable domain name "www.year2000.com" was offered on the eBay auction Web site, bidding rose to $10 million -- a record for an Internet name, if the sale goes through.

The bidding ended Saturday for the domain name, now being used for a Web site run by Peter de Jager, a Canadian computer consultant who was one of the first to sound the Y2K alarm. Its original function was to warn people about the Y2K bug. It received millions of hits.

In an announcement to subscribers, de Jager and partner Cliff Kurtzman said the name "can undoubtedly be put to better use" in 2000.

Online auction site eBay accepted 13 offers by the end of bidding at 10 p.m. PST Saturday, according to the eBay Web site. The name of the buyer was not disclosed and eBay said it usually takes three business days to determine whether a bid is legitimate.

The cost of virtual real estate has been on the rise as more companies seek a place on the Internet. The record for a domain name sale is $7.5 million. A Houston entrepreneur sold "business.com" to eCompanies, a business development firm founded by former Disney Internet chief Jake Winebaum and Earthlink founder Sky Dayton.

If the year2000.com sale goes through, the material on the site will be moved.

Bidding was supposed to end Friday night as the new year arrived in the Central time zone, but the sale was extended because eBay closed its site for last-minute Y2K testing.

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