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Mike Jabolwski – Retro Domainer attends TRAFFIC after a remarkable comeback from his illness!

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For better or worse, Mike Jabolwski feels blessed that he uses Network Solutions as his domain registrar. The 35 year old father of two from Pensacola, Florida still stutters at times; still recovering from a stroke that sent him into a coma 10 years ago.

“When I ppppassed out that dddday in September 1999 little did I know what was mmmeant to happen to me, my family, my assssets. I have a lovinnnng wiwiwiwife. And still have all of my 400 pppremium dddomains intact.”

As incredible as it might seem, Mike spent the following 9 1/2 years in a coma, bed-ridden and seemingly unable to come out of it, despite the stimulation treatment tried on him by the expert personnel of St. Matthias Regional Hospital in Orlando, Florida. Mike’s wife, Janet, was able to pull through the rough times, supporting her family and standing by the hospital bed of her husband, daily.

“JJJanet is my angel. She took care of me and watched over mmme. But I have someone ellllse to thhhhank, and that’s NNNetwork Solutions.”

Mike is an early domainer, with a portfolio of more than 400 generics that he registered between 1995 and 1999, the year that he lapsed into a coma. Back then, Network Solutions was initially the only registrar in the field. Network Solutions kept charging their $35 dollar fee until the day Mike came back out of his coma.

“I was ecstatic”, says his wife. “I thanked the Lord for bringing him back to me, it was a long wait but it was worth it. After he came home we had a celebration that lasted an entire week. And then, I showed him the bills.”

Indeed, Network Solutions took care of Mike’s domains by taking advantage of a small note in the original contract that involved automatic renewals. During these days, unless a domain owner canceled their domain, it would automatically renew. Over the course of almost 10 years, the renewal fees for his 400-strong portfolio accumulated several thousand dollars in credit card charges.

“When I came back, it was a ssssshock. New millennium, our president is black, Saddam is dead. And there’s hundreddds of domain registrars? GoDaddy is the bigggest? I knew that schmuck Bob when he ran a nasty little computer store!”

These days, Mike shakes his head when he reads about domain parking, auctions and the plethora of new TLDs. He’s particularly upset by how cheap domains cost these days.

“I ffffeeel that I paid too much to Netwwwork Solllutions. I mean, at $35 a pop I can bbbuy 5 domains for that amount at Fabulous.com and their $6.99 special. Ssseriously, what is with .biz, .info, .us and all that? You can’t have web ssssites built on .tel domains? Are they crazy at ICANN?”

Mike’s portfolio has produced zero income over the years, as parking of domains was unavailable back then. Even today, with the PPC rates dropping so remarkably, it’s doubtful that he’d recoup the registration fees he spent in the past 10 years.

“My intention is to approach the bbbig dddomain owners and sell them a part of hissstory, so I will be at TTTTRAFFFICC. My dddomains are definitely aged!” he adds with a bitter smile.

Look for Mike Jabolwski at TRAFFIC New York and give him a hug and a welcome to the Brave New World of Domaining.


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