Oldest dot-com address sits sadly underused 30 years after its historic registration

031315blog symbolics homepage

Symbolics.com homepage as it looks today.

Someone had to go first, so on March 15, 1985, Lisp computer maker Symbolics, Inc., registered the Internet’s first dot-com address: Symbolics.com.

Sunday will mark the 30th anniversary of that registration.

+24 MORE ‘Geeky’ Happenings From 1985+

The Cambridge-headquartered company went out of business about a decade ago (though remnants live on) and in August 2009 the Symbolics.com address was sold for an undisclosed sum to XF.com Investments, whose CEO Aron Meystedt said in a press release: “For us to own the first domain is very special to our company, and we feel blessed for having the ability to obtain this unique property."

Today it looks like more of a white elephant than a blessing, what with a largely empty “cityscape” design and a blog that hasn’t been updated in two years. Yet Meystedt remains optimistic, at least outwardly.

“We created the city concept to make browsing the site fun, but it also could grow into a revenue-generating property if we allow advertisers to sponsor elements in the cityscape,” he says.

The design includes clickable elements that reward the visitor with nuggets of information about the Internet, such as: “Gmail first launched on April 1st, 2004. It was widely assumed the service was an April Fools Day joke.”

Not exactly Reddit’s “Today I Learned.”

“As far as traffic, the daily visitors can range from several hundred to several thousand,” Meystedt says.  “This usually depends on how well Symbolics.com is circulated on social media or news blogs.”

And that probably picks up around March 15.

The problem here appears obvious: Symbolics.com is not Plymouth Rock; it would appear to be valuable – at least in a business sense – only if you’re running a company called Symbolics.

I asked Meystedt if Symbolics.com might be for sale.

“We have no plans to sell the name at this time.”

Make him an offer.

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010815blog internet pipes Erik Solheim

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