Friday, May 25, 2012

A troll squats on Bing

Recently Microsoft launched a new Web search engine, or in Microsoft positioning-speak a decision engine, called Bing.I suspect you’ve seen a few of Bing’s commercials. They’re quite funny, poking fun at competitor Google’s information overload by having the conversation bounce from query response to query response through rapid-fire word association.Another pretty funny development in the search engine market share competition is the appearance on the scene this week of Walter Will Wawrika Bing, a fun-loving, nose picking troll that has squatted on the domain name of wwwbing.com.When consumers begin a search, a common mistake is to fail to include the “.” between the www and the domain name.  So many big name brands own the wwwBRANDNAME.com domain and forward it to their real one. Unfortunately, the world’s largest software company, Microsoft, did not own it for their current most favored site, Bing.Instead, wwwbing.com is owned by Patrick from Ireland who says he’s writing a children’s book about a troll named Walter Will Wawrika Bing and he hopes his blockbuster will be bigger than Harry Potter!  My friends at TechCrunch tracked Patrick down and report that Microsoft’s bureaucracy seems uninterested in acquiring the domain from him.According to Patrick’s email from Microsoft, the product team is responsible for the acquisition, but I suspect before the week is over the Microsoft Corporate Reputation team may have a different view about having a troll pop up any time someone mistypes the name of the company’s hot new toy.Domain squatting is a practice I usually detest, but in this case, I think I might root for the troll.Happy trails.
Thomas Graham

Thomas Graham

Thomas Graham is the founder of Crosswind Communications and for more than 20 years has helped business leaders energize their brands and achieve their business objectives through effective media and corporate communications strategies. He is an accomplished brand architect, crisis-tested media spokesperson and an expert in shaping public opinion and managing complex communications programs.

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