Tip for media sites: If you start a new feature, be sure to lock up the URL for it before you launch it. That prevents domain squatters from grabbing away the newly named feature's Web address, and that in turn makes it harder to defend a trademark or to promote the feature under its own domain name.
Pretty elementary stuff, and this sort of thing is standard operating procedure at most Web companies (who also know to grab the xxxsucks.com variant of any trademark or URL). But media sites, always casual about trademarking new features, often seem to miss this little detail.
Case in point: WashingtonPost.com, which started a new feature this week called WorldWideWilbon, to showcase the blog, columns, chats and other content around its star sports personality, Michael Wilbon. The page is a great idea—in fact, media sites should be creating such collection pages for every star personality.
But it looks like the Post missed the boat on locking up the obvious URL (even with such a Web-evocative name). Judging from a WhoIs lookup, somebody else grabbed www.worldwidewilbon.com just about as soon as the feature launched on the Post site this week. It appears to have been registered on Monday by a direct-mail outfit called Production Plus, in Olney, Md.—within the Post's print circulation area, no less. Smart move by Production Plus. Very dumb move by the folks at WashingtonPost.com.