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02|13|2011 12:20 am EDT

Want Media Attention? Mention Playboy Mansion and Sick Visitors In Same Sentence

by Adam Strong in Categories: Events

It sounds like something from an episode of CSI: Hollywood Hills. Enter a group of young professionals partying it up at a fund-rasier at the famous Playboy Mansion.  Cut ahead 24-hours, and one of the “guests” is writhing in pain, sweating feverishly in his hotel room (and he’s not on his computer chasing after a Namejet auction).  Wait, cancel that scene, make it dozens of guests from around the world.  Seriously, who’s working on the script for this right now. . .  Law and Order? House? CSI ? Bones ? Maybe Fringe ?  If you are reading this and you’re writing in an evil character. He/she needs to be named Halvarez to make it authentic. :)

So, while the story sounds straight out of Hollywood (because it is), it’s not a made for TV story,  though it’s sure one the media seem to be loving.  No direct signs from the investigation are pinning the mystery illnesses on anyone, including the Playboy Mansion, though the mainstream media are eating this story up, as sick domainers want to point the finger.  Sensational !

I talked to David Castello tonight who told me he had just finished an interview with Good Morning America, Fox, ABC, The LA Times, and KTLA.  Elliot Silver and Ron Jackson were interviewed on page 6 of the NYPost.  The Drudge Report picked that up and slapped it on the front page. The story has now been picked up by the AP, so it’s now circulating through other news outlets like NPR and the San Jose Mercury News and likely will be on the pages of your local paper Monday morning.

Not exactly the mainstream coverage the domain business was seeking. The Los Angeles County Health Department is on the case. I sincerely hope they get it straightened out and I hope everyone is feeling better soon. If you were at the event, regardless of being ill or not, please fill out the survey on the website

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February 13, 2011 @ 1:06 am EDT

LOL. Well written article Adam. I guess this type of news is better than no news at all for the domain industry. Who knows, maybe this will indirectly help pique the interest of some “end-user” and lead to a nice sale for someone.

David J Castello

February 13, 2011 @ 1:47 am EDT

I can assure you that after tonight all of those news organizations now know what a domainer is and a lot more about the industry and what we do. Here’s a clip of my first interview:

Kevin M.

February 13, 2011 @ 2:20 am EDT

This was the lead in story on 2 local LA news stations tonight. Nice interview David, and good that you pointed out the various ‘other’ places and events we had attended and noting that there were other possible points of origin other than the PB Mansion. I think PB is getting unfairly singled out as the source by too many too soon. But like DNN notes, ‘they’ are what gets the media’s attention.

David J Castello

February 13, 2011 @ 2:52 am EDT

Thank you, Kevin. Until the LA Health Dept completes their probe all venues during DomainFest should be considered innocent until proven otherwise.

the man

February 13, 2011 @ 11:21 am EDT

Don’t want to seem judgemental but mixing GOD’s technology with the DEVIL’s sin on earth like at the Playboy Mansion is NOT a good idea!! Bad SPIRIT and KARMA there and against the word of the Lord Jesus Christ! John: 3:16 You must be born again!


February 13, 2011 @ 11:47 am EDT


Thanks for that. I was worried it was a bad combination of lack of sleep, a foreign place, and shaking hands with 600 people from all over the world. I think God may want to have a quick talk with Al Gore though on that Internet founder thing. Al is trying to steal his thunder


February 13, 2011 @ 2:40 pm EDT

Well, actually, when a major bacterial infection is out there somewhere, it’s safer to treat ALL possible locations as guilty, until proven innocent!

Frank Michlick

February 13, 2011 @ 6:06 pm EDT

It also started making the German press earlier today… With variations and mistakes in translation in the story. Bild reports that Hefner invited to the conference ;-)


February 14, 2011 @ 5:13 pm EDT

I attended all events BUT the PBM and I didn’t get sick.

[…] and service providers from 30 countries attended the conference. A party at they event also made it into the main stream media through a mysterious illness that about 1/4 of the […]

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