Monday, November 27, 2006

A Cautionary Tale

STATUS: It’s a Monday and the first day back after a holiday. Enough said.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND by Sting

Caution: titillating blog ahead?

This weekend a librarian got a little eye-brow raising shock.

She clicked on one of my authors old, outdated website urls and got, yes, you guessed, a gay porn site advertising “super big you-know-whats.”

Okay, maybe you didn’t guess that. Luckily the librarian had a lively sense of humor and wrote a lovely email to my author informing her of the new home for her old website url and how and where she had found the old link (just in case we wanted to address the issue).

Well, my author had a non-suggestive and completely non-porn former url so of course I had to give it a look-see. Why on earth would someone use that address for a gay porn site? Didn’t make sense so I thought the librarian might be having a bit of fun.

I got an eyeful that’s for sure.

But this is an issue that I imagine few authors have ever imagined. Having an old url data out and about in the world that you release and then is later legitimately bought and used for porn site probably doesn’t happen often.

But I’m here to tell you it does happen.

By the way, my author is super savvy did everything right. She launched her new site and notified any website linkers of the change so other sites could update their content. She even held the website url for two years after the switch with a nifty message redirecting visitors to her new site.

She never imagined what the next url owner would have in mind.

So if there is even a chance of readers clicking on that old url information and you’d like to control what they see, maybe hold that site (and spend the money) for a little tad longer.