The Joy of Robots - Or What Happens When Some Slimy Poo-Head Steals Your Name AND Posts!!!
A few weeks ago I did some digital housekeeping. I switched from GoDaddy to Hover, went from Blogger (set up as a website) to Squarespace, and had to decide: what to do with my blog? This little place with all its beautiful randomness? I didn't want to roll it into my website because, really, it's so random. But I didn't want to lose it either. So I did what any indecisive, foolishly trusting individual would do. I went to that little "settings" tab in Blogger and changed the address of my blog.
"I'll be a little more anonymous!" I'd still have my 'News' section for writing-related things on my website, but here I decided I would post to my heart's content without worrying that my son's school chum would find all the juicy details of his childhood, or my homeschool friends would realize I - gasp - cuss like a sailor, drink wine, and believe in ghosts (maybe). And my left-wing writer friends won't know I've - double-heart-attack-gasp - voted Republican. More than once and not by accident! I felt so free! I could sing, I could dance, I could-- Ok, never mind.
I switched the address, and a few minutes later checked to see what the 404-Page not found page looked like. I typed in my old address and saw, "This blog has no posts." It seemed weird at the time. Like, What blog? There shouldn't be ANY blog there because I had just not five minutes earlier owned that little square of internet real estate. I didn't think much more about it for another week.
Fast forward that week. I noticed something annoying: my page views had plummeted. POOP! I guess I needed to re-think this switch. So I decided, oh so decisively, to go back to my original address (I mean, it's my NAME for heaven's sake, it's not like Nike or TasteTheRainbow or anything anyone else would want). I typed it in and got the error message: This Subdomain is Unavailable.
What? WHAT? My own name is unavailable? In the course of one week another person with my exact name took my blogger subdomain? So I typed in my old address and my stomach dropped into my socks. My. Own. Posts, interspersed with spam-like affiliate links.
Yes, my friends, someone trolled my blog archives and STOLE my content. Like this post from June 4, 2007:
I've had trouble stringing two thoughts together lately, largely because we're planning to list our house soon. I've spent far too much time scouring MLS listings and wondering why the hell everyone can't just be like me. Who would ever call a 6'x8' closet a fourth bedroom? I have rugs larger than that.
And this one from
May 23 of the same year which I had DELETED off my blog because it was a book review that I felt later was a little too snarky. I had to find it on the internet archive. Here's a screenshot:
Did this spammer-thief-moron think I wouldn't notice?!? Wouldn't report them to Blogger using every report-link possible? Wouldn't post about it? Yeah, bub, look forward to having your blogger privileges revoked and your cyber ass kicked from here to Sunday.
Yeah, well. I feel a new sympathy for those who suffer identity theft. I mean, if I'm this upset and feel even slightly violated for having my name and a few posts stolen so someone with WAY too much time on his/her hands can earn a few bucks with affiliate links, I can only begin to imagine the helpless rage someone would feel if their name, bank accounts, finances, even reputation were lifted and/or ruined. Hopefully Blogger will remedy it soon, and Google will learn to forget that old blog address. On the plus side, I'm having fun playing with the Wayback Machine. I guess everything we post really does have eternal life - on the internet.