* Looking through the drafts folder and found this. Why didn’t I post it two months ago? Who knows?
Someone contacted me through Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog, which is hosted on the free blogging platform wordpress.com:
I stumbled upon your WordPress blog several days ago. I have noticed that you are not posting to your blog regularly anymore and have not posted to it in a long time. In light of this I was wondering if you might be interested in selling it.
If I did purchase it I would be want to keep everything exactly as you have it on the site. I would only add new subpages with new posts.
Please get back to me and let me know either way.
Now it’s true – I haven’t written a post over there for quite some time*, but that’s largely because it’s Feminism 101 – it’s not meant to cover every single feminist issue, just the basic principles and concepts. The comments threads to various posts are still active, anyway so the blog is not entirely moribund.
It sounds as if he means selling him both the domain name and the content. I suspect that this is a generic email autoposted to lots of blogs that haven’t been updated for a while, but if that’s the case why include wordpress.com blogs in the net in the first place?
- I very much doubt that the TOS for wordpress.com allows one to onsell a domain name that they have allowed one to generate and use for free. Any “sale” would have be on the QT, and probably not legally binding.
- What on earth is in it for him?
* The TOS for wordpress.com expressly forbid advertising to be carried on their freehost sites (you have to pay for premium hosting for that) – they have disabled certain types of code especially in order that the most common forms of webads cannot be inserted. One can get away with a link to an online store hosted elsewhere, but that’s about it.
* So is he just going to put loads of links on these subpages i.e. turn the site into a splog? Seems an odd way to put together a link farm from the SEO perspective – subpages don’t get the highest ranking, nothing compared to the ranking that freshly updated posts receive. So is that just a lie?
- Why not a link to an online presence where I might be able to evaluate this person’s oeuvre? Why on earth would anyone with a special purpose blog with an activist bent be willing to sell it to just anyone without some sort of bona fides upfront to tempt one to click on the Reply button?
Anyway, that’s why I’ve posted a response here instead of replying via email. No way I want my email addy landing on his spammers’ lists.
* True at the time, I had a positive frenzy last week and put up three of Liss’s crossposted Feminism 101 Shakesville op-eds.
Categories: ethics & philosophy
My guess is that it might just be a scam. How exactly it works, I’m not sure, but as you’ve noted above, a person genuinely wanting to buy a domain that can’t really be sold and doesn’t allow advertising just doesn’t make sense. I imagine that if you had accepted the “offer,” you’d have found out exactly how the scam works (though of course hopefully before it was too late).
There are some odd souls in cyberspace. My PhD blog was spammed by someone offering to write guest posts for me! That would have been useful, as I only use it to make notes and jot down ideas etc. She seems to run a site that **sells** information on how to do a PhD. Now there’s a much neglected public service. 🙂
Had the same offer for crazybrave.net, which is a self-hosted wordpress site. I just presumed it was the desperate dickstickers as usual.
I’d put my money on him being a splogger, they are a strange breed, kind of technically savvy in a very limited, tunnel-vision kind of way, but with high “WTF?” rating. As in, “Why would I want to do that / read your stupid splog? No.”
It’s probably because all the people linking to the blog have given it a high Google Page Rank, thus making it valuable to someone who wants to sell link space. It wouldn’t have to be turned into a splog – it would actually be more valuable if the content stayed the same so people kept linking back to it.
You could probably pull in a tidy sum if you were willing to sell spots on your sidebar.
I guess that might work until Google caught on, and then deranked the site! They do look for sneaky webmaster tricks and adjust their algorithm accordingly, I am told.