NOT! (Or: Stupid domain tricks)

On Friday, Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits published a piece by Ken Sands (Congressional Quarterly’s executive editor for innovation) on a current spat in the journo-sphere: Jarvis on the Death of Print: Gloating, or Practical?

I edit the Tidbits blog. As I was producing that post, I was searching for a good, direct link for Ron Rosenbaum — a journalist and author who recently wrote in Slate that media maven Jeff Jarvis has been gloating over the death of print. I discovered that Rosenbaum blogs for Pajamas Media — and I prefer to link to people’s blogs, so they can speak for themselves.

I noticed something about Rosenbaum’s blog that, in the context of the current rancorous debate he sparked over the fate of traditional journalists, strikes me as somewhat sad.

This screen grab says it all: It's just a title. It doesn't really work right now. It's just a blog title, not a domain. Really.

The name of Rosenbaum’s blog appears to be a domain: But it isn’t — that’s just the name of his blog. Even worse: The domain currently doesn’t resolve to any site.

This reflects a discouraging level of online-media cluenessness that is so common in the mainstream media mindset…

Currently, this domain is owned by The Authors Guild (not Rosenbaum himself). Apparently the Guild is doing nothing with this domain, not even forwarding it.

The domain currently doesn't point anywhere.

The domain currently doesn't point anywhere.

…That’s a shame, since people who might hear that Rosenbaum’s blog is would logically plug in that domain and go… nowhere…

According to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, in October 2006 that domain did resolve to Rosenbaum’s blog on Pajamas Media — but since then, it hasn’t gone anywhere.

I’m surprised that Pajamas Media — which is generally pretty savvy about search visibility — would allow one of their blogs to have the same title as a nonfunctioning domain. They don’t do that with their other blogs. Maybe there’s some backstory that explains this choice in this case, but it seems fundamentally confusing to net users and thus a pretty bad idea.

Deeper irony: Given Rosenbaum’s current criticism that Jarvis is “dancing on [journalists’] graves,” I’m surprised that he would choose to blog on Pajamas Media — which bears this tagline throughout their site: “Sending the MSM down the river.”

Hey, Ron Rosenbaum: Is Pajamas Media gloating over the death of print? If so, what are YOU doing there?

Hey, Ron Rosenbaum: Is Pajamas Media gloating over the death of print? If so, why are YOU blogging there?

I’m just sayin’…

11 thoughts on NOT! (Or: Stupid domain tricks)

  1. This is interesting. This sort of thing happens all the time in the print world, but I’ve never seen it happen in the web world.

    Occasionally, a print marketing campaign will make it all the way to the presses before anyone bothers to involve the web department to secure a domain integral to the print product. This results in a domain getting published in the paper without anyone actually owning the domain. Yikes! This is usually a panic-filled, wide-eyed moment for the marketing staff in charge of the project.

    If a cyber-squatter notices before the company does, this could be an expensive mistake.

    The sad part is, it’s not that the marketing folks didn’t care about securing the domain. They just didn’t know enough about the web to make that simple phone call.

    In this case, at least someone involved owns the domain. I suspect the technical contact at the Author’s Guild just hasn’t gotten around to forwarding to Ron’s Pajamas Media blog. Shouldn’t take them more than 5 minutes to set up the domain forwarding.

  2. Yep, it should take the Authors Guild just a minute or two to set up forwarding.

    But that said, this blog has been around — under this name — for YEARS. At least 2006, as the Wayback Machine shows.


    – Amy

  3. Pingback: Jarvis v. Rosenbaum, Digested for Easy Reading | Web2.0h...Really?

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