Have you read the newspaper today? Well not the paper newspaper, the online version. Who reads the paper version still except for those who have it delivered to their hotel room, or those who have visited a tourist attraction sponsored by a newspaper where they’re giving them out for free. Anyway, I digress…
At about 4am Sydney time this morning after watching Australia in the FIFA World Cup I had trouble getting back to sleep so I jumped on Facebook where I saw a story shared by one of my fellow Dad Bloggers. It was the story about that Mommy Blogger in the US who has been charged with poisoning her son using salt to overload his sodium levels so she could blog about it and achieve clicks via sympathetic measures.
Last night before the State of Origin (yes it was a big nine hours for Australian sport last night), I was tipped off about a, let’s call it “shit fight” happening between two of Australia’s biggest Mummy Bloggers by one of my loyal followers and readers; This evening as I checked out the online news I saw that the fight moved from off of social media and has hit the traditional media outlets. Yes those Mommy (US)/Mummy (AUS) Bloggers are making international news headlines, and some for all the wrong reasons.
Of course the owner of the (I hesitate to call it this but) rival website produced an apology video and the offending similar domain names are now redirected not to the rival site, but to random Wikipedia pages. I’m not going to mention the other site because as of today they are ranked as the 132,486th most popular website in the world and are run as a big business enterprise whereas The Organised Housewife which is currently ranked as the 198,441st most popular site is still run by an individual mum who blogs.
It’s funny, but the most popular Dad Blogger in Australia currently is Clint Gregan who writes under the title of Reservoir Dad is currently ranked as the 620,587th most popular website in the world and yet I don’t believe that he’s gunning to knock those Mum Bloggers of their perch by joining in on this. In fact, it would seem that he, like many other great bloggers who are also fathers (yes Oren Miller, I’m talking about you), Clint is part of a conglomerate website called Aussie Dad Bloggers which is made up of 20 bloggers who write about being fathers, each having their own website but sharing through this site.
To cut to the chase; Dad Bloggers do not compete, they join forces, much like Voltron and tackle this world of parenting blogging together. Well, that WAS until now. Let me explain…
Charlie Capen and Andy Herald together write and produce the exceptionally funny How To Be a Dad website (ranked 121,597). You might recognise their logo on memes that get shared by your favourite parenting (or mum to be more precise) site’s Facebook page. But then again you might not seeing many of their funniest shit is stolen and the logo is removed so that you don’t feel like you have to go and seek their page, rather you can merely keep following you favourite Mum Blogger’s Facebook page who will share all this stolen stuff.
But wait, hopefully what brought you to my blog right now is that you clicked the link on my Facebook page and you’re already a follower of mine. Perfect. Don’t tell Charlie and Andy, but I am going to start sharing their memes and comics by saving them to my computer rather than sharing their page, and then I can get all the likes on my page.
Also, I notice they don’t have http://www.howtobeadad.com.au registered and even though their site totally look American (or should that be totes??), I’m sure my fellow Australians might like to Google the name now and then and if they’re using Google Australia, guess who is getting all the traffic? Yep. Sure my two or three humorous posts are ranked amongst my least read posts, but I can dress up like a 1960’s soldier and stick the photo on my ABOUT page and no one will be none the wiser.
James Zahn from The Rock Father (ranked 79,385) gets to trial all the latest albums featuring lullaby versions of famous rock and metal bands. H also gets invites to some of the coolest family oriented places in The States. And he (well he cute little kids) get to test some of the latest toys and gadgets for kids. But have you seen him. Short back and side. Nice “rock” haircut James, not. Pffft. You ain’t rock. You ain’t even stone. In fact, Bill Peebles is more of a pebble than you mate.
Okay, so I’ve written about music maybe, what, twice on my site? But look at me James. I. Am. Rock. Well I’m Aussie rock at least. Guess where http://www.therockfather.com.au will be redirected too?
Mitch of Gay NY Dad is currently ranked the highest (52,473) of all the Dad Bloggers I know. Brent Almond of Designer Daddy is currently ranked 988,594 which is still much higher than my site. Now I’m not going to pretend for a moment that I’m gay (even though my school yard buddies would disagree with that), but once I zjooz up (is that the word those Queer Eye for Straight Guys used??) my website with rainbows and unicorns and pastels, who is going to know the difference?
Look, it might be a bit of a stretch to hope that someone will add the .au to http://www.gaynydad.com seeing NY is so not in Australia, but you never know. It will also be a stretch for people who know me or who know of me to think that someone with as much testosterone and who is as manly as I am could be gay. Actually, what was it that Joe Jackson said about “real men.”
Oren Miller, our founding father of the Facebook group Dad Bloggers has his own site called A Blogger and a Father which has a ranking of 309,604 as of today. Unlike the websites that I’ve previously mentioned, Oren’s domain is going to be so easy to steal because http://www.abloggerandafather.com is not what he’s used, rather he went for the simplified http://www.bloggerfather.com; that means I don’t have to register the .au version of his site and pay those exorbitant fees we get hit up with in Australia for using the .au domain name.
Lastly, Aaron Gouveia of The Daddy Files (ranked 742,396) brings us full circle with where he’d left himself open for attack. In the opposite to The Organised Housewife’s problem, having her rival simply omit the word “the” from the URL to get http://www.organisedhousewife.com.au to point to their site, Aaron has already omitted the word “the” from his own URL so I’m bringing it back and registering http://www.thedaddyfiles.com and pointing it at my site.
THE JIG IS UP
The reality of this is, I’m not going to be stealing their similar or localised to Australia domain names. It’s not honest. You just don’t do things like that. Compete fairly (if you think you’re competing). Write quality stuff and you will get shared on Facebook and Twitter. Promote yourself as yourself, not as someone else.
I don’t see any of the guys who I network with as competitors, or rivals, or even opponents in any way. I see them as colleagues, as equal pioneers, and as friends.
We all have our place on the Internet whether we are writing to entertain, writing as a release of ideas or for therapy, documenting a very public diary, being an activist, promoting your book or other product or service, or merely blogging for the creativity of it all, in other words telling stories.
What do you think? Is it fair that rival websites steal similar domain names to their competitors’ website’s URL?