I’d mentioned a couple of months ago that I was working with an .htaccess file for this site to stomp out a lot of the bogus referrers and spambots that were hitting it with greater frequency than I found desirable. The process has been pretty successful, for the most part, as I’ve been blocking some pretty gross websites, offering kinks that I didn’t even know existed. Longtime readers may recall that prior efforts to block such sites resulted in the removal of all the old record and concert reviews (since the word “hardcore” has both musical and sexual connotations) and a change in the name of this blog itself (since “Nylon” seemed to draw a lot of misdirected attention).
Here’s the problem though: somehow in blocking these sites, I’ve also apparently removed myself from the Google index, so that if you search for my name, or “The Worse Rock Band Ever” or other things that used to bring people to my site, I no longer show up. I still appear on Yahoo search index as I write this, but I suspect that if I’ve dropped out of Google, Yahoo will follow. Maybe I’m wrong. But it’s damned disconcerting to be vaporized from the net’s biggest portal while trying to dissuade illicit content from being pointed at my site.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it at this point. I suppose I could just take down the .htaccess file, let the doors wide open again, and assume that it would only be a matter of time before Google re-indexed me. Or . . . I could just take all the content here down, move the side-bar stuff into the main column of this page, and just let it be a static place holder of old stuff until bit rot and link rot devour it and it merges back into the electronic ether from whence it came.
This isn’t a Blogger Crisis of Confidence . . . because I hate reading those: “Oh, I love you all so much, I need to blog, this space is so special to me, and now my life is so filled with turmoil that I must set aside this project, breaking my own heart and the hearts of the six people who read this regularly, yackety yak.” Barf. I really do hate those.
I’m much more practical and pragmatic about this. My blog (and my website in general) is here to:
1. Give me a place to write stuff down where I can find it when I want to in the future.
2. Give me a way to communicate with other people.
3. Give me a way to put stuff I’ve written online where it can generate interest and, ideally, additional writing requests and contracts.
4. Give people who have lost track of me an easy way to find me if they’re looking.
So if Google has dropped me, it means this website is not satisfying conditions number 3 and 4. And when I first set up a website in 1993, I was running with about 5 Mb of memory, so a blog/website was a way to store stuff that I physically couldn’t fit on my computer. Those days are obviously done, too. I can write whatever I want, save whatever I want, and never have to worry about it. So that sort of obviates condition number 1. Condition number 2? I suppose I could replace that with e-mail, phone calls or face to face exchanges.
Which leads me back to: what purpose is this site serving, and is it worth putting any effort into anymore? Maybe it’s time to shut the doors for awhile, let the spambots and referred spammers fling themselves against the gates until they tire and go elsewhere, and then reappear in some other format or fashion some time in the future, somewhere else.
Food for thought. But if this space changes dramatically in the next little while, you will know why.
[Later Than Same Day]
Okay, here’s what I’ve done for now . . .
1. The archives are gone. Three posts remain on the front page. I can communicate with you this way, if you want to read what I have to say in real time. But once three posts roll off, they’re gone for good. (Unless I’m doing some sort of contest where I save them to post them as separate articles later on).
2. The rock star interviews are gone. They’re kinda boring, really. And they draw a lot of attention that I’d just assume not have at this stage in the game.
3. The wish list is gone. I was getting all sorts of weird back track links from Amazon. If you want to buy me a present, ask me what I want and I will tell you.
4. The .htaccess file has been loosened up for now. A bit. I want to see if this site gets reindexed by Google, or if it’s gone for good as far as they’re concerned.
5. I reformatted the page a little bit to make the links to the left more prominent.
I’ll see how this works for a little while before deciding on more Draconian measures.