A few days ago, a friend sent me the news article about Dale Price, the father who waved at his son’s bus for an entire school year, while wearing a different costume every day. Accompanying the news article was a link to the blog the father apparently had created, chronicling each day’s costume.
Likely because Google Blogger is an easy platform to set up and operate, and perhaps because his blogging aspirations were very small, the father went forward and simply used the subdomain that was given to him: http://waveatthebus.blogspot.com. When I read the news article, I just copied and pasted WaveAtTheBus.com and was taken to a Chrome error page which showed me that the .com domain name had not been registered.
Fast forward to today, and this story seems to have really taken off. I’ve seen a few random people post it on Facebook feeds, and when an assortment of unrelated friends post the same article, I can be pretty sure it’s something that has become an Internet meme or an important news story.
Unfortunately, because the father didn’t think to buy WaveAtTheBus.com, someone else appears to have registered the domain name and put up a website with advertising. The domain owner put information about the father and the story to help with SERPS so he doesn’t simply have to rely on direct navigation traffic. Although the domain name is registered at GoDaddy with privacy enabled, you can see the copyright at the bottom of the site says, “valley capital investments.”
At the time of this posting, 776 people have visited the page according to the counter on the site, and the domain name was registered just yesterday.
I know that many people who start a blog on a service like Google’s Blogger don’t really think about buying the matching domain name. Many probably aren’t technical and wouldn’t know how to redirect the name even if they did own it. However, those people should know that they could inadvertently be sending their visitors elsewhere, especially if the blog becomes popular.
If you use a site like Blogger or Typepad where the subdomain name is your website, do yourself a favor and secure the .com of your blog’s name just in case you ever need it. For around $10 a year, you are able to control your “brand” and use the domain name as you wish, so someone else doesn’t take advantage of your hard work.