The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Your complete boating resource

I received this last week:

From
MXXXXX XXXXX <XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX>
To
sean@conman.org
Subject
Website Inquiry
Date
Tue, 12 Oct 2010 15:32:04 +0800

Dear Webmaster,

I recently discovered your "Uhg … sushi for breakfast" page here:

http://boston.conman.org/2002/05/03.4

I wanted to let you know that the “PublixDirect” link on your site points to a website (http://www.publixdirect.com/) that is no longer working. Would you please consider replacing it with a link to my website called Boating.com? It is a resource that provides hundreds of used and new boats for sale, as well as reviews, tips and buying guides for anyone interested in boating.

If you think it would be of use to your visitors, would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page here:

http://boston.conman.org/2002/05/03.4

Or in any of the pages of your site that will be most appropriate.

Here is the HTML link you could add: <a href="http://www.boating.com">Boating.com</a> - the complete boating resource.

Will look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks!

MXXXXX

Boating.com
www.boating.com

My original thought was to post it immediately, but I thought better of it at the time. I mean, it's nice that M pointed out a dead link on my site, but given that that particular entry is eight years old that is to be expected (also, PublixDirect was discontinued in August of 2003).

But I found it really odd to suggest replacing the PublixDirect link with a site about boat sales. It doesn't make sense in the context of the entry and it tells me that M probably has some piece of software that looks for sites with broken links that have a certain page rank and spams any address found on the page asking to replace the dead link.

Nice, except I'm not a link farm. The links in each entry provide (or at least, I hope they provide) a context for what I'm writing about and frankly, having the text “PublixDirect” go to a site about boat sales doesn't serve me, or my readers, any good purpose (hmm … but what to do about links that have since changed since I wrote an entry … but that's another show entry). It's also obvious that M never bothered to read the entry in question or else M wouldn't have bothered to suggest replacing the PublixDirect link with some spam site.

I replied to M (but without quite the snarkiness here) but have yet to receive a reply, so a week later, it's fair game. And heck, if I'm lucky, perhaps this entry will become the complete boating resource; that'll show M.

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