I’ve been trying to pull scattered thoughts together all day about this as I saw it ripple through my dashboard before I posted anything. Nervousacid hits it right on the money and gets my vote/reblog, for whatever that’s worth (though I also enjoy seeing Crls take on things).
I think the bottom line is that if you’re serious about blogging or building some kind of brand online, do it using your own creativity, legwork, imagination and cleverness.
And above all, if you’re going to be hyper-protective of that brand name (as you probably should be, taking a note from any corporation/brand worth its weight in intellectual property lawyers), then you would register, trademark and own your domain and host it all on your own (not rented) servers.
The way I see it, there were two major lessons learned today:
1. TUMBLR BLOGGERS CAN BE JUST LIKE REGULAR BLOGGERS
Because the internet is a race, and everyone wants to win, we will immediately take a side, and then flip-flop on our position all day as newer evidence clears or incriminates all of the parties involved in new and fascinating ways. It’s like there always has to be an evil wrongdoer in every disagreement, and if there isn’t, we make one up. Apologies to David Karp and Ryan Schreiber, but apparently, someone’s gotta go down!
The reality of situation is probably much closer to this totally imagined conversation between the disgruntled parties:
TUMBLEDORE: Dude, that was my blog.
KARP: It looked abandoned to us, and you know what? Maybe we messed up. It’s possible that we got super excited to have Pitchfork on board, and maybe we jumped the gun.
SCHREIBER: We’re not a shitty corporation trying to buy up domain names, Tumbledore. I hate that it went down like this because, I swear, if your Tumblr looked like an active site we would have never even bothered. I mean, we were Pitchfork Media for nine years because Pitchfork.com was already taken. I think we could have lived without the Pitchfork Tumblr.
KARP: So wow. This all got blown out of proportion, huh?
2. YOU GOTTA STOP USING ONE-WORD PROPER NOUNS FOR YOUR BLOGS AND BRANDS
We’re fighting over the word “Pitchfork,” which, last time I checked, is also the name of a clothing line, a saloon, a steak fondue restaurant, an investment education program, a sheep and llama ranch, a website design company, and a self-described “English Country Barn Dance” band.
It’s just not that good of a word, people.
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