Techies following Ampgate are beginning to weigh in with their interesting analyses and thoughts, which are worth spending some time considering:
According to Ben Metcalfe:
This is the intriguing story of the (male) owner of a popular multi-author pro-feminism blog, who hits hard times and needs to make some money quick. Enter the cunning SEO agent who has panache for improving the hit rates of his porno-peddling clientele…
Barry… reveals that his web host was informing him that due to the popularity and functionality of his blog he really needed to pay for a (more expensive) dedicated server account.
It’s a shame Barry didn’t understand what he was getting himself into. The sneaky SEO’er was essentially buying the PageRank generated by the goodwill linkage that his domain had received. It’s disappointing that the opportunity to continue to blog on the same domain (post-sale) was sadly seen by Barry as a kind favour – when in fact it was a cunning ruse to keep those in-bound links pointing to the domain when the blog would have otherwise disappeared.
There is also the important issue of the integrity of blogs when the sites/domains they live on are sold to third-parties who have an alternative (often ulterior) motive for the site. By having Barry continue to blog on the domain, the SEO guy was setting up something very smart (albeit negative). I can see this model occuring elsewhere, because on the face of it it’s a win-win for both the blogger and the SEO merchant (but undernethe bad news for both the blogosphere and the blogger concerned).
It’s a shame, however, Barry couldn’t or wouldn’t see that his editorial independence – and thus his credibility in that expert community – was being flushed down the toilet by accepting this offer. I’m sure this could apply to many other bloggers given hard times and a golden cheque being waved in their face. But in this case, he not only soiled his own reputation but potentially those of the co-authors of the blog.
Finally, perhaps the saddest thing of all for Barry is that he’s actually been cheated in his contract. He says that he was promised to be hosted on a dedicated server but alas some technical IP lookups show that he is actually being served from the same box that hosts such bastions of bad taste as FistMyWifePlease.net, CastingCouchTeensOnline.com and BabyGotBoobsOnline.com.
I’ve given Barry a hard time on this blog post – my one wish is that if he reads this post he can use the technical evidence I’ve ended on as some kind of leverage away from his original for-porn deal.