Jan 312013

Damn it, Bones, you’re a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can’t be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They’re the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away! I need my pain!

– Captain James Tiberius Kirk

I’ve been documenting the mundane details of my life online for a quite a while now. I originally started a hand-coded blog on my personal web site back in May of 2000. A few years later I moved over to LiveJournal, and for a while there I blogged just about every damn day. Honestly, though? Most of those blog posts had little more content than a standard Twitter post these days. Which is why, when Twitter came out, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I’d make the jump to that particular service. For a while there I had a service that aggregated my twitter posts over to my LiveJournal blog every day, but back then people were getting all bitchy about that so I turned that feature off. In time, I signed up for Facebook and Google Plus, and as things started to get weird in LiveJournal land I decided to move my blog to WordPress and transfer all of the content over.

In the midst of all of this I also did some blogging for ShrinkGeek and WowInsider. I’m sure there’s other places out there that I’ve added content to as well, but damned if I know what all of them are.

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Jan 312013

Well, I got another email from the folks over at www.costumes4less.com. This time from their Marketing Specialist.

My name is Candice, I’m the marketing specialist at Costumes4Less. I read you post about Costumes4Less and also talked to my management. Please accept our sincerest apologizes. Our SEO team is in the process of getting SPAMMy websites to remove any links to us. Our SEO team is only trying to remove links that they believe to be “unnatural” and clearly theyhave mistaked that with your post. I read your “Sexy Halloween History” and feel that you are spot on and I enjoyed your humor!! This email from our SEO dept should not have been sent to you. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.  We are taking actions to see why they made this mistake.  You do not need to remove the link. Once again please accept sincerest apologies from us.  Please email me with questions/concerns.  I’m also sorry to hear we won’t have your business if there is anything we can do to change your mind please let me know.  Thank you for your time and I’m so sorry for this mess!

As I said to Candice in my reply, I very much appreciate her reaching out to me and I accept their apology completely.

What I find most interesting about this is the fact that I didn’t contact the company directly at all. I never replied to the email requesting that the link be taken down.


Jan 302013

So I got an interesting email this morning.

Hi Michael ,

I am the owner of the website www.costumes4less.com. I would  request you to remove my post/link from your website at your earliest , as the same is affecting our website’s reputation in Search Engine. Please see the below link where my link has been placed:


Waiting for your positive response.

Thanks & Regards

Now when I first read this, I thought he/she was actually talking about my Sexy Halloween History post. I knew I had written about sexy Halloween costumes at one point in the past, and I figured the owner of this site didn’t want me linking to something on his where I was bagging on said costumes. Fair enough, I suppose. I mean, I’m generally under the impression that traffic is traffic, but whatever. If I was bagging on one of his costumes and he didn’t want the link, so be it. I can take that down.

But, no. This was not a post about sexy costumes at all. This was a post about how my Mother had cobbled together a Zorro costume for me when I was a kid. It’s a post about my low self-esteem and how I love Halloween and wish I had the confidence in my physical appearance to actually dress up for it.

And THAT is bad for the reputation of his site? Really?

So, ok. I decided to do a little research. Maybe my SEO is just so damned incredible that I rank higher for people looking for hats than the site that actually sells them.


Hrm. Nope. I even dug through several pages. I don’t show up anywhere.

So the only thing I can think is that, at some point, someone has read my post and clicked on the link, and that showed up in their analytic reports. This, somehow, is bad for their reputation.

Well, I’m sorry that www.costumes4less.com isn’t interested in traffic from my site. I’m sorry that www.costumes4less.com feels that I’m bad for their image. But mostly? I’m sorry that www.costumes4less.com is run by someone who apparently can’t even put together an intelligible email or actually do some research into the posts he is claiming are so very bad for his “website reputation in Search Engine.”

I’m also sorry, but he won’t be getting any business from me in the future.

Edit – The company has reached out to me at this point and offered up a pretty sincere sounding apology.