My Advice For WordPress

This blog is getting off the ground some 18 hours later than it might have because of what can only be labeled perverse and widespread risk-aversion on the part free blog-hosting websites.

At one point or another, almost everyone reading this will have considered starting their own blog and indeed many have followed through. My question is: how far have you followed through? In my cursory and completely anecdotal searches last night and this morning I stumbled upon 8-10 blogs with very compelling addresses (like lowhangingfruit.wordpress.com), none of which would be considered by a reasonable observer to be “active” or even valued by their authors. Untouched for years and only barley touched in their time, these blogs waste away, unread and unattended. Their addresses, however, remain very desirable and many a new blogger is forced to settle for their second, third or fourth choice, if not some horrible bastardization of their first choice. From the very reasonable conjectures that this situation creates a marginal disincentive to launching new blogs and lowers the profile of blogs with less than optimally resounding addresses, we can say that this arrangement is quite undesirable for hosts as well as bloggers.

The rub is then of course why this circumstance persists throughout the blogosphere. Certainly, it would be in the interests of hosts to define the conditions of dormancy for users from the outset and enforce accordingly by freeing up addresses to those who will use them more fruitfully. Imagine how much revenue a free bloghosting site is leaving on the table by unconditionally leasing its hosting rights to whatever addresses are available in perpetuity, rather than enacting a Coasian solution for blogs that have breached a dormancy clause…

I’ll pay $5 for the rights to lowhangingfruit.wordpress.com. I doubt we’ll get a bid from our man inside the IT industry.

With such a low-cost solution on hand, the only explanation I can give for why we see such a disparate status quo is unwarranted risk-aversion on the part of hosts and users alike. Either users would be blunted by the notion of potentially of losing their [abandoned] home on the internet, or hosts are concerned about the repercussions of long-term absentee bloggers returning to find their address is no longer theirs and, in their disgust, sewing movement to other sites and negative reputation effects for the site that “wronged” them.

Naturally, I find these effects negligible against value of matching valued addresses to valued users.

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