Blog Pile

Am I A Blogger Domain Squatter? Is that Bad?

A long, long, long time ago (maybe not in a galaxy far, far away, it is about 90 miles from where I sit), maybe 2003, 2004, while in my role at Maricopa, I was doing workshops and trying to promote the potential of blogging (how novel, eh?). I created an online set of resources I called “BlogShop” …. = Blog + Workshop.

It was hosted in MovableType on a server I ran at Maricopa at :

Original Blogshop web site screenshot

And that server has been 404 for over 2 years since I left my job there- praise the powers that be.. or rather Brewster Kahle and the Internet Archive’s WayBack machine, I can access versions of all the content from Apr 2004-June 2006 or say enter the content (and link around) from one of the snapshots.

I am still very far from the point of this post, but I always need to underscore, emphasize, shout from a mountain top how valuable the Web Archive is. On countless occasions it has found web pages that have been removed/moved/changed (many of them my own), provided snapshots of web history, provided a version log of the web most of us rarely bother to do. It is an amazing gift to the world (have they gotten a Nobel prize or something? or did Peabody really invent it?). Make sure you have the WayBack Machine in your web toolbox.

Back to the story…

Not that I sensed a job change in the future, but maybe because Blogger was becoming a powerful, free, easy platform for educators, in 2004 I started moving the content to a Blogger site at


Though I did not get the job completely done. Somewhere I may have an export file from MovableType, but to finish at this point, I would be pretty much cutting and pasting from the WayBack machine.

So now, we are at the point of the blog post.

In a comment on another blog site, a writer asked:

Could you free up Since its been idle for quite awhile. I really need it.

And that is somewhat true– its been a dormant blog for, oh, 2, 3, years.

But hey, I got it first!

Am I squatting on the name? Not be intent, and I certainly am not looking for money, though my conspiracy oriented mind suspects it would be a good one for link farm spammers. I dont know, the writer never indicated the intent.

I’m inclined to just keep it. You deserve something for getting there early? I am not sure what it is, but I am curious what others think.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. My advice (FWIW)… try to find out if the request for the domain is genuine and act accordingly. My guess is that if the request is coming from someone in an educational context or working in another not-for-profit then you’ll respond differently?

    On the other hand, it’s only a domain name – if you don’t need it and don’t anticipate using it in the future, hand it over.

    On the other hand (yes, I have three) – it’s only a domain name, let then think of another one – you keep it!


  2. I would hope that you would hold on to the domain name. Too many historically important primary documents have disappeared already. The Wayback machine is a help: but it doesn’t actually have every single page. Our Seamonkey Oz site disappeared & I have the offer to recreate it: however some pages will be missing because they are not even on the Wayback machine.

    I hope that the volcano site is still up btw?

  3. Is that how they asked you? no “Please” or “I really want to . . . ” do this or that with it, “and hope you consider releasing it to me so I can . . . .” Not even a “Thank you for your time”?

    Odd to make a request, hope it gets taken seriously, and not even include any of the social niceties that can go so far.

  4. I’ve been squatting on, and I’m not giving it up until someone injects some throbbing hard long green into my ready and quivering coffers.

  5. I’m with Andy on his second hand – if you don’t have any particular reason to keep it, free the space.

    P.S. – Lighips – are you still around after all these years?

  6. Hi Alan,
    You are the one and only original CogDog Blogger… just think of the blogshop domain like your favourite old bone… buried back there in the yard somewhere. Every now and then you might dig it up, have a bit of chew and then bury it again. It’s your favourite old dog bone. Yours to bury, yours to chew and yours to keep.

  7. I looked at the site and… I take it back.

    There is content on the site. It remains relevant and of historical value. That is not squatting.

    It becomes ‘not squatting’ if the domain is being used to store content.

  8. I do a fair bit of webdesign alongside by elearning work and often find domains that I require just sitting dormant, or containing a bunch of adverts not related at all to the subject. It’s frustrating but I’m not sure what the solution is. If someone buys it then they should have the right to keep it…

  9. If you’re not going to continue developing and using the site, there’s no reason archive-worthy information couldn’t be moved or backed up. I don’t think that’s a reason to keep the domain.

    If the person requesting it is going to use it to develop a blog to meaningfully participate in a community of any sort, their use of the space will be more than what you’re currently planning to do with it.

    Then back up your site and release the domain. Of course, we’ll have to hope that it’s coordinated sufficiently that the user requesting it manages to get the name before someone else does.

    If one or both of the above IF’s aren’t true, keep the domain. To me, it’s the netiquette thing to do; and imagine if roles were reversed – would you be posting a rant about how a domain you want is not being used when you’d make better use of it?

    SL: Topher Zwiers

  10. Heh, maybe. Its not even an internet domain, it is a name. Just because I am not posting tot he site does not mean I am not using it, or I have an invalid reason for holding on to it.

    But the requester never formalized his/her need or intent, so I am staying out. The jury is out on what the “better” use might be.

    But the conversation around it has been wonderful.

  11. Hi Alan,

    Don’t give it up. You’re not squating. It’s yours. You thought of and grabbed the url first so you get to decide what you want to do with it regardless of how anybody else feels about it.

    The moveable type blogshop was my first introduction to blogging. Shortly after I found the mirror at and was happy to find it as is my personal first choice of blog engine. The site has value for visitors even though it hasn’t been updated in a while. I continue to value it as my personal introduction to the blog.

    A personal resonance:

    My first blog was for one of my grade 12 precalculus classes. It lasted only about 3 or 4 weeks. Since it was such a small beginning I deleted all the posts and and used the site (url: to develop my second class blog (I didn’t start my own personal blog until six weeks later). I can’t tell you how many times, and how often, I’ve kicked myself for doing that. It wasn’t a fantastic beginning but it was the beginning of something that has changed me professionally and personally. And I can’t get it back. I really can’t express the depth of my regret. Don’t let it go. Like Bogey said: “… you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday soon; and for the rest of your life.”

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