November 27, 2009

Dark Side of the Net Shut Down for Now

Carrie from Darklinks and Tatyana from Goth Babe of the Week, having a blast at Convergence on the Queen Mary, July 2009. I am so grateful for all of the many wonderful goth friends I've made over the years, that I would never have met without Darklinks, alt.gothic, Convergence, etc.


This is a sad and historic day for Dark Side of the Net, sixteen years after I started it. Every page on Dark Side of the Net is currently forwarding to this blog, which means the link database has been removed for the first time ever.

I have been trying to decide what to do after years and years of repeated incidents of people completely copying Dark Side of the Net over, removing my name and credit from the info, and making advertising money claiming various iterations of "the largest horrorlinks" or "The largest Halloween links on the Net". I'm not sure how one can try to claim one has the largest goth or horror link collection on the net when all someone did was copy my thousands of hours of hard work and pretend it's their own. I never even claimed I have the largest collection of goth or Halloween links, since I'm not sure if I do or not. Probably not! Besides, this has all been about the quality of very cool websites I've found, not the quantity. I do strive for completeness though - why link to only five Cure websites if there are 20 awesome and useful ones out there?

Meanwhile, I don't want to spend tons of money on legal fees to go after the *many, many* dishonest people copying from Dark Side of the Net. That's money better spent on my kids, my home, travel with friends, and my breaking-down car.

Of course, these plagiarising pages come and go, and don't last more than a few years. They'll all disappear eventually. But I'm tired of it. It's sapped my will to work on the pages at all. Why work hard to build a useful database so someone else can profit from it without permission?


My continued mission has been simply to "Share the cool dark stuff I find with other people who might enjoy it too," not to make money off it or attain notoriety or goth fame or whatever. But it simply sucks the pleasure out of all this to see people stealing my work, removing my name, lying about it, and refusing to take it down when confronted. Meanwhile, because of my life becoming busier, and depression about my work being stolen, my links database definitely got ignored and is quite out of date. It doesn't make sense to keep it up in the condition it's in.


Coming in 2010

  • - A new page design (I can hear you cheering!). It will still be pretty heavily text based though and not very GUI or graphicy. I want it to work well on all of our mobile phones, and to load up quickly.

  • A new database to make it harder for lazy people to steal (though there's always people lazy enough to spend a few hours tweaking a scraping script, sigh)

  • A search engine! Finally!

  • More affiliate advertising and banner ads, but no Google Adwords text spam. Sorry, folks, but the new database, logo and graphics are costing me a lot of money. I'll try to have only interesting, highly targeted ads on the pages - and only ads showing stuff I personally think is cool and would want to own myself.

  • More attention to the Darklinks Social Network, which will become a bit more members-only. Not for elitist reasons, but for quality of participation reasons. This includes more time spent on the Dark Side Book Club, Dark Side University, Dark Side Writers groups, and other projects I think are really fun.

  • Dark Side of the News will be taking a different turn and I think 50% of you will love it and the other 50% never used Dark Side of the News or will groan and hate it when you see what I'm doing to it.

  • The Facebook and Twitter accounts will be less spammy with Dark Side of the News type items, and more specifically focused on what's going on at the Dark Side of the Net itself.

It's been a pleasure sharing my dark finds with you,

-Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net links: on Facebook

Dark Side of the Net News on Livejournal on Twitter

Goth Almanac

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  1. Carrie - I'm so sorry to learn that a few unscrupulous people have ruined your site for everyone else. Change is good, but some of your old links really represented the "old" days before commercialism became the norm, and I miss them. People who came later to the goth scene have no idea what those links represented to us seasoned in the sensibility. I look forward to your new site and will visit it, but alas, the old one was a bastion of wonderful treasures now vanished.

  2. Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate it. Hoping the new site can measure up to everyone's expectations!


  3. Hi Carrie.
    My name is Mike at (not a plug)and your story sounds familiar. We have had to deal with unscrupulous people uploading art that they borrowed from elsewhere on the web with no thought to the hard work the real artist did.

    You have put years of work and money into development of the user experence. And you deserve to get paid for your dedication to exelence in the future.

    The Dark Art,Goth,Horror and Halloween markets are huge and profitable. It took us a long time to find the path to profitablity so hang on it sounds like you are on th right track.

    We are about to release a total make over of our site in one week. As you know it's not cheap but it's all about the experience and the desire to make it better for our visitors.

    So keep up the great work.


  4. I'm late to this news, but SO sorry about it! Dark Side of the Net was one of the first sites I ever became really fond if, back in 1996 when I went to college and got my first internet access. Your site has always been such a spectacular resource, and I've found much of value through it over the years. I can't thank you enough for what you've done for me, so many other people, and the goth community as a whole over the time you've been maintaining the site. And if you manage to continue, I can only commend you. I know you've changed my life. I can only assume the same is true of others. So, thank you.

  5. Darklinks has been a mainstay for me too. There's loads of stuff I got to know as a direct result of your listings (most notably, the spooky comics links ;)
    Good show for persevering despite the underhandedness of some.