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life becoming busier, and depression about my work being stolen, my links database definitely got ignored and is quite out of date.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

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