Link Exchange Requests, Feet-Meet situation

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of link exchange requests. It’s actually quite flattering. But just so you all know, I basically only link to blogs that I either personally find hot, related to his blog, or has a been a good friend or supporter of me or my site.

There’s a lot of great, hot, and sexy blogs out there, but if you ask me, blogs that cater to my particular tastes are a bit harder to cum by.  So I tend to be somewhat selective… if I link to it, it’s a blog I can stand by.  I don’t link just to make connections.  I’d rather have a smaller blog I’m proud of than whoring any link exchange I can, even if it does get me more publicity.

On an entirely different note, I do have a vent.  I also have been running a site called feet-meet for a couple of years.  Never heard of it?  Probably not, and that’s okay, because I’ll be shutting it down soon.  Here’s the story in a nutshell, and I’m telling you because it’s been causing me a lot of personal headache lately.

My original intention back in 2005 or so was to create a personals site for foot fetish guys.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was hoping to make a little money off of this, too, but I soon found out running a personals site was more complicated than I expected.  I’m pretty good on a computer, but I’m no programmer.  I can hunt and peck basic HTML code, but that’s about it.  And to have the site do what I wanted it to do, I sort of needed that experience.  Plus, it turns out that to charge, I had to declare myself a business, and all the tax forms and paperwork were overwhelming to me.  So, after happening to find a very cheap host, I decided it was good enough to just keep the site up for free.

This worked out fine, and I never really publicized it much, since it wasn’t really a perfect site (to me) anyway.  And at the time there was feet.tv anyway.

Over the years, the site wasn’t getting used much, and in this economy, I was starting to second guess why I was paying monthly charges for a site that I didn’t like all that much and wasn’t being used.  Now, when feet.tv did its thing, I briefly thought it could be an interesting opportunity.  But I also soon realized that 1) it still wasn’t the site I wanted it to be, and I really didn’t have the time or resources to accomplish that, and 2) if it by chance did become successful, I’d be paying through the nose for website usage.  I really do want to support the foot community, but I also have financial limits, and I saw what happened to feet.tv.  I wasn’t interested in having history repeat itself, if you know what I mean.

The final straw came just a few days ago when I got an email out of nowhere from someone I had never heard of who said my site came up when the name “vaandid gharboni-kaaz” (I’m using a fake name here, but it was similar) was typed into a google search engine.  They further claimed I was misrepresenting them, and demanded I shut the site down immediately.  Now, if this person’s name had been misrepresented on my site intentionally, I would totally sympathize.  But after looking around the site in my limited programing way, I could find no reason why this name would be calling up. It seemed to be linking to an inactive profile that did not have that name anywhere on it.

Doing some investigating, I found this same name does not link to feet-meet on Yahoo or Bing searches, so I think we just have an odd technical glitch of some sort.  I deleted the profile (it had been inactive since 2006), which is the best I could do.  But of course, search engines take days to catch up on new information, and this person still seemed to be outraged it’s still showing up on such an “inappropriate” site, even though I deleted the profile 1 hour ago.  They said if the problem isn’t fixed by next week, they’d “take any action they can” to shut down the site. I told them they don’t understand how search engines work, and to give it more time to see if the deleted profile fixes the problem.  We’ll see.  I sent out a mass email to members (there are about 400) on the site saying I’d be shutting down the site by the end of the year, and if they had anything to preserve, they should do so now.  But if it gets shut down even sooner and abruptly, it may have been out of my hands.

Anyone have any advice, technical or otherwise?

For the record, the program I used is called WebScribble, but the version I use (WebDate) is very old.  I never really did any upgrading, as I wasn’t programming savvy enough at the time to figure it out.

On a side note, I do notice that site does offer Social Network sites… could they be an opportunity for a new feet.tv-styled site?  Anyone want to check it out?  If I had the programming skills, I would do this myself, but we already see where my site got me.  😉

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