Saturday, December 8, 2007

www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html

Bad URL

Good to know our government is at the top of its game when it comes to the Web. I bet if Gore were in office, all .gov URL's would be easy on the eyes... after all, he did invent the Internet, right?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Really? A site as helpful as this is going to keep the "gore invented the internet" lie going? I'd have hoped you were better than that.

Travis said...

So what do you think would be a good URL for this one? I'd go with:

familypolicy.ed.gov for the Family Policy Compliance Office (which is really where this Bad URL takes you), and familypolicy.ed.gov/ferpa/ to replace ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/, where they actually go into the FERPA laws. (BONUS: you could now list the real URL in newspaper sidebars, instead of taking them to the office's home page!)

Lissa said...

First - Dear anynonymous:

I thinks is likely a safe bet that poke at the Gore-ster was all in good fun. Really. I'd also be, given the year he's had, he'd like laugh himself.

Dear Duke,

After months, no - wait - years of debate, consideration, research, consultation and analysis we finally arrived at a brand ID we can get behing: True Callings.

When we went to claim the .com, we found it parked (grrrr). So we backordered it and went for the .net URL instead: TrueCallings.net. You'll be pleased to know, dear Duke, that in addition to dropping both the http:// AND the www., we have both begun each independent work in our brand ID with a cap AND each word will have a unique color.

Having said all this, when we announced our intentions to run like the wind with our new URL, we found ourselves in the middle of a small storm of controversy. The general concensus offered by many a well-meaning and concerned peer was that we need to (gasp) change or adapt our brand name so we could grab the choice .com location because .net 'is the kiss of death'.

After some breath catching, we remained resolute and stood behind our new URL: TrueCallings.net is who we are and shall be forthwith.

One of those aformentioned well-meaning compatriots, troubled by our plight, poked around the blogosphere and happened upon you.

Pleased to see we weren't as close to kiss of deathdom as previously thought, he pointed me in your general direction. And here - to my amazement and pleasure - I find that aside from the obviously coveted .com position we simply can't do much about, we're likely batting big thumbs up from the Duke of URL nonetheless.

We'll be live with our new URL in January, when I'll be back with an invitation to come on over, check the place out and see for yourself.

In the meantime, dear sir, our thanks for being the provider of much peace of wired-for-sound mind.

Lissa Bergin-Boles
www.TrueCallings.net

Aaron Goldman said...

Lissa - thanks for defending me ('twas sarcasm indeed) and for sharing your story. I salute your conviction. .net was the way to go. I had the same problem when I went to buy AaronGoldman.com and it was taken. Rather than change my name, I settled for .net and never looked back. I will say that going any further than .net is trouble though -- .biz, .info, etc. Those extensions just aren't mainstream enough yet. Look forward to checking out your site when it launches. Good luck!

Zed said...

Gore didn't invent the Internet. He never claimed to have invented the Internet. His political opponents made up the story about him claiming to have invented it. When people have to invent stories that aren't true to support their case, it tells us their case is not very strong.

Al Gore was far-sighted enough to play an important role in the development of the Internet and he is right to take credit for doing that.

If you can't give credit where it's due, and you have to make up stuff to get your point across about URLs, what does that tell us about the integrity of your comments?

Lissa said...

Hey Aaron,

To say we were surprised by the firestorm of .net naysaying would be an understatement - it was disorienting and could have sent us off-track, so more than happy to contribute it helps someone else in a similar situation.

Once again, thank you for being a Good URL Beacon of clarity!

And as a fellow lover (and practitioner) of pithy prose, it's always good to let those whose beliefs have a bit of a strangle-hold on their sense of humor know they've cranked up the serious dial just a little too high!

Thanks for taking the time to write - and the best wishes. Look forward to welcoming you to the new site.

Lissa

Rick L. said...

Wondering...
Would it suffice to use a tinyurl in a case like this? Or any of the other URL shortening services...

Should the print side of a newspaper just forget about trying to give links altogether?

Should the print side just use a catch phrase like:
"Learn more about the law at our website" and just state their homepage/brand URL where hopefully there is some easy-to-find place where one can find the links to current stories or sumsuch strategy?

This type of thing works both ways...

How many times have you read a story on a newspaper's website, a reference is made to a website in the context of the story and it is not a clickable link?!

Aaron Goldman said...

Rick - thanks for the tip on TinyURL. I'd never heard of that. I think newspapers would do well to create their own version of that service. Basically, just create redirects for all the links they post (eg, WSJ.com/Link532.) That way, they can benefit from additional branding and direct any mistypes to a custom 404 error page on their site with search utility to find the appropriate link.