Cyndi Gets Ripped Off

According to her blog, Cyndi Howells has had her site,, ripped off, and effectively posted on another’s commercial website. I’ve known Cyndi for most of my “genealogy life,” and I know that she’s put heart and soul into that website, which has helped untold millions of genealogists for the last 16 years. She’s built the site from scratch, checking every site she links to for “title, description and categorization” (Cyndi’s words). This last year she did a very expensive upgrade to Cyndislist, which cost a lot of money, still isn’t fully paid for, and is a real pleasure to use.

To have the site stolen, and used elsewhere without her permission is both immoral and a crime. Cyndi has prepared a lawsuit, and if this goes to court, I guarantee you that she will win. This isn’t the first time that Cyndi’s code has been stolen, so she’s learned to make her code unique. Steal it, and you will get caught. Someone just did.

I know this will come up, so let me say that I only know as much as Cyndi, Michael, and Dick have posted thus far, so I don’t have the name of the party or parties that stole her code. But “shame on them,” whoever it was…

Don’t Attempt to Trap Your Blog Readers at Your Site

Although I’m still ticked at Joe Edmon for losing 6000 of my blog entries, I will forever be in his debt for teaching me the basics of blogging – all the way back in 2003. Part of that education was what not to do.

I remember noticing that some blogs would post their links in such a way that when you linked out to the other site, that you were not actually leaving, but reading the other site within a frame on the site you attempted to link out from. In my warped mind, I thought this was kinda’ neat. This was a method of keeping people from leaving your site. Why would you want them to leave anyway? And keeping them on your site has got to be good… NOT…

Another common practice amongst bloggers is to set up their site in such a way that your browser back arrow key will not take you back beyond the page on which you landed when you came to their site. Please realize that this will not stop the reader from leaving the site. It will just make him/her mad… I read once that the browser back arrow key can be “your friend.” Maybe the website owner should place their branding near the back arrow key – as this key gets used more than any other. In fact, as genealogists, we often use the back arrow key and don’t even realize we’re doing it.

Sure… We want folks to read what we have to say. It makes us feel good to see that some people seem to read our blog pages for some period of time. But as bloggers, we tend to send people away from our sites an awful lot! I very seldom post any kind of blog without including at least one link. I feel I’ve actually accomplished my primary goal as a blogger when I send my readers somewhere that they can learn more, do more genealogy, and maybe even have some of that “instant genealogical success” that we all crave.

I actually link to a few blogs that have gotten caught up in trying to keep their readers on their sites. I do so because what they have to offer is good. However, I’d sure like for my readers to be able to come back to GenealogyBlog when they’re done. I consider this a common courtesy that isn’t hard to respect- and one that encourages readership all the way around…

Thanks Again, Joe – for not allowing me to get trapped by my own thinking…

Following are a couple links that might be of interest:

WWW version of the book Netiquette by Virginia Shea

My Webs Design Pet Peeves: Frames!!