Someone stole my name! I know I am probably not the only Cheryl Huffer in the world, but someone had the audacity to steal my name!
I once had this blog at cherylhuffer.com. And then it was stolen! No, do not open a new tab and look at the miscreant’s page! Do not give them the satisfaction. Keep reading and all will come to light.
About forty days into the 366 days of my 42nd year of life, I decided I wanted to buy a domain. For a measly $22.00 a year, I could provide direct access to my blog instead of asking my followers (I think I had a whomping 50ish followers by then) to go through the generic WordPress page.
As a firm believer in Hollywood movies that show people being “discovered,” I knew this one change was going to lead me into the paid writer world. My pIan was to write something genius, have it go viral, and because I owned my own domain, some publisher or editor would easily find my brilliance and insist on flying me to New York and offer me a writing contract on the spot!
So, Life as I Understand It officially became available on cherylhuffer.com in February 2012. My foot traffic did increase, but that might have just been through my own marketing and WordPress access to users. Thus, it worked, sort of. It was easy to tell people how to find me. However, besides for an amazing day in November when I was Freshly Pressed, I didn’t get much more than a hundred views a day. Sure, my following increased, but my phone never rang, and like the bride left at the altar holding a bouquet too garish for any sophisticated wedding, I never did catch a big break.
Needlesstosay, I continued to write, and the next February, I renewed my domain.
My writing became sporadic, but still the next February, I renewed again.
And the next February…I let it lapse. At that point, I hadn’t blogged in almost a year, and people could surely reach me by means of WordPress once again.
A few months in, a faithful friend called me. He said that he was trying to reference my blog to show it to someone. Yet, he couldn’t find it. It all but disappeared.
Frantic, I logged into WordPress and all my posts were still there, but the access points had changed to default, and it was more difficult to find. I grappled with the necessity of having a domain; I decided it wasn’t necessary.
However, last year, I realized that my blog was funky. I sentimentally went on to read “My Frank McCourt Moment,” one of my favorite pieces I have ever written, and I realized I couldn’t find it. The website was haywire because my simple domain did not match well with the generic WordPress domain. Fearing that I would lose some of my favorite stories to cyber space, I decided I needed my baby back. I took out my handy-dandy green Citizens Bank Visa. I opened up the purchase page, I typed in my domain… and it was no longer available! cherylhuffer.com had been bought!
Of course, I immediately opened a new window and found that some hacker stole everything: “Life as I Understand It.” “Where Insight and Humor collide.”
The most egregious component of my stolen identity was that one of my blogs was still attached to the page– a little ditty I titled, “Say It Ain’t So, Joe;” and the only entry the rapscallion had written was about gaming.
I was besides myself. I am not a gamer and I did not want my domain associated with a topic that had no understanding, no humor, and no insight.
So what is a girl to do when she has been wronged? Rectify the wrong. I bought a new name. A better name. cherylhuffer.org. The “org” makes it more swanky, don’t you think?
So here I am today–blogging once more. I still have my tagline, my title, and my watchful eye. So, feel free to keep reading and tell your friends. It’s an easy Google search away.
Oh, and if you cheated and looked, you already know– the other blogger who tried to steal my identity no longer exists. The gamer lost the game!