IN OUR 16 years of publishing narrowboatworld, time and time again, others seeing it popularity, have been encouraged to 'have a go' with something similar writes Victor Swift.
Seeing our visitor numbers, the first thing they do is contact us with the offer to advertise us providing we do the same for them, even though they have no visitors whatsoever! Our Thomas however will just not wear it, so usually the new attempt disappears, they expecting instant popularity, which believe me, takes years.
The latest to do this is a website whose sole interest is pulling Canal & River Trust to pieces, but when you put in its address Google gives the message 'The owner of [name of site] has configured their web site improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this web site. (As illustration.)
That is warning enough, but alas is only too correct. The first we heard of this new site was in an email from its editor, Peter Underwood, who wrote:
'I would like to use some of the material provided to you by Kenneth Churchill about his lock sinking in the December edition'. I would also like permission to use his pictures as illustration'.
He of course wanted this as Canal & River Trust came out badly in the article, but as we did not own copyright, it being written by Kenneth we did not give permission. But that did not matter—he published nevertheless! This is against all the principles of publishing, but it seems this matters little to Mr. Underwood.
The site has been going now for three months, and taking all November, it contained just seven articles—all condemning Canal & River Trust, with accuracy being the least of its worries.
Many of the articles are by someone well known to narrowboatworld readers, Allan Richards. Now Allan was our political editor for a while until his articles became little more than a medium for discrediting Canal & River Trust. But from being fairly sensible we discovered they were becoming more and more anti Canal & River Trust, and we were shown that they were often incorrect, so with readers complaining of his endless carping, eventually we refused to publish, at which he seemingly took umbrage and teamed up with like-minded Peter Underwood.
Joining forces they have published the site which wrongfully claims 'The only site written by boaters for boaters'! (I thought that was us!) And I wasn’t aware that Allan even own a boat! I don't know about Peter, if he does or not, but Canal & River Trust must have upset him at some time, that's for sure.
Back to our Thomas and every time he gets one of these offers to share with a new site he puts the name in Google to see how popular it is. And would you believe when he entered this new one he did not get a single instance recorded! Yes, my friend, now't. He went a bit further and put in the heading of one of its articles—again nothing from Google. Yet put 'narrowboatworld' in Google—and see how many thousands of instances in just a few seconds. And that fella wanted to bargain with us. No chance mate.
I was going to give the name of this new website, so you can see not only the amateurish way it is presented—with not even a paragraph would you believe and all on one great page—but the warning from Google is a bit too strong to ignore. So we will let it go its merry way decrying Canal & River Trust, ad infinitum, that obviously gives them both a bit of a thrill, but alas, I can't see it having the same effect on anyone else.
[From the 1st of January 2016 to the 31st December our server recorded, 6,219,720 visits to narrowboatworld.]