Web archive grabbed my old site

June 16, 2006

I was once the manager of the Boston ColdFusion User Group. It has since been taken over by Brian Rinaldi (three cheers for Brian!). Anyways, when I ran the group, our domain name was "www.bostoncfug.com". Brian has registered "www.bostoncfug.org" and is using that to host content regarding the group. I completed my tenure as manager of the group about a year and a half ago and unfortunately had to let the domain name "www.bostoncfug.com" lapse. In fact, I even took the server down that was originally hosting the site.

This week, I attended the new group meeting (great session about Flex2 if you have not had the opportunity to review you should certainly give it a glance – really cool development environment) and was hounded by this one member regarding the fact that the old site was still up. I assured him that I had let the domain name lapse and that I had even taken the server down. He insisted that the site was available and that it confused some individuals because it contained information from meetings that appeared to be valid. I dismissed the conversation quickly because it was difficult to argue with someone that was adamant.

When I went home that night I tried to bring up the site. After typing in the address "www.bostoncfug.com" I was surprised to see the browser start to connect to the URL. I was waiting for that typical domain squatter page that states "this domain is for sale". You know the generic pages that show up when you type in Goooglee.com or something similar. To my surprise though, the page started to appear. The old page of the site, just as I had left it. How could this be?

Webarchive – The Wayback Machine
As I started to stare at the pages loading I could not help but notice my status bar started to display "web.archive.org" … THE WAYBACK MACHINE!!! I first ran across this site about 4 years ago and was amazed it's archive (Go here to see my first Web site – http://web.archive.org/web/19970724122243/www.uri.edu/artsci/ecn/ ) depth. If you haven't had an opportunity to poke around this site, have fun.

Then I looked up the dns record to see who it was registered to. Apparently "Dotster", the company I registered the domain with, has registered the site themselves and I am not sure if they have some deal with TWBM but it seems a bit odd that not only would Dotster keep my domain name but that would point it at the web.archive.org page of my old site.

What is even weirder about this is that they don't really "forward" people to the site, the browser URL is still http://www.bostoncfug.com, it just displays data from web.archive.org. Almost as if they have some program written that takes the content from the Archive and displays.

So I guess I owe the gentleman at the meeting an apology, he was correct, for all intent and purposes, the site is still up. Unfortunately, I have no way of taking it down.

I would love to know if anyone has any more information on this.


2 Responses to “Web archive grabbed my old site”

  1. timjowers Says:


    This happened to me a few years ago. I had a fairly high traffic site…. 30k hits per month in 98 when I was tracking it. Then I let it expire. I’d forgetten to renew. Well, some webarchive thingy snapped it up. Worst part was they had an old archive and put my name with it. Whatcha gonna do? Write them a letter?! And they did not do a deep crawl. Just the topw 2 layers.

    Oh well, bottom feeders.


  2. notronwest Says:

    I was talking with some people at a conference a few weeks ago and a few of them thought that maybe it wasn’t the “Web Archive” but maybe was instead Firefox doing this.

    However, if you try your URL in IE (not 7) you will notice that it happens as well.

    So I guess this is a bit weird.

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