Saturday, April 26, 2008

Advice on accidental identity theft

I recently discovered that I have accidently taken the identity of another blogger.

I chose the moniker 'Kitchen Wench' as that was what my friends had teased me as all through high school, for my penchant for bringing baked goods to class and running fundraising bakesales for various school clubs, so after reading Clotilde's blog for a few months and decided to start my own, it seemed only natural that I should take it on board. I decided to self-host on a domain that I've owned since I was a teen, primarily as I'd already paid for it and didn't even consider getting a new one for the blog.

However, my readership is increasing and after deciding that I should probably get a shorter domain name that was easier to remember than www.insanitytheory.net/kitchenwench, I went to register www.kitchenwench.com, to find to my dismay that it's already been registered - by another food blogger who set up shop 5 months before I did. Reading through her posts, I found out that she found out about me a long time ago but never contacted me about it, just mentioning in her post that it didn't bother her that much.

Not to be rude but I don't doubt that I have a larger readership, but the fact of the matter is that she 'got' the name first, and I'm feeling pretty cruddy about the accidental 'theft'. I guess the conclusion is that I should change my food blogging identity, but I'm also pretty attached to it (as well as having the same identity across *many* other food-related websites).

So folks - please advise! Should I go ahead and change my food blogging identity? If so, what would be the best way to do so without losing my readership, links or statistics?

This Post was written by Ellie from Kitchen Wench


14 comments:

DawnsRecipes said...

You could always try registering www.THEkitchenwench.com (or some other variation) instead. To keep statistics, etc., just have that url forward to your existing site, rather than create a whole new site. Good luck!

cybe;e said...

Just a slight alteration should help the rest of us who may run across both of you.

You could go by Ellie, the Kitchen Wench. Or call your site "Ellie's Kitchen Wench" ... you can still get something like kitchenwench.org.

(I have candyblog.net because someone else took .com and .org. It doesn't seem to have hurt me that other people refer to themselves as Candy Blog or have those URLs.)

Anonymous said...

Ask her for her thoughts on what you should do.

According to Google some synonyms for "wench" include: slut, whore, skank, prostitute, tramp, hoe, ho, hussy and floozy. Maybe you might want to drop the moniker all together?

Andrew said...

why not go for The Kitchen Wench, The Original Kitchen Wench, The Other Kitchen Wench, Wench in the Kitchen, or as Cybele says Ellie's Kitchen Wench... any combination of hyphens and underscores too.

I took spittoon.biz as someone at the time had spittoon.com...

Kalyn said...

Ellie, I think you should keep the name since so many of us know you by that name (and no, we do not think of you as a slut, prostitute, or any of those other unfavorable synonyms either!)

It might be a good idea to ask the other blogger, but since it seems like she doesn't care I think whatever variation of the name that is easy to remember is a good solution. Personally I might make it as simple as having the url be akitchenwench.com if that works, and keep the site name the same.

FJK said...

I faced something similar.
I didn't find out about the french Blog Appetit until after I started, but it was so very different a site I was not concerned about being mistaken.

Unfortunately, the url for blogappetit was taken at blogger, so I went with clickblogappetit.blogspot as my url and Blog Appetit as my name.

I would go with a logical alternative and not worry about it.

If you are still worried you can always put a link to that "other" kitchen wench on your about page.

zoe / puku said...

Ellie, I like TheKitchenWench or some variation, and I agree with Kalyn (and your own gut feeling) that we already know your site as kitchen Wench (also wench = really quite a different connotation than anon's synonyms).

when leaving comments on other blogs I used to have my name as "zoe", but as there ARE other zoes out there (rude, I know!), I've changed to commenting as "zoe / puku" (BTW my blog is ThePuku - puku is some golf company!) so you could, as others suggested, comment as Eliie @ or Ellie / Kitchen Wench or EllieTheKitchenWench etc. anyway, dont' go ditching it altogether, these is surely room for 2 variations of wenches of the kitchen in the wide wide blogosphere!

Grumpy Glutton said...

This illustrates a fundamental point -- never, ever choose an online identity until you're researched the availability of the domain name.

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said...

Dawn, I think that's exactly what I'll do :) Thanks for the suggestion!

And thanks everyone else for your ideas and support :)

Anonymous - get a dictionary. FYI - wench also refers to a young woman or girl.

Grumpy Glutton - Seeing as it's a bit late for that now, what's the point of even leaving a comment like that?

jeffrey said...

A celebrity is a widely-recognized or famous person who commands a high degree of public and media attention. The word stems from the Latin verb "celebrere" but they may not become a celebrity unless public and mass media interest is piqued. For example Virgin Director Richard Branson was famous as a CEO, but he did not become a global celebrity until he attempted to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon. Another example is Al Gore, whose environmental crusade has elevated him to celebrity status. On the other hand, mass entertainment personalities such as soap opera actors or music stars are likely to become celebrities even if the person deliberately avoids media attention.

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jennconspiracy said...

I think www.originalkitchenwench.com or www.kitchenwench.org would be great.

If you have a bigger readership, of course the person who got the domain name doesn't mind you promoting the name. :)

FYI, I have a couple other friends who use the nickname "kitchen wench" and it's also a general title at group camping trips.

Keep it. It's yours and others using it doesn't mean you stole it or vice versa. The language is limited and there are only so many things you can do with it.

I just got lucky with jennconspiracy and have been using that online since 1992. Holy carp. Am I that old? :)

Ella said...

Things happen for a reason and by how I read it, that 'theft' was not accidental. It happens all the time. As was suggested, before you start investing so much into a blog, you should do your research.

Anonymous is correct with the dictionary meanings. The word 'wench' does have those less than savoury connotations even today but, like the word "whore" and "slut" (for example, the blog Music Slut), wench has become popular.

Alas, it hasn't morphed into a different meaning along the lines of, say, the word "gay" so I'd agree with Anonymous in their suggestion that you may wish to consider another, perhaps less boring, moniker.

SaltShaker said...

It's also a really common moniker in the restaurant business. In almost any professional (i.e., restaurant) kitchen, someone is designated the "kitchen wench" - usually the person assigned to do all the menial chores, so it's not surprising that someone else might use it. I think given that the other blogger didn't seem to mind that you were using it, but did mention it in her blog, it's worth contacting her to see if she has any thoughts on it. No requirement to, but it would be a nice courtesy on your part.

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