As I was uploading the post “We are finally grandparents!” I discovered that I could not access my blog to see what the post looked like. After a number of attempts I gave up. The following day (Tuesday), when I tried to access my blog, I found that another website was coming up under my domain name—and I was selling kitchenware!
It was not long before emails and text messages began to flow in, one after another, like Job’s servants bringing him bad news. Each one was asking what had happened. On one hand it was good to know that so many people visit my blog regularly, but on the other this only increased my sense of alarm. I needed to do something—fast!
I sent an SOS to my friends in the USA who first set me up in blogosphere—Joseph Bayly and Lucas Weeks—and they have proved very helpful. I have no idea how they did it. They contacted the person who had acquired my domain name and managed to persuade him to sell it back to him. Though he was initially totally reluctant, he changed his mind and, her presto! A few dollars changed hands and we are back online.
What happened? I began blogging in July 2008 and vaguely remember my benefactor (Tim Bayly) saying something about paying for my domain name for three years. Well, the three years expired in July this year. I ought to have enquired what I should do to renew my registration but I simply continued blogging…until I was suddenly cut off.
As a result of this sin of omission, someone else bought my domain and used it to advertise kitchenware. (At least I was more fortunate than a pastor friend of mine who also recently lost his domain registration this way and the one who bought it used it to advertise Viagra!). My loss was that for a few days I was not able to communicate with my faithful blog readers. Just when I was announcing to the world that I was now a grandfather... Could there have been a worse timing than that?
Well, some lessons are learnt the hard way. I have now engraved the expiry date of my domain registration into stone and have set enough alarm bells on that date to awaken the dead. Sorry about what happened. I am learning a few painful lessons about blogosphere. Unless something else happens that I am presently totally ignorant of, I hope to remain online for some time to keep. So, “watch this space!”