Friday, December 10, 2010

Why you should never, ever, EVER delete any of your inactive accounts

On Monday, November 29, I wrote a post entitled In that post, I tangentially touched upon another topic.

[Louis Gray] also pruned entire services by deleting some of his accounts (e.g. his Plaxo account). Incidentally, I don't believe in deleting old inactive accounts (or old inactive blogs), but that's the topic for another post.

Time to revisit the topic, based upon something that I read earlier today (and shared in my Amplify blog). The original post, written by Stan Schroeder in Mashable, was entitled Remember Summize? It's an Ad Farm Now.

For those of you who don't remember Summize, it was a company that provided the capability to search Twitter. Twitter bought the company and integrated it into its own service (although Twitter's load essentially meant that on-site Twitter search was extremely limited).

So what happened to Schroeder explains:

Twitter (Twitter) let the domain name expire some time ago, and now it’s just a long list of advertisements.

Now I'm sure that some will argue that people should know that Summize no longer exists, and that you should go to to perform searches. And obviously the majority of people know this. But for those who don't, they end up getting a nasty surprise when they try to search Twitter - something that could have been avoided by paying a small domain registration fee. (Twitter has the money to do this.)

In the end, Twitter looks bad to those (admittedly few) people who go to and find something other than what they expected.

This principle does not only apply to websites; it also applies to web pages and accounts. I can think of at least two quality blogs that I used to read. When the bloggers quit blogging, they also deleted the blogs. Because of the established URLs, it wasn't long before the URLs were taken over by advertisers.

How long before Louis Gray's abandoned URLs are taken over? It doesn't appear that this will occur in Plaxo because of its URL format, but the URL for one of his other services is ripe for the picking.
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