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Noam Bramson Leads Journal News by the Nose on Phony Domain Name "Scandal"

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Noam Bramson Leads Journal News by the Nose on Phony Domain Name "Scandal"

May 24, 2011 - 22:51
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BarryFertelAs I revealed last week, the Journal News ran a attempted smear job orchestrated by Noam Bramson fascinating article Sunday which "exposes" that I own domain names relevant to New Rochelle, among them domains based on public figures in New Rochelle like Barry Fertel.

The article provides a classic example of how Noam Bramson and his North End Democratic machine operate to manipulate the public, in this case with the enthusiastic connivance of Ned P. Rauch a "reporter" for the Journal News, a long-time Democratic mouthpiece in Westchester County. It goes a long way towards explaining why, according to the Mayor, less than 20% of households today subscribe to the regional Gannett newspaper.

Here's how it works:

Step One, gin up a faux controversy and pitch that to a "reliable" news outlet like the Journal News.

The article begins with the unsupported claim that "several City Council members" are upset that I own their domain names. The article then identifies two, both Democrats, who have been complaining about Talk of the Sound for years because we have been exposing waste, fraud and abuse on their watch.

Fertel and Sussman, the angry pair of Council Members, have been elected officials for years and never bothered to plunk down the $13 required to reserve a domain name -- either too cheap or too inept to bother. In all their years in office, they have not once expressed the slightest interest in owning domains based on their own name. I bought the domains last summer. Since that time I have encountered both Fertel and Sussman numerous times and they never mentioned any concern about the domains. The first I heard about their sudden interest in these domains was in a heated, accusatory call from Ned P. Rauch of the Journal News. At no point before or after has either Fertel or Sussman contacted me to express any concerns or express any desire for me to transfer the domains to them.

The only person who has ever expressed interest in a domain name based on his name was City Council Member Jared Rice. He contacted me last week, before the story ran, and asked me directly if he could have it. Who would think the youngest member of Council would be the only adult among the Democrats, the only person who would have the courtesy to just pick up the phone and ask me for the domain. Of course, I agreed to transfer the domains jaredrice.org and jaredrice.com to his control so he can build a web site for his upcoming campaign. He will reimburse me for my out-of-pocket expenses which amount to about $45 for one-year on two domains plus transfer costs. I have no obligation to do so, and certainly I would have been well within my rights to mark up the price, but if someone treats me cordially I will always do the same.

Step Two, make available several "outraged" people, in this case elected officials from within the New Rochelle Democratic party.

Barry Fertel and Marianne Sussman are "livid". Fertel uses words like "objectionable" and "inappropriate" and says he feels like "his name has been stolen from him".

I make the entirely correct point that there is nothing unusual about web site publishers buying available domains relevant to their site but, according to the article, Barry Fertel has "a different take". Does that mean that Fertel wants to argue that domain redirects are not a common Search Engine Optimization ("SEO") strategy? No. Just that Fertel, who apparently knows nothing about SEO, finds using such a strategy ""objectionable and inappropriate". It is always amusing to get lectures on appropriate behavior from the likes of Barry Fertel.

Step Three, initiate a series of ambush interviews, in this case two elected officials from within the New Rochelle Republican party.

Council Members Lou Trangucci and Albert Tarantino are quoted in the article. Both of them were aware that I had bought up domains based on their names. Neither of them particularly cared. It should be no surprise that when they received a phone call and were asked to comment, out of the blue, on a topic that did not interest them, by a reporter hustling a particular angle on behalf of Noam Bramson, they would not recall my having mentioned it to them. Their mistake was to trust Ned P. Rauch or anyone else associated with the Journal News. Having seen the article, they both now recognize responding to Ned P. Rauch without having first refreshed their memories was a mistake. I called them after the story ran and they both acknowledged that I had, in fact, informed them that I had bought their domains. In fact, I had encouraged them, like I do for everyone I talk to about this in New Rochelle, Republican or Democrat, that they should create web sites. Tarantino intends to contact the Journal News to complain that the words attributed to him by Ned P. Rauch do not accurately reflect his answer to Rauch. This would be the second story in a week about Robert Cox where the Journal News is being asked to run a correction.

Step Four, find some "independent experts" to validate the "outrage".

Expert #1: Ralph Stein, a law professor at Pace University.

Stein says the practice is both legal and protected under the First Amendment. Here Stein is on safe ground because he is a law professor and is commenting on the law. So far so good but this is not going to get him included in a Bramson manufactured article in the Journal News. He needs to be part of the "attack Cox" strategy so he tosses in his own personal ethical view which has nothing to do with his being cited as an expert affiliated with the Pace University law school.

Stein adds "Anytime you lead a person to believe they're going somewhere and you lead them somewhere else, I have a personal ethical problem with that".

I have problem with a law professor turned ethicist making the false claim that a particular domain such as "barryfertel.com" is leading anyone to believe anything. It just "is". There is no marketing or promotion around it that creates any particular impression about anything. For a lawyer, this guy does not know much about contract law. There is no promise by me or anyone else, implied or stated, that typing in barryfertel.com will lead anyone to any particular place. In fact, until I purchased the domain last summer, barryfertel.com did not lead anywhere. To address Mr. Fertel's supposed concerns, his domain no longer re-directs to Talk of the Sound.

Stein closes by noting "But the law is not decided on my personal ethics."

Well, that sounds like a good thing then considering Stein's personal ethical history. Not mentioned in the Journal News article is that Stein served as the top Army Intelligence analyst in the Counterintelligence Analysis Bureau at the Pentagon at the height of the Vietnam War. He was part of an operation to spy on civilians in the United States including Jane Fonda, Pete Seeger, Martin Luther King and other leaders of the Civil Rights movement.

According to an archived article from United Press International, Stein was gathering and processing military intelligence in civilians coming from "1,500 Army plainclothes agents had infiltrated, photographed, recorded and watched over political picnics, party conventions, peace marches, a union meeting, yippie communes, a church youth group and a drunken college brawl in Yap, N.D."

In 1971, Stein had a change of heart and agreed to testify against the U.S. Army before the Senate constitutional rights subcommittee led by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).

In more recent activities, Professor Stein has weighed in on important topics like a patented process for turning an electric toothbrush into a vibrator and girls at a Kansas high school selling sexually suggestive t-shirts which violated the copyright of a Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation. Copyright violation appears to be a theme for Professor Stein who copied and pasted an entire article from The New York Times on the Feminist Law Professors web site.

Today, Stein lives in Cortlandt Manor and is a Democratic campaign donor.

Expert #2: Jeanne Zaino, a political science professor at Iona College.

Zaino also says the practice is both legal and protected under the First Amendment although she is not a lawyer and has no particular qualification to comment on the legal or Constitutional issues.

Zaino says "it's unlikely a traditional news outlet would share Cox's tactics" and that "standards for blog-based journalism are still evolving".

Zaino adds "claiming council members' names for his benefit, however, could make things more difficult for Cox 'if he fancies himself a journalist and he's trying to cover the City Council.'

I addressed all of this in email to Professor Zaino:

Prof. Zaino,

I read your remarks in a recent Journal News article:

Ralph Stein, a law professor at Pace University, and Jeanne Zaino, a political science professor at Iona College, said the practice is legal and protected by the First Amendment. But they also said it raises ethical questions for the evolving world of new media and online journalism.

Zaino said it's unlikely a traditional news outlet would share Cox's tactics, and standards for blog-based journalism are still evolving.

She said claiming council members' names for his benefit, however, could make things more difficult for Cox "if he fancies himself a journalist and he's trying to cover the City Council."

I have published several articles about you and the Iona polling center and so was somewhat familiar with your background which appears to focus on politics. It has been my published opinion that your polling center will be a welcome addition to the local political scene. For the first time, this fall, we will have (I hope) some real-time, public polling data available for our races.

I was curious then to know what qualifies you as an expert on evolving standards for blog-based journalism and media ethics or how you allowed yourself to be dragged into commenting on subjects outside your area of expertise on stories you know nothing about. Purchasing domains and re-directing them is a common practice in the field of Search Engine Optimization. I see nothing in your background that suggests you are qualified to comment on SEO techniques or have any particular knowledge of what sorts of SEO techniques are employed by web publishers and, in particular, traditional media outlets.

I have been consulting to traditional media outlets on web-publishing, blogging and social media platforms for a decade. I have spoken all over the country and journalism schools, journalism conferences and new media/blogging conferences. If you were more familiar with the subject, you would know that traditional media outlets today use all manner of SEO techniques including the use of names of subjects they cover to drive traffic through meta data, taxonomy "tagging" and domain re-directs. Ironically, Gannett uses these techniques; a fact Mr. Rauch willfully left out his story (I advised him to check internally something he apparently declined to do). I have consulted to USA TODAY and worked closely with the senior leadership of Gannett. I have done the same with Newsweek, the Associated Press and other traditional media outlets.

If you were familiar with the subject, you would know that the issue is not "blog-based journalism" which is an idea predicated on the mistaken notion that publication format embues content with certain elements. It does not. The issue is that I am serving as both publisher and reporter and opinion writer for Talk of the Sound As a publisher, my role is to increase traffic and bring in revenue to support the web site. My efforts to do that have no bearing on covering any particular beat or story or articulating a point of view in an Op-Ed.

It is therefore with some disappointment and no small degree of alarm that I see how someone of your stature would jeopardize the reputation of your polling center by participating in yet another one of Noam's pathetic little schemes by giving opinions on subjects outside your field of expertise to feed a narrative created by our Mayor as part of a political hit job. It will not help Iona College if the leader of their polling center is dismissed as another North End New Rochelle Democratic operative. I would hope you consider that and be more careful in the future.

Best of luck this fall.

Bob Cox

PS, Did anyone bother to mention to you that all of the domains in question were unclaimed as of last year and that neither of the two people complaining in the article, people I encounter routinely, have ever expressed any interest in the domains? Or that even as of this moment I have still have not heard from Mr. Fertel or Ms. Sussman. Seems to me if they were really concerned they could do what Jared Rice did -- pick up the phone and ask me to transfer them to his control which I have agreed to do once he opens an account with a domain registration service.

Robert Cox
Managing Editor
New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound

For the record, Zaino lives within walking distance of Noam Bramson's house. The property portal indicates that children living in her home are in the Barnard district which means they would attend Davis Elementary School and Albert Leonard School, same as Noam's children and same as many of the people who organized against my recent campaign for school board.

In conclusion, I can tell you that I have bought all the domains mentioned in the Journal News article and many more. I did not say "a hundred" but "hundreds" when Rauch asked me how many domains I owned. There is nothing mysterious or nefarious about buying available domains and once I own them I can do with them as I please. Not only is there nothing mysterious about it, my ownership is a matter of public record. For a fee, I can hide the identity of the ownership of the domains I own but I do not do that because there is nothing to hide. As best I can tell, the only person who is genuinely upset about my owning a domain based on their names is Barry Fertel. Hopefully, Barry will be satisfied now that I have redirected www.barryfertel.com away from Talk of the Sound and towards a more appropriate web site.

There are 23 Comments

Bob,

If this is the worst that Bramson can accuse you, don't worry, you're doing fine. Just keep up the good work and screw him. His true colors have emerged.

PS--He doen't like it when you pee on his leg.

Just to be clear - what you are doing with the various council members domain names is not sound SEO strategy and is actually pretty deceiving - and could very well hurt your SEO.

You should take the url out of frames and issue permanent redirects from those sites to newrochelletalk.com as you do with talkofthesound.com

Google outlines pretty clearly how you should be handling duplicate content:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=66359

The way you are presenting it is considered "black hat" seo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamdexing#Mirror_websites
and google clearly has a problem with it as its definitely in a gray area of what they consider search spam - luckily their algorithm is pretty good at ignoring that content
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport?hl=en
see:
Cloaked page
Deceptive redirects
Duplicate site or pages

Here are some more articles on the topic:

http://www.walkupright.com/blog/2008/03/24/seo-myth-2-buying-multiple-do...
http://www.seo.com/blog/multiple-domains-seo/

It seems you misread the article from your previous post which was mostly conjecture.

What is clear is that you are absolutely cybersquatting - you just believed it was being done to benefit your pagerank, which it clearly doesn't - and may very well have a deleterious effect.

The City has no quarms about taking advantage of "gray" areas of the law to push their agendas so if someone else does it they have no right to critize it.

Case in point: The redistricting

Robert Cox's picture

Absolutely wrong. You have clearly not read the law nor understand in the slightest the meaning of the term "cybersquatting".

Your comment is a very long-winded attempt to sound authoritative by tossing around a lot of links and terms that readers will not understand all to justify the claim first put to me by Ned P. Rauch of the Journal News, presumably at the behest of Barry Fertel, that I am doing something illegal, namely "cyberquatting". The term refers to a crime defined by Federal law. Barry is a lawyer. If he really thought this was the case he could have gone to court rather than a newspaper. He did not do that because he knows full well that I have done nothing wrong and the real purpose is to pretend that Talk of the Sound should be not be read because I am promoting Talk of the Sound illegally. Even the Journal News "experts" acknowledge that my purchasing barryfertel.com is both legal and protected by the First Amendment. In other words, it is not a violation of the federal law and protected by the U.S. Constitution which suggests I am on solid legal ground, don't you think?

Cybersquatting, according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price.

I have not offered to sell any domains at any price. In the one case where I was asked to transfer a domain (Jared Rice) I have agreed to do so for no cost beyond reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. To the best of my knowledge Barry has not trademarked his name and he would be hard pressed to make the case that there is any "goodwill" associated with his name even if he had.

I was at a meeting of the East End Civic meeting last night with Barry Fertel. I intentionally made myself available to him before and after the meeting and he said not a word to me about barryfertel.com or anything else.

Again, if he was genuinely concerned he could have spoken to me directly and chose not to do so. You can interpret that as you wish but to me it suggests that Barry has as little interest today in the barryferetel.com domain name as he ever had which is why it was available last summer when I purchased it.

What is really amusing is the amount of time and effort Noam, Barry and his cronies spend trying to figure out ways to discourage or prevent people from reading Talk of the Sound. If they spent that time and energy on attending to their duties as elected officials they would have no reason to be concerned about public perception of their performance which is, of course, the whole point for them. They fear Talk of the Sound because it is the one media outlet they can not control or manipulate.

Just because it isn't illegal doesn't mean your intentions weren't misguided. This doesn't help your seo - so lets call it what it is:

You own these domains for 1 of 2 reasons -
To sell them to the person with the name at a higher price than a registrar would charge as you did for Jared Rice

Or in the belief that people that will directly type in "mariannesussman.com" will drive a certain percentage of traffic to your site.

I can't possibly imagine the cost of those domains - and the direct traffic - and the fact that it is impossible to link to those sites is worth the money you are currently spending on them.

It's a ploy to get these councilmen to pay you money for them - masked as uneducated "seo" - can they sue you - no. Is what you are doing deceptive, absolutely.

Robert Cox's picture

As I have previously stated, Jared Rice asked me to transfer the domains I own based on his name to his control so he can build a web site for his 2011 campaign. I have agreed to do that once he provides me information on where he wants to the domains transferred. The cost of the domains to me was $13.50 each and the cost of a transfer to Jared's domain hosting company is $7.00. My total cost to obtain and transfer the domains should be $42.50 which is the amount I will be reimbursed by Jared.

You claim my purpose in registering the domains is "To sell them to the person with the name at a higher price than a registrar would charge as you did for Jared Rice."

I did not charge Jared Rice any "higher price". My cost to obtain and transfer the domains to Jared is $42.50. I told him that and he agreed to reimburse me for my expenses. There is no mark up or profit in my doing this.

It may be foreign to you but as a web publisher, I routinely buy available domains that suit my interests and, once they are my property, I am free to use them as I see fit. No one, including you, has disputed that I am well within my rights to purchase any available domain name. Domain names are controlled by ICANN or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. I have not violated any ICANN terms and condition.

The bottom line is that if Barry or Marianne were truly concerned about domains based on their name they could have bought them years ago. If they wanted me to transfer the domains to them, they could have simply asked. If they did not like them being directed to Talk of the Sound they could have raised that to me. Instead, they went to the Journal News with some sob story about how their names have been "stolen". Puh-leeze.

At this point, they have had every opportunity to get what they claim they want just be asking and have not done so. Clearly the intent here is to manufacture a controversy and then breathlessly cast aspersions on me. Jared asked nicely and he will soon have control of the domains he wants; Barry threw a hissy fit and he does not have control of the domains he wants.

There is a lesson in there somewhere!

Not foreign at all. It is absolutely your right to do with them as you please. But as I mentioned in my first post what you are doing is entirely incorrect and has a negative/no bearing on your pagerank.

If you go back to my original post I linked to what google's own suggestion is for what to do with those domains is - issue a 301 permanent redirect. Right now you are not doing a redirect at all - you are embedding a frame on those sites that contains newrochelletalk.com

In no means am I arguing with your rights to own those domains and what you want to do with them - it is clear that your "seo" strategy is incorrect/ignorant and deceptive.

There is nothing illegal about what you are doing with these domain names. Just admit that you are parking these names for the sheer satisfaction of your ego - journal news article, pissing off Barry Fertel, etc... - definitely drove a couple of page views good work. Hey - in that regards kudo's just upped your pagerank a little!!!!

Robert Cox's picture

So, your concern about all this is that you want to help me improve by Google PageRank? Somehow I find that hard to believe!

Jared asked me to transfer jaredrice.com and jaredrice.org to him and I am doing that.

Barry told the Journal News that he is upset because directing "his" name to Talk of the Sound was inappropriate and, in deference to his request, I have redirected www.barryfertel.com to an appropriate site.

Marianne told the Journal News she is upset because "If someone puts in my name, they're obviously looking for me." Not necessarily. There are plenty of Marianne Sussman's in the world. I have now redirected the domain marrianesussman.com to http://mfsussman.com/index.html where a different Marianne Sussman has published photos of her trip to Hong Kong last year.

This article and the journal news article are the exact reasons you bought the domains - to create controversy - and upset people. You were obviously successful.

I figured I could be helpful in helping your misguided viewpoint about your use of relevant domain names and their assistance on your seo/revenue - which we have already confirmed based upon your responses that you know nothing about.

As we have diverged further its clear you don't want to fix your issue, and that your goal is to misappropriate public officials names for a site that besmirches them. Thats your prerogative, just do it properly.

I came up with a very simple sensible solution for you - correctly issue 301 permanent redirects to newrochelletalk.com the same way in which you do with talkofthesound.com.

As I have continued to say what you are doing right now is a "frame redirect"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL_redirection#Frame_redirects
"This technique is commonly called cloaking. This may be used so that the reader sees a more memorable URL or, with fraudulent intentions, to conceal a phishing site as part of website spoofing.[9]"

I suggested that you do a permanent redirect:
Considering all of these servers are running on apache 2.0+ it should be easy enough to point the dns to the same place and rewrite the url accordingly. Problem at least solved for you - and the clown school for all the barryfertel.com traffic they must be getting!

Robert Cox's picture

You keep saying you are trying to help me make my site better but then you keep tossing out innuendo and misleading statements like "cloaking" and "fraudulent intentions" and "conceal", "phishing and "website spoofing".

You agree that my owning these domains is perfectly legal, right? You surely can see that my ownership of the domains is publicly available information even though I have the option to pay a fee and hide my ownership. So how am I "cloaking" or "concealing" anything?

Meanwhile, you continue to profess that your goal is to "educate" me on ways to increase traffic to my site. I think it ought to be clear now that your purpose is not to help me but to continue what I believe to be another pathetic smear campaign orchestrated by Noam and his cronies.

Seems like you all are spending a lot of time on something that has nothing to do with improving the lives of residents in New Rochelle. Instead of throwing mud balls, why don't you help Barry build his web site. Obviously, he needs your help.

Here is your issue:

loutrangucci.com issues a HTTP/1.1 200 OK that tells the browsers and the search engines to stay there. That would be alright if there was unique content there. There isn't so it is deceptive that loutrangucci.com whose site title is loutrangucci.com and which resolves to loutrangucci.com - and upon clicking any links it remains on loutrangucci.com - when you are clearly on newrochelletalk.com. Even the title of the page shows up as loutrangucci.com

Note talkofthesound.com issues HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently which tells the browser/search engine to go to the location Location: http://www.newrochelletalk.com/

The practice while it may not be purposeful, is deceptive - causing an observer to assume that they are on loutrangucci.com and not newrochelletalk.com. This is very simple to fix and it's clear you have your own motivations for not fixing it.

Robert Cox's picture

yawn

Boy do you like to babble. You carry on about something you should have never done in the first place. There is no rational reason to take possession of someone's name. Stop with diatribe about who believes it's right or who believe's it's wrong. And it seems that you now are back peddling. You cave into any pressure when pusAgain, you compare yourself to the mainstream media. The only media you could work for is the National Enquirer. Your so called reporting is based on cutting, delusional and just down right disrespectful. You seem to think the Iona teacher and the mayor conspired against you. You are truly out of touch. And, by the way, isn't it democracy when people organize for or against someone running for office?

Robert Cox's picture

KEN,

Either you have been reading to much Faulkner or you need to refrain from posting comments when you are half in the bag.

I would like to suggest you have a few cups of coffee this morning then set to work in an attempt to turn this set of random bits of invective into a coherent thought pattern. There are books and web sites available that can help you better understand sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and the use of conjunctions to express an argument for or against a particular subject.

If you can sort out this muddle of thought, I promise to respond.

Good luck!

Sorry I not as educated as you are but one thing for sure I am not a person who believes everyone is out to get them. You actually think that Bramson conspired with the newspaper to report your story? And, if he did, why not? Taking possession of someones name isn't was the main stream media does Mr. Cox. Act responsibly.

Robert Cox's picture

KEN,

Of course Noam concocted this nonsense. This is precisely how he operates. Having nothing better to do as our ceremonial Mayor he sits in his office with the lights turned off and hatches schemes to undermine his "enemies". It's all a game to Noam and the purpose of the game is for Noam to "win".

It's working great so far, right? In 20 years, after much hard work, he has managed to rise all the way to the position of At-Large City Council Member!

Last night, at the East End Civic Meeting, Noam was asked about people supporting my opponents for school board who were observed stealing my lawn signs from their property. Noam said he does not support any sort of "dirty tricks" in his campaigns. That got more than a few knowing chuckles from the association members.

I really think making comments like these really draw your objectivity and this blogs objectivity, into question which I think is a shame since you often do bring up some really interesting issues.

I'm not saying that you cannot express opinions on the Mayor or council based on past actions. Certainly if Iran did something in the news, I would expect the NY Times mention this is the same country that jails gay people and threatened to wipe Israel off the map and not pretend that it doesn't have a bad track record.

But comments such as this one make your hostility to the mayor crystal clear.

Robert Cox's picture

Who said anything about objectivity?

Have you even read this site? My views are about as transparent as you are going to find. . Love me, hate me but you know where I stand on an issue. Setting aside that "objective" news reporting is a farce, this site has never claimed once to provide "objective" reporting on anything. Any balance that occurs is because people on all sides of an issue can weigh in with their own articles or via comment.

As for your professed concern for my or my site, why don't you just stick to worrying about yourself and expressing your views. I can take care of myself.

I think it is very unfair that you accuse Noam of conspiring to write this article with no actual evidence that he did so. I understand that you think this is something he would do but to say he did so with no actual evidence is a somewhat questionable journalistic practice, especially in the title. At the very least you should modify it slightly by saying "likely started by Noam Bramson."

I am no expert on news sites and the SEO practices they use. But I doubt USA Today, AP or Newsweek actually take the domain names of people they cover. Perhaps, they would jump on a domain like NY.com or USA.com, ect. if those domains opened up. But I could never see them taking a domain like barakobama.com or cuomo.com where they take the domain name of the very politicians they cover. I could be wrong and I understand that it is hard to find a mainstream example since many mainstream politicians take their name but I don't think even News 12 or other local stations do so. Are there any examples of such redirects?

I also think it is somewhat disingenuous to say that the article has zero basis. Surely, you wouldn't be happy if your name redirected to a site that often bashes you. Even if you think the SEO strategy is legitimate, there is surely some debate about if it was reasonable. I'm sure if you were to do a random poll you would get people of both opinions. Even of the people who agree with you, I think most would say it is an interesting question. Lastly some of the most common SEO strategies, used by major sites, are questionable. (article titles are now just a collection of key words now) Maybe too many link farm sites have made me cynical(and of course many strategies are not as bad), but every time I hear SEO, I get a bad taste in my mouth.

Robert Cox's picture

In other words, you don't know what you are talking about it but you want to tell me how to run my business. Let me ask you this. What is your business? Maybe I can stop by and tell you how to run it. Even better if I know nothing about it, right?

As for the genesis of the story, the only person who ASKED for "his" domain was Jared Rice and I gave it to him. If Barry and Marianne wanted "their" domain why did they go to the Journal News first? Did they think the Journal News would get them "their" domain back? I don't think so.

Going to the Journal News with this supposed story is classic Bramson, a guy with nothing better to do all day but to hatch little schemes, to plant stories, to always be in campaign mode, plotting ways to "get" this "enemies". It is precisely this sort of small-mindedness that has left the boy wonder's career stalled in the mud, wheels spinning, trying to figure how to turn being a ceremonial Mayor into a genuine political career. On the City Council in his 20's, handed the position of Mayor by a departing Idoni, imaging it takes a political genius to win an election is a Democrat in a City where the Dems have a 4:1 registration advantage.

Regardless, there are three Dems on Council where I purchased "their" domains. I am transferring Jared's domain to him (it takes 5-7 days) now. Neither Barry nor Marianne's domain points to Talk of the Sound any longer. So what is exactly is your beef right now?

Is it that you are really concerned about how I drive traffic to my site or is just more of the Bramson nonsense. Seems to me Noam should be worried a bit more about his inability to deliver for New Rochelle and a lot less about this little old web site.

I find your hostility a bit inappropriate.

My entire point is that there is a legitimate debate. With your experience with new media and blogs, you of all people should know that standards are continuing to evolve. While I don't consider myself an expert on SEO strategies or new media, I don't think of anyone as a true expert either and I do have enough knowledge to know that this particular type of url redirection isn't quite as common as you are trying to make it seem.

As I stated before, I somewhat understand, though disagree with why you think it was Bramson.But there seems to be no real evidence to that extent, other than the fact that you think he spends all day hatching out schemes. You are just attributing this to him because you think it is his style. Which is fine, it's your blog. But it is very very bad practice and misleading to title the story: "Noam Bramson Leads Journal News by the Nose on Phony Domain Name "Scandal" with no modifier.

My beef is not with your current redirects but it is with the way you write your articles. Despite, disagreeing with you 90% of the time, I really like having a source that fills the local news void but think doing things like this where you claim something as if it was fact in your title and make accusations that are framed more as if you are 100% certain, hurt that. It makes this site less of news site and more just a guy with a bone to pick with the council and school board.

I'm sure you will follow up by say it is my business not yours. Fine. But that is not a response to the problems I have with your article, it is a deflection.

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