Lingering evidence

It didn’t take long for the person (or group) behind the website I mentioned on Friday to pull down or move the site to another address. Perhaps they were too embarrassed, or never intended the site to be seen — at least by my eyes. Since the site appeared to be set up to solicit corporate sponsorships for the event (upwards of $8000 a pop for “Gold” level), perhaps someone realized the dangerous legal territory they had entered.

Regardless, they should know digital evidence doesn’t disappear that quickly. Google seems to be crawling on a regular basis. So as long as the files are also accessible to Googlebot, anything I link to becomes indefinitely archived for as long as Google stores their cache. Doing some simple Googling turned up the site as the first result. Of course the site no longer exists in the same location. But conveniently, that little Cached link at the end of the result reveals everything Google saw before the site was moved or taken down.

Since Google’s cache doesn’t display linked or imported styles, the similarities between this copied site and are mostly lost (unless you’re familiar with the unstyled version of this site, or you compare source.) But then again, if you’re really curious, these screenshots show all.

The site wasn’t complete. And the event it was promoting is coming up soon. It’s likely this site was never intended to go live. It’s also possible the site was assembled by someone completely disassociated with the organization and institution it promoted. Perhaps they were only trying to deconstruct using their own [ahem] content to get a feel for how everything works. If that’s the case, again I say, more power to them.

I find these circumstances amusing. I would never take them seriously, unless I discovered someone was using my design for profit without permission. If that were the case, I’d just need to figure out where to send my invoice for design services rendered.

About the author

Designer, advisor, father. Previously led design teams at Twitter, Google, and Wired. Giants fan. Deutsche lernen. Wanna-be runner.

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