Indoors Column: Oh, What a Tangled Web…

Last week really made me miss the good old days. You know, the days when you could purchase a website template and content management system, sight unseen, from an anonymous company online for almost free and you could trust that you were getting top quality products and service?

Friday, Walter and I received a letter from an attorney telling us that our Ottumwa Post website would cease to exist in two days, due to some unscrupulous activity by the software developer who started the particular web company we were using.

I should make it clear, we did nothing wrong. We had no way of knowing that our web guy stole proprietary technology from some other web guy years ago, to start his business. Nonetheless, we still had to build a brand-new website in just a couple of days. Fortunately, our ad designer also knows web design and coding (whatever that is).

She told us of a more reputable company that we could get some website components from and then she could put it together. We all looked over her shoulder as she showed us examples of what was available. When we found something that we liked, I asked her for their phone number so I could ask some questions. I was not about to make the same mistakes twice. Guess what? They didn’t even have a phone number. They will only answer questions through some sort of chat room online. Apparently, this is common these days. We held our breath and bought it anyway.

The company was to appoint us a representative to help us install the software. Our artist was contacted a little while later, through email, by a guy from Bangladesh. His name was remarkably similar to the guy from our last website! He said he was our representative for the new company and asked for every password we have set on our website and webhost. I said to Walter, “that seems a little ridiculous.” But, a couple of minutes later we agreed. I think I even gave him some banking information he never requested and the password to my BP Driver Rewards Card.

To make a long story short, we do have a new website but I’m sure that’s not all we got. I just have to believe that somewhere in Bangladesh there are two guys opening a shopper called “Save Chittagong.” The older, wiser guy writes about his tiger-hunting exploits, while the handsome younger guy writes about his kids. No one can believe he only has five.

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