election tracker is a youth-run site that follows the Australian federal election. It’s been around since 2004. It’s great. Go and check it out. It’s full of stories from young Aussies that care about politics and that write about everything from why their mates don’t care to why they vote the way they do.
So, guess what? Crikey have set up a website in the past few weeks also called electiontracker. I’m not kidding you. They’ve used exactly the same name. In the same region. In the same industry.
The youth run electiontracker is located at electiontracker.net and was registered back in June 2004. The crikey electiontracker is located at electiontracker.com.au and was registered on 27 September 2007.
So you can see the problem. People are going to crikey’s site by accident because crikey’s decision to use exactly the same name for their website is causing confusion.
A proposed solution
electiontracker is a project of Vibewire and I’m on the Vibewire board. Last week I spoke with Amber Sloan, General Manager of Crikey. While remaining friendly and courteous, I did manage to suggest that her company’s use of the term was unfortunate and was leading to confusion. I proposed a reciprocal link would be a good way to help clear the confusion (ie. “If you’re looking for the Crikey electiontracker, it’s over here” and “If you’re looking for the Vibewire electiontracker, it’s over here” kind of thing).
Yesterday Amber emailed to say Crikey wasn’t interested because “cross-links from site to site would just compound the problem”.
The Web Community Solution
The biggest problem facing the not-f0r-profit electiontracker is that their audience reach is being limited by search engine traffic going to the Crikey electiontracker by mistake. Vibewire’s electiontracker don’t have the resources to defend their trademark in a legal sense, but they can defend it in a web 2.0 sense. We just have to get people talking.
Crikey’s Election Tracker is currently number 1 on Google searches for the term “Election Tracker”, but if enough people link to the original election tracker like this: election tracker, they will soon be back on top.
So if you’d like to help the electiontracker David over the electiontracker Goliath, please post about this one!