Contrapuntalism

14 comments

Noted with sadness, the registration of the late Sean Malone‘s brilliant blog Contrapuntalism appears set to expire on Monday.

Contrapuntalism contains a wealth of material, including Sean’s accounts of his meetings with Eberhard Faber IV and Count Anton von Faber-Castell.

14 Replies to “Contrapuntalism”

  1. A friend of Sean’s e-mailed last year with thoughts about hosting Sean’s sites. Transferring ownership turns out to be a difficult matter. But WordPress told him that Contrapuntalism and Blackwing Pages would still be available: “the content will still be available at the free site addresses contrapuntalism.wordpress.com and blackwingpages.wordpress.com.”

    I don’t know if the old URLs will redirect to the new (free site) ones.

  2. Unfortunately, there seems to be a redirection from contrapuntalism.wordpress.com to contrapuntalism.blog. With contrapuntalism.blog no longer registered, one lands at an error page.

  3. Hi all, I was the one Michael was in contact with regarding this. I will contact WordPress again to see exactly what has happened. It would be a great shame if all of this information would be lost.

  4. Today (the 21st) it appears to be back online at contrapuntalism.wordpress.com, redirected from contrapuntalism.blog. That’s good news!

    The content seems to also be in Google cache and at archive.org.

  5. I’m really glad to see this hasn’t fallen off the web after all. Losing all of Sean Malone’s blog work would be a tragedy.

    I did notice that the links that explicitly link to contrapuntalism.blog redirect to a page saying “This domain expired”, but the site is still usable and still works.

    A workaround is to just rewrite the URL to replace .blog with .wordpress.com address instead.

    So this URL…

    https://contrapuntalism.blog/tag/a-w-faber/

    …doesn’t work as it is. It does work when you change it to this:

    https://contrapuntalism.wordpress.com/tag/a-w-faber/

  6. That’s it, exactly. Adding “.wordpress” appears to make everything work with both sites.

    I spent close to an hour this afternoon going through my blog and adding “.wordpress”where needed. And I realized anew how generous Sean was, not just in sharing his knowledge but in pointing people to things that might interest them. How many posts I wrote with a “Thanks to Sean for…” at their end,

    What a loss of a great spirit his death represents.

  7. Today is a day Sean would have marked in his blog. Pencils begin the March to their end as soon as one is sharpened, much as we all do. Their daily use creates the mundane and the superlative. Today, we are grateful for the art made by composer, and Blackwing 602 aficionado, Stephen Sondheim. Thank you, sir! Surely he used his pencils for jotting down phone numbers and grocery lists as well as music that influenced the world.

    “Sometimes people leave you, halfway through the wood… Do not let it grieve you. No one leaves for good.” from Into the Woods, Sondheim

  8. It looks like someone has grabbed the domain blackwingpages.com. I’d been keeping an eye on it and got a notification that it had changed DNS servers and appears to have changed owner too. According to WHOIS, it was last updated yesterday (2022-02-25).

    The site that now occupies the domain, which I won’t link to, is a totally new WordPress install and it seems someone is gradually rebuilding it to be what Sean’s site was. Since I first checked yesterday, it’s added one post about the Blaisdell, and the skeleton of another about the Tsunago. I’ve added it to my feed reader to keep an eye on what happens.

    Thankfully, Sean’s actual site is still available at WordPress.com.

  9. Thanks for the update, Koralatov.

    I don’t understand the anonymous nature of this activity. Maybe I’m not meant to?

    Perhaps it is just placeholder text, but some of the copy displays little effort: “This is a website dedicated to the Blackwing 602, a wooden pencil.” I can’t imagine Sean writing that.

  10. This gets more and confusing and strange as it goes on.

    Last night, some time after I’d made my comment, three more posts popped up in the site’s RSS feed. They used the same URL, but not the same title or post contents.

    But even more oddly, since then, the post has disappeared and now redirects to the squatter’s History page.

    They’re not simply reposting Sean’s work, but appear to be squatting on the same URLs and writing posts of vaguely similar topics. It seems some kind of attempt at inbound link-capture – the URLs are identical even though the content is not.

    Sean’s post “Concerning Microtomics…” was retitled “Eberhard Faber Microtomic Pencil”. Both were dated 15th October, 2011 and both used the same URL slug /2011/10/15/concerning-microtomics

    It’s been rewritten to bear no real resemblance. Here’s what’s still published in the feed:

    Eberhard Faber might seem like a legacy brand today, but they were quite concerned with innovation during their hey-days during the middle of the 20th century. One pencil in which this innovation can be seen is the Microtomic Van Dyke Drawing Pencil, usually known simply as the “Microtomic.” The Van Dyke line of pencils in […]

    I read the post itself while it was still up, and it was very poor. (The above sample is indicative.) It had the feel of generic, low-effort copy written to fill a page rather than share anything worthwhile.

    If I had to guess, I’d say this is an attempt at link capture for SEO or ad-impressions. The imposter site seems to be in an early stage of its construction, and I wouldn’t be surprised if adverts appeared later.

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