(If you couldn’t tell from the title, this is gonna be a rant.)

When I was in college, I was involved with a creative writing club / literary discussion group called the Literary Guild at UCI. I built a website to post club information and collect our writing projects, and we set up a listserv for online discussion and collaboration.

After a while we started getting complaints from people about how they never received their books, or they were sick of getting junk mail from us, etc. and it became pretty clear they were complaining about the Literary Guild Book Club, which at the time didn’t have a website.

Now think: You’ve signed up with a company that lets you order books from a catalog. The website you find is all about college students and weekly meetings on campus. No mention of catalogs, or ordering books, or even customer service (oops, I mean “customer care”). Don’t you think you might wonder if maybe, just maybe this wasn’t the same group of people?

So we put up a note on the home page stating “We are NOT affiliated with the book club!” Over time it became bold, and then red, and when we noticed the “other” Literary Guild had set up a home page we added a link, and occasionally people would still send us their complaints.

Fast forward to today. Continue reading