Much Ado About the Gowanus Lounge

January 3, 2010 by
Filed under: Area 51 

GLscreencap

It has been brought to my attention that there has been much speculation about what happened to the Gowanus Lounge. Ben Muessig of Gothamist writes:

Less than a year after the death of blogger Bob Guskind, someone has apparently acquired his acclaimed Gowanus Lounge website and changed its focus. Sources close to the deal told Gothamist that Guskind’s wife was approached by a company interested in paying $7,500 to purchase the domain where the journalist once detailed Brooklyn development and neighborhood minutia…

I have a creeping suspicion who the aforementioned “source” is. It is none other than yours truly. It is in the interest of staving off even more speculation that I am writing this post. Last December my husband, who is the admin for the Gowanus Lounge, was contacted by a gentleman who was interested in purchasing the site: url, content, everything. My husband forwarded this offer to Bob’s widow, Olivia, as it is her property.

After much discussion, soliciting of advice and tough choices a compromise was reached: the url would be sold, but Bob’s work would be migrated to a different site: www.bobguskind.com. This has been done. I will not disclose what was paid for the Gowanus Lounge’s url. This is because it nobody’s business but Olivia’s and the purchaser’s. I will point out, however, that Olivia offered my husband and I a portion of the proceeds as way of saying “thanks”. We turned it down. As far as we are concerned it was the least we could do for a good friend. I hope this clears up any confusion.

Miss Heather

Comments

8 Comments on Much Ado About the Gowanus Lounge

  1. Tony From Kent Street on Mon, 4th Jan 2010 7:35 am
  2. It’s worth mentioning that the new Gowanus Lounge is not a site worth visiting and appears to be a site about all of NYC written by someone in New Jersey. I also think it is completely fair to be disappointed by this financial transaction, even if the deal itself may not be my business and the site has been transplanted. It still leaves a bad corporatey taste in my mouth.

  3. neighborhood threat on Mon, 4th Jan 2010 10:53 am
  4. You know what would leave a bad corporatey taste in my mouth? Robert’s wife letting the site languish, it being attacked by spammers and unable to be revived, or letting the URL just vanish back into the domain name pool where it would have been bought up by SEO spammers.

    I could maybe see having some kind of dismay if the content disappeared. But the content is going to remain online as a living memorial to Robert’s work. The URL sold to someone who wants it. The fact that the content sucks – well, generally content is king online. People will go and they will leave. It won’t be the Gowanus Lounge we knew and loved but that was never going to happen once Robert left us.

    Why shouldn’t Robert’s wife benefit from his hard work? Seems like sour grapes to me.

  5. bestviewinbrooklyn on Mon, 4th Jan 2010 11:01 pm
  6. Thanks for the clarification, and I’m so glad to hear that the original posts will continue to be available.

    A prosperous and happy 2010 to you and yours.

  7. mikki on Wed, 6th Jan 2010 5:00 pm
  8. I don’t see any sour grapes. Sounds to me like this post was clearing up some rumors and misapprehensions that were going around after the Gothamist item went up.

  9. missheather on Wed, 6th Jan 2010 5:47 pm
  10. If there is a lesson to be learned here it is: before you post something, do a little fact-checking. I would have GLADLY told Gothamist what was going on. All they had to do was ask. They didn’t and now there is a bunch of misinformation (no, the url was not sold for $7,500) and gossip being posted and re-posted online. The numerous emails I have received over the last 3-4 days bear testament to this.

    #1 My husband and I did not sell the Gowanus Lounge.
    #2 This is because it was and is not our property.
    #3 The choice was up to his widow, Olivia. She was the owner. We were the custodians of the site.
    #4 All we did is advise her, provide moral support, make the transition and set up the new site where his work is archived.

    As I wrote in this post, a compromise was reached. Nobody walked away with everything he/she wanted, but everyone got something he/she wanted. Speaking for the Mr. and I, were primarily concerned with preserving Bob’s work online. We have made this happen. It was the least we could do for a good friend.

    Would I have sold the url if it was my choice? Probably not— but it was not my decision to make. That’s what really frustrates me about all of this hoopla: the person who was first and foremost impacted by Bob’s death was his wife. Olivia (and her needs) seem have been lost in all of this. Although I do not agree entirely with her decision and I respect it. If this decision helps her to move on, I am all for it.

    Olivia deserves better than to spend the rest of her life being known as “Bob Guskind’s widow”. She is one of the kindest souls I have ever met. She is a very special and beautiful person in her own right— I wish more people would be mindful of this when they criticize her decision to sell GL’s url. Foremost and above all I know Bob who— make no mistake about it— loved her very much. He would want her to be happy.

    At some point one has to balance the needs of the living against paying homage to the deceased. We have done our best to do this. I fully understood there would be people who would not be happy with what happened, but I was quite frankly unprepared for all rumor-mongering and speculation. Not only has the latter been very hurtful to me (as a person and one of Bob’s closest friends who would do anything in her power to keep his memory and work “alive”), but it is also bad journalism and in excruciatingly bad taste.

    This is all I have left to say about the matter. I am not going to harbor any bitterness/resentment over it— as difficult as this is. But I DO wish moving forward that people would be more mindful about the ramifications of their actions, e.g.; posting highly speculative, sensational and erroneous material as “fact”. Not only is it disrespectful to the deceased, but it hurts those who once called the person in question (in this case, Bob Guskind) a close friend, loved one, HUSBAND as well. No matter how you cut it, this is morally— if not ethically—wrong.

  11. Jack on Fri, 15th Jan 2010 12:10 am
  12. I understand that choices are choices and that New York Shitty has little or nothing to do with the sale of the domain, but I personally believe the site was sold short. What has replaced it using the same name is a babbling Yenta’s travesty! Honestly, it’s just wretched, but if that’s what his widow thought was best, so beit.

    My question is what about the old “Blogspot” site:
    http://gowanuslounge.blogspot.com/

    The one that says that they moved operations to “gowanuslounge.com”… But as we all know that has nothing to do with the real Gowanus Lounge anymore. Can someone login to that site and post an update or announcement or edit posts that urge people to go to “gowanuslounge.com” and change that?

    Whoever the new blogger is on “Gowanus Lounge” is, they don’t deserve that push in traffic from the old ghost site.

  13. missheather on Fri, 15th Jan 2010 5:16 am
  14. You bring up a very salient point regarding Bob’s work on blogspot (and its linkage to the “new site”). I will see what I can do.

  15. Jack on Thu, 28th Jan 2010 1:16 am
  16. To further clarify the point, here is the first sentence of a January 23, 2010 on the “new” Gowanus Lounge:
    “A reader just pointed out to us a great source for absolutely free items – Craig’s List.”

    *faints*

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