A few days ago, I checked my website statistics and discovered that last Saturday, I’d received 131 hits. For me, this was a huge jump from the daily average of about 25-30. This, of course, was pretty exciting. What hard-working musician doesn’t want lots of visitors to his/her website? This is good, right? However, as I investigated a little further, I discovered that the majority of the hits were generated from an Italian porn site, which had linked my website to theirs. Huh? How did this happen? This was one, fat Cyber mystery.
My initial reaction to being linked to a porn sight was negative. Being a vocalist has enough challenges already. Having my website linked to a porn site didn’t seem like it would be in any way helpful. Any credibility I’ve managed to garner these past few years could be destroyed in a single click. God knows what other links are on this site. How will anyone take me seriously when my website shares the same page as links for sites selling Love Dolls or bondage accessories? And what weirdos were visiting my website anyway? My mind raced. However, before I spun into complete histrionics, I caught myself. “Wait a minute”, I thought. “Aren’t you being a little too uptight? Porn is just, well, porn. What’s the big problem?” OK, maybe it wasn’t such a big deal. Isn’t the saying something like “any publicity is good publicity?” Is it really so bad to reach such an unlikely audience? Does it really matter way back here in Seattle? Anyway, it’s not like jazz fans and porn aficionados are always mutually exclusive, right? And truth be told, I have received 2 emails from Italians who have followed the link to my website. Both were respectful, said nice things about the music and raved about the musicians. No creepy come-ons or unsettling sexual innuendos. Is this really worth getting my drawers in a bunch over? I just don’t know.
For the past few days, I’ve spent some time on this particular website, trying to figure out exactly which page links to my website and also the context of the link. It’s been a bit of a challenge. There are multiple pages on this site, with loads of content. And of course the biggest challenge is that I don’t speak Italian. Sorry to say, despite my efforts, I still don’t have much information as to how my website ended up linked to an Italian porn site. And even more, I still don’t know how I feel about it.
It would be interesting to know how other musicians would feel if they found themselves in my situation. I know a lot of working musicians read the seattlejazzscene.com website, and I’d love to hear your input. What if you discovered that your website was linked to a porn site? Would you care? What if it tripled your daily visits? Do you think this would have any impact on your musical situation? Am I being too prissy even pondering these things? Jazz fans, feel free to weigh in too. Should I be more alarmed? Should I relax? What would you do?