How to contact a blogger or website owner?

One of the blog readers asked me this question via email a couple of days back. And I thought it is an excellent post topic for today. The following was the query:

In your post about feed scraping you talked about contacting anonymous scrapers. How can I really do this?

Well, while using a contact form is the right way to do it, most scrapers will not maintain a contact page or even an about page with contact information. In such cases, you as a ‘scrapegoat’, can try one or more of the following tricks might work.

8 ways to contact a webmaster or find contact information

#1 Whois query

If the contact form is not there, the very first thing to try is the ‘whois’ query on the domain name. You can do this using free WHOIS services such as whois.ws. The registrant contact information there in might give you the email address, phone number or even the complete address of the website owner. The whois.ws service work better than many other whois services in pulling out details of some of those anonymous entities.

#2 Alexa Siteinfo

Most of the blogs and websites are indexed by Alexa and they do a number of ways to extract out and display the email contact information of the webmaster in the Siteinfo page. You can access Siteinfo Contact Info page, via the following URL (replace ‘domainname’ with the your actual domain name)

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/domainname#contactinfo

#3 Subscribe to the blog RSS or newsletter by email

If the particular blog has Subscribe to updates / RSS / Newsletteroption, you can subscribe to the same using one of your temporary or junk email addresses. Most of the time the list building service (e.g. Feedburner) will have a sender email address which can be used to contact the blog author or webmaster. If you give your main email address or there is no unsubscribe option, it’s a double whammy.

#4 Send emails to typical email address patterns

Next, you can always try sending emails to standard webmaster email addresses such as:

admin@domainname.com
webmaster@domainname.com
contact@domainname.com
support@domainname.com
sales@domainname.com
author@domainname.com
mail@domainname.com

Even if these email addresses do not exist, there is a very good chance that the ‘catch all’ inbox picks your mail and hence it reaches the desired person.

#5 Blog Directory, forum search

Searching for the domain name on blog directories (e.g. Blog Catalog, MyBlogLog) can sometimes give you a listing and then you can contact the website owner using the contact links there in. Once I successfully tracked down a scraper via BlogCatalog.

Similarly you can try searching social media and forum accounts as well. This is in fact a tedious process as many times a Google search wouldn’t be sufficient.

#6 Search Archive.org

Searching for old content of a particular blog in archives.org can sometimes fetch you old pages of the site which is hidden now. Some of these old pages might also include a contact page or even some email addresses mentioned somewhere. The success rate is very low in this method though.

#7 Search the web for given author name

Unless, the author has given a fake public name, you can try searching the web for the particular name to see if it comes up with a public profile of the person on any of his online accounts. Typically bloggers and webmasters are technical people and they will have numerous online accounts and profiles. If you are lucky, you might find a profile that has a contact page.

#8 If the blogger has commented elsewhere contact them

If the particular scraper or blogger has commented elsewhere and if you are a friend or in the good books of that blogger, you can ask him to provide the scrapers email address. Well, it may be against the privacy policy, but at times we have no other go.

I am sure, there may be other methods if you are willing to play a little Sherlock Holmes role. Please share any other methods that you might know via comments here.

Happy Blogging!

PS: This is a scheduled post. I will be on vacation from 3rd to 9th November and hence please expect delays in moderating comments and updating the blog – Ajith

Comments

  1. Hi Ajith,
    This is a very nice way of contacting such feed scrappers.

    I have been following your blog for past many months but don’t remember if I ever left a comment. I am writing this comment just to tell you that I love reading your blog. You write fresh content and other tech bloggers should learn from you.

    I also read your son’s blog and enjoyed reading it. He is probably the youngest blogger in India, isn’t it?

  2. Nihar :

    Good post again from you.

    Hope your commenter has played Sherlock Holmes and finally contacted the scraper.

  3. aan :

    very nice suggestion list, thank you..

  4. If you need to contact us, please ask Ajith Edassery who has our email address but promised that it will not be published with this comment 😉

  5. best way to contact is whois thats what i feel!
    thanks buddy:)

  6. Mike :

    Maybe you can help me. Recently randoms words in my blog have become highlighted with ads I did not put there. How can I make this stop?

    Please help
    SIGNED:
    Poor Star Wars blogger who is not blogger savvy.

  7. manoj lenka :

    dear all, can any one help me? there are a few websites which are using my pictures in their pages. My laptop was hacked and pics stolen. THERE IS NO CONTACT US OR REPORT ABUSE BUTTON in these websites.? whom do i contact and how do i report these pics for removal..please please guide me and help me…

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