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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 01:44 PM ET, 08/17/2011

The unsolved mystery of unsuckdcmetro.com

The Unsuck DC Metro blog is known for chronicling riders daily complaints on Metro’s bus and rail network, but if you type in unsuckdcmetro.com to your browser you’ll be directed to wmata.com, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Web site.

The Unsuck DC Metro blog actually lives at unsuckdcmetro.blogspot.com.

It is not clear who owns the URL, unsuckdcmetro.com.

On Monday, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said the transit authority had owned the URL since November 2009.

Stessel wrote in an e-mail, “WMATA’s practice has been to acquire the rights to online paths that include Metro’s name.”

But a day later, he corrected himself.

On Tuesday, he sent an e-mail with the subject line: “unsuck - definitely not us.”

Stessel explained that the agency had “some erroneous information” in regards to WMATA owning the URL.

Stessel said Tuesday he has “no idea who has the site and why it pointed to WMATA.”

Metro, however, does own the name metrobackwards.com, which does not direct to wmata.com. Stessel said he “declined to elaborate” on why.

The blogger behind Unsuck DC Metro said he doesn’t own the unsuckdcmetro.com domain name either.

The former news reporter said it was never important to him to own the URL. He’s had success with his blog, which he launched in January 2009.

“I’ve invested $20 into my site,” he said in a phone interview Monday. “I’ve never bought the URL. I didn’t think of it. I started this site on a lark and I didn’t really care.”

“I don’t feel like I need the domain name,” he said, noting that when he started the blog he didn’t “realize domains are so cheap.” But now given his blog’s popularity, it is “working fine.”

The blogger does not disclose his identity. When asked why he works in anonymity, he referenced a Sept. 27, 2009 column written by the Washington Post’s Robert McCartney. McCartney wrote, “He doesn’t want his name published, saying he’s received several threats over blog posts that embarrassed Metro employees.”

So who owns the URL unsuckdcmetro.com?

Research of domain registrations shows the URL is registered privately.

But a snapshot of the unsuckdcmetro.com Web site on Saturday from Google showed it linking to wtfmetro.com, a site that is run by Langston Majette.

In a phone call Tuesday evening, Majette — who works as an aeronautical information specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration — said he does not own the unsuckdcmetro.com URL. He said he was surprised to learn the site had linked to his now defunct blog.

Majette, who is known as @metro_man on Twitter, ran his wtfmetro.com blog for four years and stopped last November because the blog started to become repetitive, he said.

Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl .

By and Jennifer Jenkins  |  01:44 PM ET, 08/17/2011

 
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