This post is regarding Cyberhymnal.org, which had been one of my favorite sites on the Web.
For the last 14 years, the editor of this site, had maintained it selflessly. He added new hymns practically every day for all this time. His hard work and dedication to the Lord made it THE most trusted, most authoritative site for hymn lyrics on the Web. It is certainly one I have always turned to often for answering questions on this site, and I know many of you have as well.
And the most amazing thing about the site is that even though he could have made a ton of money from it, he never once put advertising on the site, which showed me his dedication to the Lord and His children.
Around December 24, I noticed something very odd. The site went down for a while, and then came back, littered with advertising. There's an ad for Pizza Hut, and about 15 Google ads littering the home page, as well as links that lead to other sites that are supposedly "Christian", but also littered with ads themselves.
After doing a bit of research, I think I can see what happened. The domain had been registered in 2000 with the maximum 10-year registration period. It appears the registration was accidentally allowed to lapse. It was immediately grabbed up by a company called Word.Net Communications, who immediately started to litter it with advertising. They are even using the former owner's content and trademarks (which is illegal) slapping banner ads all over them.
I read a post on a blog by the owner that he tried to contact Word.Net Communications, but they refused to give the domain back to him. It is ironic that this company that names itself and purportedly bases itself on Christian principles would effectively hijack the trust and devotion that the former owner has selflessly built up brick by brick over 10 years and use it for their personal gain. Since I do not know the full story, I will hold off on passing judgement for the time being (and I welcome the owners to correct the record here). But if it is true that they are trading off this domain's trust to satisfy their own greed, this says a lot about whether anyone running a Christian Web site should do business with them.
The good news is that the owner of the Cyber Hymnal has put it on a new site. This is the new official home of The Cyber Hymnal:
Starting immediately and we hear otherwise, I would strongly advise everyone to not use www.Cyberhymnal.Org
. And importantly, DO NOT provide them your email address (they ask you for it in a big box on the home page). Judging by the advertising they littered the site with, you can be assured that you will get a LOT of email spam if you give them your email address. Also, DO NOT click on any of the ad links, because each time you click, these people are rewarded for what they did.
Let's remember this site in our prayers.
In His Name,