Or, Whatever Happened To UrbanCounterfeiters.com?

As usual it all started out innocently enough with a tweet from the always on-point Kat Egan:

When I clicked I went to a blog called My Aim Is True, and specifically an entry about the power of a trending topic. The author (and someone I now follow) Amber Karnes made her entry to highlight 3 points:

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of Tribes
  2. If you have customers, social media matters
  3. People love a cause.

In addition to being a well-researched and well-written post, reading this particular entry was a cathartic moment.

This is far from my first encounter with Urban Outfitters being accused of cribbing from “some nobody’s” creativity. It lead me to find a site I recall from back when I was in the importing business called Urban Counterfeiters. A quick search turned up a reference to it from the indie culture and music blog The Dope Fiend, but (whoops!) the entry was from 2006 (am I that old?). I clicked on the link to Urban Counterfeiters and got…nothing. Meaning, there is still a blog there but it is just a Google Trends loop. Nothing reference to the blog’s namesake mass retailer could be found on the home page. After a short exploration it seems the on-topic older posts are there if you’re willing to diligently click through from the Contact page forward one post at a time, but clearly at some point maintaining this content either became too onerous, or some major corporation’s counsel got involved.

Either way it all serves to highlight Amber’s post about how valid threads never die, they are simply adopted by others whose strength or dedication to the cause is fresher.

Brands spend big money to not be buried under the constant settling of silt from the Internet’s ceaseless flow. Individual people feel they are even more susceptible to disappearing from sight. In fact, while worthy contributions do sometimes fade from memory it is true that, if the topic is relevant and valid, no cause is considered too niche.

Threads are small, and sometimes hard to discern. But they are powerful and if one is not careful they can trip you up.