A Note To Club Visitors

I started a project on my website, RivallessGarb.com, for my own personal nostalgia. I wanted to find a picture of the sign that used to hang in front of the old diner where my family ate breakfast on Saturdays. After a few minutes, I couldn’t find a single picture. The results I did get had nothing to do whatsoever with the diner or that location. I then spent the next half hour or more trying to find any mention of that diner, anywhere on the internet.The only result that continuously showed up was an article that I, myself, had written when I worked for a local online newspaper nearly 10 years ago.  


I started to wonder about other businesses that had an impact on me as a kid, but no longer exist. I kept coming up with nothing, even though I was checking across three separate search engines at points. I hit a point where it was clear that the internet has absolutely nothing to say about the shop where I got comic books or the store where we got new shoes for back to school. The internet didn’t harbor a single mention of the video store where my family rented movies and I’d rent new Nintendo games, or the city’s grocery store with the cool fountain.  


Most if not all of the owners of those businesses are still alive. Surely, they’re on the internet. That means there’s going to be plenty of customers and passersby who remember different things about those businesses. Ultimately, I had the “Aha!” moment on bing. I typed town-space-business, but the business is someone’s last name. When I finished the last name, auto-suggest turned up the shop!  


This was an indication that someone, or many people, are thinking about the same business. I went to Wikipedia armed with a sense that an article needs to be created so that when people search, something comes up and what comes up invites public contribution. However, after reading the guidelines, that business doesn’t qualify as an acceptable article, according to Wikipedia’s guidelines.  


Clearly, the internet needs a place to learn and share information about businesses that have shut their doors. I chose to call it Abandoned Business Club because once the decision was made, the website I typically use to buy domains had a banner advertising, “.club & .XYZ domains,” and I couldn’t help but think of ABC. Abandoned Business Club is both appropriate, and satisfying.  


I am quite satisfied that this wiki exists not only for my hometown, but all the other hometowns. I hope it will grow to thrive as a destination for discovery, as well as a record of history. I am, however, still looking for something I can put on a shirt from that diner! 


To that end, I want to reserve the right for Rivalless Garb  to generate merchandise from anything on the wiki. The concept of merchandising defunct businesses is something that, just about anyone who knows me would agree, is right down my alley. I can’t pass up the opportunity.  


I think the right way to handle it is by committing to allocate any and all profits generated from the sales of such merchandise to funding further growth of the wiki. Whether that goes to site improvements, archival materials, marketing, or anything else, is at my discretion. That is and will remain the situation unless and/or until Abandoned Business Club becomes significant enough to warrant proper organization.  


With that, my mother just reminded me about the old mini-golf place that closed a couple years back, and it needs an article on the Abandoned Business Club Wiki, of course!  


Happy Resurrecting!