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Two-Letter Domain Change Lands Jazz at Lincoln Center in the Middle of Heated Debate, V.P. André Guess Weighs In

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Jan 30, 2015 08:38 PM EST

For Jazz at Lincoln Center, a domain change has ruffled the feathers of some of its patrons. Having switched from "jalc.org" to "jazz.org" some feel the change is a sort of rebranding and that it conflates the genre simply to yield higher profits.

As The Jazz Line states, changing domains is a common occurrence on the Internet, simply to optimize its serachability within engines like Google. But former JALC Vice President André Guess was so deeply concerned by the move that he began an online petition.

Writing on his Change.org page, he wrote that, on the contrary, a two-letter difference "symbolically" is a major deal and is "a big mistake."

He also writes, "In making this move, the organization has intentionally or unintentionally branded and positioned itself as the very art form that it was founded to uphold and support."

He continues, "In my discussion with executives at the organization it was explained to me that this move was made to drive more traffic from generic Google searches to their site."

Perhaps Guess doesn't understand the importance of Search Engine Optimization, or perhaps he's onto something, nonetheless Guess' opinion has yielded 40 supporters on his page and is not a new argument in the community.

Back in 2013 JALC decided to hire an outside design team, Pentagram Design, to change the logo. That too incited some controversy. Maybe this is another addition to the argument now.

So while JALC is the largest jazz-arts organization in the world, is it really acceptable to completely encapsulate the name of jazz for higher revenues? The question remains unanswered.

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TagsJazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz Line, Change.org, Andre Guess, Pentagram Design, jazz.org, jalc.org