Purported Mizzou Web address sends Internet surfer to a more crimson destination

Monday, July 27, 2009

Someone’s twisting the Tiger’s tail.

The owner of www.Mizzou.us is using the address to direct visitors away from their expected online lair — a home page affiliated with the University of Missouri — and lure them instead into the official, virtual world of the Kansas Jayhawks: KU.edu.

Word of the switch reached the Mizzou Alumni Association (www.Mizzou.com) Monday afternoon, drawing a few expressions of surprise, disappointment and, perhaps, maybe a little envy. Even MU’s official university site is www.Mizzou.edu.

“Wow,” said Jayson Meyer, director of alumni affairs. “Somebody’s pretty smart.”

Then his mind started to run: While “.com” and “.edu” are popular in the United States, the “.us” ending could be considered logical for folks residing elsewhere.

Ooh oh.

“Someone who might be searching internationally might be searching and find something else — something we wouldn’t want them to see,” Meyer said.

Meyer acknowledged that locating the Web domain’s owner likely would prove difficult, and that blocking the connection to Kansas University’s own site might prove even more so.

“I can’t think of anything quite like this,” Meyer said. “It’s certainly a fun rivalry that we have between the two schools. This is another example of someone having some more fun.”

While the Journal-World was unsuccessful in its attempts to contact the site’s owner — who listed an address of a mailbox at a UPS Store in Columbia, Mo. — at least one person with a Jayhawk Boulevard office ruled out the entire 66045 zip code.

“This is not the work of KU,” said Jill Jess, associate director of university relations. “Of course, we all know the greater Jayhawk Nation can, at times, be a bit overzealous.”