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   RE: [xml-dev] W3C suckered by Microsoft?

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From: Jim Ancona [mailto:jim@anconafamily.com]

Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

>I think this blog attribution thing is overblown. 

It's just common bad habits, but it points out one of 
the perils of publishing on the web, in the email 
lists, blogs, whatever: theft amplified by ease.  Idea theft 
is how the web was born and grew.  Nature of the beast 
in a flat referencing system.  I still find it hilarious 
that the most accurate history of XML I ever saw on the 
web was on a Microsoft site: exactly the opposite of the 
perception.  Who's suckering whom?

>The Wired article says 

>"Indeed, the team at HP Labs found that when an idea infected at least 
>10 blogs, 70 percent of the blogs did not provide links back to another 
>blog that had previously mentioned the idea."

They aren't exactly looking for plagiarism: they identified that 
innovation isn't always to be attributed to popular sources and 
that some seminal ideas are coming from a smaller and not always 
well-known subset.  Not new news but a caution for anyone trying 
to do quality research or anyone promoting an innovation.  It is 
why patents, copyrights, and other forms of IP protections are now 
more important than ever.  It is proof that the web is causing 
in some cases, precisely the opposite effects from those originally 
touted.  I can live with it, but when my son's teacher's send them 
home with research assignments, I recognize the degrading of 
scholarly research immediately.

"WHY YES!  JFK was killed by the CIA.  See all of these websites 
that link to one another and have a very high page rank."  

Teaching a healthy dose of skepticism has to be the on the schedule.

>Besides plagiarism, another possible explanation is simply that once a 
>blogger see an idea in several different places, he assumes it's common 

Which is a bad habit, but not an unforgivable one.  Again, one begins 
to discover who the quality bloggers are vs who gets the news further 

>And show me a newspaper or TV station that consistently attributes 
>sources for story ideas.

They don't stay online and accrete links which an algorithm uses 
for ranking.  Substantially different problem.

>For a laugh, see the study authors' take on the press coverage, called 
>"Why do bloggers kill kittens?"[2]

Sure.  Like trying to figure out who in the building gave everyone 
else a cold, the fun is figuring out how.   It's great for finding 
secret office affairs and/or who spits in the coffee.


[1] - http://wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,62537,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1
[2] - http://www-idl.hpl.hp.com/blogstuff/faq.html#10


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