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Claude L (Len) Bullard wrote:
> This is a medium that bots harvest, and the blogs
> are made to be aggregated. Think of it as a good
One of those harvesting bots is something that I work on...
Just a few days ago, we announced a new application "Powered By
PubSub" called "MyStack.com". Of course, I created a PubSub.com
subscription to track mentions of MyStack.com or links to it in the
blogs and newsgroups that we monitor. I was very surprised by what I
Virtually every blog entry that talked about MyStack.com was a
simple cut and paste from the text that I wrote in an email I sent to
RSS-DEV, the announcement on the PubSub.com weblog, or the front page
of MyStack.com. And, in no case was any of the text "attributed" to
us! The scary thing about this is that people didn't just copy
sentences that dealt with "fact." They also copied and republished the
bits where I was emoting a bit (i.e. "That's cool", etc...) But, by
copying without attribution, those bloggers were essentially taking
ownership for *my* statements! I only wish that I had said more about
how wonderful I think the service is... They probably would have
copied that as well.
The interesting thing here is that in a case like this, where
I've got a message that I'm trying to communicate, it is very much in
my interest to have people copy my text *without* attribution. This
situation (a product announcement) in an environment like blogspace,
ends up working a lot like providing people with template letters to
send to their congressman. Suddenly, you get a host of folk who look
like they have well thought out considered opinions on some subject.
It isn't until you start seeing multiple copies of the text that you
realize that something might be wrong. But, while it is in my interest
to have this copying going on, it is *not* in the interest of most
blog readers to have this happening. When they read something on
someone's blog, they are going to believe that they are reading that
bloggers words and will want to trust them.
In the future, I'll be much more sceptical about what I read
in blogs since I'm now very well aware that what may appear to be
someone's words aren't always.
 I won't go into the full-blown pitch on this list since MyStack
doesn't really expose any interesting XML issues (even though it uses
XML). If you want to find out what it is go to either
http://mystack.com or http://pubsub.com.