Wednesday, July 02, 2008

take my content, please!

rich mogull exacted his revenge against a blog scraper today by calling the scraper out on his blog and thereby getting that scraped and put on the scraper's site...

i've seen people complain about scrapers before but i just don't get it, especially when they're not monetizing their own content in the first place...

now, i have no idea if the scraper in question also scrapes this blog but i know there are others who do and it's never really bothered me... that's not because i'm a crank (though i know some people like to think so) or because i'm desperate for readers... it's because (perhaps counter-intuitively) i don't write content for the purposes of drawing people to my blog...

i write content for precisely 2 reasons - to get things off my chest and to share what i know and neither of those things are negatively impacted by scrapers republishing my content... in fact, republishing actually helps me share what i know because it makes the information (rather than just links to my site) easier to find by virtue of being in more places...

and if they're selling ads around my content? even better, they have an extra monetary incentive to spread the word of kurt and the money doesn't come out of my pocket...

i'm not trying to monetize my content and i'm not trying to build a brand out of my content... i want people to learn and i have no interest in trying to control how or where they get the information i try to make available...

this isn't to say that other people with other motives shouldn't have the right to try and control such things about their own content, mind you, i just think trying to exert such control is silly...

so with that in mind, to all you scrapers out there - if you want to republish my content then you're free to do so...in fact it was one of the possible uses i had in mind when decided on which creative commons license to use... my only request (and it is just a request) is that you use the full content, not partial text feeds... i despise those abridged post summaries as they ruin the usability of the message (far more than my wacky writing style does)...

3 comments:

paperghost said...

I'm quite fascinated by this, as I briefly considered doing something similar a while back. As it turns out though, I'm glad I didn't because the guy "running" the scraper site had no idea it wasn't quite as legit as he'd thought it was.

kurt wismer said...

hmmm, y'know i think i may have seen the same scraper you did... i recall one where the attribution was totally borked... it was pretty obvious that it was an automated script that was just not up to the task....

even that didn't bother me much though... obviously i'd like the attribution left in place, if for no other reason than it provides context which says these posts come from the same guy and thus belong together, but ehh - whatever, i just don't care enough to do anything about it...

in the long run, the person who comes up with a good idea isn't as important as the idea itself...

LonerVamp said...

I imagine some small number of these are scrapers made just because someone was curious if they could make it work. Or maybe they wanted their own RSSReader-like interface on one blog so they didn't have to visit everyone. *shrug*

Weird, for sure, no matter what the motivation.