Blog aggregation… Like it or not…

Your blog could be showing up on another site without you even knowing it.

Consider ChronicNews. They pick up an RSS feed and run the content on their site. They appear to have no original content, but are nothing more than aggregators.

That, in and of itself, is not a problem as far as I’m concerned, provided they give credit and a link to the blogger who wrote the post. The problematic bit is that they don’t inform the writers – and owners – of the blog posts they’re showing on their site of what they’re doing. They don’t ask permission. They just post. Added to that, they appear to have no content of their own – it’s all feeds from other people’s blogs.

So how does an author find out about their content on ChronicNews? Who says they do?

A bit of random luck, if it happens at all. Perhaps in a Google search or a friend who happens to see it.

ChronicNews has an opt-out policy, but is that enough?

Not as far as I’m concerned. An opt-out policy doesn’t work because the person who’s material is being stolen only finds out that the material is being stolen by chance, not by design.

A better way to approach this would be an opt-in policy.

If they find a blog they want on their site, then approach the blog owner and ask. What a novel approach. Ask for permission. Don’t assume, don’t steal. Ask.

Now the question is… Why would someone choose to opt-out?

Here’s the thing about bloggers. They want you to come to their site. They want you to read through the rest of their site, and they want you to come back. They want the traffic.

Putting my blog up on someone else’s site steals that traffic. They’re robbing me of potential visitors.

Not all bloggers will see it that way, but you know what? It should be up to us to decide. It should not – under any circumstances whatsoever – be my responsibility – or the responsibility of any other blogger – to track down sites that may be stealing my traffic.

There may also be circumstances under which I’ll want to have my blog feed showing up on someone else’s site. But again, that’s something that should be up to the individual blogger to decide on a case-by-case basis.

For the record, if any of you are thinking of stealing my content, you better ask first. This is official notice that I’m opting out unless I specify otherwise.

How do the rest of you feel about this?

Author: LMAshton

2 thoughts on “Blog aggregation… Like it or not…

  1. I think what these people are doing can be classified as either plagarism or copyright violation as they are using someone else’s content without permission. Personally, I want my readers to hear what I have to say direct from my blog or using an official rss aggregator such as Bloglines or Newsgator. I would not want my content posted on another’s blog without my prior permission and with certain stipulations such as having my name and a link back to my site.

    I run my feeds through Feedburner. From what I understand, their system masks your feed in such a way that a person has to run it through a rss aggregator. It is harder for theives to just plug it in anywhere. I’ll have to read up on that a little more. I haven’t had any problems with my content showing up in undesirable ways but then again I’m not that popular.

  2. This blog uses WordPress as the platform on my domain, so I use whatever RSS feeds are included in that. I’ll have to read up on this a bit more as well. Thanks for the info. 🙂

    And I didn’t have my content showing up anywhere either – until last week. Grrr!

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