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The Upshot August 31, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in Pontification.
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Sometimes it takes a brick to the head for me to focus. It clears the cobwebs.

When we started the application the ethos in the blogsphere was very different that it is today. A few years ago most bloggers would clamor to be carried by anyone who paid enough attention to bother to read their posts.

Its different today and while we implemented changes about 6 months ago to carry only those who give expresses written permission there are some-who have not. We are going to take each site one by one and make sure that isn’t the case.

Stay tuned.

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Balance August 31, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in chronicnews, Copyright, Kangaroo Copright Court, Law & Politics, unbundled content.
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Yesterday I received a letter from Godaddy, our hosting provider, that they were suspending one of our servers due to a claim that there had been a copyright violation. A blogger claimed his content was being aggregated without permission yet we had not received notice. Had we had even the slightest inkling the content would have been removed immediately.

This was the capper to a bad few days and not really necessary nor does it actually help anyone or prove a point. The sites we run all ask for permission before aggregating a blog. Mistakes happen allot so we have a big printed note on the front saying that if you find your content here and didn’t give permission then please send us a note and we’ll remove it.

We got two such notes from other bloggers on Phoenixsnews.com last week and removed the content immediately. Both bloggers had given their written permission to aggregate but the swirling accusations made them decide to remove. No problem in both cases it was done in less than 24 hours.

I wrote hime. Here is what I said last night. I was really tired.

This is the first I’ve heard about this really.

All I can do is say that I”m really and truly sorry.

They’ve taken taken our server offline. If you sent an email notice we didn’t get it to my knowledge but we very well may have and our systems just didn’t work.

Since I’ve been personally involved with this we’ve been sending letters to the blogger — for over six months — before aggregation the feed. I’m attaching an example.

I”ve been spending way more money keeping this thing going than I’ve ever brought in — zero actually. My wife just had a baby so I’ve not been paying as much attention to what’s been going on and missed your pleas. Again. I’m sorry.

John B
your sploggoer.

We’ve deactivated Phonexsnews.com now. Godaddy would let us reactivate at any time. Its just that despite what was said we don’t make money at this. Our intent has been to do so but at this stage its not happening. We’ve actually been investing in finding ways to help the bloggers make money and therefore make the whole thing make sense economically. I’ve written allot about this on these pages. Sorry its not more interesting.

The upshot of this was that Godaddy analysed the facts I provided and responded quickly (in under 1 hour) to restore service.
The Chronicnews Network runs network of blogs that are aggregations of blog content focused on various topics. Prior to aggregation we send a letter to every blogger. Here is an exact replica of the most recent letter.

BELOW IS THE LATEST VERSION OF THE EMAIL WE SEND TO EVERYONE

RE: yourblog.com
We would like to ask permission to aggregate your blog’s feed on on our site – http://www.selfemployedworker.com . The site is an aggregation of the best feeds we can find on subjects concerning self employment, freelance employment and the attendant issues.

We believe there is a need for good high quality aggregators on these subject and we’re looking for blogs that either deal directly or touch on self employment issues.

All you need to do is reply to this email and tell us if you are okay with that or not.

To see the initial version of one of the sites go to http://selfemployedworker.com/ Creative huh?

Why would you want to do this?

There may be little traffic at the site for the moment because we’ve not started a general ad campaign. We will soon start an Adwords campaign but want to set the initial blog slate and let the site settle down.

We’ve done this for a few other cities. To see some of the results click on the following links:

http://nashvillesnews.net [this is our oldest and least advanced site however it gets a lot of daily traffic]
http://tucsonsnews.com
http://houstonsnews.com
http://LAsNews.com

You may get more readers as a result of our adwords campaign. It’s not guaranteed however there’s nothing to lose in this regard.

We only promote aggregated content we like and actually have pretty high standards. Our taste and judgment might be impaired but we like your blog’s feed items and believe this can only help you get more readers.

You need do nothing more than reply to this email giving the go ahead. If you should want admin control over your feed at a later time you need to create and account which of course is free. This is completely discretionary and doesn’t affect your feeds aggregation one way or the other.

The site should give you a pretty good idea of what it does and if you allow us to aggregate you can find your feed several ways. First you can click the sources link in the left menu or either the ‘categories’, ‘sitemap’, or ‘content list’ tabs along the top.

The feed items should show as being contributed by you or whomever you have designated in the originating blog or content feed.

Each feed had a link to ‘original article’ AND ‘source’ to be a redundant as hell.

There is a feature on the site that allows you to add your Pay Pal info and give the readers the ability to “Tip” you with gratuities for writing such wonderful content. Again you can deal with this at some other time. You can see a demo at http://www.tipit.ws or on Phillysnews.com.

Almost all the bloggers are happy to be carried. But if you decide its not for you just send us a note and we will take down your feed.

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