Rick Hurst Web Developer in Bristol, UK


Category: blogging

am I a splogger?

A new term for my web buzzword vocabulary today: “splogger” – a term I just saw on scobelizer, apparently used for “someone who uses a system to automatically copy blog posts from other people”. I am doing something similar with the “skatevine” page on dfr skate zine, but I prefer the term “news aggregator”. I’m not profitting from this as I don’t currently carry advertising on DFR – my reasons for doing it were basically:-

  • make the site more useful, a source of skateboard news for people who don’t use an RSS aggregator (or even know what one is)
  • a platform to experiment with RSS aggregation tools in plone (currently using CMFSin, shortl^h^h^ eventually to be moved to feedfeeder)
  • To provide links back to the sites it aggregates content from in a useful way.

I can see that some people might get annoyed if their content appears on other sites without their permission, especially if the site in question is passing the content off as their own and/or using it to drive ad-revenues. Site owners who carry advertising may also worry that people reading their content on other people sites aren’t going to see (and click on) their ads, but the flipside of this is that if they do link back to the original content, this will boost the pagerank of the original content, therefore making people more likely to see it and click on the ads – this wouldn’t happen if everyone used a personal news aggregator).

I can also see how it can be annoying if search engines rank the aggregated posts higher than the original posts (which was the point of Scobles post I think….), I guess if they got this sorted it wouldn’t be such an issue.

archived comments

While I appreciate you being honest about what your doing here. the bottom line is if your are copying content word-to-word then yes you are Splogger even if your leaving a link back.

“news aggregator” only aggregate the headlines from blogs and point a Link back to the orignal articles they don’t rip content off.

Scribez 2006-12-14 12:45:08

Splogger – spam/blogger?

[I first read about it here – http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.09/splogs.html?pg=1&topic=splogs&topic_set= ]

Nick 2007-01-08 17:44:34

gmail, akismet and spam empowerment

all my personal mail now directs to my gmail account. Gmail seems to do a very good job of filtering out the spam emails as hardly any get through. When one does get through I like the way that there is a “report spam” button. This makes me feel empowered about binning those tempting offers of “life” enhancing pharmaceuticals, and takes some of the chore out of it.

I like to think – rightly or wrongly – that because I have proactively “reported” the spam back to google, their anti-spam machinery immediately takes note and stops any other gmail users from recieving the same piece of spam, either from the same source or containing the same content.

I get a similar feeling of usefulness when I report comment spam back to akismet (via my wordpress akismet plugin) – I like the fact that because someone tried to leave comment spam on my site they are immediately blacklisted by all the other blogs that use akismet, making my site more like a honeypot to trap spammers rather than an unguarded doorway for them to try and sneak into.

The wonders of long battery life

I always go on (and on…) about how I chose a 12″ powerbook because it was really portable and had decent battery life. Thinking about it, it isn’t that much more portable than a bigger powerbook or macbook, but it has better battery life than those with bigger screens. Now that I have a new battery in here I have to gush about how nice it is to have really useable battery life. Last night I watched a film (well a long TV episode) on battery power, listened to about an hour of radio paradise over wifi, and then here I am this morning, blogging, surfing and doing some web development and still have a third of my battery left. All this time i’ve had wifi on, screen at full brightness and about 10 applications open.

archived comments

Battery life for every piece of mobile equipment I have is awful. I should get myself a decent piece of kit.

Jim Toe 2008-06-17 14:26:40

Set your own life time more easy get the business loans and all you want.

KathrynJuarez28 2011-08-07 23:57:35

Caffe Nero (the one directly next to Caffe Gusto)

Today I find myself in Caffe Nero on the triangle. I’d always discounted it before because I didn’t realise it had an upstairs bit and I didn’t like the idea of using my laptop downstairs with people queing for coffee looking over my shoulder. I’m presented with three possible wifi connections – StreetNet, SurfandSip and Caffe Gusto next door. I couldn’t get connected to surfandsip (and I think it’s a paid service anyway?), Streetnet seems a reasonable signal, and Caffe Gusto is weak but useable (a bit cheeky too considering, but it’s nice not to have to fill out the survey that you do with StreetNet)

Things to do in Seattle

As I mentioned before a few of us from netsight are going to Plone Conference 2006 in Seattle. Besides actually attending the conference i’ve been reading up on other things to check out while i’m there. I plan to visit a few of these coffee shops with wifi and i’ve also just read that the blog business summit is also on at the same time – maybe there could be a bit of cross-fertilisation there as many of the plone bloggers will be at Plone conf?

Mobile web and AJAX

I tried out a friends pocket pc (or is it windows mobile now?) smartphone recently – a cool little device with a slide out QWERTY keyboard (I think it was a variation of this htc device). It also had wifi support so I thought I would try to blog from it. However, he hadn’t got opera installed and the wordpress gui completely failed to work in pocket internet explorer. I’m sure there is a solution to this, but I was disappointed that the wordpress online admin didn’t gracefully degrade.

This is something to consider when designing web apps – whilst AJAX could potentially be used to provide huge usability enhancements to people using mobile web devices with small screens – the majority of people are going to be using windows mobile with pocket internet explorer – your app should work with no javascript support at all. and then be progressively enhanced with AJAX as a seperate consideration.

watch that page

i’ve just set up an account with watchthatpage.com in attempt to find an easier way to keep track of sites that have not yet joined the RSS revolution. There are plenty of sites still out there that do not provide an RSS feed for their news pages and blogs. As Robert Scoble pointed out a while back – 98% of people don’t use RSS, but that means 2% of users do – which is a hell of a lot of traffic, reading the web via an RSS aggregator rather than actually visiting the site. It seems backwards not to have an RSS feed for frequently (or infrequently) updated news/blog content. I’ve used this analogy before, but i’ll use it again – expecting people to visit your web site just to see if anything has changed is a bit like standing on someones doorstep and not knocking or ringing the bell, but hoping that someone will come and open the door occasionally just to see if anyone is a standing there.

I don’t actually use my RSS aggregator (bloglines.com – an online service, so I can keep track of news and blogs from any web device, including my mobile phone) to read all the sites I visit – some sites (scobelizer, register etc) are updated so frequently that I know thay will have updated since I last looked, so I just have them bookmarked (via foxylicious firefox extension – my bookmarks are maintained from my del.icio.us tags), otherwise my aggregator gets full of unread content and this reduces the value of it, as I tend to skim read and dismiss stuff.

archived comments

I arrived at this website from Yahoo after seeking out an alternate to WatchThatPage since Watch That Page has become unavailable. I wound up registering with ChangeDetect. This is a great service, but in contrast to claims on their web-site is not really cost-free. But at least the site is most effective for watching web content changes.

Mark Nagode 2010-10-07 15:36:23

Hooray lots of comments at last!

Thankyou very much for the unprecedented amount of comments I found in my moderation queue over the last few days. Very informative, but just so you know I don’t need any of the gambling facilities or drugs you all recommended. I’ve just activated Akismet to see how that goes – I was very impressed that it comes as standard with this version of wordpress (2.0.3). All I had to do was sign up at wordpress.com to get an api key.

OK, it’s time to categorise my blog posts

this is the internet equivalent of trying to organise my CD collection – wait- that’s not too difficult, i’m giving most of my cd’s to a charity shop as I prefer digital only these days. I think my “readers” are getting a bit confused when I jump between posts about coffee and posts about geekery. no. those two go together perfectly. Anyway, i’m going to add some categories, and try to retro-categorise some of the old posts over time. RSS subscribers may see old posts reappaer for a few days/weeks/months/years