Having finally removed my content from their site, Blogdimension proffered their own version of events on their blog to the rah-rah cheering of Mike in the comments. He also continued bashing me personally there just as he did here—mainly that I’m a dictator on my blog (apparent in that I let him rant and rave here ad nauseam without redaction or deletion, I guess…) and that my blog probably wasn’t worth indexing anyway.
Putting Mike aside for now (something that’s rather easy to do), let’s examine what we’ve learned from this fiasco.
As cybele so graciously pointed out in a comment, PlagiarismToday voices the very same concerns about Blogdimension in a recent article on search engines that clearly spells out why this was and is an issue. By referencing my experience with them, PT makes clear that Blogdimension should refrain from shifting blame to me (and others by proxy) since we are not the cause of their misuse and misappropriation of our content. To wit:
Blogdimension pushes the envelope significantly both legally and ethically. It crosses lines that a search engine should not cross and goes beyond being just a tool for locating information and, instead, is also trying to profit from the work of bloggers by displaying ads next to full content.
Unfortunately, what I find funny is that Blogdimension copied and reposted the entire content of my original post on this problem as part of their blog entry. At this point, whatever…
The “search engine” (a misnomer in this case, at least for now) continues playing the victim. Their blog entry pretends that all of this somehow can be blamed on me, that making public their use of copyrighted material was inappropriate and unfriendly, that I was somehow making a point that all search engines are evil, and that—funny how this sounds much like Mike’s comment—I was sure to edit or remove their comment from my site since I wouldn’t tolerate an opposing view.
Truth be told, I have no problems with Yahoo! or MSN or Google or Technorati, let alone a great many others. You see, they do not cache or redisplay my content, they obey robots.txt and all pertinent META commands, and they provide the tools necessary for me to control what they do and don’t do with my content.
Blogdimension? Not so much.
Perhaps, given time and an investment in propriety, Blogdimension may well become the next big thing in web search technologies. As of now, though, and as others have pointed out, they offer an aggregator that’s happy to serve up your content along with their ads, and that no matter what internet standards you have in place to stop such behavior.
We’ll see where they go from here. For now, I’m glad to see my content removed. I’ll continue monitoring their site from now on since they’ve shown getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar means little more than pretending they can’t possibly have a problem while similarly leveling any and all available attacks on those who caught them.
And now to Mike…
Dearest Mike showed up here and began his Blogdimension lackeying by leveling personal attacks upon personal attacks. Ooh, I’m a dictator on my own blog (which he stated here and there). Ooh, I’m not worth indexing. Ooh, I have no problem with what Google and Technorati do even though they index and partially cache my content.
What Google and Technorati do is precisely what I tell them to do: Index, don’t cache but do show excerpts, and don’t offer my content along with your own advertisements in hopes of making money from my intellectual property. Why Mike sees this as a controversy I do not know, yet he rants about it here and there as though it should mean something. This diatribe has nothing whatsoever to do with my complaints against Blogdimension.
Fine, Mike, don’t have Blogdimension index my site. I don’t care. That has nothing to do with the reality of the web at present, and I prefer it that way.
As for being a dictator at my own site—again a point he made here and there, I have yet to see it. I allowed his comments despite their venomous, troglodytic, inaccurate and boorish nature. At no time did I redact or delete his invective. Instead, I allowed him to speak his piece.
Keep in mind he proffered the same tirade that Blogdimension did about me not allowing their comments to be posted here. Both were wrong. Both continue with this silly nonsense. Both pretend their assumptions about me and this site have some relevance to reality.
Truth be told, Mike clearly has a vested interest in Blogdimension that derails reality at a moment’s notice. Law be damned and standards be damned, at least according to his views.
I don’t know Mike personally, nor do I care to, and I won’t sit here and heap barbaric nonsense on his shoulders as he has done to me. I think he simply needs to evaluate my complaints with a more objective mind. View them in light of the facts instead of assumptions.
Also, remember that commenting on someone’s blog is like stepping into their living room and speaking candidly. To pretend that anyone in such a situation is not allowed to practice some level of control is to pretend that I can go to his blog and lambaste him for advocating theft and copyright infringement. I doubt he’d allow that, but then again, I also doubt he’d let me call him a dictator for that action. Still, I’m the bad guy.
Commenting anywhere except your own site is a privilege, not a right, and any site owner who chooses to implement some control over discussion has my full support. Otherwise, I can get a site in trouble for libel and defamation on a grand scale, for copyright infringement and for promoting all manner of illegal activity—all by leaving a comment. If you want to come into my home and speak, be ready to live by my rules, a fact that does not make me a dictator but does make me wise and watchful.
Finally, I don’t expect this to be the end of this kind of issue. I hope future developments of this nature do not require the same public bashing. In this case, it took the publication of my Blogdimension posts on their site to get some action that otherwise seemed an empty promise at best. I’ve been through this before; always—except now—a simple “you shouldn’t do that and you need to stop” message solved the problem immediately. In this case, weeks passed without action while the theft continued. If I’m a bad man for calling attention to that, I guess I really am a bad man.
[Update] And allow me to add some additional items.
Blogdimension posted my e-mail address on their site. This is a blatant act of vindictive malfeasance since they know full well it will be harvested. I find this agreeable with their overall approach to internet activity, a blatant and willful attack made by surreptitious inclusion of personal information in their woeful lamentation of their crimes. No legitimate organization, especially one attempting to make a respectable name for itself on the web, would ever do such a thing. But I’m not surprised by this action; it was anticipated.
I await Mike’s arrival at PlagiarismToday to spill out the same diatribes he offered here. If PT’s article goes without attack, it will cement in my mind Mike’s personal vendetta against me for whatever reasons he cooked up in his head. If he arrives there and maligns PT for speaking the truth, just as he did here, it will cement in my mind his questionable ethics with regards to ownership of intellectual property, copyright law, good behavior and justice. In truth, I hope he does neither; I hope he instead voices a public opinion elsewhere (e.g., on his own blog) distancing himself from Blogdimension’s issues and retracting his support of their misdeeds.