Blog networks changing history?

Hmmm, I find this trend very troubling too (we were talking about it at Northern Voice yesterday). Seems that if you can get 20 bloggers together into a network you can lock out all others. Here’s an example.

Even more troubling? Are the search engine optimization companies that are hiring bands of bloggers to link to certain things so they get better Google Juice (higher relevancy on Google). They do this without reporting that they are doing this.

Even more troubling? I keep seeing my posts reposted all over the place on other blogs without attribution. Often on blogs that are trying to make a little money from Google advertising and/or are mixing my content in with links to their own sites to try to spam Google and MSN and Yahoo’s search engines into thinking their pages are more important than they really are.

The blogosphere is being used and we still haven’t figured it out yet.

By the way, this blog post was published by Robert Scoble on 2/11/2006 and the only place it should appear is at http://scobleizer.wordpress.com — if you are reading this post on some other URL, you aren’t reading the original source.

79 thoughts on “Blog networks changing history?

  1. When we were kids (back in 1990s), we had taken over a portion of the Turkish Internet traffic with my friends by creating a “deep” Internet website network and each of our sites’ hits had skyrocketed and remained that way for many years. A user who landed on an mp3 site was shown links for a music forum, where links to another friend’s mp3 player review site was shown etc.. etc..So users jumped from one site to the other and never really left the network.

    Now that the Internet is more widespread and there are many more points of entry (especially search engines), it is much harder to do the same. But it seems like smaller clusters are forming as you mention. I’d say similar clusters also exist among porn sites, music and hacking sites where once you land on you get thrown, lead, or persuaded to go to another “networked” site. so this is not really new. But I guess since blogs are meant to bring more democracy to the Internet, maybe the concern should be over the dominance of the most networked and not the clusters being formed.

  2. When we were kids (back in 1990s), we had taken over a portion of the Turkish Internet traffic with my friends by creating a “deep” Internet website network and each of our sites’ hits had skyrocketed and remained that way for many years. A user who landed on an mp3 site was shown links for a music forum, where links to another friend’s mp3 player review site was shown etc.. etc..So users jumped from one site to the other and never really left the network.

    Now that the Internet is more widespread and there are many more points of entry (especially search engines), it is much harder to do the same. But it seems like smaller clusters are forming as you mention. I’d say similar clusters also exist among porn sites, music and hacking sites where once you land on you get thrown, lead, or persuaded to go to another “networked” site. so this is not really new. But I guess since blogs are meant to bring more democracy to the Internet, maybe the concern should be over the dominance of the most networked and not the clusters being formed.

  3. Unfortunately, this is more evidence of the need for a closed system of some kind to ensure the source of an article and the reputation of the individuals within it. I thought we might do a Better Bloggers Bureau or something like that to validate the source of the blogs and to keep out the others. Perhaps a piece of code that could go on a blog that validates its ‘trustworthiness’. The problem with this is that there is very little room for anonymity in such a system.

  4. Unfortunately, this is more evidence of the need for a closed system of some kind to ensure the source of an article and the reputation of the individuals within it. I thought we might do a Better Bloggers Bureau or something like that to validate the source of the blogs and to keep out the others. Perhaps a piece of code that could go on a blog that validates its ‘trustworthiness’. The problem with this is that there is very little room for anonymity in such a system.

  5. Well, Blogging does give others the freedom to take a couple of lines from your post to theirs but ofcourse they are obliged to give a link back. That way both benefit.

  6. Well, Blogging does give others the freedom to take a couple of lines from your post to theirs but ofcourse they are obliged to give a link back. That way both benefit.

  7. People are corruptable. People are corrupt. As soon as you keep score, the egos kick in. Reputation Brokers become broken with the stink of corruption. Google Juice becomes a currency. Links become a currency. The circle jerk continues.

  8. People are corruptable. People are corrupt. As soon as you keep score, the egos kick in. Reputation Brokers become broken with the stink of corruption. Google Juice becomes a currency. Links become a currency. The circle jerk continues.

  9. Agreed. I wrote about the same thing and outlined a (feasible?) scenario of how the rise of “Reputation Brokers” might play out. Would love thoughts and feedback from anyone here.

  10. Agreed. I wrote about the same thing and outlined a (feasible?) scenario of how the rise of “Reputation Brokers” might play out. Would love thoughts and feedback from anyone here.

  11. I went through a similar experience. I was working as the About.com Desktop Video “guide” when a loyal reader had found this site called desktop-video-guide.com that had copied all of my content word for word.

    I began populating my articles with pictures that had my name on it for the amusement of seeing it on another site 2 weeks later with no attribution, and so I could prove my case. Then I made a formal complaint to my editor at About.com thinking I had all the right steps covered to make it simple to see that someone was plagiarizing my work… He said “it’s some guy in Singapore, so you’re outta luck. Our laws don’t apply there.”

    The worse part of the story is that PC World did a “best 50 websites” back in 02 that listed their site. They did mention it looked similar to mine, which was at least something. But the give an “award” or at least the title, editors should do a little more than a couple clicks of research or they are no better than the losers who copy other people’s writing.

  12. I went through a similar experience. I was working as the About.com Desktop Video “guide” when a loyal reader had found this site called desktop-video-guide.com that had copied all of my content word for word.

    I began populating my articles with pictures that had my name on it for the amusement of seeing it on another site 2 weeks later with no attribution, and so I could prove my case. Then I made a formal complaint to my editor at About.com thinking I had all the right steps covered to make it simple to see that someone was plagiarizing my work… He said “it’s some guy in Singapore, so you’re outta luck. Our laws don’t apply there.”

    The worse part of the story is that PC World did a “best 50 websites” back in 02 that listed their site. They did mention it looked similar to mine, which was at least something. But the give an “award” or at least the title, editors should do a little more than a couple clicks of research or they are no better than the losers who copy other people’s writing.

  13. That is pretty lame, one way that it could be done would be just posting a picture of content, like wikipedia does for sections of pages that contain mathematical equations.

  14. That is pretty lame, one way that it could be done would be just posting a picture of content, like wikipedia does for sections of pages that contain mathematical equations.

  15. Matt Cutts at his blog officially confirms that SEO company Traffic Power and domains promoted by them have been removed from Google’s index due to SEO techniques violating Google’s webmaster guidelines.

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/confirming-a-penalty/

    what about such techniques which are used by those who actually index and control the flow of information into and out of blogsphere ??

    There is a much richer dimension of ‘gatekeeper’ type attitude within the major players too.. !!

  16. Matt Cutts at his blog officially confirms that SEO company Traffic Power and domains promoted by them have been removed from Google’s index due to SEO techniques violating Google’s webmaster guidelines.

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/confirming-a-penalty/

    what about such techniques which are used by those who actually index and control the flow of information into and out of blogsphere ??

    There is a much richer dimension of ‘gatekeeper’ type attitude within the major players too.. !!

  17. I asked David Naylor this week about Google and duplicate content, it appears that if whomever is duplicating your content has more authority and trust in Google they often take full credit for everything that you write. You have major authority Mr. Scoble so you do not have to worry as much about getting ripped off as us “weenies” do. When you see your content as “supplemental” in Google than you have a concrete example that the engine is failing you. It is believed that MSN is the best at filtering out copycats and finding the content originator. Pretty interesting eh?

    Here is the post, do a search in the Google to see all those taking credit for it: http://www.seobuzzbox.com/duplicate-content-google.html

    Aaron Pratt

  18. I asked David Naylor this week about Google and duplicate content, it appears that if whomever is duplicating your content has more authority and trust in Google they often take full credit for everything that you write. You have major authority Mr. Scoble so you do not have to worry as much about getting ripped off as us “weenies” do. When you see your content as “supplemental” in Google than you have a concrete example that the engine is failing you. It is believed that MSN is the best at filtering out copycats and finding the content originator. Pretty interesting eh?

    Here is the post, do a search in the Google to see all those taking credit for it: http://www.seobuzzbox.com/duplicate-content-google.html

    Aaron Pratt

  19. Phil, Mads: for me, the problem with finding my content on splogs is intent. Are they reproducing my content to make money out of it? Not good. In a feedreader, the software is reproducing my content at the request of a reader so he can have more convenient access to my content. In one situation, my content is a means. In the other, it’s the end.

  20. Phil, Mads: for me, the problem with finding my content on splogs is intent. Are they reproducing my content to make money out of it? Not good. In a feedreader, the software is reproducing my content at the request of a reader so he can have more convenient access to my content. In one situation, my content is a means. In the other, it’s the end.

  21. A blog’s value comes from its authority. By closing up your network, your authority (and value) withers on the vine.

    The good news is, the blogosphere is remarkably self-correcting.

  22. A blog’s value comes from its authority. By closing up your network, your authority (and value) withers on the vine.

    The good news is, the blogosphere is remarkably self-correcting.

  23. But Robert you’ve argued very heavily in favour of full RSS feeds as opposed to partial feeds which would pretty much prevent this from happening. I don’t see that it’s possible that you can argue that your content should be republishable in an RSS reader but not on a SPLOG site…

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