Bloggers: you getting copied? Sentinel is your solutions

Tony Moura, chief visionary officer at Blogwerx is sitting here telling me about Blogwerx Sentinel, which helps you track splogs and other sites that are copying your content (which could have sizeable detrimental results because if too many people copy your content Google will penalize you for too many copies — their algorithms use that to sense whether link farms are being built to game Google).

He tells me one guy created more than 600,000 sites without writing a single word of content and made a ton of money off of Google ads. If bloggers had signed up for Sentinel they could have pulled that guy down before he made a lot of revenue.

95 thoughts on “Bloggers: you getting copied? Sentinel is your solutions

  1. Is this working yet? I see “Currently parsing 19835 sources” when I log in, up from the 200-300 a day or two ago. The blog has an entry saying “sorry, not quite there yet,” and my blog hasn’t been parsed yet (submitted just over 14x24hrs ago).

    Anyone seeing results yet? I was kind of excited (and a bit disappointed to have to wait two weeks in the first place!)

  2. Is this working yet? I see “Currently parsing 19835 sources” when I log in, up from the 200-300 a day or two ago. The blog has an entry saying “sorry, not quite there yet,” and my blog hasn’t been parsed yet (submitted just over 14x24hrs ago).

    Anyone seeing results yet? I was kind of excited (and a bit disappointed to have to wait two weeks in the first place!)

  3. I didn’t see that anyone else picked up on this…you referred to your relative your “mom’s sister” a couple times. I thought we called those our ‘aunts.’ Not sure why that jumped out at me, I guess I just like aunt because it sounds more endearing.

    Ahoy!

  4. I didn’t see that anyone else picked up on this…you referred to your relative your “mom’s sister” a couple times. I thought we called those our ‘aunts.’ Not sure why that jumped out at me, I guess I just like aunt because it sounds more endearing.

    Ahoy!

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  6. By no means am I taking any of this in stride. My stomach has been in a pretzel since Demo.

    I will be the first to admit that there are some things on the interface that should function but don’t as of yet.

    I just brought on another developer to help address these issues as quickly as we can get to them.

    Although you cant see it, the underlying core of Sentinel is in operation.

    We’ll address the issues that have come up and hopefully some of the concerns that go along with them.

  7. By no means am I taking any of this in stride. My stomach has been in a pretzel since Demo.

    I will be the first to admit that there are some things on the interface that should function but don’t as of yet.

    I just brought on another developer to help address these issues as quickly as we can get to them.

    Although you cant see it, the underlying core of Sentinel is in operation.

    We’ll address the issues that have come up and hopefully some of the concerns that go along with them.

  8. Scoble said “everytime I link to something there they get 100 to 2,000 new visitors. Which invalidates your point above.”

    Ah ah! I have to laugh my ass off. And how many visitors did you get on your “link” blog for that? 100,000?

    I can tell you the kind of visits you bring, since you linked (that was a simple link) to my blog months ago when I wondered what was going on when googling your name. I can give you the results : that day I got 500 new visits. And next day they were all gone, despite the fact that I had posted a number of follow-ups (including answers to Matt Cutts who took the time to send a comment).

    In other words, your reasoning does not fly.

    You are taking the lion’s share of it all.

    Stealer.

    What an hypocrit. You are the one complaining that others steal your content…

    Ah ah!!!

  9. Scoble said “everytime I link to something there they get 100 to 2,000 new visitors. Which invalidates your point above.”

    Ah ah! I have to laugh my ass off. And how many visitors did you get on your “link” blog for that? 100,000?

    I can tell you the kind of visits you bring, since you linked (that was a simple link) to my blog months ago when I wondered what was going on when googling your name. I can give you the results : that day I got 500 new visits. And next day they were all gone, despite the fact that I had posted a number of follow-ups (including answers to Matt Cutts who took the time to send a comment).

    In other words, your reasoning does not fly.

    You are taking the lion’s share of it all.

    Stealer.

    What an hypocrit. You are the one complaining that others steal your content…

    Ah ah!!!

  10. I think that this is a good idea, but I’m not sure I understand how this will actually work. I have had content stolen from me, verbatim. And the blog did have ads everywhere. This was from one of my high traffic posts, and needless to say, I was not very pleased. However, it does not seem to have affected my page rank on the topic which happens to be #1 on Google.

    I think actually, it was the entire contents of a particular tag I use, which obviously has a feed on wordpress.com

    I like the idea of busting someone who steals content. This is plagiarism and should never be tolerated, even if it doesn’t generate ad money. The principle of it is just as significant, so I can see where you are coming from, Scoble. This practice is illegal for one thing. Any writer knows that not only is this unethical, but it will shame you forever in the world of intelligentsia.

    I am just curious though how this will actually get anyone shut down from a blacklist.

    Nevertheless, this was a good post, if at least for the sake of concept and/or theory. Perhaps Automatic ought to look into offering something like this.

  11. I think that this is a good idea, but I’m not sure I understand how this will actually work. I have had content stolen from me, verbatim. And the blog did have ads everywhere. This was from one of my high traffic posts, and needless to say, I was not very pleased. However, it does not seem to have affected my page rank on the topic which happens to be #1 on Google.

    I think actually, it was the entire contents of a particular tag I use, which obviously has a feed on wordpress.com

    I like the idea of busting someone who steals content. This is plagiarism and should never be tolerated, even if it doesn’t generate ad money. The principle of it is just as significant, so I can see where you are coming from, Scoble. This practice is illegal for one thing. Any writer knows that not only is this unethical, but it will shame you forever in the world of intelligentsia.

    I am just curious though how this will actually get anyone shut down from a blacklist.

    Nevertheless, this was a good post, if at least for the sake of concept and/or theory. Perhaps Automatic ought to look into offering something like this.

  12. Quick thing to note since Tony is taking all of this in stride. Whenever you roll out a product, don’t launch it without the free version working. The guys behind Basecamp teach that in their book which is actually very true.

    You’re committing corporate suicide if you have a paid tiers and your free one has buttons that doesn’t work. Doesn’t instill faith in a product.

    In this sense, if Sentinel was my product, I probably would not have rolled it out. Take the leave, go show it off at DEMO and come back and turn it on when it’s ready. When it’s shown to Scoble, that’s when I was ready to take a look. I’m hoping to see something a bit more mature in the next round from a business perspective.

    Also, the next time for a product launch, get some real beta testers. The reason I say this is because if your beta testers actually “tested”, they would have caught some of these pretty simple issues as explained above. This would have been warning flags for a delayed launch date. Also, some communication on your blog would have been nice if there were some of these issues.

    Regards.

  13. Quick thing to note since Tony is taking all of this in stride. Whenever you roll out a product, don’t launch it without the free version working. The guys behind Basecamp teach that in their book which is actually very true.

    You’re committing corporate suicide if you have a paid tiers and your free one has buttons that doesn’t work. Doesn’t instill faith in a product.

    In this sense, if Sentinel was my product, I probably would not have rolled it out. Take the leave, go show it off at DEMO and come back and turn it on when it’s ready. When it’s shown to Scoble, that’s when I was ready to take a look. I’m hoping to see something a bit more mature in the next round from a business perspective.

    Also, the next time for a product launch, get some real beta testers. The reason I say this is because if your beta testers actually “tested”, they would have caught some of these pretty simple issues as explained above. This would have been warning flags for a delayed launch date. Also, some communication on your blog would have been nice if there were some of these issues.

    Regards.

  14. Have you tried FeedBurner? They do something called “uncommon uses” that does this already. Why use another product when you can go and check your feed stats and get this there?

  15. Have you tried FeedBurner? They do something called “uncommon uses” that does this already. Why use another product when you can go and check your feed stats and get this there?

  16. After reading each one of your comments allow me to explain. I did happen to catch Robert and mention that I had called him very quickly just to get his feedback on the concept. As he’s busy I didn’t want to take up to much of his time.

    I happen to catch Robert in the hall at Demo and was looking for feedback and to let him know that we had launched.

    I will be the first to admit and not shy away from, that there is still additional work that needs to be accomplished with Sentinel. Its core is currently active and running.

    The issue with “What can I copy and what I cant?” Sentinel will show anything it finds to the originating author, its then up to them to figure it out. At the same time just since Demo alone, I have come to realize that a way of placing filters to an extent is needed.

    Most authors / bloggers dont mind if you re-use their content as long as they get the credit as I’m sure most of you would agree.

    Once again, Sentinel is not a fixed solution but will evolve and grow as the blogging community needs it to and it makes sense.

    Tony Moura
    Iwerx

  17. After reading each one of your comments allow me to explain. I did happen to catch Robert and mention that I had called him very quickly just to get his feedback on the concept. As he’s busy I didn’t want to take up to much of his time.

    I happen to catch Robert in the hall at Demo and was looking for feedback and to let him know that we had launched.

    I will be the first to admit and not shy away from, that there is still additional work that needs to be accomplished with Sentinel. Its core is currently active and running.

    The issue with “What can I copy and what I cant?” Sentinel will show anything it finds to the originating author, its then up to them to figure it out. At the same time just since Demo alone, I have come to realize that a way of placing filters to an extent is needed.

    Most authors / bloggers dont mind if you re-use their content as long as they get the credit as I’m sure most of you would agree.

    Once again, Sentinel is not a fixed solution but will evolve and grow as the blogging community needs it to and it makes sense.

    Tony Moura
    Iwerx

  18. I’m Tony Moura, the person that came up with the concept of Sentinel. To answer a few questions that have come up.

    Does Sentinel work as stated Yes. Right now you are registering for the free base version of Sentinel and I should have made the clear. My mistake and this will be corrected. The turn around time for the free solution is 2 weeks. Some feel this is long, but once again it’s a start. So, if you log right back in, there wont be anything there. The shortest amount of time that we have developed into Sentinel for paid tier when we make them available is 24 hours.

    The reason that some buttons don’t work is that being in the free version, and us not being ready to roll out the paid tiers yet. They are visible but not data will be attached to some of them.

    Sentinel is a work in progress. We want feedback, good and bad and will weigh them out and see what we can do.

    When Sentinel was first being developed, the idea that to make it as simple as possible for bloggers to use. Having you cut and paste code to authenticate you as the original blogger placed into each blog post would work, but over time and in some cases when your in a hurry etc., would be that one extra step that would fall by the waste side.

    As far as the black lists and white lists. The concept of their use was developed to be simple as well and offer SOME effectiveness over having nothing . Launching at Demo has already given us some user feedback that is extremely valuable. We can hear what you as the community of bloggers is looking for in such a tool and make it happen if possible and it makes sense.

    I will be the first to admit that Sentinel is not perfect by any means. Yet, it’s a more effective start to combating the problem.

    If there is anything I missed or have not fully address please, post it here or feel free to email me personally tony(at)iwerx.com

    As far as using CVO. When I thought about it. Thats what I basically am and have done. I had the vision for Sentinel, who would need to use it and what I think they needed. I then spoke to a good friend to code it for me. Looking at code gives me a headache. So, a guy with a vision needs to surround himself with people that believe in that vision and are willing to put in a huge number of hours to pull it off.

    Thank You
    Tony Moura – CVO / head bottle washer
    Iwerx

  19. I’m Tony Moura, the person that came up with the concept of Sentinel. To answer a few questions that have come up.

    Does Sentinel work as stated Yes. Right now you are registering for the free base version of Sentinel and I should have made the clear. My mistake and this will be corrected. The turn around time for the free solution is 2 weeks. Some feel this is long, but once again it’s a start. So, if you log right back in, there wont be anything there. The shortest amount of time that we have developed into Sentinel for paid tier when we make them available is 24 hours.

    The reason that some buttons don’t work is that being in the free version, and us not being ready to roll out the paid tiers yet. They are visible but not data will be attached to some of them.

    Sentinel is a work in progress. We want feedback, good and bad and will weigh them out and see what we can do.

    When Sentinel was first being developed, the idea that to make it as simple as possible for bloggers to use. Having you cut and paste code to authenticate you as the original blogger placed into each blog post would work, but over time and in some cases when your in a hurry etc., would be that one extra step that would fall by the waste side.

    As far as the black lists and white lists. The concept of their use was developed to be simple as well and offer SOME effectiveness over having nothing . Launching at Demo has already given us some user feedback that is extremely valuable. We can hear what you as the community of bloggers is looking for in such a tool and make it happen if possible and it makes sense.

    I will be the first to admit that Sentinel is not perfect by any means. Yet, it’s a more effective start to combating the problem.

    If there is anything I missed or have not fully address please, post it here or feel free to email me personally tony(at)iwerx.com

    As far as using CVO. When I thought about it. Thats what I basically am and have done. I had the vision for Sentinel, who would need to use it and what I think they needed. I then spoke to a good friend to code it for me. Looking at code gives me a headache. So, a guy with a vision needs to surround himself with people that believe in that vision and are willing to put in a huge number of hours to pull it off.

    Thank You
    Tony Moura – CVO / head bottle washer
    Iwerx

  20. There is such a thing as productive repurposing. It all really depends on what an individual blogger wants done with his content. I’d say Scoble’s link blog falls under productive repurposing.

  21. There is such a thing as productive repurposing. It all really depends on what an individual blogger wants done with his content. I’d say Scoble’s link blog falls under productive repurposing.

  22. Ryan: I don’t have an answer to that.

    One way is to publicly embarrass the guy. But that probably won’t work either.

    I shut down one copier and then six more sites popped right up too.

  23. Ryan: I don’t have an answer to that.

    One way is to publicly embarrass the guy. But that probably won’t work either.

    I shut down one copier and then six more sites popped right up too.

  24. Robert.. Have you ever tried to go after somebody for copying your content?

    I once had somebody copy an entire site of mine – right down to leaving my email address on the contact page.

    I got his ISP to pull it, and thats when the trouble started.

    The guy filed a police case against me for “harassment” (dropped due to no evidence)

    He then signed my site up for automated click programs trying to get me banned from adsense (and it almost worked had I not emailed Google and told them what was going on)

    He then DDOSed my site, and I was down for an entire week.

    If you ask me, it would have been better to let him copy. How do you fight back against that?

  25. Robert.. Have you ever tried to go after somebody for copying your content?

    I once had somebody copy an entire site of mine – right down to leaving my email address on the contact page.

    I got his ISP to pull it, and thats when the trouble started.

    The guy filed a police case against me for “harassment” (dropped due to no evidence)

    He then signed my site up for automated click programs trying to get me banned from adsense (and it almost worked had I not emailed Google and told them what was going on)

    He then DDOSed my site, and I was down for an entire week.

    If you ask me, it would have been better to let him copy. How do you fight back against that?

  26. Steve: yup, and I’ll admit I’m probably on the other side of the line legally. But, again, if people don’t want to be on my link blog, I’ll pull them off.

    And, out of 31,000 items in the past 30 days that have come through my reader I’ve shared about 1,800 of them. So, I’m only using one out of every 10 posts at best.

  27. Steve: yup, and I’ll admit I’m probably on the other side of the line legally. But, again, if people don’t want to be on my link blog, I’ll pull them off.

    And, out of 31,000 items in the past 30 days that have come through my reader I’ve shared about 1,800 of them. So, I’m only using one out of every 10 posts at best.

  28. FYI. From http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html

    How much of someone else’s work can I use without getting permission?

    Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances. See FL 102, Fair Use, and Circular 21, Reproductions of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians.

  29. FYI. From http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html

    How much of someone else’s work can I use without getting permission?

    Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances. See FL 102, Fair Use, and Circular 21, Reproductions of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians.

  30. Stephane: Are you trying to say “steal” instead of “still?”

    In US copyright law there’s “fair use” which lets you use 10% of someone else’s content. There’s also laws that let Google republish parts of my content on its search engines.

    Also, if anyone who gets on my link blog views it as stealing, they can request I stop doing that and I’ll unsubscribe and not put their stuff on that list.

    Why hasn’t anyone requested that yet? Because everytime I link to something there they get 100 to 2,000 new visitors. Which invalidates your point above.

  31. Stephane: Are you trying to say “steal” instead of “still?”

    In US copyright law there’s “fair use” which lets you use 10% of someone else’s content. There’s also laws that let Google republish parts of my content on its search engines.

    Also, if anyone who gets on my link blog views it as stealing, they can request I stop doing that and I’ll unsubscribe and not put their stuff on that list.

    Why hasn’t anyone requested that yet? Because everytime I link to something there they get 100 to 2,000 new visitors. Which invalidates your point above.

  32. Oh I get it. You say the excuse is that you don’t republish all posts, just some that you pick.

    Yet, you still someone’s audience, since anyone subcribed to your shared items will unlikely click the actual blogger’s post. Hence no chance of ad impressions, no chance of anything. I stand by this, you are stealing.

    I am doing that too, since I also share GoogleReader-based items. But I am reconsidering it because that’s theft.

  33. Oh I get it. You say the excuse is that you don’t republish all posts, just some that you pick.

    Yet, you still someone’s audience, since anyone subcribed to your shared items will unlikely click the actual blogger’s post. Hence no chance of ad impressions, no chance of anything. I stand by this, you are stealing.

    I am doing that too, since I also share GoogleReader-based items. But I am reconsidering it because that’s theft.

  34. “If you are just republishing someone else’s content you should be shut down.”

    Scoble huh? What are GoogleReader shared items if not a way to republish someone else’s content?

    Please tell me you see the difference between this and a simple link.

  35. “If you are just republishing someone else’s content you should be shut down.”

    Scoble huh? What are GoogleReader shared items if not a way to republish someone else’s content?

    Please tell me you see the difference between this and a simple link.

  36. #25: It’s pretty clear that I was “sitting with” and thought it was important to pass along to my audience. Did I say anything about “I use this?” No. Did I say anything about “this has been tested out and vetted?” No. It’s a guy who sat down, gave me a pitch, and I reported it.

    Where’s your blog so I can learn how to do this right?

  37. #25: It’s pretty clear that I was “sitting with” and thought it was important to pass along to my audience. Did I say anything about “I use this?” No. Did I say anything about “this has been tested out and vetted?” No. It’s a guy who sat down, gave me a pitch, and I reported it.

    Where’s your blog so I can learn how to do this right?

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