Welcome to my 400th post on Active Rain. (Public count is different, don't get excited.)
Yesterday Copyscape informed me that someone had duplicated the content of my outside blog, The Putnam Scoop. When I checked out the site, it had my Scoop posts listed under Real Estate West Virginia, so I knew this was someone from Active Rain taking my stuff. I haven’t mentioned real estate at all on the Scoop, aside from in the names of some sites in my blogroll.
Digging in a little further, I found several other Active Rainer’s outside content duplicated without their names or sites credited, only a small link to “This page” for original post.
I wrote to the site owner and told him to TAKE MY STUFF DOWN. He wrote back and said he would (thank you) but wondered why I wouldn’t want the extra exposure, especially as his site gets more hits than mine.
Well, isn’t that part of it right there? I don’t want him to get hits that might have led someone to my actual site. My site is more personal, with local pictures and a hometown feel. It’s just not the same experience to visit a site like his. I want local people to find a local site run by someone from HERE. We’re a small state that isn’t always appreciated for all it has to offer. I love this place and visiting my site gives you a little of the experience of being here. I want my readers to feel the pride we share in living here. You don’t get that from his site.
That wasn’t a real estate site that he used, it wouldn’t have done what he wanted anyway. He didn’t ask. He used my words, signature and pictures of me – and he did the same to people I consider friends. The link hidden at the bottom didn’t make it all better.
And I checked him out a little. I found stuff I didn’t care for and wouldn’t want to be associated with. He thought I’d be flattered and assumed I was hungry for business and would be thrilled. I have enough business that I don’t even use my site for work, but for the joy of where I live. I care about who my name is associated with and would prefer to have a choice in the matter. And perhaps I just don’t get it, but how would my hits going to his site instead help my business anyway?
If you can explain to me how this was a benefit to me, please do. (Just be nice!)
UPDATE: A friend pointed out that he's not "linking" to Inman, homes.com or Realtor.com, just us "smaller" bloggers. What if I got express permission from Teresa Boardman to use one of her photographs, or from Lenn Harley to use one of her maps? (Hey, it could happen!) It would then have gone directly to his site, without their permission.
I would hate to see what might happen then.