What do bloggers owe their sources?
December 29, 2004 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Roland Piquepaille, author of the excellent Technology Trends blog and frequent contributor to Slashdot, is accused of using plagirism, Slashdot and his own blog to pump up his Blogads revenue. Long quotes and summarization of sources are staples of the blogging culture. When revenue is involved, some infer that the blogger owes more than just credit to their sources. [via Eyebeam Reblog].
posted by tomharpel (27 comments total)
Funny that your 'via' link is merely a copy of a waxy.org/links post. (yeah yeah, I know it's credited, but it's a word for word copy with no additional commentary.)
posted by zelphi at 9:10 AM on December 29, 2004

I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what the "new" charges are--reading the Slashdot complaint, it seems like the author is first saying "He didn't use to credit his sources, and now he does, but that's not my complaint", but then I don't see where he really levels any kind of new charge beyond that.

I agree that it's maybe a bit dodgy to route all the references through his blog, but I don't see where any new level of _plagiarism_ really comes into it.

Am I missing something?
posted by LairBob at 9:11 AM on December 29, 2004

Ah, I guess the whole site is a "reblog". bah anyways.
posted by zelphi at 9:16 AM on December 29, 2004

Am I missing something?

I think this "Technology Trends" is Slashdot's equivalent of Pepsi Blue. Only apparently the site owners are cooperating with the offender.
posted by unreason at 9:17 AM on December 29, 2004

Roland has responded to this charge before where he states I'm not affiliated with any of the editors.

I think this is more a case of sour grapes over his stuff getting posted and other people's not. I know I give preference on my blog to stuff from people I like, I don't know why Slashdot would be any different.

OTOH, if there is a back-room deal I would probably stop reading Slashdot. I cut Fark out after I found out I was being used to generate traffic for anyone with $300.
posted by revgeorge at 9:35 AM on December 29, 2004

Bullshit he does add value, I read Technology Trends every day, and it's always a good read. Sure he grabs stuff from other places but that's the whole bloody point. The value is that I can rely on the fact that he's done the surfing for me and I don't have to.
posted by zeoslap at 9:46 AM on December 29, 2004

I guess he's slashdotting himself, and benefiting to the tune of about $650/month. I suspect when you divide the $650 by the hours he puts in a month it's pretty small.
posted by carter at 9:53 AM on December 29, 2004

Hmm, I appear to be banned from Slashdot... or at least ntl's proxy server is. Weird.
posted by reklaw at 9:58 AM on December 29, 2004

i've never understood the anger on /. against that site. i think maybe the original problem was more self-linking than pepsi-blue, in that piquepaille himself sometimes submits the links. but i've also seen a pile of complaints (like this) where he's criticised for simply collecting info - which is crazy since that's exactly why his site is so good. he must spend ages looking for subjects... (and he's given credit for a long time - i don't remember a time when you couldn't get to the original sources via links, even if there wasn't explicit labelling of every quote).
posted by andrew cooke at 10:14 AM on December 29, 2004

Well, the weird thing is almost all of Piquepaille's self-links are approved by a single editor--Michael.
posted by hyperizer at 10:33 AM on December 29, 2004

So what?
posted by zeoslap at 10:40 AM on December 29, 2004

Actually, I guess it's more like half. Anyway, Roland has an impressive record. They should just make him an editor.
posted by hyperizer at 10:42 AM on December 29, 2004

Oh no... another new blog-oriented word: Reblogging.
It's like regifting but with more fruitcakes.
posted by wendell at 11:21 AM on December 29, 2004

For the record, I am not complaining about Roland's site or methods. I think his site is excellent and am a regular reader.
posted by tomharpel at 11:38 AM on December 29, 2004

Nice, Wendell! Ha ha!
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:39 AM on December 29, 2004

A bunch of things come to mind:

1. Hits are a useless measure. If I want to increase my site's hits 100 times, all I have to do is add 100 small, unique images on every page. VoilĂ ! 100 more hits every time the server sends a page!

2. That's it? That's all the hits he's getting? Based upon my own knowledge of sites and blogs and logs, that works out to about 2000 unique visits a day. That's squat. That's barely worth mentioning. THAT'S the reason those ad numbers are important: they're charging way too much for way too little.

3. I've used BlogAds to advertise before and it was a failure. Ads I've run on Metafilter, Fark, UrbanDictionary, and the PopBitch message boards all returned much better click-through rates than BlogAds did.

4. I have, I think, about a .500 batting average on getting my Slashdot submissions accepted. I just had one rejected yesterday. Who cares? "Does she like me? Does she? If she doesn't, I will surely have to kill myself." When did acceptance of Slashdot stories become some kind of marker for fame, success, or acceptance? Free traffic can be had anywhere on the net.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:51 AM on December 29, 2004

Anyone else think of drug use when reading the phrase "using plagirism"?

Like "using cocaine" or "using steroids." I'm pretty sure one could plagiarize, but to use plagirism? Sounds funky. Google only has 190 hits of that strange usage as well.

I'm gonna go get a buzz on plagirism now, I hear it is only academically lethal but for recreational use it is alright.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:59 AM on December 29, 2004

Oop! It is 488 hits for "using plagirism" 190 for "uses plagirism"
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:01 PM on December 29, 2004

How many hits for "using plagiarism", TwelveTwo?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:14 PM on December 29, 2004

Metafilter: Like regifting but with more fruitcakes
posted by lodurr at 12:15 PM on December 29, 2004

Wait, when things are spelled right......... aheh...
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:23 PM on December 29, 2004

I retract my statements, humbly.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:25 PM on December 29, 2004

In other news, I hear that the subjects of newspaper articles want a share of the paper's profits since they supply the content the paper is selling.

Also, clearly hyperlinks should be outlawed. The very idea that a blog would post content from other web sites is abhorrent. The very institution of blogging is built on wholly original material. Blogs don't report the news! They make it!

I agree with the angry /.ers on one point, though. An update to roland's blog isn't slashdot worthy. If he wants to point out an interesting news story, then just link to the article and put his own commentary in the /. post without making us go through his site. It's my understanding that mefi, for instance, doesn't allow shameless self-promotion of that sort, either.

Frankly, if there are a lot of /.ers getting upset about this, then it bears consideration. If /. ignores the complaints and keeps posting 100% of his stories, then how well are they representing their community and audience?
posted by shmegegge at 3:37 PM on December 29, 2004

I think Slashdot should have a no self-linking rule like we have here on MetaFilter and this guy should should voluntarily follow it even if the /. editors don't, just to chill the people who waste space in every thread with their complaints.
posted by billsaysthis at 3:51 PM on December 29, 2004

I also agree with the complainers that he is too free with reusing text and especially images from the sites he blogs about, but he's at least not just reblogging their entire content.
posted by billsaysthis at 3:53 PM on December 29, 2004

slashdot hardly does anything different, does it? ... they put up summaries of news ...

the confusion people are making here is that r p isn't acting as a writer ... but as an editor ... he's filtering all the news to give others things he feels are noteworthy ... how can an editor plagarize? ... he's simply republishing according to "fair use" standards, just like many do

and if a lot of slashdotters are getting upset about this ... it's my observation that a lot of slashdotters get upset about anything and everything ... so what?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:16 PM on December 29, 2004

slashdot sucks. Their editors are such idiots, it's unbeliveable.

That's all I have to say.
posted by delmoi at 2:03 PM on December 30, 2004

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