March 8, 2000
10:38 AM   Subscribe

Three words: jjg is back
posted by mathowie (16 comments total)
Is it "right" to base an entire site upon content taken from other sites without the permission of those sites' authors?

(This isn't an accusation or an attack, merely a conversation starter.)

As someone whose content appears on the weblog nation site, I don't mind a bit...but I would imagine others might.

As an aside, when I first saw the site, I thought all those folks were writers for the site...but then I saw something from my site in there and realized that wasn't the case at all. A site purpose statement might help people figure out what's going on (although I have a feeling that is on the agenda, seeing how new the site is and all).

Aside #2: I'm looking forward to reading stuff from Jesse again. Welcome back. (Welcome Back Blogger?)
posted by jkottke at 1:22 PM on March 8, 2000

I'm inclined to agree with Jason's point, that perhaps it isn't too good to use links like that. Judging by the design, I think that's Jesse's whole idea, though. Making numerous personal entires would sully up the whole 'by-line' thing on the left hand side.
Of course, leave it to me to be shallow.
posted by tdecius at 1:31 PM on March 8, 2000

I suppose I'm unvisited enough that I'd personally kill to have him take notice of me. But until I just read this commentary, I didn't know the content was scoured. He should make that clear, so that the reader associates the good links with good sites and go there for more of the same. I honestly mistook the links under the name for something along the lines of an author's bio--"here is the website of the author of this part."
posted by mrmorgan at 2:04 PM on March 8, 2000

I was completely taken in, and put the url under my 'team logs' header. Slightly peeved now, as have to change template again.

posted by prolific at 2:14 PM on March 8, 2000


I honestly think the weblog nation concept is very, very cool.

When I started almost a year ago there were maybe 30 weblogs on the radar. If you were so motivated, you could have kept up with all of them. With over 600 now, that would be a full-time job.

Unlike the lists based on number of sites linking to a given weblog, the scoop index, and the various "ranking" systems that have sprung up in the last year, this is a site that highlights weblog content by showing you an example of it, and gives you an immediate bridge to the originator.

He clearly notes where each link comes from, links to the site, and notes that the copyright on each entry belongs to the original author. I don't see how he could be more clear.

Inclusion in an edition says, basically, "Here's someone I think is doing excellent work," and, I would think, pushes traffic to the referenced site.

Jesse is one of the original webloggers, if there is such a thing, and in fact pulled together that first list of "sites like his" and passed it on to Cam Barrett, who posted it, wrote his weblog rant, and got the whole "movement" started. He watched this whole thing take shape; given that and his consummate editorial style, I can't think of anyone better qualified to put together a site promoting excellence in weblogging, which is my interpretation of the Weblog Nation mission.

Certainly, a number of weblogs listed there are ones I'd never seen or heard of before. Since he's pulling links from the entire weblog community (and not scanning only the more popular weblogs) I see this as an opportunity for people who are doing good work to gain a larger audience instead of laboring away in obscurity, as is bound to be the case now, given the sheer number of weblogs now in existence. To my mind that's a positive contribution to the weblog community *as* a community.

I would be surprised if anyone objected to being included in a listing: Jesse quotes the link text in toto, credits the author, and links to the website from which it comes. If someone wished never to be included, I know that Jesse would honor a request not to be included in his rotation, so I don't really see a problem there.

I regularly use pull quotes from the articles I link to; pulling link text with proper attribution seems to me to be exactly the same thing. Of course, in the case of Weblog Nation, Jesse is highlighting the website and writing of the many independent publishers who are creating weblogs, instead of just driving traffic to the corporate entities who produce the barrage of "news" we're greeted with every day.

What a long comment. I guess I can sum it all up by saying that I like Weblog Nation very much. :)

posted by rebeccablood at 3:04 PM on March 8, 2000

There should be a winkie in my last post.
posted by prolific at 3:12 PM on March 8, 2000

That's the problem with this site, not enough winkies!

Thank God for John Styn.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 3:18 PM on March 8, 2000

I guess I'll have to wait and see how it goes along, if Jesse continues to post the best things out there, it might help elevate the genre. I don't see it being a "cool site of the day" but more to highlight excellent writing and content, which would only raise the bar of what a "good" weblog is.

I like it.
posted by mathowie at 3:19 PM on March 8, 2000

"Is it 'right' to base an entire site upon content taken from other sites without the permission of those sites' authors?"

I thought that was what weblogging was all about!

I told jjg that I was going to pronounce it (assuming I ever said it out loud) as "weblognation" -- all run together, some sort of medical term, like pronation.
posted by anitar at 4:32 PM on March 8, 2000

I like it and not just because he linked to my site almost immediately ...

I don't have time to read that many web logs these days, so it's nice to see some of the best stuff all in one spot. Of course, I'm also a sucker for Today's Papers, the Industry Standard's Media Grok, and any other site that picks out the juicy bits of content and synthesizes them so as to save me work.

Besides, anything that drives traffic to my site without my having to flog it or otherwise engage in self promotion is welcomed. Ever since I fell off the top 50 sites in Beebo, I've been feeling underappreciated.
posted by rafeco at 8:16 PM on March 8, 2000

Man, I can only hope that someday someone will write about my weblogging and writings (plug plug) in terms as glowing as rebeccablood gave Jesse above. I'm completely jealous. anyone?

posted by werty at 7:08 AM on March 9, 2000

oh, I'm a jjg fan, no question about it. :)

posted by rebeccablood at 11:03 AM on March 9, 2000

And he's living proof that a former stagecoach robber can be reformed and become a productive member of web-based society.
posted by wendell at 11:10 AM on March 9, 2000

Okay, I am officially a doof. Weblog Nation says right at the top: "an occasional compilation of highlights from the independent weblog community." Maybe there are some activities in your teen years that make you blind.
posted by mrmorgan at 12:33 PM on March 9, 2000

Rebecca Blood, ladies and gentlemen, the leading nominee in the "Understatement of the Year" competition. (I'm a jjg fan too. Hooray for the Giant Floating Head!)
posted by bradlands at 2:31 PM on March 9, 2000

You're not a doof, mrmorgan -- I changed the header yesterday to address some of the comments and concerns raised in this very forum.

Thanks all for the warm sentiments. Watch out or my head might get even gianter and float away!
posted by jjg at 3:07 PM on March 9, 2000

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