Ah yes… here we come to the emotional part: are bloglines, technnorati etc. stealing content? I've been mulling the moral issues for a while and here are some solutions that I have come up with.
Before I get to that, I think I should clarify things, before giving some solutions:
- we must accept that the web 2.0 is not the web 1.0
- The web 2.0 is NOT about Ajax. It IS about mashing (mash-ups, compiling new things out of several old things).
- It's not about content theft, it is about syndication – hence the acronym RSS (Really Simple Syndication – implying you actually want to be syndicated!).
So there are three solutions that any content creator can implement, in my opinion:
- The teaser strategy: keep your content on your own website and only publish the first 20 words of your writing in your RSS feed. You then earn income from people clicking through to your site. If you teaser is not attractive enough, they won't click through. If you don't have keywords in your teaser the software won't pick it up and people won't read it.
- The free for all strategy: publish all of your content and put YPM in the post. By publishing all of your content in your RSS feed, you maximise the chances that your post will be substantially replicated around the various sites. By including YPN in your post, you ensure that the more your excellent post is copied and read and copied and read, the more you earn. And why shouldn't you? You wrote it and it's good enough to be copied! IMO you should earn for as long as the post is read. I have compassion for artist who only earn once and never earn again as the painting is looked at for decades and sold over and over at inflated prices. Not so for the blogger who puts YPN in their post.
- For the love of it: for this person they don't want income and don't want syndication, which is fair enough… it's their content! I suggest inserting something like a "robots.txt" into your feed, explicitly saying "do not crawl me". then software like ours and technorati and bloglines will know to keep out.
Ok, so… is that it? the whole content theft issue is resolved just like that? 🙂