Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Escorts who breach copyright,exchanging links, and weblog ethics

I get numerous requests from other bloggers to exchange links. I do not exchange links with everyone who contacts me, and felt that it was time that I did a post on who I am likely to link to.

Andy Wibbels thinks link exchanging is tacky and link farms are so 1997. Andy will not link to anyone who he has never met. I have the same policy on my professional site as I mentioned in people power and choosing friends.

I do not have the same policy on my blog.I link to bloggers who I find interesting, who I believe are authentic, and who make me think. I may not share their views, but they have to interest me in some way. I do not link to bloggers who I find boring, or overtly promotional.

Rebecca blood has a chapter in The Weblog Handbook on weblog etiquette where she discusses asking for a link.

What Rebecca says, rings true for me. She talks about receiving emails where the blogger asks for a link exchange, and wants confirmation that she has added them to her blogroll. She acknowledges that the experts will advise you to trade links to increase traffic to your site. However, she says our reputations are built largely on the quality of the links we provide to our readers, especially in the case of filters. Rebecca ignores these requests and so do I. She says that she finds bloggers who threaten not to link to her puzzling, as she did not ask. I feel the same way. She says in contrast to telling another blogger that you admire their work, it is iffy to suggest that they would enjoy yours. She says these sorts of emails put bloggers in an awkward position, and if your goal is to gain allies in the blogosphere, putting others in an uncomfortable position is a poor strategy. I do not assume that because I link to a blogger, that they will necessarily link back to me.

I recently had a request from a black London escort, that asked me for a link exchange. This black escort was exposed on a messageboard for copying pages of text from another black escort's professional site. I discovered last year that she had lifted my entire Faq page from my professional site, she did not copy chunks of text, but an entire page. I did not confront her at the time, but was aware of what she did. Escorts who do this sort of thing, do not realise that anything you write is publicly accessible and permanently archived. I have clients who only see black escorts, and they are up to date on who is new, and look at their sites. Some of them have emailed me, and informed me of escorts who have stolen text from my site. This is not unusual in the industry.

I am baffled that the escort who emailed me, has the audacity to contact me to exchange links. I think she has no understanding of copyright, or chooses to ignore it. She is mannerless, and clearly is not aware that this is not how to make friends in this industry. Her exposure on the messageboard is not something that I can forget.

Why would she feel that I would ever consider having anything to do with her?

I believe bloggers who copy text from blogs without revealing their sources, by crediting links,or referencing it are unethical. They attempt to pass the posts off as their own, and will be exposed. This is the world wide web, and someone somewhere, will pull you up on it.

Rebecca has a good article on Weblog ethics which is an essential read. I would also recommend her book to any bloggers out there.

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You are so right Nia! There is far too much of this sort of behaviour around and I hate it when someone copies my blog, hence my use of the Copyscape button (it's of no legal use but it's a gentle reminder).

On links, I agree too - I exchange links with blogs I read and like and it's as simple as that. I often put up links to people who comment on my posts, as I read their comment, follow the link to their blog, and then if (and only if) I like what I read, I put up a link to them.

Incidentally I've never asked anyone for a link - I link to blogs I enjoy and if they like mine then they link back in time. I think linking has become too aggro-filled of late - I think as the owner of a blog you have a total right to choose who you link to, and as the 'linkee' you also have a right to choose whether or not you reciprocate,

Livvy xxx
Hi Livvy,

Thank you for your comments. I share your feelings. Some people are so shameless.

I resent the people who harass me for links, but then I ignore them in the end.
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