Scribblings from the hard shoulder of the Information Superhighway

The Poacher

A few months ago I posted an entry commenting that my musings have made it to wikipedia, which I found quite flattering (the articles here if you missed it). Well this weekend I came across something that should be equally flattering but isnt.

For the last couple of months Ive been writing beer reviews for an American Beer website (The Brewclub) under the moniker Bob the Brit. We in The UK have a tremendous range of beers available to us, and I figure that I might be able to point our American friends in the direction of which beers to try and which to avoid.

A recent article I wrote reviewed the Leffe range of Belgian ales.

I was astonished when Scott, the publisher of The Brewclub sent me a link to The Gaia Resource which bills itself as The Best Green Resource on the Web. I wont post a link to them for reasons that will become clear; the Gaia Resource recycles, or more accurately steals, articles from elsewhere on the web. There, on the Gaia Resource was the first paragraph of my Leffe Review, admittedly with a link back to the original.

Amusingly, the site has terms and conditions for submissions which include “The articles that you submit must be your own work – You may not submit articles written by other authors and the content must be unique. No rebranded articles allowed”. An interesting moral standpoint.

I have long been cynical about the whole blogosphere, suggesting that much of what is written is noise and irrelevance, but what hope is there when posts get poached and propagated without the permission of the author?

One Response to The Poacher

  • First, Bob is a great writer and KNOWS his beer!

    Regarding the post poaching, it usually is not personal at all – its very much automated and whatever happens to get caught up in their rss feed aggregatior ends up on a webpage like the one you mentioned.

    Bob, hopefully you and I are part of the solution in the long-run – creating original, useful content that people will find regardless of the poachers! Until then, the signal to noise ratio is much in favor of the spammers, black-hatters and poachers.

    Doesnt mean the honest people have to accept it though!