Friday, May 2, 2008

Now THAT is BRASS... my mother would say.

Or maybe I should entitle this post "Oh no, not another learning experience!"

So, I was perusing my flickr site, looking over my stats, and seeing what interesting sites had referred to my photos. Sometimes it's interesting: one week the municipal government of the city of Saltillo, Mexico referred to me. Another day it was a Laotian website. Always in the past, my photos have *not* appeared on any other site, they have merely been linked or referred. Today was interesting.

My post talking about my garden fork and new shovel, along with a photo of same, wasn't just linked to - it was copied wholesale. As far as I can tell, the only reason the photo was credited (oddly enough) was that the whole post was copied - meaning, if I hadn't posted the photo directly from flickr as a "blog this" function, thereby automatically putting a footer at the bottom with a link to my flickr identity, I wouldn't have been credited at all. I checked their "blog" and found that there were a number of other obviously-lifted personal blog posts as well. There is no human being, seemingly, behind this commercial blog - no email contact, no profile, nor even a pretend author that is backed by, say, the marketing department.

While I like the tool, I am distinctly annoyed that they didn't take five minutes to post a comment and make an attempt to contact me and say "hey, it was nice of you to say good things about our tools. Mind if we re-print over on our blog?"
Sadly for them, and by them I mean the Fiskars company, it appears they are either using software that searches for a keyword and autocompiles their "blog posts" and I guess they don't think it's necessary to ask, or they don't care if they offend the very people who are saying "gee, what a good product." Which, I'm now thinking, can work both ways.

I'm curious to see if this post, which is not so glowing, will shortly be put up on their little marketing blog. I have learned two take-home lessons from this experience: one, it looks like it's worth it to pay the $4.95 / month for that CopyScape 'sentry' service, and anyway I don't recall having been hired as a copywriter for their company, so I don't feel obligated to keep my mouth shut. Two, in future I won't be mentioning any commercial or brand names. Suddenly I see why people use pseudonyms for corporations on their blogposts. I should have realized! >< *kicks self* In the end, I decided to comfort myself with a comment on "their post" (actually mine, which - *ahem* now neatly has a permalink [ ] to THEIR BLOG ) as the only means of communicating my annoyance. I may well be talking to myself, or the ether. But at least I've made my token objection. After I re-read and previewed my comment, I clicked the "post" button, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the message that I have copied and pasted below for your viewing pleasure. As for me, I'm now speechless.

This test is used to prevent automated robots from posting comments.


Anonymous said...

I've been foolishly relaxed about protecting my blog writing, insane I know as I hope someday to be paid for writing about gardening. I should know better, since at one point years ago I had a web page about making hypertufa, and posted some of my recipes which had names like the Sparkly, or the Smoothie, and some tv show broadcasted on HGTV totally lifted the entire content of my web page including even the names of the recipes and claimed it as their own. I was steamed.

But of course I did nothing about it. So, off now to investigate Copyscape. Thanks for the reminder to do so. I will certainly think twice about purchasing Fiskars brand tools in future.


Anonymous said...

We were sadened to read your comments. Our Fiskars blog is not an automated service, and we work hard to develop viral connections to garden enthusiasts and their gardens. We never attempt to copy, or take credit for others work - as we work to grow the intricate network of viral communications - as blogs are intended. We apologize if you are offended and have reposted your post with a direct link and clear abstract so there is no confusion about where this came from.

We would love to talk further about this - and our intention of our blog. Again, we apologize for any confusion this has caused. Please directly for further discussion. Brent (Fiskars) 800.400.4849.

PS - On a side note, we found it extremely difficult to comment on your blog, and also found it interesting that several attempts were unposted.

ilex said...

It was pretty darned nice of a rep from Fiskars to comment here. But... They found it difficult to comment on your blog? Really?

Please keep us up to date on this, Margo.