Friday, January 04, 2008

Not Getting the Whole Blogging Concept

Some people just do not get the concept -- in this case, the concept of blogging.

When you write a blog, you either link to a web site you have visited (blog = web log, remember) and you comment on it. Even a Glenn Reynolds-ish "Heh" counts as a comment.

Or you write what amounts to an online diary entry. Those are the two main types of blogging.

But lately, thanks to Google Alerts, I noticed that some Pagan bloggers think that cutting and pasting Wikipedia entries counts as blogging. Examples: 1, 2, 3, 4. There are probably more.

If you cannot link-and-comment, or write about your day (or night), then there is always the Japanese option: Tell what you ate for lunch.


Meanwhile, read Doug Cowan's Cyberhenge: Modern Pagans on the Internet for a broader perspective than I can offer in a blog.

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Blogger Al said...

They could be spam blogs, not real at all.

11:57 PM  
Blogger Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

Ouch. Too much like what some of my kids think it means to "write" a paper for my comfort.

Cut and paste mentality is on the rise, I fear...

(OK, I'm a snob, I know.)

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Chas S. Clifton said...

I have seen spam blogs, but they seemed more . . . random. Like Cat, I tend to suspect laziness -- someone thinks that having a blog would be cool, but does not really want to do the work of, y'know, writing.

Cowan's book says a lot about the prevalence of "shovelware" on Pagan web sites -- giving the appearance of expertise by just cutting and pasting material from other sites onto your own.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Peg said...

In the early days of Witchvox people were constantly cutting and pasting our articles, images and code and not even attributing authorship to them! Once Fritz wrote a fairly scathing piece on "givers, takers and the pagan web" the practice began to abate somewhat...

I wonder if the pagan community's tendency towards mediocrity is related to its tendency to steal/plagiarize? I mean, look at Llewellyn's books. They are in most cases the epitome of mediocre writing and content. These books almost never contain bibliograpies, let alone footnotes. Some of their most popular "authors" simply regurgutate their own previous book in new titles.

If you think about it, this is also what characterizes our rituals and "traditions." I can't tell you how many times I have seen someone jealously guard some "secret" (whether a ritual text, recipe, magical technique, spell, what have you) only to find out thsi was something they stole from someone/somewhere else...

Is it really all down to the naive lie that made the rouhds for years, borne of extreme arrogance and/or low self-esteem, "I was initiated by my Celtic grandmother"???

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Chas S. Clifton said...

Unfortunately, although Google still lists that article, its status is "404" at The Witches' Voice, or I would link to it.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Peg said...

That is too bad. I wonder why that is?
So many new aticles every week at the 'Vox...the old classics get lost in the shuffle (she said with a nostalgic gleam in her eye). I will ask what happened to that one if I can find a working email for Fritz; I sent him a new article via email and it bounced...

8:28 AM  
Blogger Indra said...

It is appalling but nothing new, except, perhaps, that it is Wikipedia being plagiarized rather than Scott Cunningham and Silver RavenWolf.

I think Rant: Theft on the Pagan Web is the article you are looking for.

This is my first comment. though I have been reading your blog for about a year now. I enjoy your writing a great deal.


1:06 PM  
Anonymous Chas S. Clifton said...

Thanks, Indra. Whether that is the same essay with a new title, or whether it is a revision, it makes all the right points.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Peg said...

yay, glad it was found! and I got an email back from Fritz. All is right in the universe, except for the headlines about witchcraft-related murder and satanic arsonists...

10:10 AM  
Anonymous James French said...

A couple of those look like the same person doing multiple blogs. That's probably worse, really.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Patti Wigington said...

One of the things I notice is my content frequently popping up on people's MySpace pages, complete with photos that I've licensed from Getty Images. I typically send them a note saying, "Uh, hey, that's not yours, but you're more than welcome to link back to my original url."

I'd say 9 out of 10 blogthieves simply don't have a clue that what they're doing is theft.


7:12 AM  

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