There’s always something to howl about

One for the Authors…

One of the things I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving are the people who code, write, and give form to the internet. I am a huge defender of intellectual property rights as well as compensating those with links who author, post, and code on sites around the web.

I am honored to be able to write here and be one of the dawgs. I still feel intimidated by some of the great folks I get to write with here. I am well compensated for my efforts both with an audience and a place on the right hand of Odysseus’s blog with a link. With that in mind, please know that what I am about to say is out of respect for your generosity, Greg.

I am not a nameless faceless content generator. I am an author. I could not ask for more freedom and respect than Greg offers to us. Thank you, sir.

I am seeing three trends that are violating my respect of authors and creators in the real estate space and I want to get them off of my chest. Thanks for your patience while I do.

Ugly Trend #1: De-emphasizing of Authors on Group Blogs.

If you author a post on a blog that I have anything to say about, you will receive credit and links for your efforts. Simple as that. The current trend of consciously shifting the focus onto the domain and away from authors is offensive to me. Enough said. I got upset when Trulia no followed links to sites that gave them content (err..listings) and said something. Taking author links away from those who write is no different than no following them and I feel the need to be consistent. Good enough to hire, not good enough to marry? No thanks.

Ugly Trend #2: Content Stealing via RSS Feed

My buddy Kevin Koitz just guest posted on my Search blog about WordPressDirect and the increased ease of splog creation and the fact that it takes authenticity away from a blog / site. My antidote on WP blogs? This plugin or the one that is in Cheryl’s comment in the post link below. Load it and love it. Load some of his other good plugins. Now that I have added the footer, anybody want to syndicate my content? Knock yourself out.

Using RSS feeds to syndicate (as Greg posted) can be a VERY useful technique and a good thing. It also can equate to theft if you use it to steal content from others. All depends how it is used. Again. No link? No love. Write your own damn content if you think mine is worthless.

Ugly Trend #3: Website copying.

This is not as new, but has been on the rise lately. A friend in Atlanta just got a bunch of his site copied/pasted by three different people. One of copiers was a major real estate blogger who should have KNOWN better. (and does…) Folks, the people who write unique custom sites OWN the rights to their work. Just because you CAN right click on it, does NOT make it shareware.

The people who write code are AUTHORS as well. Their work has copyrights. Please respect them. (Or run the risk of getting a letter from a lawyer and some unwanted exposure online for taking others content…your call.)

Now that all of that has been said…I’d like to thank the folks who read, comment on, tweet about, and in general raise the level of conversation on the real estate piece of the web.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and my best to each and all.


6 Comments so far

  1. J Boyer South Orange NJ November 27th, 2008 7:53 am

    Thanks for posting this Eric, I am going to have to check out the pluggin as I am getting sploged almost every post as of late.

  2. Mitch Ribak November 27th, 2008 10:02 pm

    Hey Eric! We check our traffic from all our links and have found a few Agents and Brokers stealing our content, in fact, they frame our site in there site and throw a registration form in front of it. I’ve gone after them each time and it is usually down within an hour or two. I spend a lot of time developing my sites, I don’t appreciate it when someone tries to steal my hard work! Of course these are the same Agents who most likely have bigger ethical issues. Thanks for the post!

  3. Brad Coy November 30th, 2008 3:10 am

    >Ugly Trend #1: De-emphasizing of Authors on Group Blogs.

    This one I’m not understanding at all. I have some friends that this happened to that are very upset. What gives?

    As for the other 2, I don’t know enough. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Greg Swann November 30th, 2008 7:40 am

    >> Ugly Trend #1: De-emphasizing of Authors on Group Blogs.

    > I have some friends that this happened to that are very upset.

    You might suggest they come to where the freedom is. No chains, no fences, and you saw this weekend what we can do around a virtual dining room table.

  5. Eric Blackwell December 1st, 2008 9:56 am


    I was referring to 2 types of blogs in Trend #1. Yes, this type of blog where contributors post great only seems fair to credit them with some linkage. I was not really being specific as to one blog either…it has been a trend that I have seen recently that I think stemming from some incorrect SEO advice.

    thoguht: how much spam have you seen in “great” and “me too” comments vs blogrolls?

    And before people fire up on me for saying that (grin) bear this in mind. 1) Yes, some people thought this past year that Google was gonna throw the sidebar out to defeat paid sitewide links. (incorrect assessment IMO) 2) People think that having a blogroll of LEGITIMATE friends who are working with you to build up a blog is a bad thing.

    Google is BUILT upon websites linking to each other APPROPRIATELY and for the RIGHT reasons. Hence the reason that one should read the TOS and abide by it.

    Answer: That is why you ONLY put people with LEGITIMATE relationships to you on your blogroll and you don’t put 125×125 paid pixels with followed outbound links there. AND

    That is also why you get your SEO advice from someone who actually tests things rather that parrots what everyone else says. IMHO, of course.

    The second type of blog / site is the AR type of thing where they don’t want to moderate spam effectively, so they just have everybody go for thousands of “points” while only providing a link back on the profile page — or maybe a few pages. There is some good stuff on AR whose authors are getting near ZERO credit for it. That’s frustrating and is why I encourage people to do self hosted blogs.

    My main point was a) have a high standard of who authors on your blog and b) compensate them fairly.

  6. Brad Coy December 3rd, 2008 12:59 am


    It’s rare that give any unsolicited advice to friends. Should I be asked, I will give that suggestion, as it’s a great one.


    Thanks again for the continuing education on a topic I know very little about. I look at all of this from the eyes of a reader and the end-user most times. The whole back-end, content creator, publisher side of it is brand new to me.