Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Your public blog is..well public..
Published on May 20, 2005 By Draginol In Internet

Last week I had my first really bad experience with the power of JoeUser's automated category syndication.  You see, when you write an article on JoeUser.com, the system will look at what category you filed it under and then syndicate it out to other sites on the Stardock.net system.  So if I write a blog on politics, it will show up on JoeUser.com.  Write a blog on skinning and it shows up on WinCustomize.com.  The system does work both ways where those sites feed into JoeUser.com as well.  But those sites have much more restricted choices for what category something can be filed.

Well, back in April I wrote a couple blogs on gaming.  The first one was about Will Wright's Spore and how I think his concept could be revolutionary because it puts the player in the role of the content creator.  If developers can find clever ways to make the player part of the content creation team, costs can be reduced, quality kept high, and players made happy. 

I reposted my blog on a semi-private forum I hang out on called Quarter To Three where many gaming professionals hang out.  On there, one respondent indicated he worked at a major game developer and strongly disagreed with my points.  I debated the issue on there but also wrote a follow-up blog on JoeUser.com that quoted his material and mentioned what game developer he worked for.  That blog, categorized as a PC gaming article, got syndicated to several sites such as GalCiv2.com, SocietyGame.com, and TotalGaming.net.  And then got featured on TotalGaming.net by a forum moderator (along with the original).

The guy who worked at the game developer was ticked off (to an extreme) that I would put his comments on a "corporate" website.  I think he thought I was trying to get him into trouble or something, I'm not quite sure as the profanity-laiden emails did not make the exact issue very clear to me what exactly the issue was. 

But what I did learn is something I should have already known -- blogs ain't private. Whether it's via a auto-syndication engine or a search engine, what you write publicly is -- well public.  It's is the blessing and curse of the blogsphere.  A blog someone might toss off in 15 minutes one Saturday afternoon could end up one day being quoted 2 years later on some major site. 

While the incident definitely was unpleasant for me, it was a good wakeup call too to be more aware that what I write might be taken very differently than intended and may get out there a lot further and wider than I had ever thought.


Comments
on May 20, 2005
Since I have a subscription at WC, I got a blog at JoeUser. Remembered it one night and went and played with it. When I submitted it, it said I now had 3 articles. I figured out 2, have no idea where the 3 was/is.

I read this post & it kinda dawned on me, I'm still old thought: what I write here stays here.

You're absolutetly right - public means no privacy. Still, there's a lot of us out there thinking: I'm here, I'm writing it here, and I'm putting it there. The truth continually escapes us that there in reality is out there for all to see.

Thanks for the slap in the back of the head (I need 'em once in a while).
on May 21, 2005

I had a number of quotes published in a popular weekly Computer Magazine. The whole thing was an enormous tongue in cheek wind-up. Unfortunately when you do a Google, it finds one of the articles, which, on its own, is totally out of context.

Whatever you say publicly there's no guarantee of control. Information is everywhere. When you write something the only thing to assume is your best friend and worst enemy will read it. Write with that in mind and you won't go far wrong.

on May 23, 2005
Oooh, scary, i never thought any thing would get published in different sites as well... Thanks for posting this Draginol.
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