Plagiarism and Aggregation

May 24, 2006 at 8:24 am 2 comments

This site and the posted content seem to fall squarely within the sights of this article about "The New Plagiarism" otherwise known as blogging.

I tend to think of this site as a source of aggregate information.  While reading books on a variety of topics, I take personal notes.  These notes are more useful to me online, searchable and accessible from anywhere.  These notes are often direct and complete quotes from the source.  I tend to find common threads between articles and books I've read, and this network of information is useful to me.

These links might be useful to others as well.  Someone happening upon comments from "Anarchist in the Library" may notice connections to "The Meaning of Everything" and this might prove useful or interesting or serendipitous in some way. 

The argument could go either way, but I tend to aim for 'human aggregator.'

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Entry filed under: feed my pet brain.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jonathan Bailey  |  May 24, 2006 at 1:08 pm

    First off, thank you for your interest in the article.

    I wanted to make it clear though I do not think all, most or even a lot of blogging is plagiarism. That article was targeted at a very, very small subset of blogs, one I don’t include yours in.

    My main target for this speech was sites that quote so much content that users have no motivation to visit the original sources. I don’t see this as actual plagiarism, which I tried to explain in the clarification.

    Regardless, I’m sorry that the article was misinterpreted. That’s my fault for not being clear. A lot of people have taken it personally that have no need to.

    Reply
  • 2. futhermet  |  May 25, 2006 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for your comments,

    Your article, though, brought up things I’ve been thinking about. I quote content, taken directly from books. I “meticulously credit [my] sources.” My site is largely “quoted content.” But I tend to wonder if authors would be uncomfortable with some of their best lines quoted here.

    With regard to the proposed framework:
    1. The amount of reused content vs. original content.
    Here, say 90:10.

    2. The amount of reused content in relation to the original work.
    Now that’s minimal, say 5% at most from a given book.

    3. The frequency with which large blocks of text are used.
    Not so large, but lot’s of quotes.

    4. What is gained by the original author.
    I’d like to think customers for their book, acknowledgement of their work…but mostly nada.

    5. Whether permission was granted in advance, either through a CC license or direct permission.
    No requests made.

    6. Whether attribution was provided or not.
    Yes, through hyperlinks to Amazon and links to author blogs mostly.

    7. Other indications as to the intent of the one reusing the work, including excessive advertisements, links to one’s own sites and other forms of profiteering or over the top promotion.
    Not here, but where does Adsense fit in?

    The notes I take remind me of useful points from the book; things to apply. The relationships between books might point like-minded folks to books they haven’t come across yet. These relationships might expand the individual concepts in new ways. Sort of a non-zero-sum-greater-than-its-parts-shoulders-of-giants thing.

    I wonder if the framework might expand to include another point – the degree to which the aggregate content provides a filtered (in an information overload sense) view of the topic. Does the site provide an expert’s, or amateur’s (which can be equally useful), view of the important resources? Here, blogs are the tool of ‘the mentat’ in Herbert’s (Dune) and Hunter’s (World Without Secrets) worlds.

    Reply

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