1/31/12

Aggregation Gone Too Far: Calling Out BoingBoing and Those Like Them

Aggregation is an awesome and powerful tool, it takes the best of everything for a particular audience, and puts it all into one place. Other than hyper links, it is what makes the internet work. In many cases it's great for everyone, helping media consumers to connect with excellent content while helping media creators connect with an audience.

However in other cases, aggregation turns from societal good into outright theft. In the following example author Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing pulls all the useful and interesting information straight from the article, re-words a few items, and posts it on BoingBoing leaving a link at the bottom.

Normally this wouldn't bother me enough to write about it, but this particular aggregation has commited several atrocities.

1.  BoingBoing has crafted the post in a way that makes a reader assume there is no value in clicking through, the majority of interesting details are on the boingo page.

2. The original post has citations which account for the validity of the post , which many commenters on boingo doubt.

3. The original post is on a webpage with a single ad, where as the boingo post is littered with crap.

4. The re-post has created no new value.

This kind of mindless re-posting of valuable content is a blight on content creation everywhere and in my opinion amounts to outright theft. As a community of readers, writers, and people who enjoy the internet we need to call out this kind of behavior, and attempt to put an end to it. Also if you end up reading one these types of articles click through to the source, it helps them a ton.

Please review both Articles and let me know if you feel any different,

http://boingboing.net/2012/01/31/letter-from-ex-slave-to-ex-mas.html

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/01/to-my-old-master.html

Update: Business Insider also published an aggregate of this same article but said "We found this amazing letter from an emancipated slave to his former master at Project Gutenberg, via LettersofNote.com".   They went on to post the entire letter. So they essentially took all of the credit and gave the minimum amount of citation.

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3 Response to Aggregation Gone Too Far: Calling Out BoingBoing and Those Like Them

Anonymous
January 31, 2012 at 10:47 AM

The site you're complaining about is called BoingBoing, not Boingo.

January 31, 2012 at 10:51 AM

No idea what you're talking about. :)

Anonymous
January 31, 2012 at 11:08 AM

The first one is much better with more info you are right

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