Apologies — I was an Over Zealous Blog Fan :-(

I’m finding it hard to post this apology, but its got to be done.


Recap

In October I packed in my year old Bloglines clipping blog which I was using to aggregate news for friends and co-workers. It was working well, but it appeared that I could do better. I moved to WordPress and I purchased NetNewsWire & Mars Edit to complete the package. It has been great because it allows me to follow many more blogs, I can clip much better ( I could easily add full posts in Extended field with all attributions included … I could be very clear about where the material came from), post my own stuff, and with the stats I could get a feel for what is read.

But then it became apparent that I’d crossed the line of being a blog fan to blog pain in the !@#.

Last weekend, just before I left for my meditation retreat, Om Malik surprised me with the following post. “Full Reprints Bother Me“. I found it via the WordPress stats included with my blog. There were lots of people coming from Om’s site to mine … for all the wrong reasons. I posted comments, apologies, and my proposed actions on his site last saturday. Om, and others, voiced some good points for others clipping, or linking, and it appears that the misunderstanding was closed.

Upon my return yesterday I’ve found one other post on this topic. Re-posted content, is it an issue?

Going Forward

I will not be posting full reprints anymore. It is clear that I was riding a fine line between spammer and super-fan. My purpose is to be “the super-fan”, and like many “super-fans” I got over-zealous.

I really like the sites that I’ve been clipping from, and want them to do well. They sure beat reading regular news. What I missed is that many of these guys have put “their skin in the game”. To help them to thrive & survive I’ve got to drive all traffic I can to them. My readership may be puny, but there should be no doubt about whether I’m helping, or hurting them. I’ve got to be helping. Period. In this way they’ll be able to continue to post great stuff.

Who am I? One other thing that contributed to the misunderstanding was that I wasn’t explicit about who I am. I had stated explicitly what I was doing in my “about” field and included my full name to allow people to Google me if they wanted to know more about me. I had thought that this was enough, because a quick Google of my name is easy to do and reveals much. Also, I’m not comfortable posting personal information on the public Internet. ( even though I’ve been using the Internet for almost 20 years ( got my first Internet e-mail address in ’89 & learned to browse on Mosaic ) I still find it hard to put personal information on the public Internet.)

The quick Google of “Iain Verigin” will tell you that I haven’t done much from 2001 to-date. You’ll find that I’m an early employee of what eventually became PMC-Sierra ( started in ’89), did a brief stint at GigE start-up Packet Engines (’97-98 ), returned to PMC in mid ’98, made a few donations during the “glory” years, and then lots of blog stuff. Wrt specialisations, you’ll see McGill Physics, UBC Eng Phys (EE), SFU MEng; and that I did lots of standards work in a technical marketing capacity – ATM Forum, GigE, 10GigE, OIF (SPI 3 and SPI 4.2), & IETF RFC 2615 “Packet-Over-Sonet”.

Filling in some blanks … I have not done much from 2001 to-date because I got really sick in late-2000 and am still recovering. Major bummer, but I don’t like to dwell on it, it already takes up too much of my time. One of the few things work-related things that I can do is read for a few hours a day. I work micro-part-time and have no explicit duties. I’m either a sage, dinosaur, or combination of both. I spend my limited work time reading reports, blogs, mentoring a few people, a couple scheduled chats a month w/ colleagues in coffee shops, maintain a research related Wiki site, and I rarely go the office (it is too difficult). (This probably too much info. C’est la vie.)

This Blog I think that good blogs are “diamonds in the rough”, and need to be continuously identified, and talked about. I think that Delicious and other tagging methods are useful, but I find the best stuff by reading other peoples blogs. I get to learn, and get a feel for, what they are reading & thinking. Using a music analogy, my views on blogging are similar to my view on music recommendation services like Pandora and Last.FM. In that debate I side with Last.FM. I like to look at my neighbours accounts to see what they are actually listening too. Pandora is immediate & fun, but Last.FM is so much better. The only drawback to Last.FM is that it requires time and effort.

This means that I’m going to continue to model my blog on Fred Wilson’s fantastic A VC blog, and attempt to provide my friends with a Last.FM-style blog friend.

On a serious note, this is a personal blog and does not in any way reflect the views of my benevolent employer (PMC-Sierra) who happens to have supported me in my “endless” recovery period.

Closing

Blogging is a re-mix beast and it is fast & loose with “rules”. Like re-mix music — samples are cool, but full copies aren’t. ( no matter how much attribution comes with it … I got that now ).

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4 Responses to Apologies — I was an Over Zealous Blog Fan :-(

  1. Om Malik says:

    hey iain,

    thanks for being so spot on with your assessment. i appreciate your candor and straight talk. hope we will continue to read each other.

  2. Iain Verigin says:

    * Thanks for following up. … wasn’t exactly a “fun” experience for me. More like a “learning” experience. C’est la vie.
    * As for continuing to read your blog. I’m a big fan. Been an avid follower since I read your book a few years back. Recently, I loved the text/blackberry compiled iPhone post.

  3. Florian says:

    Hi,
    I found your blog via google by accident and have to admit that youve a really interesting blog 🙂
    Just saved your feed in my reader, have a nice day 🙂

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