Some of you may recall several months back some discussion about the website Buddharocks. Specifically, that said website was poaching content from other Buddhist blogs, including this one, without proper acknowledgement. Well, I received the following comment today.
I am the designer who volunteered to put up the BuddhaRocks.org portal, and I discover this 'complain' only today.
I wonder why none of you bother to contact Buddharocks.org instead of making wild, actually, almost malicious accusations against the portal all over the Internet ?
In my humble opinion, I think what you're doing isn't very Buddhist, let alone Zennist or morally admirable ...
Let me tell you why ?
The domain Buddharocks.org was idling and it was me who asked the onwer, Anna why wouldn't she make use of it to do something meaningful ? She says she would like to but she neither has the time nor the expertise to do much. So, I convinced her to let me sync in related information and I thought I might as well hang couple of ad banners at the same time, hoping to generate something for charitiable causes. Sorry to disappoint those who are jealous over this particular aspect, there is no money in what we do. Not at BuddhaRocks. We generated a few pennies and that is all and yes, Adsense has terminated our account citing complaints from ... (you should know who).
Obviously, I didn't know there are enlightenmnet seekers who actually aren't even willing share spiritual information with the masses !
You may ask why didn't I contact you prior to doing anything ?
First, by offering RSS feeds, you have implied you'd like to share (after all, you have full control over the feeds).
Second, it's an impossible task for me to liase with all those involved (there are hundreds of you and I am working all alone, I wish I have the time).
Third, you can always contact Buddharocks.org should you have any issue. Their contact is clearly printed at the site, something A thief will never do.
Fourth, we don't see aggregrating something from the Internet to share publicly as anything wrong. But we now realise there are one or two people who don't see it that way ... We got the message now,
Except one or two gentlemen who have contacted us with no problem whatsoever, none of those who are not willing to share even bother to contact us. Instead, they go around spreading hate messages and or malicious accusations eg. http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger/thread?tid=4076bdc41dacf3c1&hl=en ... who not only complained at her own blog, but also at other blogs, forum etc.
Is her action justifiable or make any sense, let alone Zennist ?
By the way, I have recently revamped the portal. All old contents have been purged, so for the selfish ones, fret not. Your precious blogs have been cremated.
If you have any idea what can I possibly do to help you and the community at large, please feel free to drop me a note (email to BuddhaRocks, they will forward to me). I am just trying to add something philanthropic to my resume.
Trust all is well now.
I have to say that I find some of Ted's comments rather obnoxious. Accusing writers who simply wanted their blog posts acknowledged and sourced as "selfish" is a silly guilt trip. Furthermore, accusations that those of us who were concerned about the use of our content are "not very Buddhist" is absolutely laughable. Seriously, I'm still laughing as I write this.
Here's the thing: I can see how all of this may have been a misunderstanding. The old Buddharocks layout looked like something done by a person who didn't have much tech savvy, and perhaps couldn't figure out how to properly link and/or cite blog posts.
Since I kind of figured this might be a possibility, after leaving three or four comments asking for proper citation on my posts over at Buddharocks, I clipped the feed, and basically forgot about it all. That was a good 6 or 7 months ago.
Anyway, I'd like to say to Ted, or anyone putting together large, collective blogs to respect the writers whose content you wish to feature. We spend numerous hours producing the work, and the vast majority of us already are offering it for free on our blogs. It's not out of line to ask for a simple link or citation; in fact, I'd argue that it's the only ethical thing to do.