We’ve all seen them, automated blogs produced from RSS feeds, made up entirely of posts ripped from their original blogs. Such sites generally exist solely for the purpose of generating Adsense revenue. Google must love them.
Sometimes these are real enough looking that we can be fooled into thinking we’re dealing with the actual author of the original blog post. We see a theme or idea we like and we want to discuss it with the author, but alas, we’re dealing with the parasite blog, not the original author’s real blog. I’m not talking about legitimate aggregation sites (that is to say those sites that actually have value) which generally make it clear they are aggregating content and reference the original author’s genuine blog post. These bot-blogs intentionally DO NOT reference the original source of the posts and try to appear as though they are the source of the post.
I have not seen any discussion into this issue. For me, it’s a pain and I think it greatly harms and devalues the blog movement. When I search blogs for topics using Google or Technorati for instance, a very high percentage of the search results are these fake bot blogs with no real value. Finding a genuine dialog and authors with expertise, or at least some kind of authority, on the topic can be a major hassle. Has anyone thought about protocols or conventions for citing blog posts? Perhaps we should start putting ‘Originally posted to permalink‘ into each blog post so when someone finds our post on a blog bot they can also find the original blog it came from.