Monday, March 28, 2011

Do You Know Where Your Content Is? #edtech

If it's one thing that drives me crazy, it's people who will lift your work without giving you credit.  I do what I do because I am passionate about it.  I spend hours of my own time putting together this blog, working on projects like the soon to be revitalized Webtopia.tv and working diligently to put together engaging sessions for various conferences each year.  But in this day and age of copy, paste and aggregation tools it is becoming increasingly common to find work posted across the web without the original authors knowledge.  Now I'm all about Creative Commons and "giving" away a lot of great information - but it's rather infuriating when someone intentionally or unintentionally absconds with your work without proper acknowledgement. 
Recently, while browsing some writing tools, I came across a utility called Copyscape.  Simply type in your website address and Copyscape will scour the web looking for your content and is even smart enough to find it if someone has taken some of your work and intermingled it with their own.  They have paid services as well, if you think your information is valuable enough to have CopySentry continuously scan the internet for your work.  I was surprised to find some of my blog posts that had been aggregated onto another site with no mention that I was the author.  I have also run this test against some of the websites found in "The Braintrust" blog roll and found some of their work on pages not owned by them as well.  I bet Steve Dembo of Teach42.com would be suprised to see his work posted on a Greek Website: http://parentsfight.betterschool.net/?p=78764. Give it a shot with your own site and see what results you come up with at Copyscape.   And again, if you want to "borrow" a post at Zenodotus.net feel free - just be sure to let your audience know where it came from.  Wow, guess I got up on my soapbox just a bit during tonight's post, huh?
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