I’ve been watching a site for a while now that both intrigues and concerns me – again because it is using the content of a blogs for its own personal gain – without asking permission from the publishers concerned. I’ve been wondering how to respond to this site and am yet to go to them directly to raise my concerns and would like your opinion here first.
The site is Gadgets99. They promote themselves as a source for gadget news and are basically a site that tracks a collection of technology blogs via their RSS feeds. They collate these feeds by category and by blog. It is a handy service I’ll admit (hence it intriguing me), however it does concern me also as the site is of a commercial nature and is using the content of bloggers to generate an income without their permission.
The page dedicated to my blog is here. Now to be honest my feelings about being featured on this site are mixed – they obviously recognize that the site is full of useful information and they do acknowledge my site as their source and even give some links back to it (unlike others that I’ve seen who try to pass off stolen content as their own).
Actually if the summary page was where their service stopped I’d probably be pretty find with it – there are no ads on it and it is professionally produced. However they don’t stop here.
Instead around half of the links on the summary page link to my site but the other half have further pages for each post like this one which gives a short extract from my post and then a link to it – however the link is not prominent and is under some ads from Adsense.
The other concern that I have is that they have an RSS feed for my RSS feed. Huh? Check out their RSS feed page which lists the RSS feeds of 14 blogs. Well you’d think they were the site’s RSS feeds – but not they are actually Gadgets99 RSS feeds that link back to pages like this one again complete with ads and a small link back to their site.
As I said – I’m not completely opposed to the idea – to be honest I’m still getting my head around it. They are not stealing large quantities of content with no acknowledgment of source. They are providing some links back to my site. They are only using extracts. However they are using an approach that I worry about a little about and am seeing more and more sites using.
Where are the appropriate boundaries for using other people’s RSS feeds or content? How would you feel if they were using your RSS feed?