Blackbird Pie, Tasty!

It seems the “Powers That Be” at have decided to grant us the ability to use Twitter’s Blackbird Pie feature in our blogs.  It’s a pretty simple process, you simply put the URL to the Tweet you want to display on a separate line and then POOF! the tweet just magically appears, formatted the same way you see it on the Twitter site.  it even grabs the background.

Here is an example!/wordpressdotcom/status/600049276948480

One tip you WON”T see unless you dig into the comments on that WordPress post:  YOu MUST make sure the link is plain text.  Wordpress and your Browser may try to “help” you by making the pasted http a link to the page.  If that happens, you have to remove the link so sees it as a Twitter link to make into pie…Mmmm…Pie…….

Sorry,I was lost in thought for a second 🙂

I wonder what OTHER goodies the “PTB” have for us down the road?

When the Internet Attacks!

Control copyright icon

Image via Wikipedia

Let’s say that you are the publisher of a free cooking magazine with recipes and pictures.  Let’s also suppose that you’re looking for fresh new talent or articles, for you magazine.

Do you:
A)  Scan the blogosphere for young writers that fit your style and offer them placement in your magazine?
B)  Scan published magazines and websites looking for new articles and then ask for permission to republish?
C)  License content from reputable sources? OR
D)  Simply copy articles and information from published, copy-write protected web sites and reprint them without permission?

If you are Cooks Source Magazine, (don’t bother with that link, it’s currently toasted, try the Facebook page here until it too is gone.) you obviously choose D, but take care, for in that way direction you only find pain and destruction, as you will see in a moment.

Monica Gaudio published a story last evening that came to me through several news sites today, almost all at once. (A few are linked at the bottom of this post)  The story, to quickly summarize, starts with a post Monica did on a web site in 2005 on old English tart recipes.  It was written, posted and she moved on from there.  Although her post doesn’t state it, I dare say she may even have forgotten the post over time.  Imagine her surprise then, when a friend called her to congratulate her being published in Cooks Source Magazine.  When Monica researched it, sure enough, it was her article published without her permission.  Doing a little “Google-fu”, Monica found the contact information for the magazine, contacted them, and informed them of the obvious mistake.  When asked what she “wanted”, Monica states that she requested

I wanted an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism.

To a novice like myself, I would say that was almost like giving them a slap on the wrist, but, I am evidently not as forgiving as Monica.  If the publisher, Judith Griggs, had done as requested, I doubt any of us would even be hearing about this whole escapade.  However, Ms. Griggs responded in a most peculiar way.  Below is a quote from the email.

“Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was “my bad” indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.
But honestly Monica, the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me… ALWAYS for free!”

Well…There just aren’t words…

The idea that anything on the internet is “public domain” is silly at best, more likely criminal at worst.  While copy-write law is clear that a list of ingredients is not protected, that is not what happened here.  This “magazine” lifted the whole article and had the audacity to claim that the editor should have been compensated for her “advice” and providing an article that would look good in a portfolio.

I am not going to rant on about this,even though there is a mountain of stupidity in Ms Griggs thought pattern, because that is not the most interesting part of the story.

Monica did what anyone engaged in blogging or social media would do – She posted about it Then a few others saw and passed the story on to their friends, who posted links on Twitter to the Facebook page where thousand of people are venting their “dislike” of the magazine.  This item has become a trending topic on Twitter. The Facebook page is getting updates so fast you have to go back several pages to find anything older than an hour ago.  Authors such as Neil Gaiman!/neilhimself/status/29694195618

and John Scalzi!/scalzi/status/29672448399

have tweeted their disgust with the magazine, and of course, someone setup the fake twitter account CooksSource just to keep the meme alive (It has since vanished).  This has even made the “main stream” news sites such as the Guardian and the Washington Post (see the block of links below)  It seems this has become that proverbial “Tempest in a Teapot” that threatens to spill out even further.  According to posts on the Cooks Source Facebook page, people have found that the magazine has even lifted articles and information from Paula Dean and the Food Network, Martha Stewart, and even more are being uncovered as the   situation develops.  Check out this Twitter Search for more “goodies” as the story continues to develop.

***Update:  For an in depth look at this story as well as evidence of other alleged acts of plagiarism, go to Edward Champion’s post here.***

Needless to say, this has turned into quite a mess for Cooks Source Magazine and its now famous editor.  Some advertisers who have been contacted have even called the magazine to cancel their relationship.  It has definitely been a long day for Ms Griggs at this point and I dare say that $130 donation sounds much better in hindsight.

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Social Media Overload?

Social Overload

Hi, My name is Andy, and I am a Social Site Addict.

If there is a new site, chances are I am on it or will be shortly.  From Twitter, to Pownce, from Jaiku to Plurk, From Rejaw to Delicious, if it is out there I will find it, join it, use it for 15 minutes and probably move on to another.  I have accounts for sites I have visited once or twice (Newsvine for example) and others I visit semi-regularly (Plurk is good example there) and others I watch all the time, but can’t keep straight (definitely Twitter for that one.)  When you consider all of these sites along with LinkedIn, MySpace, Orkut, Facebook, Ning (a social network for social networks), Hi5, etc, I really think I may need help sorting them all out. If you are brave, click on the link to the retaggr site and expand my profiles line, and that isn’t even all of them.  I have so many sites I would go crazy if I didn’t have 1Password to help me keep the passwords/IDs straight.  To make it even more confusing, I have some sites updating others and some sites only accepting updates from others, and MOST sites, i update from without even visiting the site (which is counter to the original purpose of those sites being social in the first place.) I know I am not alone in this as I see dazed people all of the time, floating from Twitter to FriendFeed, to Pownce, et al. 

All of this social exposure has lead me to stop and contemplate for a few moments on the state of social sites on the Net these days. I am beginning to wonder just how many really SHOULD be in the “must join” list, and which sites I should kick to the curb as a “social reject”?  I think we are so “engaged” we have stretched ourselves socially thin.  I also believe we need to really evaluate where we have joined and where we should join to determine if we will get what we need from the site, or if we should ignore that new shiny invite waiting in our inbox.

Since I am already a junkie with more site memberships that should be legally allowed, I have decided to “take one for the team.”  Over the next few weeks, I will start reviewing the social sites I am a member of currently as well as new ones I come across in my travels on the Wonderfully Weird Web.  I am adding a page on this site containing all of the Links as I review them along with my label of either “Social Must” or “Social Reject”  I also welcome your comments on my reviews as well as suggestions for more sites to review as we go along.  Share your thoughts with me and we will see if we can’t help those poor souls coming after us to avoid the social addiction we have committed ourselves to for the foreseeable future.