Ethics of linkblogging and sharing what I know

by oneafrikan on March 22, 2005

There’s been a lot of talk lately on the blogosphere regards the “ethics” of linkblogging – Robert Scoble probably has the most widely known implementation of it, where he posts everything he finds interesting to his linkblog.  Some people talk about the ownership of content and why we shouldn’t post someone else’s content to our own site, while others talk about the benefits of sharing, collaboration and just plain getting hits to our websites through more links to them.

For me this is a complex issue, because while I realise that some sites have a business model behind their content and I respect that, other sites don’t.  But for the most part, each site owner “claims” copyright for the content on their site.  It’s kinda like a double edged sword, ‘cos no-one likes to piss anyone off, but at the same time everyone wants their content to be read.

My take on it revolves around where I am right now as a person.
I read a lot, fast, and more than your average Joe, on pretty much everything I can get my hands on.  Kinda like a sponge.
I’m a pretty fast typer. 
I am passionate about learning.  I’m also passionate about being up to date with what’s going on.
I’m largely self taught when it comes to tech.
I have a fast server that I pay for monthly and more importantly I have good infrastructure – laptop, WordPress, Newsgator, Technorati, PubSub, Feedster etc etc, which allows me to pick and choose what my inputs and outputs are, in a logical, structured way.
I’m probably about 70% of the way to being as productive and efficient as I’d like to be – thanks to David Allen and GTD.  In, Process, Out.
I am even more passionate about sharing what I know and have learnt, and this is largely from having learnt everything I know from someone who was willing to impart their knowledge to me.

Bottom line is, I want to share, and I want to share everything I can – but I won’t do that if it causes too much pain for me.  I want a balanced life.  I don’t want to spend 18 hours a day in front of the PC.  So the question to you is, how do I balance my deepfelt desire to share, with my inherent personal and technological limitations?

In answering that, I’m going to say this:
You’re at my site already – something must interest you else you wouldn’t be here.  Since my site is really just an extension of who and what I am, as well as what I’m interested in, then surely you would want to gain access to whatever information I’m interested in? 

If you’re a site owner with a feed, do you really expect me to sit and type up “Here’s a cool site with cool content” every time I see something that catches my eye on your site (that’s what blogmarks are for – in a year, if your content is good, I may end up with multiple links that are the same, which are then redundant).  Fact is, I already do, when I’m in the browser.  But. I also spend most of my day in Outlook, and when I choose to, I view people’s content using their feeds, so why should I jump through the extra hoop of going to the browser to add something to my site for you and others to read?

So, I’ve found a way to share that isn’t as painful as it could be.
  1. I’m going to share non-commercial content, buy leveraging technology to make it easy for me to do so.
  2. I’m not going to share your content if you ask me not to.
  3. I’m not going to share stuff that I don’t find interesting.
  4. I reserve the right to change my opinions as I grow and develop.

One comment

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by linkblog » Blog Archive » Ethics of linkblogging on March 23, 2005 at 5:11 am. Reply #

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