Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Winetasting in South America, or how to raise Bearshapedsphere's ire, now with content scraping!

Pique is many things. In Spanish it's a type of shaft drilled in mining to put in elevators or cables. It's also a kind of flea, and irse en pique means to be on the brink of doing something.

None of which has anything to do with the (English) pique I'm experiencing right now, which if your SAT-studying is still fresh in your mind, you will recall that:

Pique: Anger

a. hungry: famished
b. sheep: wool
c. sad: happy
d. donald: duck

The correct answer here is a. I am not angry, per se, but I am piqued. And because you are all my dogged and loyal followers, I shall now explain to you why.

Remember this crazy formula:

(desire to write about topic X number of hours slept)/ (interestingness of blog - time of day) + how many cups of coffee drunk so far/ desire for exposure - 2x laziness quotient.

If that is equal to or greater than the total number of legs my friend's four cats have (hint, not 16) times my favorite number minus the number of times I've been called "preciosa" that day, then I will certainly write.
that I posted here where I talked about how to decide whether or not I would write a guest post for someone?

Well let me add one swooping overarching end run around the whole thing.

If you ever so much as dream of scraping my content, or stealing something I have written and posting it on your very popular travel website, or have done or are considering doing the same to any of the very vast number of truly talented and over worked and often underpaid people that make a living from writing about travel or anything else, well then, a guest post?

That is the sound of my jaw clattering to the ground. In the words of Mamaj, (who I called because who doesn't want to call their mother when someone wrongs them, on the playground, at school or on the internet)

"That's wrong."

So it is, Mamaj, so it is. The copied article has been deleted, with little more than an FYI, and this is where the arrow really started moving on the pique-o-meter.

In other, extremely-related news, I wrote this really nifty article on winetasting in South America and it's getting all kinds of traction and tweets and fun and go Bootsnsall because they rock, and also thanks to every other editor I've ever had, (even that creepy one that looked at nekkid lady pictures at work, because even though he was a perv, he was still a good editor) because they have taught and encouraged me, and even jumped to my defense when warranted (like today).

And if you'd like me to write a guest post, hey, who knows, I just might. But please. Play nice.

Mamaj would want you to.


The party of the first part has responded. I am mostly convinced that it was not entirely his fault, but since I develop, write and post my own content, it is difficult for me to understand exactly how the event in question came to pass. I think this is another sound-off (meta-talk, if you will) bubbling to the surface, about how making yourself a brand name with a big team in my mind takes you out of the running for "blogger" of the year, month, week, or time period of your choice. A blog is written by a human or a dedicated and equal-sharing group of humans (at least in my mind). Alas, the world may never know (just like with that tootsie roll pop question. Did anyone actually like those?)

I remain perplexed and not undisgruntled (bet you didn't know English could prefix-stack like that. Mine can). Thanks for sticking it through to the end. I wish I could give you a scooby snack. Or give me those hours of the day back.


Eileen said...

To follow up, I got a "mistakes were made" email. And the word apology was used. Pique-o-meter slipping inexorably back into the yellow, but still not completely quelled, if you were wondering. Also, my apartment is clean as a whistle and I think I'll drink some South American wine tonight to celebrate erm... something. The loss of a number of viable work-hours perhaps?

julie said...

Every once in a while, I remember to do some vanity Googling. You know, with a name like "Julie Schwietert" (believe it or not, there is another one), you've got to protect your rep. During my last vanity Googling session, I discovered a blog whose owner was scraping ALL of Matador's content. He'd essentially set up a feed of Matador articles and made the articles look like his own. We sent a polite "cease and desist" letter. We've had dozens of instances where people have scraped all or parts of numerous articles and finally decided we can't spend hours on end tracking these bozos down.

I have a friend who's a famous photographer in Cuba and I mentioned to him that a certain gallery in New York carried his photos. He told me he'd never agreed to have them represent him, so they shouldn't sell any of his work. But when I asked him what he was going to do about it, he said "Nothing. If I invested my time in chasing down all the people who sell my work without my knowledge or consent, I wouldn't have time for my art. And at the end of the day, that's what's most important to me."

God, I wish these people would get a life and a conscience. But I agree with my friend-- what I get up for in the morning, besides the people I love and a sunny day--is to write, to read, and to play with words... not to hunt down unethical losers and shake my fist at them.

Annje said...

That's terrible! I have never understood that need to cheat. I hope the wine did its job and your ire has passed.

Eileen said...

thanks to everyone who has commented to me here, there and everywhere. I think Julie really put it into perspective for me, for which I am very grateful. You have to do what you do, and do it well. If other people misstep or offend, it's on them. If it doesn't "cost" too much to tell them to get bent, then do that. If it's going to take you away from what you love, forget it. It's not worth it.

And now I'll just move on do what I do. And with any luck, do it well.

Sara said...

I'm loving your formula with the precious factor. Can that be squared by chance?

Sara said...

And (this should have been in the previous comment) sorry about the content scrapping. I think i told you about how that University was using my picture in their advertisements and then acted all innocent when I got angry.I think they figured that since I was a foreigner and had most likely left the country they didn't have to track me down and ask my permission or offer to pay me. Some people are always looking for an easy way out of things.

marissa said...

Uh, yikes...THAT SUCKS.

I've never had that happen to me (knock on madera), but I have been duped into applying for a "writing job" on Craigslist where I had to send in three sample articles and the site jacked all of them without telling me and, more importantly, paying me. I hate people sometimes :\