Friday, August 24, 2007


Coyote at Tentonhammer has written a long rant about MMOWTF, saying "But on the darker side of the force, you have people who abuse this system. They list the content as their own, posting not a link to your article, journal, blog, or even pictures - but the actual content itself. This means that you lose hits, and if you aren’t accredited as the writer in the feed - you lose credit for stuff." Now the funny thing is that I saw this rant on MMOWTF, because that is my favorite MMO blog newsreader. And I wouldn't have seen it on his blog, because it's not one I regularly read. The advantage of MMOWTF over lets say Google Reader is that I don't need to select the feeds myself. Whoever created that site did a nice job of collecting feeds from various MMO blogs and automatically copying the feed onto their site. And yeah, my blog is there too, and I don't mind.

I don't mind because Coyote isn't telling you the truth. MMOWTF *does* in fact link to my and his blog articles. In fact they have a link to the article in question, to the main site of the blog, and to the RSS feed, what more could one ask for? They also have a quite clearly labeled "Posted by Tobold's MMORPG Blog" line on top of it, so I really can't complain of them "listing my content as their own". I know there are other sites that do that, but this isn't one of them.

Coyote is right that you "lose hits" when people read your content there and don't click on the link to your article. But you also lose those hits if you don't have something like Feedburner installed and somebody is reading your blog as a newsfeed. If that really irks you, you can set up your feed to only show the first paragraph of whatever you write, and force people to come to your blog to read the rest. I did that for some time, until several of my readers told me they preferred the convenience of a full feed, and Feedburner enabled me to count them (I have about 780 feed subscribers, apparently). But, as Feedburner says "FeedBurner’s subscriber count is based on an approximation of how many times your feed has been requested in a 24-hour period. Subscribers is inferred from an analysis of the many different feed readers and aggregators that retrieve this feed daily." A site like MMOWTF thus works like any other "news aggregator" site, and even Feedburner can only guess how many people are reading me that way. If people reading your stuff via a feed or news aggregator is hurting your advertising income too much, you could also just turn off the feed totally. But in the end chances are that you gain more readers by people having found your blog via such a site than you lose because everybody just reads the feed.

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