Thursday, 21 May 2020

Remembering the blog aggregators that were plagiarists


Crawling for references
Looking at my blog statistics today after noticing a sudden spike that had already doubled the number of views yesterday, I checked on the traffic sources and impacted pages with piqued interest.
The prominent page appeared to be someone searching for all the blogs I had written about my dear friend Dick van Galen Last who passed away just over a decade ago.
However, I could not help but notice another blog that represented a dispute about blog aggregation in July 2007. I had noticed that a site many bloggers of that time subscribed to was down, the Nigerian Bloggers Aggregator (NBA) referenced hundreds of Nigerian blogs, showing the headers of the latest blog and linking back to the source blogs.
When aggregation turned sour
It appeared the owners of the blog, which was free allowed it to fall out of maintenance with an error pertaining to the lack of disk space. The domain is now parked, but not in use.
A carpetbagger cohort in the demise of this NBA aggregator decided to launch the NaijaLive SuperBlog that the movers with all good intentions executed quite badly. They published our blogs without reference, attribution, or citation whilst taking commentaries to our content without feeding back to the source blogs.
After a bit of back and forth, I asked for my blog to be removed from their curation because I thought what they were doing was unprofessional and unethical.
For the passion of blogging
Revisiting the whole sordid episode today, it is interesting to note that the NaijaLive SuperBlog did not live up to its promise, it is now an entertainment site without anything particularly entertaining there. Oluniyi D. Ajao still has his blog running now as Tech dot Africa and Global Voices Online ran a piece about the dispute.
It is a shame that I have not found a service that provides the kind of blog aggregation we are happy to subscribe to, and many of the competing platforms then have failed. For many, it is was a passing fad for which they had no passion or purpose, they simply coasted on the content of others to gain influence and maybe credibility.
My blog remains a non-commercial and personal vehicle of expression, we were not looking for popularity or traffic to boost our egos, we just knew and enjoyed what we were doing and simply demanded the courtesy of being informed of having our content curated and presenting the same content differently only after agreed consultation.
The blogs below take you back to the history and events that ensued. The NaijaLive is lost because for all their bluster, they could not keep their side of the bargain.

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