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The Net Takeaway: Read My Stuff! Read My Stuff!


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Read My Stuff! Read My Stuff! · 03/29/2004 12:05 PM, MetaBlog

This title is a salute to “The Critic”. In one episode, Jay has a cardboard standup to promote his book, which keeps whining “Buy My Book! Buy My Book” (More here and wav file).

I was reminded of this recently when a blogger I’ve enjoyed reading for many years dropped off my RSS readers. Derek Balling has been on the rampage to have people read his work only the way he wants them to: Namely, not through an aggregator which also has advertising. If you want to read his work, either use a desktop aggregator or visit his site.

I am probably simplifying his argument, and he really believes in it, so perhaps its worth reviewing. In any case, it also has nods to all the “deep-linking” and “search engine caching” cases, where people want to still have their cake after eating it (and sharing it with the crowd).

I tend to not use desktop aggs anymore. Bloglines is wonderful, and I have tried the reader as well. Bloglines will no longer carry Mr. Balling, and he now actively blocks Yahoo and LiveJournal.

Now, its his content, and he is paying for bandwidth, so having fewer readers is probably less costly for him. But what’s more important: Getting it out there, or getting site hits? I think he would say that both are important, BUT if others are making money off of his conent, he should be making that cash, so either license his content, or visit the site (creating money via googleads).

The problem, of course, is that, to be honest, Bloglines isn’t making any money off of his content, and neither is Yahoo. So, while I hope his site makes him money somehow, I don’t see Yahoo or Bloglines or LiveJournal taking any away from him. Is it really a zero-sum game?

I guess it’s a matter of principles, and I fully support someone’s willingness to stand up for what they believe in. Its just that I won’t be reading Mr. Balling very often anymore, and that’s too bad. His content is good, but if it doesn’t fit in my reading pattern, it loses.

It is terrible how the inconvenience factor outweighs the utility factor. But then again, isn’t that why we all drive on the traffic-laden highways rather than take the train? Convenience just seems to win over value time and again. Sucks, don’t it?

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