So, the blog post darling of the weekend is likely the whole Shyftr issue. In case you’ve missed it, here’s a little recap, and if you want to learn more background go visit the linked posts. I’m not rehashing it all here.
Shyftr stands for Share Your Feeds Together. They offer all your favorite feeds brought together in one place. Like Problogger? Fine, add that feed. Treehugger? I bet you can find them too. Basically, instead of using your feed service, Shyftr wants you to use them. Not only can you read full blog posts at the Shyftr site but comment as well. What this adds up to is that you never have to visit a blog to read the posts or comment – you can just do it at Shyftr.
Frankly I don’t see how this is legal but let’s see what others think…
Seems on board: Scobleizer
Not on board: Tony Hung
Not on board: Me
There are plenty of posts about this topic out there – these three above are linked somewhat so I posted them. Also the comments at each of the posts are interesting, and offer perspectives from both sides, which I like.
The comment issue:
An issue I see with this is comment moderation. Having my comments held elsewhere doesn’t allow me the chance to moderate comments which means my goal of keeping comments related to my work respectful is now out of the picture. From what it looks like, only Shyftr can mod comments, and since they didn’t write my post, and they can’t read my mind, how can they possible mod properly?
For example, let’s look at Tony Hung’s post above. His post at his blog has one set of comments. Now if you go to the Shyftr page with this same blog post, there is a whole other set of comments, one of which says, “Oh, and I”ll up you a “I think Tony Hung is an blow hard”, and say, see if you can moderate it.” Maybe the person is joking, maybe not. Say they’re not – that’s so not cool.
The big issue:
Honestly though, what it all comes down to really is page views. I don’t actually care quite so much about my work being located elsewhere, although, it does irk me if people profit off it. The fact that I can’t mod all comments makes me uncomfortable, but I can live with it. Why I think posting all my content and allowing comments at someplace other than my blog is not because I think I should be the all powerful god of my post, it’s because I’m paid to blog. I’m not only paid to blog, I’m paid for my page views as well.
Shyftr is grabbing content, adding in a comment function, and creating their own little world using other people’s work. Since they’re grabbing feeds I’m not sure that I’d call it stealing except well, no I will call it stealing and here’s why:
Say someone visits a feed to one of my work blogs and likes what they see (or hates what they see) and wants to comment, they then come visit my blog and leave a comment. That’s what I do with my favorite blogs on feed as well. Now, say someone visits Shyftr and reads my whole post there and then also leaves a comment there, without ever visiting my blog. Well, my network or client has no clue that my hard work has paid off do they? I don’t get a page view, I don’t get paid for that page view, even though someone has still benefited in some way from said blog post, and thus it becomes stealing.
I’ve seen many comments around today saying, “So what, the reason you write content is to share it with others, to get your content spread around the web, to help people.” And in part this is true, but as a paid blogger, I also write content to make a living. I hold a contract saying that I’ll be paid per page view and per a certain number of posts a week. If you can get said content at Shyftr, well then maybe Shyftr should pay me too.
This is really no better than content scraper sites in my opinion. Which by the way, is not stood for at my network and client blogs – my clients always shut down scrapers.
Here’s one post that says we shouldn’t care about our page views and here’s one more that seems a little on the fence, although the blogger does point out the negatives – but I do care. It’d be different if I was doing this for kicks alone, or if my utility company took my passion for blogging as payment, but none of that is true. I don’t do this for kicks alone, I do write for money, and that’s why I care about page views.
I know some people want comments on all RSS. I know some people are in love with the whole Shyftr idea. But it’s going to make things harder, not better for paid full-time bloggers, especially if you’re even partially paid by page views.
What do you think?