Grand Rounds 5.20: Anniversaries and Blogosphere Scam

3 02 2009

Number OneThe latest edition of Grand Rounds is now up at Not Totally Rad.

This edition coincides almost exactly with his anniversary as a blogger.

So first of all a happy anniversary to samurairadiologist!

For this Round, he chose a loose anniversary theme, asking contributors to write about something cool or important that they had learned in the past year.

The lead-off post is written by Val Jones: How the Health Blogosphere was Scammed — Last two weeks the health blogosphere was buzzing with outrage about the fact that Wellsphere was sold to HealthCentral. Why were people pissed off? In the past, hundreds of health bloggers had received a flattering offer of the SEO of Wellssphere asking them to contribute to Wellsphere, “a free online community where regular people, enthusiasts and professionals can connect, inspire and educate each other about health”. (uh not really). This offer included the republishing of the content of their blog on the Wellsphere site. About 1700 bloggers accepted the offer, probably because they taught this would increase the traffic to their blog or because they wanted to contribute to Wellsphere or be part of its community. Those bloggers often did not realize that they in fact gave away the entire contents of their feeds for nothing. And herein lies their pain: Wellsphere made a good financial deal out of the transfer, but the bloggers who provide content for Wellsphere got no revenues at all. Some people consider this scraping, others consider it legitimate since the bloggers agreed to it.

In my view it is not really “stealing”, compared to the ripping off RSS feeds without informed consent or even knowledge, as discussed in previous posts (see here, here and here).

But you could call the recruiting Wellsphere campaign misleading and unpleasant at least. Furthermore, according to many former Wellsphere employees the Wellsphere management team behaves rather unscrupulous in general.

At least this big incident uncovers the vulnerability of the web 2.0 world and the bloggers: the concentration on traffic and getting links on the one hand and the poor protection of the intellectual property of bloggers on the other hand.

For further information look at the introduction at Not Totally Rad, the posts he refers to, i.e. the above mentioned post of Dr Val and a post of Dmitriy of the Trusted.MD blog. But there are a lot of other good posts on the subject, i.e. on the blogs of the Wall Street Journal, a psychiatrist, an athlete and patients (see here; some warrnings were already written in July 2008).

But apart from this specific theme there are many others worth reading: Anniversaries, lessons learned, Diabetes blogs and Other Chronic Diseases, Humor in Medicine, Ethics and Other Delicacies.

Next Round will be will be hosted by The Health Care Blog



One response

5 02 2009

Thank you for the link. Say, you’ve got some good stuff here. Think I’ll follow you on Twitter, which I just started on a few days ago.

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