John Havens has an excellent piece in Mashable titled “It’s Your Data — But Others Are Making Billions Off It.” In a Web overflowing with chaff, it’s a fine grain of wheat.
But it’s also camouflaged by chaff posing as wheat. I can tell, because I was interviewed for the piece, which links back to this blog. Trackbacks appear in my comment queue, and I should see just one, if any: from the Mashable piece. But instead I see four, all from splogs—spam blogs—that took the Mashable piece and republished it as their own. I won’t link to them, but you can find them if you do a search on Google looking for the original. When I first tried that, the results yielded lots of false positives from splogs. Now the search correctly yields just this:
1 result (0.24 seconds)
Oct 24, 2013 – “The entire advertising industry has been hugely corrupted by personalization and surveillance,” says Doc Searls, author of The Intention …
In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 1 already displayed.
If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.
Do that and you’ll see those four splogs, plus many more.
To mix metaphors, splogs are worse than chaff. They are parasites. I also believe they are inevitable in the ad-driven monoculture that the commercial Web has become. Also somehow consistent with John’s original post.