Monday, May 08, 2006


Blogs and books and other thoughts

Oops! I was supposed to be hosting the It's A Girl : Women Writers on Raising Daughters book tour here today, but I forgot my copy of the book at home, and it has all my little notes and ideas and observations scrawled on an envelope tucked under the front cover. Bad Dani, BAD! So drop by later this evening, where I will post the entire review, complete with references.

Um, so, in the absence of that... (*sound of crickets*)

Okay, so these aren't fully formed posts, but I have a bunch of notes on blogs and writing and books and stuff that I was going to tell you about, and I'm just going to dump them on you and let you make something out of them, cuz apparently I'm not thinking terribly well early on a Monday morning.

For example, here's an article from Business Week about "blooks" - books from bloggers, and more specifically, books from blogs. The first half of the article talks about getting an actual publishing deal, and creating a book from a blog, which while I think is a relatively cool idea, I don't think would ever happen in this dilettante writer's lifetime. The second half of the article talks about making your own archival copy of blog into a book, which I would love to do some day. I'm surprised they don't mention services like Blogbinders. Wouldn't that be cool, to have a coffee-table version of blog? Some day I will do this, because my original way-back-when idea for this blog was to document the moments and minutia that have made up our early years with the boys, and having a paper copy of it sitting on the shelf somehow seems more tactile-y satisfying than booting up the computer to reminisce.

But, back to today - Micro Persuasion had a link this morning to an interesting article on blog plagarism. The article talks about not only having entire posts appropriated (Getupgrrl from the now defunct Chez Miscarriage, perhaps one of my favourite blog writers ever, didn't keep an archive because of ongoing problems with plagarism), but even stealing Flickr photos and claiming credit for them.

One of the things the article mentions to mitigate the risk of plagarism is to only post snippets on their RSS feeds, instead of full posts. It never occured to me that this is why some people don't let you read the whole post on an aggregator. Now I'm wondering if I should bother truncating my own feeds, as right now I have the full feed enabled.

This is a kind of weird discussion to have, because part of me thinks I'm a little full of myself to think that I write well enough to have anybody bother to plagarise me, but I will admit that I've occasionally run google searches on some lines from my favourite posts to see if they are getting lifted. So far, so good. I think I am relieved.

Any thoughts on all this? Would you buy a book based on your favourite blog, or is that a matter of not buying the cow when you can get the milk for free? If you loved a blogger's style, would that be enough to make you buy their book? And what about blog plagarism? Have you seen it? If it happened, what would you do?
I have faith in you, clever commenters! You have a wonderful way of taking a dogpile of disorganized information and making an interesting discussion out of it - get to it!