Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shadows to Sunshine -- thank you all!

Thank you so much for your generous, supportive response to yesterday's post. Your demonstration of the meaningful community which surrounds my blog has greatly lessened my concerns about having it reproduced elsewhere. While I will, of course, still pursue whatever options are available to having this theft shut down, I can see more clearly than ever that while another blog might be masquerading as someone who writes my words, posts my photos, that blog has none of the integrity conferred by the comments from its readers. While my content was being "scraped" -- thanks, Jillian, for the education! -- the automated software (most likely -- you'd have to see the scale of the theft to really get it) did not scrape up the reader comments, nor would it ever be able to grab hold of the genuine links that have built up between us over these past four years.

I know the difference between friends I have met IRL -- those I have had long, ongoing relationships with, together having eaten meals, walked, shopped, drank coffee and wine, commiserated, laughed and cried, all in person -- and those I so far only know through words on a screen. Today, three friends I've known for at least ten years, friends who helped each other through the often difficult terrain of dissertation-land, will arrive from across the country and we'll celebrate together our Doc-getting, our job-landing, house-buying, new-husband-marrying, all in the sunshine, surrounded by roses. But I will also be thinking of the many friends that enrich my life through our regular encounters at this magical screen. I will remember that while, unbeknownst to me, my posts were being stolen consistently over the past four years, those same posts were also the medium through which I "met" all of you.

So yes, for the moment (at least) Blogging is well worth the risks to me.  I hope to respond individually to your wonderful comments--some of you, the first you've ever left, much appreciated -- and to follow up on some very helpful security suggestions and then get back to writing the posts I'd been composing mentally before this discovery.  Meanwhile, I'm off to celebrate with my IRL friends, having been inspired and uplifted by all of you, also very R(eal) to me. Thank you!


  1. Hooray! Hooray for friends of all sorts! Have a wonderful day. So glad we will not loose you to the blogremlins:).

  2. IRL friends among the roses sounds very inviting.
    I hope that the sun warms you mater.

  3. Mater, I'm so glad you and your IRL friends will be celebrating together in sunshine with roses!

    I look forward to your future posts :-)

  4. What a lovely, gracious response!! Enjoy your reunion! P.

  5. Glad you have things in perspective now. I know I would miss your thoughtful and enriching posts very much. Enjoy the time with your friends.

  6. Enjoy your time with your friends among the glorious roses!
    So glad you are feeling better and as LPC are
    not acquiescing to the blogremlins!!!! I would miss you so
    much ....xx

  7. I go to the Tate for one day and this happens!! I had to read the post twice to understand the weirdness of it all, it's like a cyber stalker trying to find an identity. I would love to know what exactly she gets from it; she must have some really weird stuff going on in her head to pretend to be someone else.
    It is this side of it that must appeal to so many unhinged people, that you can assemble an identikit identity and just copy and paste the lives of others into your own. What is doubly odd is the length of time she has done it for; she must really want to be you! It would creep me out, a bit like that film with Robin Williams who keeps photographs from another family, luckily I don't think she will be flying over, but how horrible. You must feel so violated.
    I have tried to think what would I do, luckily I am oblivious most of the time to any cyber traffic. I have, since a colleague stumbled over my blog raised the level of anonymity, but just using the names of my kids is a giveaway really.

    I know after a couple of weeks the feelings of anger and hurt will subside, but I am very interested to know how the blogger managers deal with this. . Have a brilliant weekend with reality; I am really hoping you don't delete your cyber life though!

  8. I have missed reading your blog for a few days because my daughter was here to visit. I must be dense, but I don't understand why someone would do what you described. I have enjoyed so much reading over the year or years, seeing Nola grow etc. I hope you will ignore this weird person and just keep on writing. Sorry this has happened to you.

  9. Lisa: The biggest hooray, indeed!
    Hostess: Roses, sunshine, the best, right?
    Susan T, Patricia, Marguerite, Pavlova: Thanks!
    Alison: Turns out it's most likely anonymous software used by a fairly big operation to set up sites filled with "scraped" content, trying to get enough hits to convince advertisers to plunk down money. Doesn't make me feel any better at all, except that I don't have to waste my time trying to feel compassionate or understanding.
    Julianne: See my comment, above, to Alison and there's a comment in yesterday's post (LizHK's) that explains a bit more. Thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoy reading here -- that's what keeps me going.

  10. Several comments I made about this issue are not showing; did you see them, or are they lost? To reprise: this person's behaviour lacks integrity. After some thought I've decided it *is* plagiarism, even though not offered for commercial gain or credit (like a course paper).

    I also suggested you indeed publish the link so that your many friends could visit this person's site to tel him or her that they do not support this behaviour, and to request that your writing be either removed, or at the *very least* credited.

  11. Duchesse: I'm not sure what's happening to your comments and I'm sorry to miss them. Thanks for summarizing.
    A bit of research and some advice from techie friends suggests that rather than an individual trying to pass my words off as her life, the blog-in-question is one of many which regularly blog-scrape content, through automated software, trying to get enough reader hits to sell advertising on their site. This one uses Google Ads, some carrying v. legitimate companies (rogers was one!).

    So giving the URL would only increase their revenues, and I'm not happy to do that. I very much doubt they have a real person monitoring any comments. It's a ubiquitous practice -- google "blog-scraping" and get an education you'll wish you missed.

    So far, Blogger has had four posts taken down -- the four URLs I gave them, but there are countless posts covering my four years of blogging and I've requested some kind of action that could require less work on the victim's (my!) part. . . .

    Thanks very much for your indignation on my behalf -- it's much appreciated.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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