On April 14th, 2007, Quang at the popular blog Haha.nu posted the entry above about my maps titled “Patterns from Google Maps.” When I discovered this blog entry I left a comment with the author stating that I DID NOT use imagery from Google Maps. I was hoping that he’d change the name of the entry so that others would not illegally use the imagery from Google Maps. I was also hoping that he’d follow my on-line usage request and include the name of the map and a direct link back to it’s respective blog entry. He ultimately edited the blog entry to include the names of the maps, but he kept the name of the original posting.
Last night I noticed a new link coming to my website with roughly the same name, but from a completely different website. Essentially, the person scraped some text from Quang’s original entry and used the exact same map of Charleston, South Carolina (without mentioning that it was Charleston, South Carolina– which was my original issue!). If the person would have simply changed the name of the posting I would have simply suspected this outright plagiarism, but gauging from the stats below, its quite clear that it was a direct copy with minimal revision. I had not received a visit linked from Quang’s entry in months, so I chose the screen grab below because I believe that I was able to isolate when the splogger copied the content and where the splogger is located.
Wikipedia defines as splog as:
Spam blogs, sometimes referred to by the neologism splogs, are artificially created weblog sites which the author uses to promote affiliated websites or to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites. The purpose of a splog can be to increase the PageRank or backlink portfolio of affiliate websites, to artificially inflate paid ad impressions from visitors, and/or use the blog as a link outlet to get new sites indexed. Spam blogs are usually a type of scraper site, where content is often either inauthentic text or merely stolen (see blog scraping) from other websites. These blogs usually contain a high number of links to sites associated with the splog creator which are often disreputable or otherwise useless websites.
Since the author didn’t directly copy the text, rather summarized it, I wouldn’t have automatically suspected it to be a splog. However, at the end of every posting the author asks for a donation (yum, coffee!) and if you look at the screen shot above, you can see that the blog is completely full of ads. If the splogger took a few minutes to layout the website so that it wasn’t booby trapped with ads I might have not put it all together, but in the end, I believe I spotted a Slovenian splogger. What I find interesting is that there are people who actually read this splog! I wonder if the readers know the source of the pillage content? or if they even care?