Some of you, obviously, noticed that little “ignore this” post last night. Here’s some of what I’m thinking on ESBN‘s.
I think there may be a place where this can be useful. I’ve seen folks complain about the fact that their full-post RSS feeds are repurposed on sites that exist only to serve Google Ads. These sites seem to be electronically posting items from RSS feeds without making any changes to them. By have ESBN identifiers on the posts, it’ll be fairly obvious that this is going on. In fact, it gives you an easy way to prove they are simply copying your posts without proper linkage, and it also provides a tool that others can use to let you know that someone is doing this to your posts, because if you follow the ESBN link that is included in each post, you’ll see where it originated from and the email address of the original publisher. Those are the plusses, in my mind.
The big minus, as Andy has already pointed out in the comments, is that it does nothing to stop someone from removing the ESBN from the post and repurposing it without your consent, or even copying and pasting your blog post and getting their own ESBN separate from your’s. Then how do you prove you were the original author? Good question.
The other minus, as a Blogger user, is that my posts don’t have an actual Permalink address until I post them. So it’s a bit difficult to create the ESBn until after I publish my post. Not a big deal, but if you’re getting these posts by email, you get them before I add the ESBN link. This isn’t really an issue with the ESBN service, as much as it’s a problem with the way it interacts with blog posts. See comments, this has been addressed today (Feb 16).
It’s still a beta service, I think there’s room to build on some useful services. At this point I think the documentation could use some help. For example, my ESBN’s have a “views” feature, but no explanation of how that number is created. There’s been talk of using that for visitor stats, but no tools to do that yet, and there’s some promise if they can work out a way to do plagiarism checks, where any new content submitted for an ESBN will be matched with existing ESBN’s content, but that’s still a ways away.
I want to use it for awhile and then decide if I’m going to continue. As a non ad-supported blog, I’m not losing revenue to people copying my posts, and I don’t have the Page Rank of other bloggers that would leave them likely to be copied, so I don’t have the same motivation to continue, but I am curious.
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