Indiecator is part of the Digital Gaming Communities Web Archive now

The day before yesterday, I decided to write about content scraping and web crawlers as well as the addition of a small sentence that will appear on newer posts. I decided to not go through the hassle of updating all of my 260-something posts as… really… it’s going to take a while. I will update my reviews probably but there really is not much of a point, I guess, especially with a site of my scale.

Anyways, after a restless night and after thinking about it more, I wasn’t too sure if my reply was justified and if I understood it too well. Naithin‘s reply to my post helped a lot, as well, in giving me some context to why they’re doing that… and frankly, it’s understandable. Bloggers come and go. I see plenty of people turn up as Newbies or Mentors to the Blaugust event and it’s lovely… but some of them just don’t post as regularly anymore, which is not quite lovely.

Sometimes people burn out from it or real life happens and honestly, blogging consistently can be a bit of a hassle. For the last eighteen days, I’ve tried myself at posting daily just to see how long I can keep this up and I’m already noticing that it’s becoming harder and harder to schedule posts or to make it within a day’s time. Reviews are also hard to write up under time pressure – a process I’ll document eventually as well as a prompt.

So, the site in question that I didn’t out in the initial post was the “Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation [that is currently selecting] different websites for inclusion in its Digital Gaming Communities Web Archive. The Archive is an initiative developed by librarians at Dartmouth College, the University of Chicago, and Duke, Michigan State, and Wilfried Laurier Universities under the auspices of the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation. [They] preserve content, across varying web formats, generated by and related to digital games, in order to foster research within the discipline. Themes of the collection include critical gaming, game ethics, accessibility in gaming and game design, and user reviews and playthroughs.”

So, if I were to look at the themes, I could check off quite a few of those:

  • critical gaming? Check.
  • game ethics? Check.
  • accessibility in gaming and game design? Check.
  • user reviews? Check.
  • playthroughs? Check.

I kinda talk about those topics here and there and I guess my site can be a resource for them. It will also allow future generations to view my reviews and whatnot when I’m no longer able to write up posts. On top of that, it’s going to enable them to research my thoughts, views, posts, etc. even when WordPress is no longer doing what WordPress is doing. I mean, everything has an end eventually and if I die, I doubt I’ll be able to post any longer. I hope that I’ll be able to write up a “RIP” post just in case I die… In fact, maybe I should write up one like that now and schedule it… and just always re-schedule it while I’m alive until I no longer am alive. That’s kinda grim, now that I think about it… so Nah.

Essentially, the Archive-It page can be found over here. Searching through the video games page will reveal that TAGNEndgame ViableBioBreakAeternus Gaming and Aywren are already part of it, which is nice to see. Looking forward to being a part of it, too, and to see other people’s websites be put on there as well.

My point still stands: Their overly flowery language bothered me initially and it still bothers me that the initial e-mail basically said something along the lines of “we’re gonna do this and if you don’t respond, we will just assume that you’re okay with this”. If the e-mail had arrived in the spam-folder, I probably would have missed it and they probably would have done it without my approval, from what I can see… At least that’s how I understand it. With English being my third language, it was kind of hard to see that.

Still, I apologized to Samantha Abrams and explained what lead to my decision and why I’m now changing my mind. She understood being sceptical of the initial e-mail. On top of that, she appreciated the feedback on the language and said that she can actually be more straightforward in their outreach, so I hope that this maybe even changes the way other people will think about it. 

Kind of proud of how this Blogging-thing is turning out. We got featured on a different site, feedspot, before, and I’ve been happy that we got a lot of referrals from there. Through Twitter and multiple other blogs, we also received a bunch of referrals and maybe the archive will result in something like that as well. 

Hence, that would result in more people finding my reviews on some of those Indie gems I’ve been talking about in previous posts… and people will check those games out and have a fun time. My thoughts on political standpoints or on gaming etiquette and Twitch etiquette will prevail quite a bunch. At the same time, my more embarrassing posts ridden with typos will prevail for eternity… “Yikes forever.”

So, just a little update on the situation and me changing my mind.

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Content Scraping and a new addition

Today, I got an e-mail from some legitimate-looking site asking if they could use a web crawler to archive my blog on their site, so that people in 5/10/15/20 years can research gaming, critics, etc. 

I say “ask” but they actually only told me that they will do that… and that I can refuse if I want to. I responded that I don’t want them to do so.

Alas, I’m making a post about it as I didn’t really have a post for today.

Research is great and I support it fully but I don’t get why researchers wouldn’t be able to just check out my blog in the future as well. Sure, WordPress may not work in the future… Nah, just kidding. There may happen something to my blog or my site that will stop me from ever posting on here again… But I’m sure that my posts will persist on the world-wide-web without any issues even if I don’t want it to be. Nothing gets lost on the internet after all, right?

But the way they did this was rather ugly. They formulated everything in their e-mail so overly flowery, hiding their intention, to the point where I had to ask Frosti if he could translate it for me. At first, I was wondering if this is spam but after checking site upon site and sources, as well as reverse-image-searching for that woman that mailed me, I found out that it’s actually legitimate. Alas, I found it weird that they didn’t use language that makes it easier to understand.

Alas, I don’t really know how this won’t affect my blog’s performance and why people wouldn’t just ask me any questions in case they want to research my blog. If there was one researcher or scientist who would ask for permission to use my site, I’d allow it probably (don’t take that as permission btw, e-mail me instead). It’s a different story to just scrape off content like that, factually stealing it, and then uploading it to another public site where it’s just going to get checked out by people that won’t have to visit my site. 

My blog works in the same way that their archive works… with the simple difference that my blog and all content hosted on here is owned by me. I mean, the words I wrote and the thoughts I thought were my intellectual property, right? 

So I declined the offer. But I’m sure there is some site somewhere that is doing that already and I don’t have the resources to check every single site on the internet, I guess.

Alas, I thought I’d introduce something to my blog that a lot of other bloggers also have on their sites… the following block:

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Is it gonna do a lot? Probably not. Will it protect me from worrying that my posts are getting used somewhere else to generate money for other people? A little bit.

The big idea here is that I’ll basically just put that in all of my 261 posts so far (or at least most of them) and the many more to come… At the same time, people potentially will find that post and get lead to my site where it actually originated from. The catch is that I’ll have to add this reusable block to 261 more posts… and I’m kinda annoyed by that already… oof.

Maybe I’m being a bit sensitive about this or a bit paranoid… but I don’t want other people to earn money off of stuff that I created, especially when I don’t earn a cent in the first place and when I wouldn’t receive anything from them. I feel like that’s fair enough, right? 

What are you guys’ thoughts on this? Have you had to deal with people stealing your posts before? What have you done against that? Any other suggestions on how to make this place safer against that? Let me know!

Cheers!