Re: can someone please explain what this blog tagging this is all about?

From: <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2008 13:51:00 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On Jan 14, 8:18 pm, Frank van Bortel <> wrote:
> wrote:
> > On Jan 14, 2:50 am, Frank van Bortel <>
> > wrote:
> >> hpuxrac wrote:
> >>> As many times as HJR has changed things and ditched all of his old
> >>> content there are still at times useful articles and postings out
> >>> there.
> >>> However it looks like now both the ( old site as of just a couple of
> >>> weeks ago now ) and new and improved site are both offline and
> >>> unavailable. There's some kind of message about oracle blog tag
> >>> spamming?
> >>> Sorry I just don't understand. There was a lot of excitement several
> >>> years ago about oracle blogging but much of that excitement ( and
> >>> quality of postings ) kind of has dropped off the ege of the world.
> >>> I don't use any of the news readers ( whatever they are ) and/or
> >>> aggregators ( whatever they are ) just have a couple of url's I check
> >>> out from time to time ( limited ) as well as cdos.
> >>> So any of the background info related to what is going on and why
> >>> people might be taking websites and content offline would be
> >>> appreciated.
> >>> Thanks
> >> Nope - I'm baffled. Both with Howard's behavior and with
> >> this Oracle blog spamming - looks to me if you do not want
> >> to be in, don't - a simple as 1-2-3.
> >> --
> >> Regards,
> >> Frank van Bortel
> >> Top-posting in UseNet newsgroups is one way to shut me up
> > I must say it's this attitude I find bewildering.
> Sorry to hear that.
> > You're on a train, reading. Your neighbour is wearing an ipod. He
> > decides to turn the volume up so that the sksshh-sksssh-sksssh of the
> > beat disturbs you. You politely ask the person to turn their ipod
> > down. They refuse to do so, saying 'it ain't that loud, mister. What's
> > your problem?'
> If this is what you think is happening, you're wrong. You're not on a
> train (paid for, service bought) - you brought your car for maintenance
> to this workshop with mentally disabled people.
> They're free, they're good at their job, but simply cannot plan,
> so you'll never know when your car will be done.
> Don't complain; if planning if vital to you in this case, go
> to another garage.

Why do you think my blog is free? I pay for hosting. I carry Google ads that earn money. This isn't Linux: don't complain, you didn't pay for it. Quite the opposite.

If you mean I don't pay for OraBlogs or OraNA, quite right. I don't. So that makes it OK for other people to vandalise it, does it?

> > So much for hypotheticals. Let's consider real blog aggregators. Blog
> > aggregators take feeds from many people's blogs. Visiting one site
> > lets you see the totality of what's going on in the Oracle 'blogging
> > community' with one quick overview. Very useful, very functional.
> Sounds like there's more than one aggregator. Do you sign up for such
> a thing, or is it -as I am thinking- a "free service" ?

When seemingly large sections of the Oracle community simply don't appear to "get" what a Blog aggregator in the first place, I am not entirely surprised that they don't care when one or more is ruined.

It's not a service. It's someone's blog of blogs. They take each blog's RSS feed and turn it into a browseable webpage (amongst other things). They thus provide a service to the Oracle community at large, for free.

> > Unfortunately, aggregating things together means that what for an
> > individual blogger is one trivial little post gets aggregated together
> > with everyone else's trivial little posts and suddenly it's not a
> > trivial little problem any more. Suddenly, there's a mountain of
> > collected posts generated by this "game", driving out almost any other
> > information.
> Still with you: there's a lot of noise, you are not interested in.
> > Blog aggregators work by showing new posts at the top of the page. As
> > new posts arrive, old posts get shunted downwards... until they fall
> > off the page altogether. Because of the sudden influx of '8 things'
> > posts (shorthand for the blog tagging pyramid scheme's posts), one of
> > my blog posts went onto the front page of OraNA and disappeared off it
> > in slightly over twelve minutes. If it happens to my posts, it happens
> > to others' too. So now OraNA isn't a great overview of what's
> > happening in the Oracle blogging, but is instead swamped with 'me-too'
> > posts from people who have chosen to participate in the pyramid scheme
> > known as blog tagging.
> Is this the heart of the matter? One of your posts became invisible
> on one (1) aggregator after just 12 minutes?
> Are you in any way depending on how long your posts are on this site?
> Financially? Esteem?

Come on. At least try to pretend you're not just belittling the situation.

I measured what happened to my post. If it happens to my post, it happens to other posts. In fact, it happened to all posts at that particular point.

> > That is a loss of functionality. It is inconvenient to me. It is
> > disruptive to me. If it is inconvenient to me and causing me
> > disruption, I am fairly confident that it will be inconvenient and
> > disrupting to others. Lots of others. But maybe not you.
> No - not to me, indeed. And I fail to see the functionality
> loss in an aggregator, that is not yours to start with.
> Again - if this is a service you pay for, things are different.
> If provided for free, it's like this ng - you get what you
> pay for.

Do you pay for Google?

Do you ever use Google?

If someone launched a distributed denial of service attack against Google and made it unavailable, according to you that would be fine. Because Google provides their search service for free, so what do you care at the loss of functionality.

Those people who run the Samaritans help line that troubled people can call when suicidal (not sure if it's called that in your neck of the woods or not): it's OK to make prank calls to them and tie their lines up, is it? Because that's not a service anyone pays for. It's volunteers. Therefore, there are no 'service level agreements' you can insist on, so ruining the service for those that make use of it is fine, apparently.

Blog aggregators provide a service. Chain letters swamp that service. Therefore this particular chain letter was a bad thing that needed to be stopped.

> Couldn't start your own? Sounds not that difficult.

I could do all sorts of things, Frank. Of course, last week, I didn't have to do anything because everything was just fine.

> > So I wrote to about 4 or 5 of the people who had 'passed it on', each
> > to about 8 others, to ask them would they mind contacting their 8 and
> > asking *them* not to pass the thing on further as it was damaging the
> > aggregation functionality. One of them replied that it was his blog
> > and he'd do what he liked. Besides, the people running the blog
> > aggregators were 'skimming' his work, probably to their financial
> > advantage not his. Another replied that as he didn't use OraNA
> > himself, it didn't seem like much of a problem. The others didn't
> > respond at all.
> So you can "use" orana. What I get is a "I got mail" server/service?!?

Look, if you don't know what OraNA is, what a blog aggregator is, what the concept of freely-offered community service is, you're really not in any position to comment on my behaviour, are you?

> > So I blogged about it, simply pointing out that if things went
> > according to the quite open plans of the devisor of the tagging
> > "game", by round 4, there would 4096 me-too '8 things' posts. I didn't
> > demand anything. I didn't call anyone anything. I simply pointed out
> > the maths and asked whether people would please stop 'passing it on':
> > by all means post 8 personal things about yourself, but don't
> > encourage 8 others to do the same, on and on, because to do so would
> > be to cause damage to the aggregators. For this I was accused by one
> > of throwing my weight around ("When I signed up to my blog I didn't
> > realise I had signed your terms and conditions"), another said simply
> > that I was just being "grumpy" and a third simply said, "Chill dude,
> > you'll have an aneurysm". As if this has anything to do with my
> > emotional state or a desire to dictate to others!
> Well, it sure looks like you're emotionally involved to an
> innocent bystander (like myself).

Define "emotionally involved". I have been inconvenienced. I have had functionality I used and relied on withdrawn from me. I see otherwise intelligent people writing that they know it's a chain mail, they hate chain mails, but just this once...

Yes, that annoys me. Yes, I am disappointed by that. Yes, I am disgusted at the level of personal abuse that has come my way because I dared to ask 4 people to do something and posting a blog that mentioned the power of a geometric progression.

But I think you mean to imply a level of emotional involvement that provokes irrational "behaviour", as you put it. No, I am not emotionally involved to the extent where I would do strange, irrational or disproportionate things.

> Besides, nowadays, it's all about being seen (on the internet).

Speak for yourself. I write my articles and my blog for the same reason I always did: primarily as an aide memoir to myself; secondarily as a help to others if they need it; thirdly, because I quite like writing and don't think I'm too bad at it. Being "seen" has nothing to do with it.

> I am from another generation, and so are you (we differ less
> than a decade in age).

Don't make assumptions, Frank, about what (perhaps) sharing a generation means as far as what I am "into". Stick to the known facts and deductions from them, please. Because otherwise you're just talking from a position of 100% ignorance, in this respect at least.

>I am not into Hyves, FaceBook, Plaxo, and
> who-knows-what social sites all that much, but others are.
> I suspect this blog-tagging is one way of getting exposure, and
> commenting on that would jeopardize the exposure and thus cause
> exactly the type of reactions you are experiencing.
> > That is precisely the "it ain't loud, mister" response I would expect
> > to have to put up with on the train, but had hoped I wouldn't have to
> > put up with from members of a supposed "community" of bloggers.
> > You tell me Frank: if I don't "want to be in" (which I don't), tell me
> > how, simple as 1-2-3, I "don't".
> Do not visit the orana site.

I really don't mind when people assess my argument carefully and then decide I'm wrong. But to respond as if I'd not put forward an argument at all just irritates me.

I like OraNA, I've used it for months without trouble. It's very useful for getting a global view of what the blogging community is up to. Not visiting it isn't an option -or rather (and this is the entire point) it *shouldn't* be.

> That's like saying, if you don't like
> > the white noise coming from the earbuds of the guy sitting next to
> > you, don't listen! But the fact of the matter is that the choices of
> > others have impinged on the functionality of a website I use. Their
> > actions have **taken away** my choice not to participate. Whether I
> > like it or not, OraNA gets flooded with these posts, and I can't opt
> > out of that.
> Do not read/visit OraNA - really, life is simple, Howard - enjoy.
> Or the aneurysm part might become true, and this really is not
> a reason for it. Been there.
> And regular train commuters all know how not to listen to things:
> the sound of the tracks, conversations, ipods...

OK, so it was pointless trying to explain myself to you, then.

Fine. I won't explain myself any more, but please stop, by way of return, making pronouncements about my "behaviour" that you professedly don't understand.

> > Oh, considerate members of the Oracle blogging community have said I
> > could learn to use an RSS reader: you can filter those, after all. (As
> > if I didn't know about RSS readers already!) Trouble is, how do I
> > install an RSS reader on a SOE PC? Or on a friend's PC? Or on a PC to
> > which I don't have rights to install anything? No problem: Firefox has
> > a reader built-in. Great... so what do I do if I don't use Firefox? Or
> > my SOE PC dictates IE6 and nothing else?
> There are more aggregators, aren't there? Don't ask me, I'm not in that
> ("what's an ipod?"), but you're not dependent on this one, are you?

Frank. Come on. This is basic stuff. What do aggregators do? Aggregate oracle-related blogs. If one aggregator is clogged with '8 things' posts, what do you think will be happening to the other aggregators?

> Besides, oraNA sounds like a "stupid" aggregator - it cannot distinguish
> anything interesting from this, rather annoying, "me too" stuff.

That you don't understand the technology is evident, Frank. Try not to dig too deep a hole. Received on Mon Jan 14 2008 - 15:51:00 CST

Original text of this message