MINE! MINE! MINE! (And other wrong answers to wrong questions about Shyftr and the way things work)

People have been profiting off the content of others forever.

Fairy Tales



TV Guide

But that’s not really what this Shyftr flareup is about is it?

The question is really about control.

How do I keep my audience? How do I profit from my audience?

Brian Clark (yeah, the Copyblogger dude) and I (remixing the work of Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling) wrote about this issue years ago .

The only path to power in this ‘new’ universe is to let go.

Dig what that means?

Here it is in a sentence.

The only way to get the audience to follow you is to follow the audience.

That means the weakest party in the current Shyftr nonsense is, of course, Shyftr.

You, on the other hand, don’t realize your own strength.

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14 Comments on “MINE! MINE! MINE! (And other wrong answers to wrong questions about Shyftr and the way things work)”

  1. […] Who owns this post? Are pageviews still relevant? Should blog content creators be upset? Is Shyftr crossing the line? Let it all just go? […]

  2. Tony Hung Says:

    Clever post. And thanks. I think. 🙂

    All I’ll say is that an extension of the “let it go” argument is that means we should be happy with spammers using our content, profiting from that content, and other folks taking your content, removing your names and re-attributing it with someone else’s name.

    In all of these situations, its impossible to follow the content.

    And if you think any one of these things isn’t ok, then perhaps you’ll agree that its not always “control == profits” (because lord knows most bloggers don’t make one tenth as much as their work is worth, and that’s independent of maximum monetization efforts … and bloggers know this and yet still care about what happens to their content) so much as “control == there is idea itself which has some value and worth”.


  3. A great way to gauge if you’re on to something is seeing how much people squirm when they understand the implications of your _____.

    The major labels/hollywood are the only clowns complaining that their content is now free and beyond their control and we’ve seen how the tech media feels about this problem. Why should RSS/web content be any different?

    I’ve been actually waiting for someone to make a Shyftr and now it’s here….

    Right on Prince..

  4. david l Says:

    to quote the writer of this post ‘institutional collapse’ is everywhere. Content creators have to rethink everything just like the rest of us.

  5. chartreuse Says:


    This is the age of the remix.

    Newspapers freaked when bloggers started linking to their content.
    They thought it was the end of the world.
    They thought the way to add value to their content was by holding on to it.

    They were wrong.

    Bloggers shouldn’t make the same mistake.

    (But you did write a cool fking post. Things to think about for sure)

  6. […] Here’s one post that says we shouldn’t care about our page views and here’s one more – but I do care. It’d be different if I was doing this for kicks alone, or if my utility company took my passion for blogging as payment, but none of that is true. I don’t do this for kicks alone, I do write for money, and that’s why I care about page views. […]

  7. […] move obviates my own qualms against Shyftr, which many bloggers seemed to have mistaken for qualms against controlling conversations, which is something I described that I never wanted to […]

  8. Being a capitalist bastard at heart, I fear that if we don’t have rules to enforce ownership of our own content, then we will miss out on a lot of great thoughts and ideas from great folks.

    Seriously: Charles Darwin sat down and wrote his Origin of Species only after he heard that Alfred Russel Wallace was coming up with an identical theory to his. Darwin published his work because he feared that he wouldn’t get the credit otherwise.

    Can you imagine how many revolutionary ideas will be lost if this “gaining credit” incentive is thrown out?

    Action Summary:

    Its more important than ever to leave your footprint in everything you do. Find your own unique voice and create your own unique style. Or you’ll be doomed to mediocrity while some chump will use your own words to gain notoriety.

    (I am all for napsterizing content. I think its a good strategy to become more popular. But it should be left upto the content creator to decide if she wants her work to be spread far and wide without her control or not.)

  9. chartreuse Says:

    good points all the way around.

    I never said that the owner/creator shouldn’t get credit.

    Look at the Harry Potter case.

    If the guy wins. (And he should.)then all bets are off.

  10. AC Law Says:

    I wrote an article two weeks ago somewhat based on your article from 2006, Why Paris Hilton Is Famous (Or Understanding Value In A Post-Madonna World), in fact I quoted from it liberally, but I said Chartreuse wrote this not me. There’s people who give you credit and people who won’t. Not much point bitching about it. What can you do? And on top of that stealing your work is a compliment of a sort. Anyway if you get the chance, please take a look at what I wrote about the media and Paris Hilton I would appreciate it. I’d like to know what your thoughts are on Hilton two years after your article. I’m just a regular guy witha regular job. I write as a stress reliever and outlet for frustration and that’s about it. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/682631/the_medias_war_with_paris_hilton_and.html?page=3 The Media’s War with Paris Hilton (And the Reason She’s Winning)

  11. jessicadoyle Says:

    How do I keep my audience? How do I profit from my audience?

    #1. Write original content.
    #2. Create censored art!

  12. chartreuse Says:

    Jessica, no one loves u more.

  13. Ghazala Khan Says:

    Hello Dear and Respected,
    I hope you are fine and carrying on the great work you have been doing for the Internet surfers. I am Ghazala Khan from The Pakistani Spectator (TPS), We at TPS throw a candid look on everything happening in and for Pakistan in the world. We are trying to contribute our humble share in the webosphere. Our aim is to foster peace, progress and harmony with passion.

    We at TPS are carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable passionate bloggers, writers, and webmasters. In that regard, we would like to interview you, if you don’t mind. Please send us your approval for your interview at my email address “ghazala.khi at gmail.com”, so that I could send you the Interview questions. We would be extremely grateful.


    Ghazala Khan
    The Pakistani Spectator

  14. Dan Says:

    This is an exceedlingly old post to leave a comment on, but I think this comment deserves to be addressed.

    “Newspapers freaked when bloggers started linking to their content.
    They thought it was the end of the world.
    They thought the way to add value to their content was by holding on to it.”

    You’re comparing bloggers _linking_ to articles with a service that republishes full text feeds. There is no comparison. One is recommending something, the other is profiting off your work. You might be ok letting people republish this blog elsewhere because it’s obviously not something you profit directly off of. But there are plenty of people who can’t say the same.

    As a side note, I realize I’m late to the debate, and shyftr has changed its policy on publishing full feeds. However, the topic is sure to come up again. Seems relevant to add to it.

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