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Forum harversters, is it good or bad?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by swatme, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. swatme

    swatme Well-Known Member

    hi guys

    whats do you think of this forum harvester sites
    where they automatically get contents from your forum
    and repost it in their site together with adsense/ads

    is it good or bad to you forum owner?
     
  2. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    I am really confused at the question. In typical situations, how can they be a good thing?
     
  3. Dodgeboard

    Dodgeboard Well-Known Member

    I read a post over on the Google boards where a forum owner had their adsense account banned because he was flagged as a duplicate content site. Come to find out, his content was the original content, the other site was the duplicate. LOL!! I wonder how often this happens.
     
  4. Tigratrus

    Tigratrus Well-Known Member

    As above. QED.
     
  5. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    Are you saying harvesting the content of another forum and having google banning the original forums adsense account is a good thing? Somehow I believe there is a misunderstanding.
     
  6. swatme

    swatme Well-Known Member

  7. -GR-

    -GR- Well-Known Member

    I think it is hogwash what some of these sites do. What is even more irritating is google indexes them and they rank pretty high on the results sometimes. All they are is nothing but copied content, some do link back to the source but still, nobody gave them permission.
     
  8. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    I find those sites extremely annoying and I wish Google would ban them completely. I don't find them as annoying as a board owner, rather as a person trying to use Google to find something. I get really irritated when I come across these sites. :mad:
     
    Brett Peters likes this.
  9. Tigratrus

    Tigratrus Well-Known Member

    Dean:

    No... I was strongly agreeing with you and Dodgeboard, just was on an iphone and was typing as little as possible. ;) One of the reasons that I'm glad Google's latest algo changes seem to be targeting scraper sites. It might take a bit before they get it completely right, but I strongly feel that sites that are essentially stealing content from other sites *Should* be penalized.

    In answer to the OP, no, I don't think it's a good thing. At all.
     
    Dean likes this.
  10. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    If your offering RSS Feeds from your forum, it's an easy way for guests to harvest content from it, especially if full content is being displayed.
     
  11. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Yeah, its bad business for forum owners. Bloggers have to put up with them, too. There are a lot of blog-harvesters, too.
    Try being a blogger, and writing totally unique content - content that YOU wrote.

    Companies need to start suing harvesters in the future. Its something that takes away business from your site/company.
     
    Vodkaholic and Jeremy like this.
  12. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    The number of harvester bots and related downloader bots are quite substantial these days. The main problems are that these are:
    1. selling your content
    2. posting your content on other sites and making money from adds
    3. consuming considerable amounts of bandwidth (costs)
    4. adding to your server load
    For this reason its a good idea to have bad behavior installed. Hopefully someone will create an integration with xenforo. See: http://bad-behavior.ioerror.us/
     
  13. Eric

    Eric Active Member

    I wanted to build an integration for xenForo - as I did with vBulletin - but I don't have a license for xenForo nor can I afford one. I may be able to some day if no one else beats me to it :)
     
  14. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

    +1, This

    Yesterday I was searching for a trial version of MS Access 2003, don't ask, and the number of sites that have simply harvested content, lobbed some adverts onto it, and published is astounding. Naturally google wasn't actually good enough to locate what I was after, but that's another story.

    Variety have done an article on the movie Insidious, which flags one of our keywords we use to see who's mentioning us, the article has been reprinted over 50 times thus far as we keep receiving notifications on it :unsure:

    Would fall under plagarism and various intellectual property laws I would imagine.
     
  15. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Speaking as someone who's about to start running a forum and blog site, I'm not too thrilled with the idea of content harvesters. Since our company mainly makes money by creating and selling content for the web, we have good reason to take copyrights seriously.

    Just before I ran across this thread, I was reflecting that our company's forum rules could include a clause requiring that anything posted there be original to the poster. Essentially the gist would be: if you didn't write, draw, photograph, or film it yourself, we don't want it. The fact that you saw something interesting somewhere is not sufficient reason to post it on our forums. If you feel moved to share something with us, let it be something of yourself.

    Now this would mean our company forums could never have something like The LOL Thread that can be found here in the XF Off Topic forum. And in one respect that thought makes me sad. When you run across something funny, it's only natural to want to share it with your friends. It's an important part of socializing in the internet age. Saying "you can't do that" is likely to put a damper on site traffic that we would rather be stoking.

    But I'd like to think that such a policy would increase the signal-to-noise ratio in our forums. If people can't participate by simply echoing memes found elsewhere on the net, perhaps they'll start looking for interesting ways to express what's in their own heads. Ultimately that's the sort of stuff (and the sort of people) we want in our forums.

    And at the same time, a higher S:N ratio would make it easier for us to protect our members from harvesters. If we can rely on members to restrict themselves to original content, that will make it easier for us to go to harvesters (or their ISPs) and say "Hey, that's ours! You have no right to republish that." It's harder to justify that when the original content is lost amidst a pile of stuff taken from elsewhere.

    Any thoughts on this sort of policy? Would it increase our forums' originality, or simply squash interaction? I dunno, perhaps I'm expecting too much of human nature. :unsure:

    ... Oh, and to answer the original post: forum harvesters are bad for everybody.
     
  16. Deathstarr

    Deathstarr Active Member

    Over the last few months google has change its way of linking its search. There is a larger word I cant spell but anyways. The new way will drop the ranking of Auto content sites and they will eventually fall off the face of the earth to google because of duplicate content.
     
    Dominion likes this.
  17. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

    A lot of what goes in the LOL thread is public domain, i.e not something someone somewhere claims ownership over. We run a policy of citing any content taken from another site, but recent legal developments mean we may also have to mention not to post even 50% of what is published elsewhere.
     
  18. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    That rule would more likely stop people posting all together as no one likes heavy handed communities. With forums, for the most part, when content is reposted people express their views at the same time, or open up the content to be discussed making it different from harvesters who only wish to monetize off the work of others. Such rules make users severely unhappy as it hampers what they can and cannot on your forum drastically, and everyone will suffer for such rules (you in missing content as they are likely to take it somewhere else, and them as they will be limited in what they can do on your site).
     
  19. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    I understand such content is often public domain. My point is that any forum that contains a lot of frequently repeated content (be it public domain or not) ends up looking a lot like any other forum that contains the same content. My hope for my forum is that it will be different.

    That pretty much sums up my concerns. I don't care for draconian rules, but since we're a content company I'd like our forums to be fresh and original. I'd like to think there's a way to guide people in that direction without restricting them, but I can't for the life of me think of one.

    ...Hmm. I suppose we wouldn't have anything against the quotation of content available elsewhere, so long as the poster had a substantial viewpoint to go along with it. But the word "substantial" is operative here. It would not be sufficient to post a lolcat followed by the phrase, "I thought this was funny." I'll keep thinking on this, there has to be a workable middle ground.
     
  20. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    Every forum ends up looking like every other forum, depending on the niche and members. Nothing will ever really change this as long as you leave discussions up to the posters. People like sharing what they have an interest in, which requires that they link or repost content to start the discussion, and from there you gain new content in the form of the discussion.

    The best way to start original content is by giving some incentive, whether its a monetary award, special treatment (user title, user group, sparkly shiny objects full of sunshine, rainbows and unicorn farts) or just by respectful treatment.

    Moderating things like the meme spouting and picture posting idiocy is fine; those really serve no use and are more often a nuisance and add nothing of importance. But moderating say the reposting of a relevant news article or blog post where the user presents his view and feels like discussing it? Such subjects bring about the best original content (unless it gets heated, and than you close it), and rules like you stated will effectively deny you that.
     

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