The big blog networks are businesses and as such it is in their best interest to spread google juice and link love among all the blogs on their network. This means that when they have a chance to link to an item of interest seen on numerous blogs they usually choose another blog on their own network. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, although the network runs the risk of becoming myopic in not linking to news sources outside the blog network, even if that’s where they first saw the news. I can understand the reasoning behind network linking from a business standpoint but when a network blog changes history does it create a ripple effect through the blogosphere?
I uncovered something today that quite frankly is still leaving a bad smell in the blogosphere. This morning I was checking Technorati links to jkOnTheRun as I do everyday, just like countless other bloggers. It’s one of the ways we see where our readers are coming from. One of the returned Technorati search results was this item:
The link "Apple Tablet on eBay" in heavy black above is this link to a story I posted yesterday, after Mr DeRuvo emailed me the information. The blog who linked to my story is The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on the Weblogs Inc. network. TUAW is a big blog so I was quite happy to see them link to my blog, although curiously I hadn’t seen much traffic coming from their blog. So imagine my surprise when I click the Blogniscient link for the story and see this:
This lead me to the post on TUAW which has been totally edited to credit the source of the story to HackADay, another Weblogs Inc. blog. The link to my story, which is obviously where TUAW found the story to begin with, is gone. Now, HackADay didn’t even run this story, TUAW is just sourcing an emailed tip to HackADay as the new source, but after they had originally posted my article as the source:
[thanks Joseph for emailing the hack a day tip line, posted here with Eliot's permission]
Bear in mind I am not doubting that Mr. DeRuvo also emailed the story to HackADay, that happens all the time. But for TUAW to edit their original post to remove the true source (which is still cached by Technorati) and change history, that just smells really bad to me. It seems that perhaps Jason Calacanis has driven Weblogs Inc. into an incestuous network of sources, and that can only be bad for the blogosphere he promotes so fiercely.
UPDATE: I have been informed by TUAW that they did not change their original post to edit the source and I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. There is one final post on this situation here.