In our efforts to connect with the potential audience for A Story Before Bed, we’ve spent lots of time finding folks online who care about things that A Story Before Bed can help with… like connecting families, and promoting literacy. On the literacy front, these blogs are among the best:
- Educational Technology in the Classroom
- Jen Robinson’s Book Page
- Jerz’s Literacy Weblog
- Literacy Launchpad
- Literacy Toolbox
- The Book Chook
- The PESD Language & Literacy Blog
(currently under reconstruction)
They’re super thoughtful sources of information, and while I haven’t met any of them in person, the authors seem like good folk.
All the more reason we’d want to cultivate positive relationships with them. Instead, I did the exact opposite.
Awhile ago I thought it would be cool to aggregate their content into one source and have that source connected to our children’s book service. I go to their blogs regularly, and know that i often want to see them all together so I can browse that topic in one place. Aggregating feeds of different sources of information is a fine thing to do on the internet as long as you attribute, generously link back, and only post an excerpt – not their entire post. It also helps if you add some value to the post your linking to with some original thought. I screwed up. While we did attribute, and link back generously, we reposted entire posts (not cool to say the least), and hadn’t gotten around yet to getting the site to where it should be which was adding original content and value to their already thoughtful posts. It also helps to ask permission depending on the context. I didn’t do that either. (Strike three.)
When the bloggers noticed (and were rightfully super annoyed) we pulled down all the content immediately. (Deleted!) We also sent out apologies to each blogger (where we had contact info) and offered free subscriptions to our service if they would like. We’re super sorry, and of course will use drastically improved judgment in the future.
The nice thing about the internet is how easy it is to do whatever you like. The other nice thing is how many people will tell you when “ur doin’ it wrong”. Thanks for the course correction, and we’ll work hard in the future to make entirely new dopey decisions and not repeat ones we’ve already made.