Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Some Changes At

I've been fighting for a number of weeks to deal with a couple problems that really piss me off. The first one has been lagginess. The site has been super-slow, and I haven't been able to figure out why. I know ASP.NET keeps terminating the site's processing thread, because the server is under a pretty decent load.

The second problem I'm going to rant about for a minute is reaggregators. I've stumbled across several websites in the last couple weeks that are taking my content and reaggregating it, without citing their source or linking back to me. They don't even link back to me for comments! CommunityServer's support for these situations, like some other parts of the software, is incomplete at best. So I've been working on mods that let me regain control of my feeds.

So here's how I'm handling the situation. First, I'll be publishing an Terms of Use in the next few days that will outline how the feeds here are allowed to be used. The long and short of it is, reaggregation is allowed, but you can't take comments on your site, and you must site the author and link back to the original article in the title.

NOTE: Reaggregating excerpts citing the source and linking back to the site is always OK. Reaggregating the entire article without commentary, links, or citing the source is not. Not only does it mislead visitors, but I screws with my Google ranking, because the GoogleBot considers them splogs.

Second, I'm spending about an hour a day tracking down sites stealing my content. Their IP addresses are being tracked, and I'm reporting these sites to Google AdSense, as they are violating the AdSense Terms of Service. Google has been very responsive in shutting down their accounts, and I thank them. I've got a few other tricks up my sleeve, all of which involve CommunityServer mods... but I'm not going to talk about them so they aren't circumvented.

Third, I've offloaded the RSS feeds for the main site, as well as my blog here, to FeedBurner. They don't give me enough control over who isn't allowed to get the feeds here (although they said they are working on it), but they have a lot of fantastic features. What really sold me was the fact that they're redirect your feeds for 30 days if you cancel the service, which of course is extremely important. Your feed should be pulling from FeedBurner now, so you shouldn't see any interruptions in service.

The site is already running a lot faster... I hope it stays that way. There will still be some issues until I can do permanent redirects, but hopefully FeedBurner will move fast to add the features I need. I'm planning a couple more fixes to deal with the fact that CommunityServer throws an unhandled exception when it can't find a weblog to serve up an RSS feed or something, and Google keeps trying to hit blogs that never had content. I'm gonna return an RSS feed with a "this blog no longer exists" item for each blog that I've deleted. Since exceptions are terribly expensive to throw, if I stop them from happening, we should see a performance boost.

Ok, so now I need your help. if you come across any websites that are stealing content here, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail and let me know. I'll add their site to my list, and they'll get a different (but tasteful) message from your truly.

As always, feedback is appreciated.



  • GRLT said:

    I know how you feel about reaggregators from a publishing standpoint.  Also from the other side of the software, it doesn't give your site a personal touch, all your readers see is that you've stolen content and they don't know from where.  I've always been one to link back to the original article or blog in some way usually in a notice right before I begin my comments or a quote.  I've even given credit for any press-releases I didn't find myself.  I tend to want my viewers to comment on my site but I prefer they comment on my site and the source site.

    January 23, 2007 5:51 AM
  • I am one of your "reaggregators" via the mirroring system built into CS, however since day one of implementing my aggregate page, new comments have been disabled (thus making sure any visitors go back to the originating site to leave comments, or even view more than the first 500 characters), and I've always had a copyright notice annotating original site content authors. I've blogged about doing this as proper netiquette as well...I'm pretty sure it violates copyright for a site to republish other site's content (either actively or passively) w/o annotation.

    I have been working (slowly) on some mirroring mods for CS pertaining to similar stuff that you've mentioned, so if you'd like to collaborate let me know.

    January 23, 2007 6:53 AM
  • vern said:

    You want some cheez with that whine?

    Typically I only quote portions of other people' content.

    On the rare occasions I quote entire pieces I specifically state I am doing so.

    In some rare cases I will follow links to the true originating point, and when that happens I cite that as the source.

    In all cases I cite and/or provide a link to where I got the content or link to the content from.

    I think that's being fair enough...

    Last thing;

    Any chance of getting you to integrate CoComments into your site?

    Instructions here;

    January 23, 2007 3:55 PM
  • User said:

    Ever consider a *nix and Apache? I know you think all OSS users are overzealous communists, but I guarantee that you'd be able to make it work  more efficiently on the same hardware. It's free to try.


    January 23, 2007 3:59 PM
  • Vern? Not whining, and this stuff doesn't apply to you. It applies to "reaggregators" that re-publish the entire feed in web form somewhere else, without linking to the source in ANY of the posts. Linking and quoting individual posts is never a problem. republishing a WindowsNow feed as your own IS.

    User: Not gonna happen. The issues are related to my blog engine, not the server itself. I doubt ASP.NET runs better on Apache than it does on IIS....

    January 23, 2007 4:21 PM
  • vern said:

    luser: Why are you here? You are clearly not the target environment.

    Moreover, you are clearly sold on the believed superiority of starnix and a patchy webserver, but you are apparently not able to ascend to the level of accepted position. You are still trying to convince everyone who runs Windows that it is somehow inferior.

    Do me a favor, show me a COMPLETELY FUNCTIONALLY EQUIVALENT system to CommunityServer that runs entirely on a nix and uses all free AND open source software.

    If you can do that, you only then need to do two more things; show me how I can quickly and easily (as a non-technical user, mind you) deploy it on my own server, and point me to at least 2 dozen hosting providers who have turnkey type solutions for running that system.

    Go ahead, sell me.

    Oh, and lest you think I'm some luddite, let me tell you; I've administered several thousand systems on several hundred networks, ranging from DEC Alpha, VMS, SCO Unix, Sun, Macintrash and nearly any PC hardware you can imagine with nearly every PC O/S you can imagine, both server and workstation. I'm not a developer, but I can run anything.

    January 23, 2007 5:44 PM
  • vern said:

    Do I hear crickets chirping?

    Where's your badass *nix-based OSS solution?

    That's what I thought...

    January 24, 2007 9:57 AM
  • vern said:

    chirp.......... chirp............

    I love linux fans.

    January 25, 2007 10:23 PM