Friday 5 August 2005

not even worthy of the bird cage

The Independent published this rather pointless article about blogs today. In a nutshell, it says "There are a lot of blogs out there. Here are some excerpts that we've copied from a few 'quirky' blogs, with links to the sites. We can't be arsed to a) write a decent article that actually makes some sort of point, b) inform the authors of these blogs that we will be quoting them, or c) inform the authors that we will include links to their sites that our thousands of readers will click upon, thus eating up the blog's entire bandwidth quota in the span of an hour." Or words to that effect.

Unfortunately, one of my lovely bloggy friends has been included in this article and had to remove her blog as a consequence (she is in the article under the baby blog section). To quote from her site (and thus saving her some more bandwidth by not encouraging readers here to go there directly):
This site is offline until further notice.

The Independent newspaper decided to publish an entry from this website today. Obviously they do not have to ask permission being that the internet is in the public domain, but it would have been perhaps courteous to have notified us, if only for the sudden increase in site traffic that it generated.

This website was decided as a slightly humorous method of letting our friends and family know how our much-loved baby is progressing in the world. As anyone with children will know, these first few months pass by in a whirlwind and it is hard to remember when milestones were reached and cherished moments happened, so it was also a way for us to keep our own record of our baby's development.

Unfortunately, as a result of the Independent article, a number of people commented slightly unsavoury remarks about the content and style of the site. Again, we realise that the site is in the public domain, but it was a harmless site with no offence caused to anyone - or so we thought. To discover links to photos of our son, with insulting comments about us as his parents, was hurtful to say the least.

So for the time being we are taking the site offline. As the saying goes, today's news is tomorrow's fish-and-chip paper, but until that happens we don't want people being able to abuse us or our child.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those that did visit our site regularly and who enjoyed its content.

The Site Owners

This was a sweet blog written from the point of view of a (rather cute, if I do say so myself) baby boy. It was totally harmless, lighthearted, and like my baby blog, a means to keep track of the millions of milestones and to help keep family and friends informed about the baby. She wasn't vying for the Pulitzer Prize for literature, for Pete's sake. Yes, blogs are in the public domain and you can't stop people from using material from your site in whatever manner they want. Should a newspaper like The Independent know better? In my view, yes. I think it's a bit pathetic to take the piss out of a blog like baby Matthew's. Go laugh at my dog blog (it's been done before), or have a giggle at the latest celebrity blog, but when someone feels that they have to stop blogging because of undeserved harsh comments, something has gone terribly wrong. This argument that "everyone has a blog and they're all ridiculous" misses an important point - we should encourage anything that gets people to read, write, think, and interact. No matter how banal someone may think it is.

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