Monday, November 27, 2006

A tale of two blog sites (updated)

Update 08-OCT-2007

In the original version of this article I named somebody who had posted other people's articles verbatim and without proper attribution. This person claims that it was an honest mistake and they had no intention of passing off other people's work as their own. They asked me to remove their name from this article. Originally I simply added a postscript. However they have now repeated the request. After due consideration I have decided to remove their name and the link to their blog. In all honesty I should have done so sooner. However, the Internet being what it is (i.e. a hall of mirrors) I'm sure multiple versions of the original wording will be around for ages.

I visited two new Oracle blogs today. The first, Oracle Brains, by Rajender Singh is workmanlike, and to be frank, doesn't contain much that is strange or startling. It will be a while before the site lives up to its name. But everybody has to start somewhere. Also, Raj showed initiative by advertising his blog in the OTN forums. More importantly, it is all his own work.

Unlike the second blog I visited this lunchtime. [name deleted] claims he will use his [name deleted][url deleted] blog "to keep my knowledge on Oracle RDBMS spread over this blog and share some light moments". But what he is actually sharing are articles by Jonathan Lewis, Fairlie Rego and Steve Adams, although attributing them to himself. So that's light as in light-fingered rather than light-hearted.

This is not as blatant as the nimrod who recently cloned Tim Hall's entire Oracle Base site but it is still pretty stupid. Passing off other people's work as your own is dishonest. Doing so on a web site merely shows a complete ignorance of the power of search engines. It took me a couple of minutes to identify the real authors of those pieces, and I'm not even a black belt in Google Fu.

Jakob Nielsen advised us to remember that our future bosses might be reading our blogs and post accordingly. Advertising oneself as someone who takes the credit for other peoples' efforts and knows nothing about how the Internet works strikes me as a bad tactic for impressing people looking to hire good technical staff. A Dilbert-esque line about people looking to hire managers has occurred to me, but my future - or even my current - boss may be reading.


[name deleted] has contacted me to say that he was not intending to pass off other peoples' works as his own. He has amended his blog to acknowledge the original inspirations for those articles. So I am happy to accept [name deleted]'s explanation and I withdraw any imputation of dishonesty on his part.