Tagged: roifield brown

MyVillage content theft – site owner says sorry

You’ll be aware the MyVillage network of sites is in the habit of nicking content from local blogs to help it attract readers and advertisers – judging by the comments on the post below detailing my experiences with the Greenwich site, it’s quite a problem.

Well, I’ve had an e-mail from the owner of the network, Roifield Brown, saying sorry.

Fair play to him. Of course, no such e-mail was received here last year, and that seems to be the case for many others. I trust that this post, and his e-mail, won’t be making their way illicitly onto the MyVillage Greenwich site in the coming hours.

MyVillage was a darling of the web scene about seven or eight years ago, but it seems to have scaled back its operations more recently. That’s not stopping it from trumpeting the existence of non-existent staff on its “contact us” page, though…

I thought Stephanie Phillips, the “senior editor”, would be the go-to person here. But my e-mail to her went without a reply. I’ve tracked her down, and it turns out she no longer works for MyVillage, so she’s an innocent party in all this. But that hasn’t stopped Roifield Brown using her name and photograph as a contact for the site. Not good.

So hopefully, here’s where this site’s unwanted relationship with MyVillage ends. Hopefully others will find it just as easy to pull their blogs out of this corner of the web.

Incidentally, you should visit Stephanie’s blog, Don’t Dance Her Down Boys, because she’s got ace taste in music and there’s loads of that there. Seems like she’s thriving well away from Roifield’s sites. There’s probably a message in that, somewhere.

See also: The Getgood Guide.

Sorry RSS readers – blame thieving MyVillage idiots

Hello! I’ve had a couple of complaints about the RSS feed for 853 being truncated down to the first paragraph, which I’m told make posts difficult to read if you’re reading offline. I’m sorry about this, but unfortunately I’ve had to bring this into place because of abuse of the RSS feed by the MyVillage network of sites, whose rubbish Greenwich site has been pulling in content from 853 to help it attract readers and advertisers under the banner of “local news”. I’ve asked “senior editor” Stephanie Phillips to stop, but to no avail. (It turns out Stephanie no longer works for MyVillage, but her contact details remain on the site – she’s likely to be caught up in this too. See comments below and the following post.)

Actually, this site isn’t the biggest victim of MyVillage’s theft of content – the News Shopper website’s Lewisham and Greenwich index is thoroughly pillaged by it, meaning people looking for news about SE10 get some old waffle about Sydenham or Thamesmead. Nice.

All of which means I need to have a think about copyright and other issues – the great thing about the internet is the sharing of content and ideas, but when a commercial concern like MyVillage is nicking text and photos from local operators, and then running ads for multinationals alongside that content, then that ruins things. Truncating the RSS feed hasn’t stopped MyVillage, but it means they see less and they don’t seem to be able to use images from the site either. It’s not as if I get much traffic from them anyway – less than 1% of the page views for this site come from their piss-poor pages.

I blog for many reasons, but propping up other people’s business plans isn’t among them.

Hopefully, sending through a story which explains just what thieving bastards MyVillage are might sort things out. Otherwise they’re getting invoiced at £50 per post. Which, with the 15-month archive the site currently carries, means a big bill for MyVillage’s hapless crew. And a very merry Christmas for me and my mates, perhaps.

In the meantime, actually, I’m curious as to how you read this stuff – on a desktop? On a phone? By an RSS reader? Or do you subscribe by e-mail? That’s an option I didn’t even know existed for the first 18 months of writing this thing. Just please don’t say you read it on the bog…