UPDATE: I’ve Been Cloned

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Wrong Way ... Way Wrong

Robert Fornal via Compfight

 You may recall a recent post wherein I discussed the fact that many of my blog posts, my picture, Bio, tagline, and logo had been republished blog style on another website. I was a bit mortified by this because I was never informed that this was being done and also because there was an open comment section, which itself is only problematic if I am unaware and thus unable to respond, defend, or censor in the case of vulgar language.

I contacted the editor of the website via email.  When I didn’t receive a prompt response I decided to write a post. I mean, if my site was being watched and reproduced, surely the culprit would see the post about them and feel compelled to respond.

Within hours of said post I received an email from Publici.com. On the face of it, the letter was polite and apologetic. I was informed that my posts had been removed. The editor pointed out that my Creative Commons license allows for free use as long as said work is unchanged and attributed to me.

Touché.

I responded in like fashion stating that had I been consulted I may have been more open to the idea. I thanked them for their prompt response and I was quite pleased with the eventual outcome.

Then oddly enough I received another note from the editor. The editor told me that she believed my voice unique, mature and gentle.  She stated that I had followers among the staff of Publici.com. Then she said “… may I dare to suggest you’ll give us a second chance, this time by operating your account directly? This way it will much better reflect your needs and requirements. Also, we’ll be happy to any suggestions, opinions or comments you may have regarding our site and our vision.”

Well, after my head shrank back down to normal size, I actually considered the offer. Briefly. Very briefly. The thing is, I work full-time and I have a family.  Free time for me is scarce. Committing myself to another writing gig, however small, is hardly something I can afford. But, during that brief period of consideration, I decided to check out this website.

What if they were doing something ground breaking and significant?

What if they were willing to compensate me?

What if this was something I simply could not pass up?

The first thing I noted is that the homepage is divided into sections: Media Watch, Social Movements, Arab Spring, Civil Activism.  And on the face of it, many of the posts appear to cover topics about Muslims. I thought, Well I’m Muslim. Then I noted that the website operates from Israel. Now that really intrigued me. I had these immediate delusions of grandeur.

What if they’re dedicated to unifying Muslims and Jews worldwide for peace?

What if they are dedicated to dispelling myths and stereotypes about Muslims and Jews and other misunderstood groups?

What if they are dedicated to outing offenders of the rights of marginalized groups?

Yes. Delusions of grandeur.

What I found instead upon closer inspection is that Piblici.com actually curates posts from all over the web and that said posts, based on the few I could stomach, were not at all as grand as I hoped. I won’t go into detail but this was my response:

Hello (editor’s name withheld),
I hope this note meets you well.
This was a kind letter to receive as are you praise but I must decline.
I am very particular about where and how I use my writing and it is important to me that I not be or appear to be aligned with anything or anyone whose moral outlook I can not reconcile myself with.
I understand the Publici curates content from all over the web and from differing perspectives, which in and of itself is great.  That said, I have seen multiple posts and opinions that have a distinctly bigoted outlook against Muslims (of which I am one) and people of color (of which I am one). While I certainly afford people the right to feel and think what they wish, I can certainly not imagine contributing on the same platform with people whose ideas I find inflammatory and offensive and who use untruth as a device to defame the group of people to which I belong.
Thank you again for the invitation.
Be well.

My last correspondence with the editor was about four or five days ago and I haven’t heard back, which is fine.  I guess I hoped she would respond.  I hoped she would tell me that I am wrong about the site.  I wanted her to tell me that they are dedicated to honest, balanced, inclusive writing that does not promote the continued marginalization of disparate groups.

I wanted to have that delusion of grandeur.

Search Terms

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Blogging Research Wordle

Kristina B via Compfight

 In about one month Khaalidah.com will be one year old, so I thought it would be interesting to review those search terms that have brought people to my website.  As my readership is fairly small, I figured most people stumble upon my site completely by mistake.  I was right to assume that, but I could have never imagined just how interesting this list would turn out to be.  I thought it would be fun to share a few of them.

The top five search terms that transport unsuspecting readers to my site are:

  • Moribito – I wrote a post about this anime several months ago.  It remains a favorite in my home because of the strong female protagonist, the refreshing lack of fan service and inuendo, and interesting unique storyline.
  • Bajoran – The Bajorans are a race of people from Star Trek: DS9.  I mentioned them in a post once when discussing the presence of religion and SF.
  • Fate Zero review – I wrote a somewhat lengthy review of Fate Zero a few months ago.  Have you seen the anime?  What do you think?
  • pretty white girls – While I did write a post by this name, I’m certain that the people, of which there were many, who typed this into their search engine were not actually looking or my post.
  • Sircarius Emperor’s Edge – Ah now… For this I have Lindsay Buroker to thank.  I caught up with the Emperor’s Edge podcast on iTunes over a year ago and became an instant fan.  I went on to read the next two books and become a fast admirer of Lindsay Buroker.  The EE series is fun and smart, steampunkish, and fast paced just like all of Lindsay Buroker’s books.  Let me expound a bit here.  Lindsay Buroker is an awesome author and cyber friend and I believe that I found her book by divine intervention.  I’d published my own novel but had done nothing to promote or network.  I was stuck and didn’t know how to become unstuck.  Lindsay inspired me.  An indie author herself, Lindsay is fairly successful at not only producing quality writing but at networking and selling her work.  In addition, Lindsay is the consummate professional and a lovely human being.  She agreed to an interview about my favorite character in her series named Sircarius, and she gave me an opportunity to write a guest post for her site.  Additionally she has produced a few how-to type podcasts directed at other indie authors and she keeps up an awesome website with loads of terrific information.  I’m going to send a shout out and many, many thanks to Lindsay Buroker.  I’d estimate that nearly 30-35% of the search terms leading to Khaalidah.com are in some form a reference to the Emperor’s Edge series or my favorite character Sircarius.  I guess I’m not the only one who loves the taciturn assassin.

The most interesting search terms that have guided people to my site are:

  • cool anime Muslim
  • albino teenager
  • i don’t understand ergo proxy
  • how to make a werewolf
  • too depressed to watch fate zero
  • fully clothed romance
  • nobody knew what Adam had in his suitcase – ?
  • what does take me to your leader mean – ?
  • im ready to take my faith to new levels by setting my mind on heavenly things – I wish this person much success.
  • light bulb worker – ?
  • angry white girl clothing – Is there a such thing?
  • harry potter and geds scar – I saw immediate similarities between Harry Potter series and The Wizard of Earthsea.
  • should i let my son watch fate zero – I love that someone actually asked this question.  As a parent I am very cognizant about what my children watch, even though two of them are technically adults.  I take a sincere interest in the things that interest them.  I watch anime with them and I play games with them in an effort to know and understand the things that interest them.  This is awesome.  My answer to this question would be, it depends on how old your son is and if you plan to watch Fate Zero with him.

Oddly or maybe not so oddly, there are several search terms to vulgar or inappropriate to mention so I won’t, but it makes me wonder what people are thinking, if it can actually be labeled thinking and why they are thinking that way.  But that would be another post.  Moving along.

This particular search term blows my mind a bit:

  •  who is Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali – I guess this person really was looking for me.  Heh.  Wow.

To those of you who have stopped by from time to time to read my posts, thank you and I hope to see you back again.

I’ve Been Cloned

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I follow the stats of my website.  It helps me track the growth of my presence online, helps me learn which posts are most popular and where my readers go after they are finished with me.  Based on the information that I’ve gathered as of late, my most popular post isn’t one that I wrote myself, but rather one that Aliette de Bodard was gracious enough to guest-pen called Aliette de Bodard On Worldbuilding, Patchwork and Filing off Serial Numbers.  Thank you Aliette.

Sometimes I follow the referrer links to see where my readers were before clicking to my site.  Recently when I did this I found myself looking at me…my face.  My name.  My tagline and commissioned logo.  My curriculum vitae.  And many of my posts.  I found myself looking at a recreation of my blog on another website.

DO NOT DUPLICATE

Sam UL via Compfight

 I don’t know what to call this.  Whole sale theft?  Complete content curating?  Borrowing?  The highest form of flattery?  Stalking?  Whatever it is, I don’t like it.  You can see it here.

I didn’t authorize this.  I’ve never received a message, an email, or a call from anyone asking if they could duplicate my content.  I just don’t know why anyone would presume to do this.

Unfortunately I don’t have any tech savvy friends who can help me sort this out so I am pretty stuck as to what I can do.  Has this ever happened to you?  I sent an email to Publici.com asking that they remove my content and I am still awaiting a response.

The only good thing about this is that my content is being attributed to me and there are links that lead back to my site.  But why click over to my site if all of my content is already on Publici.com?  The worst thing is that there is at least one comment over there that I probably never would have allowed to remain had it been on my site.  The commenter said some pretty vulgar things and sounds like a troll.  While I welcome discussions with people who may have a differing opinion, I would never allow a comment that had profanity.  That is just not what I am about.  Also, I don’t know Publici.com or what they stand for and I oppose appearing to align myself with a site that may potentially function in opposition to my own beliefs and values.  This is important to me.

I guess I’ll just wait to see if they ever respond to my email.  I’ll give it a week and then I guess I’ll have to decide what to do next.

What would you do?