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.

Revamping

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An Unpro­duc­tive Woman is the title of my first nov­el.  I wrote it sev­er­al years ago and the process of doing so was quite cathar­tic.  I learned a lot about myself through my main char­ac­ter Asabe.  Asabe is wise, patient, and has a will unlike any­one I’ve ever known.  Despite chal­lenges she always remains stead­fast and unflap­pable.

Peo­ple who know me and who have read the book often try to liken me to Asabe, sug­gest­ing that if we could be super­im­posed, we’d be the same per­son.  I con­sid­er that high praise, despite the inac­cu­ra­cy.   While writ­ing An Unpro­duc­tive Woman, I was con­scious­ly cre­at­ing a char­ac­ter that I would be proud to emu­late.

I pub­lished An Unpro­duc­tive Woman in 2008, about 11 years after actu­al­ly writ­ing it.  I’m cer­tain you can imag­ine that much has changed since then, both with me as a per­son as well as with  my writ­ing inter­ests and style.  That doesn’t mean that I love this book or the char­ac­ters any less though.

It has been sug­gest­ed to me in the past that because AUW is set in Africa and the char­ac­ters are Mus­lim, that these are the only pop­u­la­tions among which AUW could pos­si­bly have vig­or­ous sales.   I nev­er believed that.  Human beings are, well, human beings, and the vast major­i­ty of human expe­ri­ences are not unique.  AUW tells the sto­ry of a fam­i­ly, of life chal­lenges, hard choic­es, of faith and loss of faith, of love, of joy, and of life.

I’ve recent­ly tak­en steps to revamp AUW’s rep­u­ta­tion and image, increase expo­sure and hope­ful­ly sales.  I’m proud of the reviews AUW has received so far and hope there will be more in the future.  I want­ed to share the new cov­er.  Star­la Huch­ton did an awe­some job of it.  Check out the stel­lar write up she did of it on her blog.

I hope some of you will check it out online, down­load a sam­ple, hit the like but­ton at Ama­zon, buy a copy, or tell your friends about it.  It real­ly is a worth­while sto­ry.