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The Gutenberg (ex)Press

Why Your Business Should Blog … OR, Why Lame Bloggers Really Suck

It seems that Richard Zwicky has been listening to Blog Bloke. Somehow, some way, my comparison of Blog Technology and RSS to the “Gutenberg Press” ended up in his recent post.

What really sealed the deal was the timing and location of where it happened.

Case in point: Richard refers to a “conversation” that he had with a mysterious group of business people in Victoria BC at the same time when (October of this year) I had lectured on the same topic to a group of “business people” in the same place, where coincidentally Richard also hails from.

Just a coincidence? I don’t think so.

In fact, he seems to quote me so accurately that he may as well have torn a page right out of my speech notes. To prove my point, on or about that same time period I had also written several posts using the exact same “Gutenberg” comparison.

These were written before Richard’s post that is dated November 22nd, so there is no question that I was the first to coin the phrase.


Need more evidence? Well I’m certain I could muster up some witnesses if need be.

Now this was growing into one heck of a “coincidence” and it got me a-thinkin’. Could this perhaps be more than just happenstance?

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, BUT the rule of thumb is if you want to play the blog game then you should know it is generally frowned upon for not giving credit where credit is due.

Quoting Richard (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) at the SearchEngineJournal:

“Then “Gutenberg” came along, and revolutionized the publishing industry by making it possible to mass produce their work. Systems got faster and faster for a few centuries, and then along came the Internet. It became possible for anyone with a computer and a web site somewhere to publish their work and have it visible anywhere around the world in seconds. Now, anyone can spread their message, instantly. Aspiring and established writers alike can bypass the traditional publishing industry, and disseminate their work directly to the public.

He also went on the say:

‘Link’ to numerous outside resources and to other weblogs with like content. It shows your readers that you are keeping up to date on what is going on elsewhere too.

There are many ways to build a successful blog. What it really comes down to is offering readers relevant, interesting information, and providing ‘links’ to resources and news.

That is good advice, BUT Blog Bloke would like to point out that maybe Rich should be taking his own advice when it comes to linking and giving credit to sources.

This post stands as a testament to ALL concerned who may think that it is OK to take credit for some else’s work or ideas. It is bad blogging etiquette to not provide a link to your references and give credit to the original author, because passing off someone else’s intellectual property as your own really, (really) SUCKS!


Update: I’ve contacted Richard via email who of course professes innocence of the matter. I also invited him to post a comment here for rebuttal to prove me wrong if he so chooses. He asked me to remove this post but I believe it should remain as a lesson learned to a problem that is all too prevalent in the Blogosphere, regardless of who may or may not be in the wrong.

I am currently working on an ebook on this very topic, and it is the main reason why I made an issue out of it. Nor do I go around making frivolous accusations unless there is substantial evidence requiring an investigation. And ya gotta admit on the face of it the prima facie evidence is overwhelming.

So if you think I’ve wronged you bud I’m sorry, but unfortunately the facts speak for itself.

It is my sincere desire to want to give Richard the benefit of the doubt, which is why after writing this post I contacted him directly to give him an opportunity for his version of the events. In fact, I have since edited this post and toned it down considerably as a demonstration of my good faith. The evidence presented is more than fair and balanced.

I have personally struggled with trying to find a win/win proposition for both sides to save face. If somehow on the perchance that I am proved wrong and we are indeed of a like-mind at the same time and place (albeit the odds would be astronomical), well then you will find me a decent person and the first to admit a mistake and apologize.

But like I said the facts speak for itself.

The law places the onus on we individuals to police our intellectual property, and when a potential violation presents itself the law obliges that we investigate. That is precisely what I have done and you can decide for yourself.

BTW, please remember - if y’all like something I have said, kindly link to me. ;-)

Thanks and nuff said.

Written November 24th, 2004 by | 4 Comments | Filed under: Blog Ethics, Blog Tips, Business Tips, Personal stuff, Technology Tips

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There are 4 Comments so far to “The Gutenberg (ex)Press”

  1. Hello Blog Bloke,
    I am responding to your request to let people know that I was one of the business people in Victoria who had the pleasure to hear your speech about Web blogging and Weblog Technology and the comparison to the Gutenberg (ex)press. Although I did not always understand the information and the knowlege that you imparted in your speech I can say with authority that you were the one that said it first. However I hasten to add that perhaps great minds think alike.

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  2. I too was a member of the business group mentioned by the Blog Bloke and recall the references in his speeches regarding the Gutenberg Press; in late September, early October.

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  3. Hi Bloke!

    I have to say that I too was present that day that you presented your info to a group of people, and yes you did say something about the Gutengerg Press. I think you were first!

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  4. Post I wrote a decade ago busting SearchEngineJournal for plagiarizing my Gutenberg comparison to blogs http://t.co/oH27dfzQ via @BLOGBloke

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