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Thursday, July 07, 2005

New bloggers tend to 'borrow'

Anyone who has a blog will have to admit to doing a bit of 'borrowing' when they first started out. 

By 'borrowing' I mean that many of us probably spent those early days wandering around the blogosphere getting layout, design, and content ideas from more established sites. 

Those using free or inexpensive blogging applications have the problem of how to spice up the limited template choices available.  Let's face it... we all want our site's to look and feel unique.

Not being particularly astute with graphic issues, I looked at other people's color schemes and internal navigation to see what worked (i.e. which were easiest on the eyes and most intuitive to explore) and which were not (e.g. dark-colored type on darker backgrounds). 

I also realized very quickly that since I didn't enjoy the flashing/blinking stuff on other people's pages... that I should avoid such gimmicks on my own.  Let's not even bring up the unpardonable sin of auto-loading sound files that assault the ears the moment a site's home page loads!  That is the single quickest way to ensure I never visit your blog again.

During the first few weeks after starting treppenwitz I also checked out all those nifty organizational and association links that people have in their sidebars/'gutters'.  Some, like technorati and sitemeter were helpful (and more importantly, free!) tools that allowed me to have a better sense of things going on 'behind the scenes'. 

Others, such as the many 'web-rings' and associations that exist to affiliate and link like-minded blogs/bloggers were interesting, but weren't particularly useful to a completely non-specific site like mine.

I mention all this because I want everyone to understand that I really have no business looking down my nose at someone who borrows general ideas from my site.  In fact, I can't think of anything more flattering that to notice someone taking blogging/journaling hints from treppenwitz.

But there have to be limits to all this 'borrowing'! !

Those that have been coming here for a while know the purpose of the little graphic in the lower right hand corner of every post (You know, the one looks like this: 221_16_5_23).  For you newcomers, this post explains that this small graphic is my way of shaming myself into being more careful about eating.  You see, that number is my current weight.  When it goes up by a pound or two I usually get a few chiding comments from friends and readers.  If it goes down (which hasn't happened in quite some time) people are nice enough to offer encouragement and praise. 

All-in-all a nice system of public shame/reward.

But when a sharp-eyed reader recently pointed out a new blog that had lifted my weight graphic, I had to laugh.

I don't want to offer a direct link to the site... partly because they also have a big graphic link to a virulently anti-Zionist blog... but mostly because I don't want to tip them off to the fact that they've been caught doing something foolish. 

But if you go to www dot rachack dot blogspot dot com and scroll down to the catchy collection of links and graphics they've lifted from around the blogosphere, you will see my little weight button! 

It really isn't such a big deal.  But it indicates that someone (or several someones) went running around the Jewish blogosphere as if they were at a trade show, grabbing anything eye-catching that wasn't nailed down. 

Perhaps one day they will take a moment to go through their collection of 'borrowed' junk and realize that unless one of the contributors actually weighs 221 pounds, it might behoove them to remove my button!  :-)


Posted by David Bogner on July 7, 2005 | Permalink


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That's funny - I always thought it was your post count...

Posted by: Dave | Jul 7, 2005 1:31:56 PM

bwaaaha! thank you for this - it's a dark day, I was needing this.

Let's just coin this the "Brian effect" [lifted from 'The Life of Brian', of course]. It indicates so nicely that thought is definitely not involved...and then they proudly credit a "web designer" for the layout. bwaaaahaha. Did you notice your button is the only not linked, in a collection that sits in the "links" box?

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jul 7, 2005 1:44:32 PM

again, a second thought....have you seen the CC license they're blogging under? Isn't actually the one you have chosen, too? So...aren't they not only violating another blogger's CC but maintaining a double standard?

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jul 7, 2005 1:47:37 PM

Wow, the reader who alerted you to this really is sharp-eyed.

It is amazing how hypercritical some people are. They profess to be "religious", but have no compunctions about stealing from others.

Besides the stealing, the blog in question seems terrible. And did you check out the layout of the links?

Posted by: Dave | Jul 7, 2005 2:45:21 PM

I have to admit I was always wondering what that graphic was.
It seemed it might be some kind of blog lisiting but it would never click through to anything. Thanks for the explanation. Regarding layout etc. I think you can also take a page from Yahoo's layout to KISS. Hence the reason they are often imitated in some form: the sincerest form of flatery.

Posted by: Jewish Blogmiester | Jul 7, 2005 3:11:08 PM

I have to admit I was always wondering what that graphic was.
It seemed it might be some kind of blog lisiting but it would never click through to anything. Thanks for the explanation. Regarding layout etc. I think you can also take a page from Yahoo's layout to KISS. Hence the reason they are often imitated in some form: the sincerest form of flatery.

Posted by: Jewish Blogmiester | Jul 7, 2005 3:11:45 PM

Sad though this is to admit, I had always wondered what that little button at the end of your posts meant.

Obviously, I need to a)pay better attention, and b) drink more coffee.

Posted by: Lisa | Jul 7, 2005 3:12:19 PM

I'd always wondered what that thing meant, too. (You're not alone, Lisa.) I kinda sorta thought it meant how many other people were reading it, and I was always tremendously impressed!! Hey - maybe that's why it was stolen! That other guy wants two hundred plus readers at any given time for his blog, too!!

Posted by: Mary | Jul 7, 2005 3:33:05 PM


Pay no attention to that blogger. He's an "interesting" fellow.

Whatever else, people might try to pinch off your website, they can't take your awards!

I also used to think they were something to do with your posts!

Posted by: Frummer? | Jul 7, 2005 5:43:03 PM

That's so funny! I just found that blog the other day and saw that button. I thought I recognized it from your sight, but I didn't know what it was on your blog so I didn't really give it another thought. Haha...

Posted by: tmeishar | Jul 7, 2005 6:53:55 PM

That is super funny Trep, I also wondered, but maybe I should have asked. Hmm .. well, now we now, it was a briliant idea. This guy must be your twin.

Posted by: Chaim | Jul 7, 2005 7:09:53 PM

Not that it matters, since beautiful people comes in all shapes in sizes, but...since you live in Israel (and people know it), you might want to think about changing over to kilos. Those numbers can be misleading!

Posted by: Toby | Jul 7, 2005 7:55:04 PM

I think it's HILARIOUS that the guy is such a sheep that he stole it without even knowing what it means. I am sorely tempted to publicly ask him (via his comments) what it means.

Posted by: celestial blue | Jul 7, 2005 9:14:25 PM

Dave... No, my post count is nearly double that. :-)

Mademoiselle a. ... They are really pretty far down the food chain. the spelling, grammar and, well, the content is just really sketchy. All in all, not worth the effort.

Dave... Like I said to mlle a., they have issues that go far beyond ethics.

Jewish Blogmiester... Yeah, but these guys went way beyond flattery. They clearly went around the blogosphere with the electronic equivalent of a vacuum cleaner and slurped up everything that looked remotely useful or interesting. Then (to belabor the metaphor) they shook the bag out over their template. :-)

Lisa... Don't feel bad. It was one post a long time ago... but I agree about the coffee. =:~>

Mary... I'm flattered that you would think I'm so popular! I get a few hundred actual visitors every day (not including search engines and bots)... not every minute!

Frummer... It's funny but I'm actually surprised he didn't take the awards. :-)

tmeishar... Maybe I've inadvertently started a fad. :-)

Chaim... Unless he is 7' tall, I really hope he doesn't weigh the same as I do.

Toby... Of course you are right... but unfortunately the metric system is still largely lost on me. Also, I like the smaller increments of pounds vs. kilos. :-)

Celestial... Please do...I'd be curious as hell to see what he says.

Posted by: David | Jul 7, 2005 9:21:15 PM

I happily will, then!!! I didn't know if you wanted me to poke at the bear or not..
(and sorry about the double post earlier... it went a bit wonky. glad you took care of it)

Posted by: celestial blue | Jul 7, 2005 11:44:32 PM

It's off his site now, isn't it? haha

Posted by: tmeishar | Jul 10, 2005 8:00:20 AM

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