Some 'Housekeeping' Business

First, please pray for Trinity. Her parents put her to bed after fighting a cold Saturday night and couldn't wake her late Sunday morning. Her acid levels are high as if she drank antifreeze -- but they don't think she ingested anything weird. Just don't know. Pray and pray some more.

Some of you have asked how I know who comes to my blog. I don't know specifically, but I can make some educated guesses. If I REALLY wanted to know, I could pay for a service that would tell me which COMPUTER visited my blog. Freaky, right? I use a service called sitemeter. It's very interesting for tracking traffic trends for my blog. WHICH can become a total obsession if you let it! Sitemeter can tell me the city of the SERVER that your computer uses (my server is in a little town outside of Abilene, I've learned!), it tells me what time you clicked onto my blog and how many 'pages' you visited while you were here (when you go to the comments, it counts as a separate page). The most interesting thing, though, is the referrals. It tells me if someone clicked on a link anywhere on the internet that brought them to my blog.

That is how I found out that Janie, and Dr. Butner, and Carrie (who was my BFF in 4th grade and recently happened across on facebook -- how weird is THAT. Oh, and she has the cutest blog!) all have links to me in their sidebar/ blogroll for which I am grateful! (Y'all -- I know I need a blogroll. Someday I'll get to that!) There are a few others that I can't think of off the top of my head, but I didn't know those folks knew I EXISTED until I saw that they had linked to me. That's really cool.

That's also where I can find out that people landed on my blog by googling for 'hammy downs' (oh, yes, they did....) or their local cult or my name. I have a friend that doesn't ever remember how to get to my blog -- I suspect she's my Abilene person who googles my name and blog. Very funny.

There are other options to use for this information, and if you have a Wordpress blog it tells you some of it automatically (Wordpress users, what info do you get from your traffic reports?)

In the post about "borrowing"/ stealing another's words or information, Warren brought up an interesting point about video -- or, more specifically, posting a video on your own blog that you saw on another. First, Warren, I agree with the first part of your statement -- what's so hard about just linking and saying: "I really liked this." The person who posted my stuff said s/he wanted a family member to know how they felt and my words summed it up best. Which is very flattering! But, still... a little credit, folks!

But video? What do you all think? I confess that I saw that video on... someone's blog and now I don't remember which one? I think it was Dr. Butner's? But since I was ABLE to embed it -- post it in my blog from the youtube server -- I consider it 'public domain'. Would it have been NICE of me to mention where I got it so that you, too, may go see all the clever and funny things that person posts? Absolutely! Was it stealing for me to NOT give credit? I don't THINK so, but this is certainly a gray area that I am happy to receive a little guidance in!

While I'm being a walking (typing) Public Service Announcement, let me tell you about a tool I recently started using. A recent Reader's Digest article talked about preventing (or being aware of) cyber-bullying, where someone (not always kids we've learned!) trash talks you or your child be it true or not. They mentioned that one way to be aware of what is 'out there' about either is to sign up for Google Alerts. Google Alerts are emails automatically sent to you when there are new Google results for your search terms. So, if you set up a Google Alert for your child, you will receive an email when someone posts something to the internet with their name on it. I signed up for all of my family -- all I came across unawares was a comment Ashley had made to her youth group's blog. Whew! But I'm thankful to have one more tool on my side to know what is out there. More info about Google Alerts here (seems it would also be useful for research, etc.)

I'm out of useful information! Anyone else want to share? :-)


Runner Mom said...

Wow! THat's a lot of stuff to think about! I hopped over last night, but didn't leave a comment--was ready for bed! Thanks for visiting my blog the other day! Come back anytime!! Enjoy this beautiful day!


Warren Baldwin said...

Thanks for visiting Family Fountain and leaving a nice note.

Also, thanks for discussing the video issue. When I saw it on yours and wanted to use it, I remembered I had seen it somewhere else, too, but didn't remember where. So, I would be unable to ask that person. Turns out, it was on Dr. Butner's site (which you reminde me of). I think you are probably right that a video on YouTube is public domain. But, I'll probably still say that I saw it most recently on your site.


Dr. Roger D. Butner said...

Great "practical blogging" post, Sarah. I am also a sitemeter fan, and man, could I relate to what you said about both seeing how folks found your site (search words) and how it can become an obsession!

What I really found hilarious as I read your reference to that recent video post was remembering my juvenile response when I first saw your previous post. I was like, "Hey, she got that from my site!" And then the immediate thought of slightly more maturity, "Oh yeah, I guess it is someone else's video, and all I did was put a link to the YouTube public domain." Thanks for the much-needed reminder of not taking myself so ridiculously seriously. ;D

And, interestingly enough, it was via my sitemeter stats that I found Warren's link to my site. Ah, the connectivity of the blogosphere!

Sarah said...

Great point that referencing the place you saw the video is less 'blog ethics' and more 'blog etiquette'. So, it was probably 'blog rude' for me not to mention where I get it, but I can't go to 'blog jail' -- right? :-) I should probably work on my blog etiquette. Sheesh. So much to remember!

Rob said...

Dr. Butner already makes the point I was thinking. While referencing someone else's site - even if to say he/she has really good stuff - is a nice nod, if THAT person also is referencing a site, where does it end? (Here's a great video that I saw first on Sarah's site, but it came from Mary's site but before that was probably Jim's site...)

Now IF Sarah or whoever adds good commentary to the idea of the video or if it is of Sarah's kids in the back yard trying to do that jump rope thing, you probably ought to give credit where credit is due.

Posting something on the web doesn't make it public domain, even if it is a community site like Flickr or Youtube, but people should realize that if it is out there, it's much more at risk for being used by someone else. And if you are not given credit, isn't there still some satisfaction in knowing your information or ideas are being disseminated?

(So, did you find me on sitemeter yet?)

Nathaniel said...

Linking to YouTube videos without attributing them and stealing text are not the same thing.

Try this: go to an embedded YouTube video on a blog. As soon as it starts playing you should see a link to the video on YouTube, or you can click on the video and that should take you to the original YouTube site.

Try clicking on a blog's text to see if it takes you to the creator's website. I doubt it will!

Warren Baldwin said...

Thanks for all the clarifying. Later today I'm going to put a video on ... and credit myself! It will be a video of my daughter pitching her first high school softball game!

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