Thursday, July 07, 2005

Surprises - Good and Bad

I've been using the internet for years, Genie, Prodigy, Compuserve, AOL. Then along came search engines......WOW. What Google could do! Or Anywho.com! You could find the most amazing things and connect with people from everywhere....all on the internet. I thought I was a "user" but the last six or seven months, I've branched out. First I started putting images on PBase and Flickr and then in March I started this blog.

Stepping out into cyberspace has it's pluses and minuses. On the plus side, I've been "discovered" and noted in some other blogs.

Several times Steve Bridger has referenced my photographs in MexicanWave. Rosana Hart, in her excellent blog about living in Mexico, Mexico-With-Heart referenced one of my blog entries as did John who also writes a blog about living in Mexico, Calypso MX. And today Tommy Williams whose blog Tommy Blogs was really my inspiration to start my own blog used my blog on Listening as an idea for his daily blog. And recently, I was contacted by Nancy Waldman for permission to use some of my photographs in her webzine Practically Creative.

Also on the plus side is finding a reference to your own blog when you run a word search through Technorati or you see from your Site Meter that someone found your blog through Technorati. It leaves you amazed at the vast connected world of the internet.

But there is a negative side too. A couple of weeks ago I was just googling around and found a link to my album on PBase.com about the Old Sixth Ward. I clicked on it and low and behold I see all 40 images from that album come up in a message from "Texasboy" on a forum in SkyscraperCity.com. I'm shocked! He didn't ask to post my images. I read the comments posted after the 40 pictures. People are complimenting Texasboy on HIS photographs. Finally after about 8 or 9 such messages, Texasboy says that the images are from Billie Mercer's gallery but doesn't give any reference back to PBase.com.

By this time I'm angry. I tell some friends. They jump in on the forum and announce that the images were stolen. One friend writes the site's owner about the situation. I also write the owner and request that the images be deleted from the site. The owner has done that with a nice email back to me and a statement on the forum that the images were removed due to copyright infringement. I appreciate that but I doubt that Texasboy has learned his lesson.

There is definitely a negative side to the internet.

1 comment:

Still Talking With My Hands said...

You go, Billie!!!

Not surprised that someone wanted to put up your images.
Sharon