The Price of an Education

February 6, 2015 Amaryllis 008

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The price of an education is experience.

Which means, I’ve earned a tremendous amount of useful information over the last day while dealing with the challenges presented by the plagiarism of my posts from Forest Garden.

First, the thank-yous:  I appreciate each and every person who has contacted me over the last day by phone, email, and comments to commiserate, offer support, and to make helpful suggestions.  One friend expressed, ” …”hell hath no fury” like a woman plagiarized. ”  More on that in a bit.

I also appreciate Christine at Bluelime Media in Vancouver, BC, who very calmly let me know that no, her company had nothing to do with the offending site; other than having produced the theme which farmersmiths.com pirated.  Her company develops themes for WordPress, and she helped re-direct my efforts towards finding those who needed to be found.

And I appreciate those involved with farmersmiths.com and related sites who voluntarily removed my content from their pages last night.

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February 6, 2015 Amaryllis 025

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I also appreciate the WordPress platform, because it provides help on just about any blogging related topic one can need.  Their article about content theft provided a list of actions to take, and the links I needed, to figure out how to handle this situation.

WordPress makes our everyday publishing so easy that we can produce endless content with a minimum of technical know-how.  To solve this conundrum yesterday, it was necessary to dig beneath the surface of things to hunt for clues.

But this has been far from an easy process.  In fact, it is a very frustrating, time intensive scavenger hunt of clues and dead-ends when one enters the shadier reaches of cyberspace in search of hard, actionable information.  That is where the ‘fury’ part comes in handy. 

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February 6, 2015 Amaryllis 026

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The first meaning of fury, in many dictionaries, has to do with a wild rage.  That is superbly unhelpful in a case such as this.

I prefer the more ancient meanings of fury, which is derived from those loveable Furies of Greek literature.  Do you recall them?  It is the energy of the anger, the fury, which is useful when once needs to get something done well, and done quickly.

So for the second time in a week, with apologies, I’ll share with you some bits of information which you might find useful.  It is very hard to stay out of the garden this long, but we bloggers must help one another from time to time.  Here are the highlights of what I’ve learned:

1.  Keep an eye on ‘your brand.’  A blogging friend tipped me off that she had found my content on another person’s website unattributed.  Had I searched in Google or Bing for my own blog post titles I could have discovered the miscreant myself.  But I didn’t think to do that.  Late last night I did search for several recent posts, and found the link to the miscreant site listed on the list of returns, above my own….

2.  Theft of published content is an international crime, with protections outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  It turns out those who stole my content are based in Australia.  One begins to request restitution with a DMCA notice directed to the domain and the domain host.

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February 6, 2015 Amaryllis 027

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3.  One begins with an inventory of exactly what has been stolen.  This includes taking screen shots of the offending website.  One may also copy and paste from their site into a word processing file.  The lovely thing about most word processing software protocols is that they reveal a great deal of information not visible on a ‘live’ website.  Since theft is very much a crime, even online, collecting this data first, before doing anything else, ensures you have the evidence you need on down the  line.

4.  One can also get the full details about any website through a Domain Search.  No, I hadn’t heard of it either, until last night.  Here is another useful resource to combat internet plagiarism, with the links you need to begin the search.

5. Explore every link on a questionable site.  By clicking one of the photographs on farmersmiths.com, I found a link to a related business, also selling gardening products.  That business had contact information, and there was even a gmail address for a person connected with that business.  A friendly email to that person, requesting their assistance in contacting ‘Farmer,’ who signed his name to my posts reprinted without permission on his site, was fruitful.  She managed to locate him and pass on the message.  I appreciate that.  My plagiarized posts came down within the hour.

6.  Finally, publish an ironclad disclaimer statement on your blog.  Hugh Roberts directed me to an excellent post on crafting your own personal disclaimerSerin’s post explains why this is essential for every blogger, and gives excellent links to additional resources on blog security.

7.  Maintain an attitude of gratitude.  I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to publish each day, and for those who join with me in this adventure.  It is life’s challenges and frustrations which force us to climb those steep learning curves in our daily lives.  Have you noticed? 

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First Forsythia of the season....

First Forsythia of the season….

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I’ve learned a good deal from this experience.  And I hope the miscreant who thought he or she would quietly get by with ‘lifting’ my work each day, through some as yet undiscovered pipeline through cyberspace, has learned a bit over the last 24 hours, as well.

And I hope that you, whether you write a blog yourself, or not; might have learned a useful trick or two through reading about my experiences.

Thank you for visiting Forest Garden today, for your wonderful comments, and for giving me a very good reason to spend time writing and taking photos each day.

Woodland Gnome 2015

 

 

 

By the Numbers

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

12/13/14.  Have you noticed the date today?  My partner tells me this date won’t repeat this century.

Our world is structured by numbers in so many ways.  Even the ancients explored the mysteries of number, and expressed their understanding through architecture, music, sculpture, and engineering those monuments which have survived for centuries or more to intrigue us still today.

And this wonderful technology we use is all based on numbers.  Not that I understand binary code. 

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

Frankly, it seems like modern day “magic” to type this on my computer and know that a friend in Belgium, Indonesia, or Australia can read it as quickly as my friends down the street.  And what pure pleasure to come to my computer at any hour of the day or night and enjoy photographs and ideas  just posted from people all over the planet!

 

December 3, 2014 CW wreathes 074

 

I began this morning by sharing photos of the dragonfly which visited LiJiun’s garden, with my partner.  It brought back such warm memories of the time I spent photographing dragonflies in our garden this summer.  (Dragonflies don’t startle easily, and don’t mind having their photos taken, I’ve found.)

Now in the WordPress Community, the link I just created for you to see LiJiun’s photos is called a “pingback.”  WordPress bloggers frequently create these to link the reader to another interesting blog we want to share with you for some reason.  And up until recently, they’ve always worked just fine. 

And part of the way they work includes sending a message back to the other blog’s author, so they are aware of the link you’ve created.

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

I’ve asked fellow bloggers who want to participate in the Holiday Wreath Challenge to just create one of these “pingbacks” in their own post about wreathes, so I know they are participating.  Then I’ll include  links back to their blog  in a post early next week;  so we can all find and enjoy one another’s photos of the wreathes we’ve made this year.

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

And then last night, my friend Barbara sent me a message in the comments  about her beautiful post.  And she had a link in her post back here to Forest Garden.  But no pingback ever turned up.

And that is when I realized that the pingbacks aren’t working properly on WordPress in general.

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

Some of us have been aware that WordPress pingbacks haven’t worked properly for some of their own challenges in recent weeks.  But now I realize that pingbacks aren’t working at all…. and probably haven’t been for some time now.

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

It’s all in the numbers….  My guess is that the volume of traffic has grown so much on WordPress in general, that the sheer number may have overwhelmed this part of the system.  But that is only my guess.

But it leads me to wonder whether I might have missed some of your posts about your wreath and holiday decorations…..

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

If you have posted, and created the pingback I suggested to join in, just know that I didn’t get it.  Please follow up with an email or a link in the comments.  I’ve responded back to everyone whose posts I’ve found thus far.

I hope you are planning to share in this holiday wreath challenge. 

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

What fun if we could travel all around the world sharing the beauty of the season with one another, through the magic of the internet and our vibrant blogging community.

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

If you have already posted, please just send me your link (again) even though you created that “pingback.”    If you plan to post sometime this weekend, please just send me a comment or email with your link.

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

If you don’t have your own blog, you can still join in.  Just attach your photos to an email.  Please tell me know whether it is OK to use your name and location in the photo credit.

The excitement builds little by little all through December.  Each day brings us closer to the beauty and fun of the Christmas season.

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

 

Please watch for a compilation post of photos of all your beautiful creations, and links to your posts about them,  by next Wednesday, 12/17/14.  

Let us all share in the joy and beauty of the season.

 

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Woodland Gnome 2014

woodlandgnome@zoho.com

 

 

 

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