Blogbabel closed down

The BlogBabel service has been closed down (hopefully temporarily) by its authors last Saturday, following an animated controversy which was originated by the decision to alter the ranking algorithm, lessening the weight of links coming from blogs based on the Tumblr platform.

Tumblr, optimized for posts formatted as quick notes, creates big "clouds" of links in a short time, and the decision was aimed at better weighing the importance of links, trying to understand whether a high number of incoming links was a signal of an significant discussion going on or a simple "me-too" effect.

The discussion quickly deteriorated, and some bloggers pointed out that BlogBabel could possibly encounter legal trouble because of the way it republished the content of some RSS feeds, supposedly violating Creative Commons licenses (with the "Noncommercial" clause). Now I am not able to get back to BlogBabel and check how contents from feeds were used, but I suspect that it would reasonably fall within the limits of fair use.

  • Alex |

    Not a bad idea Fabio – it’s a shame April the 1st has passed;-)

  • Fabio Turel |

    Good luck in asking Google: if you succeed, just write a “how to…” post about it and you’ll instantly become one of the most visited, linked and quoted bloggers in the world 😉

  • Alex Roe |

    Hi Fabio,
    To quote you:
    “…I think that some reactions had been overstated and that resorting to legal arguments regarding intellectual property and privacy was not appropriate (and a little bit naïve, too).”
    I completely agree with you on this. A little disappointment is to be expected – it just means the bloggers concerned need to work harder. Resorting the legal arguments is well and truly over the top, and as you say naïve too.
    When it gets out who was having a go at Blogbabel, I imagine a few people will be removing links – even if the evil blogger (s??) are likely to attract some traffic by admitting to being the ones who ‘heroically’ brought Blogbabel to its knees!
    I see that Blogbabel is still down.
    PS I’m thinking about asking Google for money before allowing them to index my sites. Don’t think Google will listen though!

  • Fabio Turel |

    Italian blogs written in English were accepted (mine was), but the low number of links coming from Italian blogs kept the rank low. Being somewhat a measure of success, every modification in the ranking algorithm could cause disappointment for some, but I think that some reactions had been overstated and that resorting to legal arguments regarding intellectual property and privacy was not appropriate (and a little bit naïve, too).

  • Alex Roe |

    I was very sorry to hear about the closure of BlogBabel, but I don’t really understand what all the fuss is about. I mean, how is BlogBabel any different to BlogItalia, or, for that matter, to Technorati? How about complaining to Google about having your site being indexed by its search engine? Or any other search engine for that matter. Ridiculous.
    I am more than happy to have had my RSS feed published by useful blog ranking systems. That’s why I use the RSS system. SEO experts will tell you it’s a feature that is essential to the organic growth of a web site.
    What harm was BlogBabel doing? Many bloggers would simply be happy to be listed by such a system, as it provides a useful measure of a blog’s popularity, not to mention increasing exposure. Without sites like BlogBabel, Technorati and BlogItalia, or Google blogs would not be read.
    I blog about Italy and things Italian in English and have tried to get listed on BlogBabel, although I’m not sure if blogs in English are accepted. However, I would not have complained if my site had not been accepted. Indeed, if it had been accepted, I would have been very pleased and would have let BlogBabel use my RSS feeds as it saw fit.
    All the best,
    Am I missing something here? Is BlogBabel evil?

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