[Company] is monitoring every place that people can submit comments online and copying the conversations into a massive database. Discussions are mapped, influential people are identified and [Company]‘s software then helps clients engage in the conversations or directly contact the influencers.
Our local Sunday paper ran this article this weekend, about a company seeking to help businesses track and affect their on-line reputations.
You can Google up the company in question through the above article—I’m intentionally not posting their name or linking to their site as I want comments from the blogging community and not responses from the corporate representatives.
While, from a client perspective, I can see the value of a tool that allows high-level analysis of their reputation online, what bugged me as a blogger/content provider is idea of “copying the conversations into a massive database”, which immediately made me feel violated.
It begs the higher question—who owns the comments left on blogs and discussion forums? It seems like often the site owner, for legal reasons, disavows any ownership of user comments and assigns that ownership to the comment author.
So, as the owner of the comments and thoughts I leave online, are my rights being violated by being copied into a database for analysis? Or am I just being snide because someone found a way to make money off my contributions to the internet, and I don’t get any of it?
Comments are closed, but you can read the comments other people left.