Blog scraping at HCI? How would you have handled this?

This is a post for bloggers…

I received a Google alert* hit on my name this morning that pointed to the Human Capital Institute (HCI).

(*I have a Google alert set up for my name and for links to various sites I write for so I can make sure I’m able to comment or <more likely> defend myself. If you have any kind of web presence, I think it’s important to have some way of monitoring what people are saying about you.)


I followed the link from the alert to HCI and noticed several blog posts (in their entirety) from this very blog. I was listed as the author and there’s a way to comment on their site. Not here. So I’m kind of like…the hell?

I fired off this via a contact form (and I’m not proud of it…questioned even putting it here):

I object to you taking content directly from MY COMPANY blog and placing it on YOUR site. It is especially problematic because comments can be made on YOUR site leaving me without an opportunity to properly monitor my content.
If you are looking to aggregate content from around the web, look at this example It provides a “read more” (does
not scrape the entire blog post) and directs you to the authors site to comment. If my content exists here because I am a member, let me know and I will cancel my account immediately. This is copyright infringement.

So I’m kind of an asshole writing it with that tone however, I had just returned from making two “Mom, I’m gonna be late!!!” trips to the school. And, I drove in PJ’s, a robe, a winter coat, a kids hat with a pom pom on top and some Uggs. Not pretty. Not at all. Not on either drive.

Now Human Capital Institute (HCI) is a well-respected organization…

HCI is the global association for talent management and new economy leadership, and a clearinghouse for best practices and new ideas. Our network of expert practitioners, Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 corporations, government agencies, global consultants and business schools contribute a stream of constantly-evolving information, the best of which is organized, analyzed and shared with members through HCI communities, research, education and events. And there’s more – a Center for Excellence, Research, Education, and Event .

I hate to call them blog scrapers…but read the Wikipedia definition of blog scraping and let me know what you think.

I received to emails from them. The first shortly after I contacted them:

Email #1: To another HCI person from someone in HCI marketing, cc me – “not sure who or how this should be reacted too. “B” may have sent it to someone also but wanted to be sure someone had seen it.

And the second, at the end of my day…

Email #2: Please accept my apologies on behalf of HCI. We have complied with your request and removed your blog from the list of blogs that are fed into our site. We certainly meant no offense, on the contrary – we feel that your blog represents some of the most interesting work in the talent management space and we plan to promote the list of the 100 blogs we pull from as the HCI 100 Best Blogs – our members seem to appreciate this service and several of the bloggers on the list have expressed their thanks for the increased exposure. Unfortunately, the comment frame is uniquitous across all the articles and blog posts on our site and we can’t change that architecture. Best in your future endeavors.

(that last line stung because I it is my version of ‘you ungrateful “rhymes with witch”)

So now I’m wondering. I mean it’s probably a good thing to be promoted by a prestigious organization. And, I’m sure I could’ve just subscribed via RSS and monitored my post that way…so, yes I’m second guessing myself. How would you have handled this? Would you go back and say…never mind, I was just being a wise ass or…is this blog scraping?

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