This is not for you

By you I mean the readers, if they have such things, of The Brummie.

The Brummie is a blog whose content is simply scraped from across the web: automated theft of words, pictures and attention. It turns out that my website is one that they pull from, grabbing at content from my RSS feed. I’d never realised.

One of the weird things about letting a site go fallow as I have done and then coming back to it with a new purpose is realising what people were using it for before. On Friday I happened to be sat next to someone from BCU marketing who casually said “I’ve just read your blog post Don’t call it a resolution“. “Oh I said, I’ve just posted it, how did you come across it?” “It’s on the School of Media Facebook page” she replied.


It seems somewhere in the past it was seen to be a good idea to pull in RSS feeds from ‘academic’s blogs’ and automagically fire them out as branded content across several BCU channels. That’s a big fucking problem when you know you have a post about to go out with a swear in it (high enough up the running order to make it to a tweet-length excerpt).

Weirdly I thought I could slip into my blog again through the backdoor but it looks like 2009 called and it’s pulling my RSS feeds still.

Now on the one hand I don’t care much about this. I’ve asked work not to do it, and they’re cool with that. As for The Brummie, well it’s not like there’s a financial hardship to me if they nick my stuff, but there is a financial reward to them: if they nick enough stuff they can get enough traffic to turn a few quid without harming me, I should just let it go.

The trouble is though for all their automated processes the wankers spelt my name wrong. 

John is my Dad. I’m Jon(athan).

Also, you see: this is not for you, it’s for me.  I’ve told work that anything they need will be over at the BCMCR blog which they can take with impunity: that’s where ‘work stuff’ will be, though sidebars on work stuff will perhaps be here because this is mine and I will need that less formal space. I’m writing on Paradise Circus and that is definitely for you: go there, have fun.

Here is for me. You can read here, you can comment, but I’m not writing with any expectation that you are reading and you are not my implied audience.

This is not for you. Especially, and I can’t really stress this enough, especially if you are reading it at on the fucking Brummie.

By Jon Hickman

Hi, I'm Jon. I teach and research digital culture, social media and new media practice at Birmingham City University. Find out more about me with this lovely CV: Find out about my work at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research: