A bunch of people are up in arms about yet another social site that hoovers up newsfeeds so that people can collect all their comments into one place. The two big problems that some blog owners have are these: it's an infringement of copyright as content is being sucked into another site wholesale; and it encourages people to comment on posts away from the source blog, so that the blog owner can't get to see them without subscribing to this new site.
The first point is a tricky one. You could argue that it is an infringement of copyright. However, if you are providing full feeds then Shyftr is really only acting like an online newsreader. The name Shyftr doesn't really help the service's image but, if you don't want copy hoovered up in this way, don't provide full feeds. As this blog isn't ad-supported, it is not that big a deal where the material is read as long as it's attributed to me. Sure, I'd like to know how many people are reading. Owners of sites such as Shyftr would buy themselves a bit more slack if they ponied up readership stats to the people who provide the actual content. But it's not in evil country yet. Anyway, if you're that worried about content leeching, just used a bit of Apache mod_rewriting to serve up partial feeds, or a list of links to Rick Astley videos, to those service's spiders – assuming they've been good and announced themselves.
The second 'problem' is an indication of how misguided some bloggers are when it comes to the subject of The Conversation, although I think there is a small, subtle issue with a site like Shyftr. Because comments appear on blogs, it is easy to be misled into thinking that is where all the action is happening.
Take Scoble, for example, who can be relied upon in these circumstances to come out with this sort of line: "The era when bloggers could control where the discussion of their stuff took place is totally over."
And bloggers had control before? How so? Is that like how nobody discussed what appeared in the papers before blogs came along? Pubs and cafés were eerily quiet as people digested their daily news in total silence, fearing to talk about it because the nasty media had all that control?