Looking for articles on global warming, and especially for evidence of skepticism, I was surprised to find one of my titles in a list at a site called World News Network and a link beneath the title that appears to attribute the article to the “The Examiner”. Clicking on the title link took me to another World News Network page with no more information than the first – just a snippet of the first paragraph of my entry, and a title link accompanied again by the same apparent attribution, “The Examiner”. Clicking the title link there took me to a page on a website called Examiner.com, again giving little more than the title of my entry. Clicking on the title link there actually does take one to my blog entry. That’s a total of three clicks and a lot of advertising data to get to my own article. It is noteworthy that the World News Network link shows up as the first in a google search, as I have to wonder if someone is paying Google some pretty good money for their page to show up there.
As far as I can see, all “The Examiner” does is use World News Network to link to context-searched blog entries in the most roundabout way to make people see the maximum possible number of ads. This is, of course, is a huge waste of time and internet assets, but completely permissible and normal in the ways of the internet. I assume someone is making money from each viewing of their clients’ ads, but I saw no value created in any other way. In fact, it was a complete waste of my time. Beyond that, I am more than a bit peeved that my honest efforts at writing meaningful articles are being manipulated for someone else’s profit, while I only ponder the possibility of ever making any money out of the many, many hours I spend researching and writing to produce this blog. I suppose it hits me especially hard now, when I am burning through my savings at an all-too-healthy rate.
This is an unfortunate consequence of the way the internet has evolved, and the commercialization of the world wide web. Inevitably it points back to the apparent fact that corporations have far too much power over the individual, and the government(s) that is supposed to protect the citizens. They may succeed at protecting us from military threats, but they sure aren’t on our side when the threat is being made against our pocketbooks and businesses are successfully degrading our lifestyles in their unregulated pursuit of our money.
The average citizen is at a huge disadvantage in dealing with corporations, but so is our government. Back in business school (graduated 1991) a professor showed us a study that showed 100 corporations in the world with more economic power (money) than any except the 7 richest countries. I am sure those numbers are far more lopsided now, and it is us, the individuals and families, being harmed. Please tell your elected officials that we can’t stand any less protection from corporations, and that you won’t vote for any politician who appears to be in the pocket of big business.
As I read somewhere, “Big corporations are like sharks: they’re not evil. They’re just eating.” After I read that it soon occurred to me that we are forced to swim with those sharks, and the government, which we created to be our “shark cage”, hasn’t been doing it’s intended job of protecting us very well. Certainly the economic crisis provides plenty of evidence of that. But then, so does the hijacking of my blog entry to make people look at advertising.