43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Admin: Why a Footer in 43 Folders Feed Items?

Why a Footer in 43 Folders Feed Items?

We've added a footer to items that appear in the 43 Folders RSS feed. Here's why.

I'm often buoyed to read bloggers who think and express themselves exactly as I do. Then, I notice they're just scraping my RSS feed. Still.

The 43 Folders feed is a popular way for people to keep up with what's happening on our site.

If you're not sure what we mean by "feed," we're talking about things like "Atom" and "RSS," which are open standards that allow you to subscribe to a syndication feed that displays the headline and full content of every story that appears on our site. And, then, you can use apps like Google Reader or NetNewsWire to read lots of sites, quickly, conveniently, and in one handy place. Pretty neato, right? Totally.

We are very happy to provide this free service at our own expense, since it's a convenient way to let our readers decide how, where, and when they want to read what we have to say.

Our site's RSS feed is inarguably one of the things that helped to make 43 Folders as popular as it is today: a time when the feed loads somewhere in the world over 100,000 times each day. For example, yesterday? Here's the count, according to FeedBurner:

Pretty neat, huh? Yeah, I know!

Okay, so what's the problem?

Problem is: there are unsavory types out there who abuse the openness and flexibility of website feeds like ours to do all kinds of annoying and nasty stuff that's way outside the generous BY-NC-ND Creative Commons License that we have chosen to provide legally-binding guidance on how others may reuse or republish our copyrighted work. And, for any variety of reasons, that abuse is just not cricket.

So, to help readers understand where the feed items came from -- and, yes, to remind would-be scrapers and charlatans whom the purloined words legally belong to -- we've added a modest footer to the bottom of feed items that directs people to the originating post, as well as underscoring the copyright and licensing information. It also directs people to this page in the event that they want to learn more about why the footer exists. Guessing that's how you ended up here. Hi.

Anyhow, here's what the footer for this article's feed item looks like:

What the footer looks like

Questions, comments, or abuse reports?

43 Folders feed subscription icon - Shiny!We hope that the footer is not a distraction to your enjoyment of the articles; it's something we've been reluctant to add, but, unfortunately, the large-scale, programmatic abuse of our stuff has made this footer advisable and necessary.

If you have questions, comments, or wish to report having seen this footer show up in places that seem to break the terms of our licensing (such as a spam site or any other place that wraps our stuff in frames, other peoples' ads, or some such webcockery), please contact us. Upon your notice, we will dispatch our army of douche-starved goons to pummel these people within an inch of their lives. (Well, not really. But we probably will nicely ask them to please stop.)

And, no matter how, where, when, or even why you've chosen to read our site, we are very grateful that you read it all. So, you know: thanks.

-- Merlin

About Merlin

Merlin's picture


Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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