Friday, October 4, 2013

A Mob of Russians

During the three years that we have been running the Crimewriters' Chronicle blog I have been puzzled, off and on, by a curious statistic. Russians are watching us. Why Russians?

You may ask, how do I know? I know because Blogger offers statistics to the blog administrators. The chart for today is in Figure 1. Look at that. 38 Russians looked in on our blog today. What is it, do you suppose, that they find so fascinating? Not that we don't offer our readers a thrill a minute, but hey, this blog is in English. Show yourselves, Russians! Leave us a comment! Who the hell are you and why are you reading this blog?

As you can see, every now and then I tear myself away from the absorbing work of writing to do geek stuff, like checking on Blogger statistics (not that I can find any useful meaning in them, but it gives me the illusion that I'm on top of things). Always I find the Russians, patiently piling up their pageviews. Then last week I stumbled upon something really strange. I've been quite unable to get to the bottom of it, since Blogger doesn't offer a phone number for support.

It's this: Somebody copied our entire blog from the beginning of 2012 to the week before last, pictures and all (even the pictures I stole! surely this is actionable), and reposted it on another blog called Louise Yvette. The layout is different, but it's our content, with no opportunity to leave comments and no dates on the posts.

Naturally the first people I suspected were those Russians who pay so much attention to a foreign blog that has no relevance to their lives. Russian spambots, I said. Spambots that copy your content and use it to inflate the search engine statistics of the entities whose many links they put at the bottom of your stolen posts.

Thelma suggested that it was Putin himself, looking in on us to further some devious anti-American plot. I would argue that it's the NSA, cleverly bouncing their signals from a secret installation in Moscow. But probably it's neither. Anyway if I start down that road I could wind up like the crazy library cataloger Harold used to know who wore a hat made out of tinfoil to keep the government from reading her thoughts. Hmm. Might not be a bad idea at that. I'll have to try it. Perhaps it will scare people into refraining from ripping off my posts.

Or maybe a simple declaration of my copyright will be enough to do the job.

© 2013 Kate Gallison


  1. How odd! I looked at Louise Yvette. I was bemused to see that my post about Maria Callas was listed as a "popular post." It makes sense, doesn't it? I'm sure Maria would have done great job in "Three Sisters." I can just hear her pining for Moscow.

  2. Wonder what they will make of my frequent jibes at the House of Representatives.

  3. Kate, I am speechless. We live in so many shadow worlds - increasingly so, with so many advances in the worlds of internets, etc. I think your husband's tinfoil colleague is worth a thousand thoughts! tjs