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Top Ten Things to Do With Your Gmail Spam^W^H^WTime

Sean B. Palmer [PersonRank 1]

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
20 years ago

1. Realise that excerpting off-hand comments made about GMail from IRC logs--though they be in a publicly accessible forum--is tantamount to obsessive journalism at best, adds nothing of value to your weblog (which has some otherwise fine content), and is basically slightly creepy.

2. Okay, there aren't ten things.

-- Sean B. Palmer,

ramp [PersonRank 0]

20 years ago #

Adds nothing of value to our weblogs ?! hmmm...
I don't completely agree with that, Sean.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

20 years ago #

Hmm, maybe it is slightly creepy. You know, Google is slightly creepy. The content of that IRC channel was put on the web, and indexed by Google. I used the Google Web API to find it. Yeah, Google is definitely creepy. I was searching for "Gmail" on using the "Chat" option and this is what popped up, and this blog is all about what can be done with Google.

But yeah, you are right, maybe next time I'll keep my findings secret, though they are public on the Google server. I was wondering where my investigations should stop naturally, even though the findings might be interesting. I will have to think about it.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

20 years ago #

PS: I think it's about time people STOP putting IRC logs on a server. I guess.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

20 years ago #

PPS: As a matter of fact even the "random quote" functionality many IRC channels have (they constantly pull quotes and publish them on the Web) can be highly strange.

-- Note: I edited my original post and cut off a negative sounding quote.

Sean B. Palmer [PersonRank 1]

20 years ago #

I'm not sure from your replies whether I've put you on a defensive stance or not--it's difficult to judge tone in text--but if I have then that certainly wasn't my intention.

Though text may be public, there are still obvious limits to its use from a moral standpoint. I could quite easily search through your early Usenet posts and post comments on what I find, and though that's all freely available information, I still think you'd consider me to be on shaky ground for doing it. Perhaps I could start up a "Watching Philipp Lenssen" weblog, where I provide public commentary on all your actions, just like they did for Dave Winer. Again, I'd only be commenting on freely available information, but I'm sure you'd consider me a jerk for doing it, and you'd be right.

The difference between the hypothetical actions above and your excerpting of the IRC channel is that I don't think you did so nefariously; it wasn't an action designed to be pernicious, merely a lack of judgement. That's why I brought it to your attention. If you wanted to advertise your service--which is very cool, incidentally--then you could have done so on its own merit, surely?

As for "I think it's about time people STOP putting IRC logs on a server", I'm not particularly sure what you mean by that. The channel from which you excerpted is a generally technical channel where a lot of things are discussed which are of of utility to the general public--and to the channel's participants. In logging all of the content, however, we inevitably include some semi-public banter such as the snippet that you quoted. We leave it down to people's personal judgements as to how to use the logged material.


-- Sean B. Palmer

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

20 years ago #

Thanks Sean.

As for not posting IRC logs on Web servers:

I said so because I am not sure everyone in a chat room knows the chat's being logged and archived. Certainly when I was chatting on IRC and I found the channel was exposing random quotes pulled from the room on a public server, I was annoyed by that.

If you log a chat, not even a warning message upon entrance would be enough, because people just might not read it.

To me talking in a chat room addresses just the people in the chat at that time, and no one else.

Posting e.g. to a newsgroup addresses everyone within an uncertain period of time. Of course, some people don't exactly understand it's forever...

Well, now it looks like I'm defending chat room privacy while I was the one pulling a quote from chat. Then again the bad is done when this is put on a web server, and I guess people on IRC should be aware of that – or else they may be googled by someone with very bad intentions, trying to break their neck on a past issue.

Shah nidhi [PersonRank 0]

18 years ago #

Please make chat rooms more easy and handy to find

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