YOU are NOT Steve Jobs

So stop using his image as your profile photo.

It started happening the day after Steve Jobs’s death was announced: the widespread use of Steve’s image as Twitter and Facebook profile pictures. It was mostly done by people who like playing follow-the-leader on social networks, the same kind of people who copy and paste Facebook statuses, the same kind of people who mostly retweet what others have already said because they can’t think of anything original that’s interesting enough to share. People who lack imagination, people who think they can best express themselves by copying what other “cool” people are doing and saying.

Six-Color Apple LogoAnd as one of the Apple faithful, as someone who bleeds in six colors — and has been around long enough to know what that actually means — I’m offended by the practice.

I’m especially offended by the fact that it continues, more than a week after Steve’s passing. If it isn’t Steve’s face staring out at me beside the mindless automated tweet of someone who isn’t Steve, then it’s Steve’s profile as the bite in a black Apple logo, a design only marginally less offensive, beside the latest Facebook copy-and-paste status update.

Yeah, we get it. You’re a fanboi and you miss Steve. But is this how you honor him? By abusing his image?

Do you think that’s what Steve would really want? To brand your social networking babble with his likeness?

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Protecting My Work

Site changes to images, file links, and RSS feeds.

Well, I’ve had enough. Enough of people using my images on their sites or trying to pass them off as their own. Enough of people hot linking to content on my site, forcing me to host images and files for them. Enough of feed scrapers stealing entire blog posts and using them to fill their sites with content.

So I’ve made some changes to this blog:

  • Through the use of a WordPress plugin called No Right Click Images Plugin, you can no longer right click on an image to display a context menu and download it to your computer — or do anything else with it. As an added bonus, you can’t drag it off the Web page and onto your desktop to save it either.
  • Through the use of some new code in my .htaccess file, if you embed an image hosted on my server in a Web page or use it in a blog post, e-mail message, or other location, you’ll see a message like the one shown here, telling the viewer that the content must be viewed on this site.
  • Through the use of a WordPress Plugin called Download Protect, you can no longer use a direct link to PDF or other selected files on this site. To download the file, you must go to the page on which its link appears and use that link to download it. This prevents file leeching — folks linking directly to a file hosted on my site, sucking my bandwidth without visitors ever seeing the post related to the file.
  • And finally, after a long run with full RSS feeds, I’ve switched back to summary feeds. This means that instead of being able to read entire blog posts from this site in your feed reader, you can now only read the title and summary. You’ll have to click a link to read the post and see its images. Although I’ve been using one-line summaries for all blog posts for a very long time, I’ll do my best to expand those summaries so readers know what they’re missing by not visiting the site.

I do want to remind everyone that the contents of this blog are copyrighted. I have every right to protect my work.

Internet content theft is possibly the biggest problem that original content creators like me face every time we add content to our sites. While these measures won’t prevent all content theft, they will make it a bit harder for thieves to steal my work.

Hopefully, these measures will also encourage more site visitors to interact with me and other visitors, share feedback, and encourage me to produce more interesting content.

Your feedback is welcome; use the Comments link or form for this post.