Ah, there is nothing like the smell of serendipity in the morning…
One of my favorite things in looking at web sites is finding some secret or some method entangled in the HTML of the source code of the page. I love view source. I love the tags. Color me geek.
I was looking at this story on Wired Gadget Lab about a new Samsung ebook being shown at CES that offers potential for not only reading content, but also writing/annotating on it.
In doing my delicious tagging, I noticed the key descriptive sections are in two different parts of the page; so my method is to copy the second section to my clipboard (select, command C), then hilite the first section, hit the TAG button (I used the firefox extension). The tool inserts the hilited text i the description field, and then I paste in the second part.
But I noticed for the pasted section (trying it twice) that it keep appending at the bottom a link back to the story; e.g. text that was not copied from the page. Hmmm, is it picking it up from some hidden color text on the page? No.
So I just start copying different paragraphs from the body text of the wired page, paste it into my text edito, and no matter what section I copy, it appends:
Read More http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/01/samsung-e-books-let-you-read-and-write/#ixzz0c2IdLJHs
Ahhh, the brain (and coffee) kicks in– they have some widget in the web page that detects when something is copied, and somehow adds to it. Sneaky! Time for Underdog, Command U (view source in Firefox).
I start scanning the source (ugh, it is 2010, do you think Firefox might actually make the view source window wrap the code?). The first surprising things is… woah, the site is run in WordPress! All the tell tale signs are there, plus the generator tag:
<!-- WP_HEAD -->
<link rel="EditURI" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD" href="http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/xmlrpc.php?rsd" />
<link rel="wlwmanifest" type="application/wlwmanifest+xml" href="http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml" />
<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 2.7.1" />
Woah, Wired, you better update your WordPress- current version is 2.9.1, do you need help with that?
<!-- Tynt Tracer> -->
And thus I am now looking at the Tynt Tracer web site. It seems more geared to people who want to know how much their lofty words are lifted from the web page:
Insight into the “copy and paste” phenomenon.
Your content is likely copied far more than you realize.
Depending on the site, up to 6% of page loads results in a user copying content. While this may not sound like much, think of it this way: on a site that has 20 million page views per month, content is copied over one million times during any given month. That’s a lot. How do we know this? Tynt’s patent pending Insight technology is currently running on hundreds of thousands of web sites and monitors billions of page loads per month.
Since the average content copied is between 200 and 300 words, even a site with only 100,000 page views would have up to 3 million words leave the site via copy each month (not to mention all the images!). That’s also a lot.
What I also liked is there is an option to also append a creative commons license of your choice to the copied text.
I’m trying it out now on CogDogBlog, so if you copy any text from my pages, it will be appended on pasting with:
Read more at CogDogBlog: http://cogdogblog.com/2010/01/08/peeking-at-code/#ixzz0c2XApVTH
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
Maybe it is annoying for the copier to get something they did not copy? Maybe it helps spread the linktribution meme?
Cool or not?