Friday, January 30, 2009

Well, Well, Wellsphere

That didn't take long.

Just three weeks ago I was complaining about Wellsphere, the health networking site going around the internet and sucking up the entire content from a blogger's site and claiming full copyright privileges to their work in exchange for a really poor link.

Jeanne from The Assertive Cancer Patient e-mailed to let me know the big news.

Health Central just bought Wellsphere for who knows how much. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The money quote from a Business Journal article: "Wellsphere serves nearly 300,000 health-related articles, over 250,000 health-related images, and nearly 20,000 health and healthy living videos."

Somebody got paid for all that content and it wasn't the people who produced it.

The WSJ also has an article on the sale of Wellsphere. It seems this is big news in the business world, so we're not talking piddly amounts of money here. The missing advertising on Wellsphere will commence shortly no doubt with a full scale assault.

It just goes to show you the kind of ethics that permeate the business world these days.


Dave said...

They tried to get my blog on with them. When I asked them to spell out the benefits the blogger receives their answers were severely lacking in content!

Christopher C. NC said...

Dave I have been finding stuff on them all over the web. All their solicitation e-mails to bloggers were total form letters. There was never any intent for there to be any benefit for you.

Anonymous said...

I am confused; if they are a health services company why were they approaching horticulture bloggers? Or was this looking for just any blog in the world?
Yes, sadly, ethics and business and now mutual oxymorons, as evidenced by John Thain and others.
I am just glad you all didn't get sucked in.


Christopher C. NC said...

Bev, they were courting garden bloggers as part of their green/sustainable living section, a way to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Gardening is good for your health.

Within that idea they were just trying to grab pretty much any garden blog they could snag. It made their content look more substantial to the buyer.

jodi said...

Oh yes, I heard from them as well, back a few weeks ago. I had also read some horror stories about the founder, and figured it was just a matter of time before the site was sold. I'm just hoping that karma gets them all eventually.

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

Susan Harris emailed me to let me know all my posts were being reproduced here:

My blog was listed under their "Garden" section. The entire post was reproduced, with links to my site, but why bother visit my site if it's all there?

After a few emails back and forth with them extolling all the benefits of reproducing my photos and writing (and photos I had permission to use ONLY on my site) they took it down, after having told them that the next step was a cease and desist letter from my lawyer.

I emailed to tell them that they had a site that SELLS stuff and has an auction as well. I can't be providing them with free content to help them make money!

They stopped, I cooled down about it. But his rationale email made it sound as if I were loosing out on so much (in traffic). I have StatCounter and Google Analytics. I will miss all three readers from last month that took the time to visit from there.

Christopher C. NC said...

Jodi, Wellsphere was casting a wide net to grab garden bloggers content. They started with the high traffic sites no doubt and worked their way down to me.

Jim, It sounds like the same thing. Wellsphere just asked to steal your stuff before they did it instead of after like that decorate site. Same spiel on increasing your traffic. The only problem was the link was practically hidden and there was no need to go the original site when it was all republished in full on their site.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for alerting me to this web site. I don't consider myself a stupid person, but I agreed to let them post my blog. A Dr. from the company contacted me by what I now realize was a form letter. When I responded that I wanted more info he seemed legit. After several communications I agreed. Between what you said earlier and other ugliness happening in the gardening blog world, I realized I wanted greater control over my content. I emailed the same Dr. a request to remove my blog from the site, to which he said he would but that he would like to know why. After a week it had not been removed and I sent a firmer note and it was gone the next day. I don't think it was a really bad place, but I am glad I am not on it anymore. Thanks again for the warning.


Christopher C. NC said...

L. I considered leaving you a comment, but felt certain you had seen my warning from my stat counter. I was glad to see a couple days ago that you were not on that site anymore.