Is Tynt Tracer a Boon for Bloggers?

UPDATED: SAN JOSE, Calif — “Information just wants to be free” is one of the many rallying cries that have led to the content explosion on the Web, but it’s not always easy to find out who wrote what and what others may doing with your original content.

For example, copy and pasting a section from someone else’s blog into your own without attribution is a simple matter, sometimes to the chagrin of blog owners. But content creators will soon be able to find out how many people are copying that content and which parts. The pasted content will also automatically include the URL link where it originated.

The news was revealed here at the User Generated Content Conference & Expo (UCGX) Tuesday. The event is owned by Jupitermedia, the parent company of

Guy Kawasaki, well-known tech entrepreneur and co-founder of, leaked news of the service, called Tynt Tracer, during his morning keynote at the UCGX show. He said he’s on the advisory board of Tynt and has been using an early version of the service that’s set to go live sometime next week.

“What you’ll see is what text is copied as well as the link to that posting. This is an interesting thing,” said Kawasaki. “Using my Tynt account, I can tell you like 2,500 people have copied text from my blog and what they copied. And I know when they pasted that text and what it contained.”

The trick is sites have to enable Tynt Tracer for the content creators to get the stats. Kawasaki joked one of the big “lies” about Web services is that many companies say “you only need to add a single line of JavaScript” to enable their service when implementation is more complicated than that. “But I have to tell you that ‘lie’ today, it’s one line of JavaScript and boom, you got it.”

Blogger Roland Smart said it sounded like a valuable service. “It’s essentially adding a layer of detail a blogger or Web site might not be getting from analytics and other tools,” Smart told

A textual watermark that drives traffic

“This takes it a step further by not just flagging content, but showing you who is using it. This could be particularly interesting for bloggers who want to see where their stuff is going, kind of like a textual watermark.”

Kawasaki said because the copied text includes the URL link back to the original source it should help drive traffic back to the content creator.

Sam Perry, a tech investor and consultant, said he thought Tynt Tracer has potential. “It sounds like a promising tool,” Perry told “Anytime you can aggregate information like that it’s worth something.”

Tynt was not available for comment. The company’s Web site has a simple entry box to enter your email for future notification of what they’re planning and a message that says, in part:

“Hey there!

We are working on some great new stuff but we are not quite ready to tell you about it yet (sorry!). ”

Updated to include full name of service, Tynt Tracer.

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