Highest Of Horses, Littlest Of Ponies

*Not* "Good Job I Kept My Turntable" (or any other)

>"A Plague On Both…"

>Nice comment, anonymous. Pity you didn’t share your name with us. Live and let live, indeed. I will do my best to keep to myself some of the things I would like to be able to share, such as why I resigned from the committee last summer, why I left the choir last autumn, and why I am now back with both – water under the bridge and all that.

But the key phrase in your comment (is it a quote? I confess I’m not as familiar with Shakespeare as I perhaps ought to be, and Google doesn’t seem to be able to pull up your source. If it’s original, it’s rather good – expose yourself, dammit!) is ‘friendly rivalry between’. Ah, I wish it were.

I shall confine this post to an accusation of wilful plagiarism and damned unfairness. Take a peek at New Tottenham Singers’ web site and view the source code in your browser. The ‘keywords’ meta tag (this is stuff that doesn’t appear on the actual page but that old-fashioned search engines can read and use to index a page) contains the exact text:
“not the Tottenham Community Choir but arguably the best community choir in Tottenham, better sound, skilled and experienced musicians running a choir, having heard TCC’s rehearsal recordings (best comedy on the net) very glad to be the other Tottenham Choir”.
Is that really ‘friendly rivalry’?

When I redesigned our web site a few months ago we (the committee) had a brainstorm to come up with a bunch of words that we thought described our choir and that people might use when using a search engine on the web. Some of the ideas were serious, some tongue-in-cheek, but I put the results in a meta tag on our web site. Within a week the *exact same set of key words* appeared in a meta tag on the NTS web site. And I was peeved. Their web master also lifted other pieces of text – my text – from our site to use on theirs, things like “Why not come along and sing along? Alternatively, browse the site for more information” which I had come up with as a phrase to put on our web site, and which is now also on their web site in the exact same wording.

Some months ago, on a Tuesday, I sent out a tweet on behalf of TCC that said something like “Live in Haringey (Seven Sisters / Turnpike Lane)? Doing nothing tonight? Fancy a singsong? See…” and a link to our web site. Within an hour a tweet arrived from the other choir that said “Live in Haringey (Seven Sisters / Turnpike Lane)? Doing nothing tonight? Fancy a singsong? See…” and a link to *their* web site. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that but this is plagiarism and theft to my mind.  It may be pure coincidence that their latest poster is in the same colour scheme (blue-grey and mauve) as our web site.

They have also chosen to put the phrase ‘tottenham community choir’ in their head section and scattered throughout their site in the body text, and have taken to calling themselves “tottenham’s community choir”. This means that anyone searching for us by name would find links to their site, and – until I created this blog – anyone searching for both names (to find out what’s going on) would only find references to them and their site (since we didn’t mention them anywhere on our site – though we do now, in a footer that simply says we’re not them).

As for the other anonymous comment about changing our rehearsal day – well, we could, but… we were here first, dammit! And I think it behoves the newcomer to demonstrate that they intend no more than ‘a friendly rivalry’ first – and choosing a different day or time to rehearse, thereby allowing people to join both choirs if they wished, would have been a good start.

Enough for now.