Home Featured Editor’s Note: For New Bloggers, When Copying Snippets Isn’t Enuf

Editor’s Note: For New Bloggers, When Copying Snippets Isn’t Enuf

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Cool story sis. *Control-C*

As you’ve seen by now, there’s a lot going on at SBM. We’re adding new writers, trying out new things with content, and striving to provide a myriad of perspective on topics we think you’d find interesting and useful. We’ve learned and grown a lot over the last year, which has brought us a completely new set of obstacles. For me, there is one in particular that grinds my gears:

People taking our content without permission and using it to build their own websites and readerships.

I’m learning every day that there are a ton of people entering the web game and looking to build their own empires of goodness. It’s admirable. It really is. I respect and support the hustles. However, I can’t help but feel impolitely robbed and cheated when I visit a budding website and discover it’s been populated with our content. And when I say content, I don’t mean a paragraph or two. I mean taking complete articles with titles and dropping a skidamarinky dinky link to us at the bottom. Ain’t nobody reading that footnote Otis!

Rather than writing a 2k tirade, I’ll provide you with four brief reasons this activates my inner hulk.

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1. You make Google think harder than it needs to and we take the L. 

Taking our complete articles forces us to compete against our content in Google, which sees duplicate content and gets all King Solomonesque with who gets the credit. Consider this post me diving in front of the sword to protect my child. Also think of this as a professor having the same essay from both of us and giving each of us a fail. Now we gotta take summer classes to get our degrees. I’m not trying to sit next to you in a hot ass classroom.

2. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but copying is lame buckets.

Continuing with the academia theme, how would you feel if you shared a paper you wrote with someone, then they took it and turned it in for their class without telling you anything, put their name on the top, and put your name in the footnotes as the source? Straight lamb manure.

WisdomIsMisery does a great job of citing articles and pulling relevant snippets that enhance the discussion without pasting the full article from elsewhere. If you’re struggling on your copy etiquette, check out a great example here

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See Also:  Messing With The Guy You Don't "Like" Might Lower Your Stock

All rants aside, writing is an art and artists are sensitive about their sh*t.  It doesn’t matter how good, bad or free you think someone’s writing is. If you like it and want to share it with your audience, make sure you properly cite it and give your readers the chance to have the same experience you did. And when there’s doubt, just ask. Don’t let us randomly find out…unless you like the taste of Clorox.

Keep Husslin’,

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Comment(26)

  1. We're tit for tat on SBM? SCORE!

    Since we're doing the academia theme I would love to refer everyone to the core classes Linear Solutions to your Problems 101 and Reading Comprehension 201. Because. For real. I'm tired of the other students being 7-8 years older than me yet 7 years behind the bar I set. I would move up but I'm not sure there's a class above Goddess. At this point I'm gonna need to refer the men to You're Shook but It's Okay….30YEARSOLD-01. I know one gender matures faster but when Heirarchy 503 shows ME, than men at varying stages of development and only three to five on close range……than a slew of no names struggling to keep up with their advice….it makes for really boring conversation and potential networking. Let us boost. Where you at.

      1. The proper way, IF what they had to say in the link posted below was the inspiration for your poetry, you would give the reader ample opportunity to understand where you are coming from and site the source FIRST, and perhaps the specific quote that inspired the direction you will go from there. For example:
        http://blacklatinafabulous.wordpress.com/2012/06/

        Anything more than a paragraph warrants asking for permission. Anything copied verbatim with the intent of making it seem like you wrote it (even if cited on the bottom of your post) is plagarism. Hope this helps.

        1. Hm. You're still about two years behind the direction I've already taken….on top of the seven years it took me to get to the point I had to decide on a direction….but it somewhat helps other people understand how to address me. Thanks for trying.

        2. Hopefully everyone understands not to bite the mistakes of a good woman — that she didn't make — and then judge her negatively for being perfect. but I doubt anyone will catch what I did there. This post is about giving proper credit where credit is due.

          So a basketball wife link vs. Michelle Obama. You're the best….but you're still 9 years behind me. I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to say here. *awkward handshake*

    1. I just wanted to see what would happen, Slim. Continue paying me no mind. but actually…

      One time you told me to have a nice weekend. You didn't mean it. but I haven't seen my family in quite a few years and no one knew how to get in contact with me. I saw my nephew for the first time. I didn't even know my sister was pregnant. So, I'll take that "have a great day" as foreshadowing.

  2. I dont see why people would steal posts…the easiest post a blogger can do when they’re out of ideas is simply “react” to a post whether you cosign or disagree wholeheartedly

  3. I'm not in the blogging game myself, but I always thought it was proper internet etiquette that you never post another person's complete post or article. You post in part or hyperlink, and when you do post in part, it should be italicized or in a text box to clearly let the reader know the words were referenced elsewhere. I guess it's a cold world out there.

  4. As a lover of all things English (grammar, literature….Idris……), this grates my nerves. Society as a whole has become lax about everything from using textspeak in formal writing to citing sources. That is a BASIC rule. They even teach it in the remedial classes.

    True story: on my blog, I have a very personal entry about my beliefs on marriage. I put a whole lot of ME into it, down to the very emotional story I shared about a poignant moment in my parents' marriage. It ended up being the most popular post on my blog–and someone plagiarized it. I mean word for word, right-click and save as. I was angry, but even more than that I felt violated. I found myself pulling back, back to the point where I really don't blog anymore. I just put it all in my journal.

    I'd rather you steal my flat screen than my words. That's serious because I love my flat screen. LOL

  5. Wow, I didn't realize it was this serious. But u know what they say, "you can't have nothing to yourself for somebody always trying to bite your sh**."
    The most important things I learned in writing at a very early age was
    1. Do Not Plagiarize. You can go to jail for it, (like opening up mail that doesn't belong to you).
    2. If and when you use someone else's written words you Always Always Always make it crystal clear that the words are someone else's and Not yours. You do this by using quotation marks, and citing your sources and references in detail and giving them the credit.

  6. In grade-school and high-school I remember all my teachers being sticklers on this and always telling us to use quotes and cite All of our sources and references when using words from books, magazines, newpapers, or any other literature to write papers. By the time I was in high-school I also learned the art of paraphrasing and using my own words, so as not to use words verbatuum straight from books. In high-school all our papers had to be MLA style to the T and sources and references had to be there, and properly notated. In college because I majored in Psychology we used APA style whicAs you stated Taterbug when someone puts their heart and soul into their written work the last thing they want is someone stealing it and claiming it as their own. It's just wrong.

  7. I have seen reposts of SBM discussions on Mike Baisden's Mingle City site but the people cited the source and linked the site, (if I remember correctly). I've posted poignant phrases from people's comments on here that i thought were really meaningful on my fb page and used a comment for a discussion on Mingle City. I cited the source, ie the person who wrote the comment, as well as the fact that the comment was from an SBM post and a link to the site so folks could check it out for themselves.
    Seriously, just give people their due credit.h is very similar except for a few differences, namely the subject matter.

  8. Dang, didn't really know jacking blog posts was that serious. Really though? I am not in the blogging game, but I always thought the point of writting a blog was to express your thoughts via words. Yeah plagarism can get you hemmed up out here! lol

  9. Much needed blog topic! I'm a research writer and citing is so ingrained in us that its really habitual…even if I'm putting song lyrics innocently in my gchat status, I indicate that (at the very least with quotation marks). I have a hard time switching gears to write for magazines or blogs because I'm so used to citing citing citing. So, when people are quoting but forget the quotations and forgeting to put an author and forgeting to give any indication that the words aren't their own, I find it very annoying! Yet, I see it more and more…intellectual theft is really getting out of control.

  10. Fantastically written!!! I am not a blogger but I likes to read em and it pisses me off like I was a blogger when I go somewhere and see the same article i just read on another site. Who the hell wrote this, you or them? The bleach in the water bottle thing might get you a charge (IJS) but I understand the frustration.

  11. Copying is the duplication of information or an artifact based only on an instance of that information or artifact, and not using the process that originally generated it. With analog forms of information, copying is only possible to a limited degree of accuracy, which depends on the quality of the equipment used and the skill of the operator. Thanks.
    Regards,
    square one printing company

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