The Correct Way To Share

Social media is a great thing.  It is a lynchpin to any good platform that our content be shared.  Our mamas all taught us that sharing is a good thing.  But when it comes to sharing intellectual property like blog posts and the like, there is a right and a wrong way to go about it.

Retweeting links?  Go for it.  If you wanna tack on a short line about why whatever you’re linking to is awesome, that’s even better.

Sharing posts on Facebook, on your own page and your friends’.  Cool.  By default Facebook grabs a little excerpt, maybe a picture, and links back to the original post.

Adding somebody’s link to your mashup of awesome, this is a great tactic.  Some of the best content I’ve read on the internet has come from mashups.

Pinning something on your board at Pinterest with a nice line about what you like about it.  We love when you do this.  And that’s how Pinterest is designed to work (now anyway since that brouhaha where people were posting whole articles/recipes/posts).

Reblogging on Tumblr, which does a fantastic job of attribution, so you can chase something back to the source.

It’s reblogging on other blogging platforms where the trouble often starts.  Why?  Because people often don’t do it correctly.  The entire point of reblogging is to share someone else’s content in a way that gives the source credit and will drive traffic back to that original source.  So all the people who post someone else’s entire post are not really reblogging.  They’re plagiarizing.

In most cases they don’t know it.  They’re trying to help, to share.  And they get really put out when you ask them to take your content down, not understanding why we are upset that they want to share our content.  You all know how I feel about plagiarism, so it’s often hard for me to hang on to my temper in these cases.  But I add a few more chains and politely explain that the CORRECT way to reblog is to post an excerpt of the original post and link back to the original source.  Sometimes it makes a difference, sometimes it doesn’t.

I’m not a fan of reblogging in general (outside of sites like Tumblr, which are designed entirely around reblogging) because too many people use it, not as a means to share, but as a lazy blogging mechanism.  The latest case where I contacted someone about my content was someone who had a blog that was nothing BUT reblogs.  What the heck is the point of that?  Blogging is about creating YOUR OWN content.  Regurgitating a bunch of other people’s stuff, even if you think it’s great, is not a blog.  But that’s departing from my point.

If you’re going to share someone else’s content, make sure to do it right and give credit where credit is due.  As I tell my students, it’s far better to over cite something than not cite it at all.

15 thoughts on “The Correct Way To Share

  1. And the crowd said: “Amen!” (on all points and especially the closing one).

    Pretty sure this post will end up on a mashup 🙂

  2. This is good advice, Kait. When I want to send someone to another person’s blog, I just include the link rather than post an excerpt. And I don’t even do that often. How did you find out someone had reblogged your post?

    • In this particular case a trackback on the post, but also Google alerts.

  3. I second Gene’s “amen”. When I get a google alert and find someone has reposted my entire blog and then has one measly link at the bottom mentioning me, I get annoyed. What motivation does someone have to click over when you’ve posted my ENTIRE post? And of course it’s always the blogs that have taken me forever to write that get reposted like that, so the reblog irritates me even more because I’m thinking–dude, it took me hours to put together that post and you hit one button and used the whole thing? Um, no.

  4. I third it. Thanks for writing this post!

  5. Hell yeah, Kait! You tell ’em. I recently had someone post an article I wrote on their site as a printable PDF (without my permission or knowledge). I asked them to link back to the original article or take it down.
    Good job, Kait…

  6. Another “Amen” here. And of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What about the big kahuna? Yep. Piracy. Downright stealing my stuff and making money off it to boot. Yes, we can spend hours and days and weeks sending take down notices, and we do, but yiyiyiyiyiyiyi. Is it okay to say “Amen” again? Twice in one paragraph? LOL!

  7. Take that, blog post stealers!

  8. I totally agree with the idea that these should include only a small part of the actual content and a link back to the original content so that the creator gets the traffic back to their site.

    The point I wanted to add is that I do see potential in a blog that is all re-blogged content. Not everyone is a creator, and not everyone who creates manages to create something I want to spend time on with every post. Some people, however, are excellent at collecting information, at seeing the value of a particular piece of content. I don’t have time read the daily musings of 50 different people on a given subject of interest to me, but I’d gladly follow a blog by a savvy reader interested in same whom I could trust to cull the ramblings and the been there/done that’s, to find and link me to the most useful material on that subject on a regular basis.

    • I really feel like that’s the job of the mashup. It gathers up the good stuff in one place without being plagiarized.

      • Agree, Kait, that a mash-up is preferable to an entire reblogging, which I find very troublesome and yes, a case of plagiarism. Thanks for this timely and well-written post.
        Karen

  9. I agree with you about reblogging. I really don’t get why there is a Reblog button on WordPress. I wouldn’t want to read something that wasn’t giving the writer credit. I do get what Susan is saying, though. A site that was basically a mash-up of the best posts would be fun to follow. Sort of like the Best Tweets posts that Jane Friedman used to do. Now I want to know: how do you set up a google alerts for your blog content? If they don’t use your name, will it show up?

    • It depends on what you set the alert for. I have several for my name, my book titles, my web address, and then it depends on what parameters you select, whether you go for all content or a selected subset. You can find alerts if you log into your google account and go to the More, then Even More section.

  10. Preaching to the choir. “Tis far better to over cite than not to cite at all. That is truly the most heinous oversight.” I write this on the board at the beginning of each semester. I love this post. So glad that Gene Lempp pointed me in your direction. 😉

  11. OMG, the first time I saw my ENTIRE post one someone’s blog, I just felt violated. Seriously. And it was the whole post, word for word. I wanted to hit her.

    I tried to be polite about it, but it was just disheartening. If they ask if they can re-blog, I always say yes. I’ve reblogged one of Kristen Lamb’s posts myself to get the word out on WANA. But the way it works on WordPress is an excerpt, and then it pushes the reader over to that person’s blog. Lovely post, Kait. 🙂

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