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Copy & Paste Blogging


The next time you see a big chunk of quoted text in a blog post, ask yourself why it's there. Is it concern that the link (to a newspaper, say) might expire or become outdated? Is it a sincere desire to create reader convenience? Or is it at its core simply a blogger wanting you to stay where you are and worrying that you won't come back?

For whatever reasons, it seems like it's happening to me a lot more. In recent months, folks have taken big swaths of my "HotSeat" interviews and posted them in their blogs. Two weeks ago, someone liked my "Hot For Education" post so much that he copied and pasted all the pictures that I'd gathered into his own blog. Yesterday, someone else thought that a one of the things I'd dug up was so interesting that it, too, should get copied onto his site in its entirety.

In every case, these bloggers credited me and provided a link. But that's not really enough, since they've effectively bypassed any need for you to come visit, which is how blogs measure their impact. Intentional or not, copying big chunks of text like that is ripping off whoever found or wrote or bothered to post the material in the first place.


Sorry you've been taken advantage of! I'm on the record with my concerns about what appears to be an abuse of fair use in blogging, but too much of the world doesn't pay attention to such niceties.

Repeat after me: "there is no such thing as bad publicity."

This kind of rip-off is a sure sign that your blog is taking off. Might I guess that the copying increased when you moved to your new digs?

Take heart in knowing that blogs that rely too much on quoting are doomed. Readers gravitate to original content, and any blog that fails to deliver original copy will not thrive, not attract readers nor retain them. Meanwhile your Technorati and Google rankings will benefit from their feeble linking.

I do often worry about the article not being there anymore - but I suppose as long as you say enough about it it doesn't matter. It's really just an accountability measure, right?

I never quote you so we have no problems.

Seriously, I worry about this subject sometimes, and have come up with some unofficial rules of quoting.

1. Never ever quote more that 1/3 of someones post (for small posts) or 3 paragraphs max for long articles.

2. Try and make your quotes, teasers. Hopefully getting readers interested enough they have to click over to get the bottom line.

All and all, I go out of my way to be ethical and fair.

I think its a fair thing for you to point out.

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