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A blog about “re-blogging”

July 30, 2015
Seven of Swords -- Tarot of the Masters

Today I would like to talk a bit about (re)blogging etiquette. This is because of an unfortunate incident that arose yesterday concerning my post “Consciousness Transformation Spread.” I don’t want to go into too many details about what happened. I mainly want to point out what I feel is proper Internet / Blogging etiquette when one wants to “re-blog” a post, so I will try to stick to only providing enough details about yesterday’s incident to illustrate my points about etiquette.

First of all, let’s be clear about this term, “re-blog.”  It’s just a euphemism for “copy.”  When you copy a blog post in its entirety, you are usurping someone else’s work. You are now potentially getting some traffic going to your site that should go to the site of the post creator. Now, if you credit that person and post a link back to their site, that’s nice, and it saves you from an accusation of plagiarism (which would take this discussion to a higher level of problems). However, if you copy the entire post, or even just the meat of it, you are not (as you might want to believe) helping the originating blog get traffic or attention since virtually no one will click over to it. Why should they? They got all the info they need from your blog.  So you may not be taking credit, but you are taking my traffic, and that ultimately impacts my livelihood.

So what should you do?

First and foremost, ask before you copy. Informing me after the fact is nice, but not preferred.  And when you ask for permission, it’s also important to ask how I would like to be attributed.  Why do I say that?  Here’s an example: the person I mentioned at the beginning of this post, credited me as the author of “Tarot Tells the Tale.” That seemed good to her, but it’s not what I want. Had she asked, I would have told her that I don’t want people to be referred to that book. (Here’s why: https://jamesricklef.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/tttt-vs-tre/) Instead, I would appreciate a reference to the revised edition, Tarot Reading Explained.

Second, be prepared for a couple of potential responses:
ONE: “I’d rather you not copy my post.”
TWO: “I’d like you to only post an excerpt.” I will probably give you the excerpt I would like you to use, and ask that you then refer your readers to my blog to read the rest.

Then if you don’t want to comply with my requests, don’t copy my post at all.

The upshot of all this is that I have felt compelled to add a blurb on my blog (which you can see on the right-hand column) that explicitly asks that people not “re-blog” my posts without prior permission.  Now, it has also been suggested to me that I use a ‘blog protector’ plugin to keep people from copying any content from my blog. (Thanks to Louise Underhill for that suggestion.) I am considering that, but I don’t know; it seems that may be a rather draconian solution. For now, I’ll stick with the request blurb and see how well that works.  Another suggestion that I am considering is to use an on-line plagiarism checker like Copyscape.com to find where my work may have been copied.

And finally, a big thank you to Siobhan Rene for her suggestion that I do a post about blog etiquette regarding “reblogging.”

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From → Card meanings

2 Comments
  1. Shame you had to post this James but I am fully 100% behind you. Your post here was dignified in its fairness. Davina

  2. Will permalink

    Like ‘The Wheel’, what goes around/comes around for……….. ALL included

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