Credit where credit is due?
December 2, 2005 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Blog question. Should I ask folks who I'm pretty sure are getting their ideas from my blog and not linking back to do so?

I have a blog about bikes. I try to mix it up, and some of my stuff is a little obscure. There is a guy who is parts of a multi writer blog who has lifted ideas from my blog several times and not given me a link back or even a mention. The other writers of this blog do link back to me. I'm pretty sure I'm not imagining this. In the latest instance I posted a link about a somewhat obscure bike company. The guy linked to the same story and said "I had never heard of this company..." and I'm sure he never heard about it until he read it in my blog. I can see that he's subscribed to a feed. Should I just go for a ride and let it go?
posted by fixedgear to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Yeah, it's classy to include a link to where you found something, but not everyone knows this, and it's sort of optional.
posted by johngoren at 8:29 AM on December 2, 2005

Unless it's original content that you're writing, I would let it go. It's nice to get a "via" mention for links, but they're not worth fighting over.
posted by Remy at 8:29 AM on December 2, 2005

In the blogging world, it's considered polite to at least give a shout out to the place you found the thing originally. Usually with a [via metafilter] or similar link.

I had a situation where someone was doing something similar. I sent an email to the person who ran the company behind the blog, and they started giving me links like I described above. There is, however, no way to enforce this: just keep doing the good stuff and your readers will figure it out...
posted by baggers at 8:31 AM on December 2, 2005

Best answer: but not everyone knows this, and it's sort of optional.

You could give the guy the benefit of the doubt here and let him know that it's pretty common to give credit. Be friendly, make it more informative than critical, and add that you'd appreciate him pointing people your way if he finds your content useful, and that other bloggers would be glad for that courtesy too.
posted by SuperNova at 8:33 AM on December 2, 2005

Certainly take the advice above regarding a polite note, but only if you can let it go if you get a negative or no response. Unless you have a cool head, this is how Blog Wars get started. And Google sees all.
posted by deadfather at 8:58 AM on December 2, 2005

When I first started my blog, I had a "famous" blogger "lifting" links from me on a regular basis. I posed a similar question to yours here on the blog itself, asking readers "How should I react?" Starting the next day, he started faithfully crediting me, and had been doing so to this day, 2 years later.
posted by growabrain at 8:58 AM on December 2, 2005

Best answer: The first rule, if you think someone is stealing your ideas, is to remember the world's a big place and a bunch of people invented the radio. I won't second guess you if you're "pretty sure" this guy's getting his ideas from you, but it bears repeating.

That said, Remy is right. If you're writing original content, that's one thing; if you're just posting links with minimal explanation, well, there's not much to protect. Of course he should give you credit, and if he's doing it repeatedly he needs a lesson in ethics or etiquette...but Remy's right, links aren't worth fighting over.

Otherwise, a polite email is the best choice. Remember that this type of email can seem rude regardless of the author's intended tone, and consider asking a friend's opinion before sending the note.

Failing those options, if you're still bothered, you can always "call him out" in a post on your own blog...
posted by cribcage at 9:29 AM on December 2, 2005

I'd say yes, but only because this has been happening to us recently-- there's a pretty well-known food blogger who has been reading our site and using the style as a template for his own recent (much-improved) writing. It's really obvious, but since we're not as famous, he gets away with it. No links, nuthin.

So in a perfect world, I'd want him to give credit where it is due, but short of that, we'll just have to wait and see if he does the right thing.

Sounds a lot like your situation, actually.
posted by NYCnosh at 3:03 PM on December 2, 2005

If it bothers you, you can try being nice, but firm, and if that doesn't work, hatch a plan to make a public issue of it to increace your own profile. You could begin by starting a new blog that does nothing but document every blog post that seems to be based on your original blog. Doing it with good humor will go a long way to avoiding appearing like a crank.
posted by Good Brain at 12:23 AM on December 3, 2005

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