Don’t Be A Blogging Photocopy Machine

Anyone can blog. That’s how easy it is. Anyone that can regularly string a few words together into a (semi) coherant sentence will find out how easy it is to start a blog. The only problem with this equation is that not everyone can blog well, which thew point of me writing this. Now I’m not going to list down the cardinal evils of blogging because that would just be a ridiculously long list. My pet peave of the day just happens to come from something we in the blogging community see far too often – Reblogging.

Basically, what reblogging is, is just taking your content from other sources and using it as content from your blog. I mean I don’t mind if you’re just taking what someone else blogged about and giving your own opinion on it, writing it in your own way. That’s what blogging should always be about anyway – your take on things. Reblogging destroys that.

This post, The Evils of Constant Reblogging has it right by saying that constant reblogging deteriorates a quality of a blog and in this world where blogs are exploding by the thousands each day, it’s the quality of a blog we should be looking for, not the constant photocopies of what someone else has written before.

So what if a blog if a blog ends up being a cited post to another blog or news that you can find anywhere? I mean, we have all seen the ridiculous amounts of posts on Nano and Flock (which I am also guilty of writing). But what seperates a good blog from a reblog? The answer is simple really, heart and soul. As I go back to the opening of this post, anyone can blog as long as they can string words together, but at the heart of every blog is in its individuality to express what is theirs. The passion to put down who they are for the whole world to see. I don’t mind if you blog another post on the Nano or Flock, but for God’s sake…don’t end up with a few sentence saying how good or bad it is and have the rest of a post be something I can find on some popular news site.

The only thing that pisses me off more than anything about reblogging is the fact you’re reblogging for the sole purpose of profit. Blogs that have news cited directly from other sources which happen to be swarming with ads. Why should I help you get money something I can get for free elsewhere? I would rather help support the other bloggers who write these things first hand with their own head, it makes much more sense anyway. You know what I categorise these ad smothered reblogs under? Spam blogs.

Taking this into context, I blog a lot about WordPress most of it though may happen to things you’d notice on your WordPress RSS feeds (in fact I got the idea for this post from one of those feeds). Now the reason why I write a lot about WordPress is because I know many of the people that work on it. Occassionally I help out and beta test the things that would eventually go into WordPress particularly certain essential plugins. It isn’t just something you can find on some sites, it’s something I actually talked about, picked apart, tried and tested first hand and I’m letting people know what it is all about so that they can be informed about it.

When it comes to blogging, especially about the facts, it isn’t about who machine guns you with information first. It’s who can give you the hands on detail knowing exactly what’s going. Just remember, no one likes to be told the same joke over and over again, but people like something new. It doesn’t matter whose flavour it might be, it’s better to be original than something stale. It’s something many bloggers take for granted…and that just ruins the whole experience for a lot of people.

16 thoughts on “Don’t Be A Blogging Photocopy Machine

  1. Wait. So what’s the difference between re-blogging and outright stealing of my intellectual property?

  2. Reblogging is just like plagiarism, on a smaller scale. Over here, if plagiarism ever happens, the university can revoke your degree anytime, even when you’re out working already! That’s how serious plagiarism is. Still originality is better than a cut-and-paste blog.

    On another note, I happened to see Chewxy talking about this issue once before too.

  3. There is a fine line between plagiarism and reblogging. As far as I understand it, taking something under copy protection without consent from the owner to pass it off as your own is plagiarism.

    Reblogging still cites the original or in many cases, the sources in which they got it from which ironically can be reblogs themselves. Often enough these sources don’t have copyright protection and wouldn’t be stealing its intellectual properties.

  4. a lot of malaysian are like that… esp those few notorious one… plagiarism, look down on them

  5. You know, if it doesn’t fulfill the criteria of ‘fair use‘ or ‘fair dealing‘ it can technically be considered illicit use or some kind of violation to my intellectual property rights. Doesn’t matter if they quote me or source me.

    If it takes too much it isn’t Fair Use. If it isn’t added for purposes of commentary or review or academic or scholarly research it’s not Fair Use. If they’re making money out of it, it ain’t fair use.

  6. Malaysian = Reblogger . They can barelly speak English. All they want are our Adsense clicks. Why don’t they just blog quality stuff in their own language instead of reblogging in broken English?

  7. Ed, what do you exactly mean by reblogging? Some blogs put up “news”, write commentaries on them, and then provide a link to the original site. Let’s just say you come up with a product one day. These bloggers will be helping you with publicity by featuring your product in their blogs, commenting about it, and provide links to the article on your site.

    Most “cut and paste” blog don’t take entries out of journals. They’re about news. Just as a blog about current events, take snippets out of a full article. A tech blogger takes “tech news” from such sources.. and so on…

    And they usually don’t copy the entire news, just part of it and the rest are commentaries.

    I understand that WordPress is a free open source, and it is your interest. You enjoy playing around with it and then share your discoveries in this blog – which is something I admire. You’re willing to share. But I’m sure you’ve spread wordpress news before? And news being straight news.. there aren’t many ways to write them without throwing facts away.

    And unfortunately, not everyone has a flair in writing like you. But yet, such people are not willing to be restricted from blogging. They’re striving to better themselves. Perhaps, commenting news on blogs is the best that they can do. Maybe one day, these people would turn out to be excellent commentators, writers and reporters. They have to start somewhere. By narrowing the definition of blogging, chances of creative expression and writing is suppressed as well – which is bad for a developing country.

    As for “probloggers” and their adsense craze, this is really a competitive age, Ed. Some people may be in pits for all you know, and adsense is providing them an avenue to earn extra cash. They might be guilty of copy and pasting in your books, but they’re possibly doing it to feed their children and family at home. – Ofcourse, I’m not talking about parody blogs. That’s another issue.

    As a writer, I don’t mind people quoting and republishing my articles, so long its non-commercial and they credit the source. The “By Yvonne Foong” has to be there. And if the articles are meant to strive for a cause, I don’t mind them being published in magazines as well, so long as they give me credit.

    Because I love writing, and I like people reading my articles. Restricting them to my own blog means less readers. It’s as simple as that.

  8. I do agree that we shouldn’t just make a cut and paste blog and not give credit to the real creater of whatever that you copied. But to Sick of Malaysian Bloggers, you are rude. Plain rude. Decent people don’t usually insult others like that. I, as a proud Malaysian, point out that not all Malaysians are Rebloggers, nor that all Malaysians could barely speak English. If this language you’re reading is not English, I do beg you to tell me what language it is.
    And the part about reblogging in broken English, you are insulting me, if not the whole country. I take pride in knowing English, I adore English. Without English, my life is meaningless. Yet, you think that just because we’re Malaysians, we could not speak English. That is really unfair.
    I’m not trying to pick a fight with you, nor am I saying that you’re wrong, because you partly correct. A lot of Malaysians are Rebloggers but not all. By the way, I’m just a Malaysian kid, nothing much. But an extremely proud Malaysian.
    P/s: Sorry if there is any spelling mistakes.

  9. As I said…no one needs news that can be found on any news site let alone 6-7 blogs citing themselves from the same source. We already have news sites for that.

    I don’t blog what doesn’t need to be blogged or what I think wouldn’t involve the rest of us. WordPress news can be found on their RSS feeds which is why I have never blogged about their news before. Its the hands on kind of things I write and that’s as far as it goes.

  10. Hi there! Just stopping by to read your blog. You write really well and your blog titles are unique and eye-catching. Well, just letting you know that too. Keep it up!

    And yeah, you got a point there about bloggers who don’t actually blog. But, I guess it doesn’t necessarily have to be from their heart and soul. Some people have trouble expressing themselves in words. Or maybe they just want to be part of the blogging community. Can’t blame them! Blogging is so in right now.

    Some heart and soul blogs aren’t that good either. It can get pretty boring.

    Sometimes, I get writer’s block. Oooh, it’s terrible! When nothing seems to come out – no ideas, no inspiration, no mood, no flow of creativity; blogging can be tough at times to me. That’s when we are desperate.

    One’s safety is also considered while blogging. We take care not to hurt anyone else’s feelings. Maybe that’s why some bloggers don’t speak up that much or don’t write much from what’s really in their minds and hearts.

    But who cares? As long as there are a few good blogs by talented writers, it’s enough. Too much of a good thing is not good. =) Have a good day!

  11. Well, considering there are 55 million blogs out there and growing. It’s becoming pretty hard to find good blogs these days, or blogs that you can relate to that isn’t reiterated in a different way.

    We all get writer’s block, but the question we have to ask ourselves is this. Why should we be desperate?

    If there is nothing to blog, I won’t blog at all. Sometimes I’d go for days without blogging because I’m either too busy or there isn’t anything that fits the reason for me to blog. So I don’t. I don’t get it when people blog “because they have to.” Why do they have to? None of our blogs really matter anyway. No one is going to hold you accountable if you don’t blog. The world isn’t going to stop.

    Heart and soul, the part of you that drives the passion. That’s what separates the good from the bad. I guess the point here is that maybe we shouldn’t be constantly satisfied with being part of the same pack day in and day out. When you love what you do and do it well. It shows. And people can appreciate that.

    I guess I would feel more comfortable knowing people truly do what they love rather than buy into fads and commercialized 15 minutes of fame. Too much of a good thing may be bad, but life’s much more interesting when people are more true to themselves rather than being part of the crowd.

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