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 Post subject: Citing others blogs
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:23 pm
Posts: 17
So, I like reading blogs. What can I say? Sometimes they are so good that I want to call attention to a specific post, maybe add a thought or two of my own on the topic and call that a post.

On one hand, I feel that perhaps I should just leave a comment on the original blog and be done with it.

On the other hand, some posts are so good, that I want them to be referenced on my site.

Is this a legitamate way to post? It feels a bit like plagiarism. Do I need permission to link another's post as the main topic of one of my posts?

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 Post subject: Re: Citing others blogs
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:22 am 
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I think that there's a sort of hierarchy of what's acceptable and what's not.

At the top of the ladder with the most appropriate, conservative method you would just mention that there's a post on X topic at Y blog (with links) and then add your personal comments. That way you're supporting their traffic but not actually taking any content for your own blog.

Next up would be making your link and taking a short excerpt out of the post you're referencing but not the whole post... then follow up with your comments. This offends a few people but others support it.

Lastly there's making your link and posting a duplicate of the original post... followed by your comments. This is not very good and I'm pretty sure most people call that plagiarism even with permission.

In the second and third choices you really should get the author's permission before posting. I don't think you'd need permission for just the first option, though. It really all depends on how ballsy you want to be in your email when you ask for permission. If you ask for too much, they might just tell you no... even if they would have been fine with the second option. Hope this helps!

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 Post subject: Re: Citing others blogs
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:57 am 
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Personally, if I'm going to comment on someone else's post in depth, I don't flinch at quoting (brief) excerpts ... but only when the overall tone of my post is supportive. If it's adversarial, I will try to avoid direct quotes for fear I might take a few lines out of context. I find that a brief snippet of someone's post is more likely to entice interest than a simple link.

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 Post subject: Re: Citing others blogs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:34 am 
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Generally you should follow the rules you've learned (hopefully) though out your school years as far as citing sources.

Also, if you did find a post very informative and you can't even conceive of adding anything to it that the original author has said then what is probably the most proper recourse would be to give a link to the article and then say why you found it so incredible. WoWInsider has good examples of this. They often find their news and comments through the blogosphere, and instead of quoting the post they give you a link and then comment on the post.

As far as a mass copy being considered plagiarism, from a technical standpoint, as long as it is properly attributed to the original author it is not plagiarism. It's incredibly bad form, but you aren't doing anything that is "bad".

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 Post subject: Re: Citing others blogs
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:13 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Citing others blogs
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:36 pm 
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Do not copy the whole post obviously, but just the main points. Also make sure to include a link back to the source and generally a blogger will be happy that you are sending them traffic. You should also leave a comment or email them to tell them that you are referencing their post.

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 Post subject: Re: Citing others blogs
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:10 am 
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I usually limit any kind of whole block text copying to 400 charactersish. I always prefer using intext citations. Theres a few bloggers out there who prefer using footers, but I honestly can't be bothered to scroll down and read it, then back up again. It ruins the flow and the train of thought.

As for letting the blogger know, I'm hoping they've got trackbacks turned on so they can see it.

Most of the time, if you're copying an excerpt, you're either providing another opinion or perspective, or helping to raise awareness of what the original blogger is talking about. Either way, they're both positive reasons. I'm willing to bet that not a single blogger here is the type of individual to wholesale copy and paste blog posts from other bloggers.

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 Post subject: Re: Citing others blogs
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:52 pm 
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Quote:
Is this a legitimate way to post? It feels a bit like plagiarism. Do I need permission to link another's post as the main topic of one of my posts?


That's a great question, Idahoe, and it's something that a lot of new bloggers have questions on. Unfortunately, a lot of them get it wrong. Here's the deal.

Linking to someone else's blog is always acceptable. You don't need their permission to do it, and if they know anything about blogging, they'll be grateful for the link.

Quoting other people's work is where it gets a little bit trickier, but there are still easy-to-understand guidelines that you can follow.

Quoting someone's entire article and posting it on your site is a copyright violation. Even if it is correctly attributed and linked, if you do it without their express permission, it's still illegal. So don't do that. :D

Quoting a few excerpts, however, is fine so long as you give credit for the quotes to the author, and link to their original article. I like to use the /blockquote tag to clearly delineate what is their work and what are my comments. The amount of text that you can quote is a gray area, but you can safely use your own judgment on that and decide for yourself. Ideally, you would quote enough to pique your reader's interest, but not so much that they can practically read the whole article on your site. And no, you don't need their permission to quote their article and link to them. You can always send them an email letting them know you linked to them, but nearly all bloggers will see the link come in as a trackback and will know from that.

Hope that helps.

- Adrenis

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