Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blog Talk : Crediting Sources and Pinterest

Hi y'all!

This cold or whatever I have, combined with BB having bronchitis is seriously zapping me of all energy. But I've got to push forward. If I spend one more day curled up on the couch watching true crime shows, Joey may have me committed. I'm only half-kidding. I'll let you pick which half. But I'm doubling up on my allergy meds (starting today), I'm taking extra vitamins and I'm even trying some home remedies such as White Flower oil:

It's got menthol, peppermint and more extracts in it and it's supposed to help with congestion and cough. I've been putting it under my nose and on my throat before going to bed and the verdict is: I've slept better the passed two nights using it than I did without it. But, there is a slight sensation, kind of like when you rub rubbing alcohol on and it's evaporating quickly, and it does nothing to help set the "bedroom mood" as when I came to bed the first night, Joey told me I smelled like his grandfather. How romantic. 

But that is neither here nor there, unless of course, you're suffering like I am and you are interested in trying some oils and such for natural relief. In which case you can find this in an Asian market. 

Anyway, I mentioned earlier about talking about crediting sources and how it's something we should all be doing. I'll go ahead and admit it, so you don't feel alone and like the only bad guy, I'm 100% guilty of not crediting my sources... not even in the slightest. In the beginning, I would blog and just google highlighted subjects from my post, get an image, and post it to my blog. So my posts looked something like this. Oh how wrong that is! First off, I have an English degree. I know about crediting sources; quoting people, books, magazines; using citations... I know this stuff. I know because it was ingrained in me. I know about plagiarism and the dos and don'ts of it. So why didn't I stop what I was doing and credit my sources? Well, a couple things: 1) It's easier and quicker to not credit 2) It's just my little blog, what's the problem? 3) It's not like I have a huge following, who really cares? And I'm sure there are more other excuses for justifying this that I'm not thinking of right now. And I'm sure you have some reasons of your own bouncing around in your head right now too of why you aren't currently crediting your sources. Or maybe you're thinking in your head that you already credit properly and bravo you! Even if that's the case, keep reading. You might still learn something new AND it's good to always be refreshed of rules and just proper blog etiquette. And since Pinterest seems to be the #1 place I see bloggers getting their images, let's start there:

Pinterest and Properly Crediting Sources

 In my blog's infancy, I wasn't completely void of crediting. When featuring an Etsy item I did link back to the shop/item listing. See here

Also, the more blogs I posted and the more of other's blogs I read, I started coming up with and mimicking cutesy ways of linking back like:

| image source |
| image |
{ via here }
{ image source here }

And the list goes on and on with the various ways you can change up the way you link back to something. I know I'm not original in any of those, just as I'm sure none of the other people I see doing that are either. 

But even then, I'd only link back to say... the website that I got the image from (even if that wasn't the original source)?... or now maybe just to... ummm... the Pinterest link?

Ugh I know!!! How could anyone say anything negative about Pinterest? Well... there's actually a great deal of negative things one can say about Pinterest when it comes to crediting sources. Even when you embed an image to your blog from Pinterest, that handy little citation that include underneath, that's not always correct. 

So, how does one credit sources when finding an image/idea on Pinterest?

First : Change the way you think. Pinterest is NOT the source. Let's forget about all the funny "definitions" we've heard for Pinterest and remember what it truly is: a website to 'pin' or collect internet images and save them in a specific category or 'board'. Pinterest (the company) did not create or have copyright to these items. So crediting Pinterest as your source is like saying you got the idea from the library. 

Second : Change the way you talk. I'm not talking about whether it's pop or soda or coke (which of course, I've explained before that it's clearly pop), I'm talking about when you bring a yummy dish to a party and someone asks where you got that idea and you say, "Pinterest!" (Or maybe you don't say it because you've somehow included yourself in a group where you are the only person with a Pinterest account and therefore you can't be found out! In which case, that will only work for so long and I, for one, would rather be known as the girl who likes trying new things and new recipes she finds, rather than the girl who claims she knows it all and is later found out to be a fraud. Just sayin'.) 

Example :

Let's say you see this on Pinterest and you go through all the steps of pinning, getting to the blog post where the image is originally from, print the recipe and take these yummy Ham & Cheese Sliders to a party. Someone takes a bite and remarks about how delicious your sliders are and asks you where you got the idea and you say, "Pinterest!" Wrong. What you should say is, "From 'The Girl Who Ate Everything" blog that I found through Pinterest." 

Here's a few things that might happen when you give proper credit: People are going to be jealous because you're on Pinterest and they aren't yet, You might make some friends who want an invite from you, The handsome lawyer guy that's been mingling within a few of your circles is going to be so smitten with you and your proper use of crediting that he'll whisk you away on his private yacht for a romantic vacation in Bora Bora. 

Or, what will probably happen is people eat the sliders, and months later ask you to make more of those yummy sliders you brought to the last party. Or they ask you for the recipe and you send them the link to the blog. No big deal. It's not like someone's going to think less of you for not coming up with these yourself, I mean, how many dinner parties do you go to where someone creates a truly original dish? (And if you have an answer of more than 5, I want to follow your blog and get the *dish* on these recipes.) You aren't losing credibility for admitting that something isn't your own original idea. 

Third : Change the way you blog. Here's the big kicker for us bloggers because, let's face it, this is where we use lots of images to "liven up" our blog posts. 

Example : 

image source
{ Either citation is acceptable (although the second one is best), just make sure you actually link back to the POST, not to the blog in whole. That's almost, but not nearly, as bad as saying you found it on 'the internet'. If that's what you're doing then you should just stop blogging and speaking altogether. }

And I get it. It's boring, it's mundane, it's the not-so-fun part about blogging. But taxes are boring, mundane and not-so-fun but they keep you legal. And I'm not saying I'll be out "auditing" blogs that aren't properly crediting their sources, but I can say that the bloggers I think have the most "blog-cred" are not the ones who are bouncing off to one blog conference or another (which I'm hoping to do one day because I've been hearing A LOT about some blog conferences and haven't been to one yet), not the ones with the most followers or highest stats, I think they're the ones who come up with completely original content and/or properly use and credit their sources. But that's just my opinion and we all know how much an opinion is worth. 

But I know for me and my blog, I'm going legit. I'll be crediting proper sources or not using the image... I don't care how perfect it is for my blog/post or whatever. 

And here's something else to think about:

image source : Pia Jane Bejkirk

I get it. Images are fun, funny, interesting, inspiring, and everything else you can think of. A blog post is almost naked without an image in it. Not always... but I think we all know how much images are loved. And don't get me started on all the Pinterest blog link-ups out there. I almost started one myself. I've been guilty of doing a collection of images found via Pinterest on my blog myself, and on others' blogs. So I'm by no means thinking I'm innocent in any of this. But that doesn't mean things/my blog/I can't change. 

Anyway, it's something to definitely consider if you haven't before. But I'm very interested in what you have to say... 

What are your thoughts on crediting sources in blogs? In every day talk? Are you as guilty as I am? Are you changing your ways? Do you agree or disagree? Let's talk!

*in the interest of keeping the peace, please keep all comments civil.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is a GREAT post Regina! So informative! I am 100% guilty of not crediting sources correctly too. Honestly, part of it was because I didn't really know how to do it properly, the other part is shear laziness on. Yep, I admit. I was too lazy to go look for the correct soure, or too lazy to figure out how to credit the proper source in the first place. I'm definitely going to take your suggestions. In fact, I don't even really think I'm going to be using Pinterest embeds anymore. I find it so much easier to find something interesting on Etsy and link directly to that item. Plus it's giving a one-up to the handmade business crowd too.

    Thanks for writing this! When I think about it, I wouldn't want the credit given to someone else for something that I created! So, why do the same to others? We could all use a little reminder of these basics, and I'm glad you took a stand!

    PS - I'm sorry you're not feeling well! I hope you are able to get some rest and feel better soon! :)


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