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Millions of people go online each day and share their brilliance.

We see it in blogs and comments alike.

With the click of a button, those ideas are ours for the taking.

But who do those ideas belong to?

Today’s Lesson

Suzen of Erasing The Board brought up a good point in the comment section of the Save Time – Copy and Paste A Post article. She said, in part,

I just ran across a blogger that used my comment in their very next post, no attribution either.

Suzen went on to say,

Whenever I’ve used so much as a phrase from another, I always mention where the idea came from. I think it’s only fair, don’t you?

Although most bloggers do try to link back to where they got an idea from, in many cases we won’t see that happening as we’re dealing with blogs; a medium which has no rules.

Depending on how a blogger learned to blog, proper blog etiquette may not have entered their mind.

And then we have to ask, “What came first, the comment or the exact same idea that was swirling in our mind?”.

Suzen re-commented and said she “let it go”.

Today’s Assignment

What would you have done?

When we leave a comment on another site, who do those words belong to?

Raise your hand and share what you think.

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  1. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I haven’t had to deal with this problem, since I don’t really leave really long comments. And if you want to copy and paste my three sentences without attribution, go ahead. It’s only three sentences!

    But then if it’s three huge paragraphs, I guess that would be different.
    .-= Check out Kelvin Kao´s awesome post: Sesame Street Characters Interviewed on Rocketboom =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      That’s true. The length of our comments might make a difference. If we get long winded and write a mini blog post in the comment section, we may open ourselves up to being “copied”.

  2. Hi Barbara,

    That kind of sucks to have to experience such a thing. I am with Suzen…I think it is fair to attribute the source when you are using an exact quote. That said, maybe the person had no idea that they were using the exact same quote. Now as I write this I am starting to think it is a tough call because many of us have the same ideas but we approach it from difficult angles.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: When in Doubt: To Be Like John or Jesus? Part One =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      I agree. With there being only so many topics to write about, and each one having only so many elements, it’s inevitable we’ll write about the same subject but with our own spin.

  3. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    Suzen writes, “Whenever I’ve used so much as a phrase from another, I always mention where the idea came from. I think it’s only fair, don’t you?”

    I agree. (See I gave her attribution.)

    BUT … I scan so many sites that say much of the same thing, it may be that I end up using a phrase that got stuck in my brain. For example, the concept that we are all writing in an “echo chamber” came from someone, but I can’t recall who.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: How a family password keeps your kids safer =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      I hear you. The more sites we visit, the more the information starts to get jumbled in our heads. For that reason we can’t give attribution to everyone, but I agree with you and Suzen, if we KNOW someone inspired us, we should give credit to them.

  4. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    The words that I write in comments are legally mine under US copyright law and international agreements as soon as they are “fixed” in some sort of permanent form — which happens, in this case, when I hit the “share it” button below. They are the “creative expression” of the ideas behind the comment.

    The ideas, though, behind the comment, do NOT belong to me, even if I am the first person to ever think of them. Ideas and facts cannot be “owned,” only the way that those ideas and facts are expressed. Copyright doesn’t protect the “discovery” of ideas or facts. It only protects what has been created to express them.

    On this site, there is a disclaimer that, when I comment, I am granting a perpetual license to use my words, with attribution. That does not mean that Barbara owns my words — just that she has a license to use them on THIS site. They are still mine.

    Use of my “creative expression” without attribution is plagiarism.

    With all of that being said, long ago I decided that if it happens, it happens…, and I’m not going to get all upset over it. If a significant portion of my material gets used, and I find out about, that’s another issue. But I’m not about to spend a lot of time trying to guard against unethical usage of what I create.

    I’ve got other things to spin my wheels on.
    .-= Check out Mike Goad´s awesome post: From the Canadian Broadcasting Company: “You wouldn’t accept that at a grade 9 science fair…” =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      Thank you so much for clarifying how US copyright law works with regard to creative expression.

      As I was working on this post, I also wondered what would happen if someone used a comment (or part of one) off of this blog. From what you’ve written, I’m reading that would be plagiarism since you (my commenters) only give me a license to use your words (with attribution).

  5. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I had that happen once. It was more that someone who read my post kind of took my idea and made it her own. She used her own experience, but I couldn’t help feeling she got the idea from me and didn’t give me credit. Anytime I get an idea from someone I always give credit and link to the post that gave me the idea, even if I take it and run in another direction. I was upset when it happened to me, but eventually I let it go. I never said anything to her. It wouldn’t have done any good and probably would have only caused hard feelings. If someone used a comment I left on their blog, I would probably be upset, too, but since it’s on their blog, probably wouldn’t pursue it. However, is someone completely copied my post verbatem and used it as their own, I would stand up for what was mine.

    P.S. I’m back, at least for now.
    .-= Check out Debbie Yost´s awesome post: Media Perception =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      WooHoo, you’re back Debbie,

      I know what you’re saying. When we come up with an idea for a post, it is disheartening to have someone else write about the some thing, just days later. Although it is possible they may be on the same wave length, we can’t help but wonder…

      P. S. I’ll be by shortly to visit you now that you’re blogging again.

  6. GeorginaNo Gravatar says:

    It depends on what the subject is. For instance if I read someone’s blog that goes into a deep personal issue and it makes me think about something personal for me that I then write about (ie; suicide, family violence, or other tough subjects) I’m not sure linking back is necessarily the most appropriate thing to do all the time. “Hey! So and so was talking about a horrible time in her life when such and such happened and here’s the link everybody!” It just doesn’t feel right. Maybe I am wrong on this. I also read alot of blogs and so if something plants an idea in my head but I don’t end up thinking about it right away and then write a blog on the topic 3 weeks later, I can’t always remember the details. On the other hand, if someone comments on a public event, comes up with a game or blogging activity or is all around wickedly funny, then I always do a link. I’d like to think that most bloggers do their best to be respectful of others writing but there are times when we might slip up. Others might be new to blogging and still just learning the unwritten rules. – G

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Georgina,

      I know what you’re saying about linking to posts that talk about deep personal issues. In those cases I feel we need to show compassion for the blog author and their feelings. They may be posting to get it off of their chests and by linking to them we could easily bring up something they’re trying to find closure on.

  7. Ahhh, I well remember when I was studying for my blogging license, I thought I’d never remember all those points for the test. 🙂 But one that seems to have stuck is to properly attribute to a source.

    I think if we’re all intelligent enough to be blogging, I would hope we have it within us to remember if what we are posting came from our minds or not.

    However, if say, I posted a snippet of an idea I can’t remember exactly which blogging friend said, I would explain something to the effect “I forget exactly which one of you said this, so please forgive me and identify yourself in the comments … etc” with hopes the author will jog my memory and my errant ways would be forgiven.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Getting To Know Him… Getting To Know All About A Wonderful Blogger. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jannie,

      Blogging license? How do I get one of those? 🙂

      I like your idea of saying, ““I forget exactly which one of you said this,…”. That clarifies we know we read it somewhere, but where remains a mystery.

  8. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    As an idea person I am hoping for someone to attribute the idea, concept or words back to the source….I have never found many folks willing to do this, but I would think if folks understood copy write and common license rules then there would be more respect to the writer???
    But this is still a developing media…it is still potluck…and we must rely on other’s good behaviors and respect.

    Good issue to discuss
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: EXECUTION =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Patricia,

      You’ve described the internet perfectly. It is still potluck. If each of us who knows what’s “right”, do it, hopefully others will follow our example and we can be the “pioneers”.

  9. I used to get all worked up about these things to, but I don’t really care anymore. If I write something on my blog it’s mine (although still hard to enforce!) – if I write it on another site as a comment, I don’t really care about it that much.
    .-= Check out vered | blogger for hire´s awesome post: Former Miss Argentina Dies After Cosmetic Surgery =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      Your comment reminds me of how the more time we put into blogging, we begin to pick our battles. Having someone copy our ideas isn’t worth getting too upset about. After all, it is written, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – Charles Caleb Colton

  10. Hi Barbara – This reminds me of the old adage that there are really only four or five stories in the world, and everything that gets written is just a version of one of those original stories. And obviously there’s a lot of repetitive content among blogs. I’ve never seen anyone take something I’ve written and use it verbatim, but I have noticed themes, metaphors, and references that I wrote about (and thought were pretty unique) show up in other posts soon after. After the initial surprise passed, my thought was – more power to them; they made it their own. Who knows, maybe I’ve even done that myself unintentionally, even though I do try to link and attribute and cite original references as much as I can. But seeing as how the blogosphere is a bit like the Wild West, I just get on my horse and keep riding and try not to worry about it too much.
    .-= Check out Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s awesome post: Big Questions =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patty,

      That’s true. Even if what we say inspires someone else, in most instances they put their own spin on it. When we think of how much we read, between blog posts and comments, it would actually be easy to inadvertently do that same.

  11. PeacefulWmn9No Gravatar says:

    If I leave a comment on another blog, I figure it belongs to no one in particular. Most of us read too many blogs and comments in a day’s time to remember what came from whom.

    I will usually give credit in the form of: today I read…”

    But…if I steal a post? That’s different. Ideas aren’t copy-rightable (is that a word?)

    If you get a chance, read John Chow’s disclaimer.

    If you get a second chance, read what Leo Babauta has done with the rights…or rather having issued a not copyrighted statement on his blog.

    It’s a conundrum for some, but not for others.

    But…here’s a thought. If someone’s entire blog is copyrighted, and many are, that means all material on it belongs to the blog owner, including the comment you “gave” them.

    .-= Check out PeacefulWmn9´s awesome post: A Unique Gift =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Karen,

      I’m laughing now as I just typed basically the same thoughts as you have in the rely to Patty; about how much we all read….. Great minds think alike?

      I’ve read how Leo Babauta gave up all rights on his blog and he basically said, “have at it”. As far as I know, making that move hasn’t hurt him, but instead brought him and his blog more attention.

      I’m curious now and will have to check out John Chow’s disclaimer.

      Like you, I don’t worry about the comments I leave on other blogs.

  12. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    A blog post doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If you’re inspired by another blogger’s idea, link to it. It’s proper form. If you honestly feel you’ve thought it first, but only got beaten when he had published it, it’s best you link to it, too. The other blogger’s idea might have brought clarity to it more than you ever could. And you’d be doing your readers a favor by sharing his idea.

    In case you disagree with him totally and take the idea into another direction, it’s best practice to link yet again. You’re promoting an honest discussion, don’t you?

    The last time I looked links are still the main currency of the internet. Link. Attribute ideas. It’s civil and it’s right.
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: Anatomy of My FarmVille Addiction =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      Good point. If we’re inspired by someone whether we agree with them or not, linking to them not only shows respect, but gives our readers a chance to check out another point of view. From there, they can draw their own conclusions (and maybe even write on the same topic). 🙂

  13. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!
    Holy cow, you wrote a blog on my comment! At first I was surprised. Then I thought, hey yeah, put it out there for discussion and get some opinions, which you did. This is the most appropriate place – a blog about blogging. And I’m finding the comments really interesting! While there may be not rules/laws in blogland, and people can’t “own” ideas, a dash of integrity – good manners – and respect would be a good thing!

    Thank you Barb!
    .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: Millie Wisdom – Fa-la-la Let’s Shop! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Suzen,

      Needless to say, I get tons of inspiration from the comments that are left here and the issue you raised was a great one to expand on.

      You’re right. It does come down to respect, integrity and good manners.

  14. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. In this regard I think “proper blog etiquette” is pretty hard to miss. I can see a relatively new blogger not realize, but even after a couple of weeks of myself having started blogging, I could see how bloggers shared links and gave credit to one another. And… it just makes sense. This has not happened to me that I’m aware of. I probably would have grumbled a little “hey!” and then let it go. I appreciated Mike’s comment in clarifying the difference between the discovery of ideas and their expression.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Poem #4: Cover Me Mother =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      I agree. It doesn’t take too long to “figure it out”. And if a blogger is smart, they will realize by linking out, they are not only getting their name out there, but are sharing more value with their readers.

      Ditto. I also like how Mike’s comment helps to clarify the issues.

  15. I will use a 2-3 paragraph snippet of another post if I’m basing my post off of it…but always include a MORE…. link that goes back to the original source before I dive into the wild blue yonder of my own thoughts.

    After all, if something is good enough to link to, I want to be sure I intrigue the reader enough to follow it off my site!

    Haven’t gotten any complaints yet.

    Data points, Barbara
    .-= Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s awesome post: Add your OWN INCREDIBLY inexpensive affiliate program to your WordPress blog! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barbara,

      I like like your idea of using the “more…” link. That way your readers get a glimpse into what they’ll find when they click on the other site.

  16. […] and also enjoyed: If I Said It First, Is It Mine | Blogging Without A Blog […]

  17. LisisNo Gravatar says:

    Kinda like your disclaimer below, I’d say the comments belong to the owner of the blog where the comments were left. (AKA: this one belongs to you.)

    However, I’m with Leo on the issue… my blog is uncopyrighted, as are all my ideas. If someone quotes me with attribution, I consider it a courtesy. If they blatantly “steal” my words, I just figure they were raised in a barn. Not everyone plays nice, but I don’t worry about keeping track of what’s MINE… all MINE. My kid taught me to share. 🙂
    .-= Check out Lisis´s awesome post: Net Worth vs Self Worth: The Passion Paradox =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lisis,

      You’re right. Not everyone plays nice, and those who don’t are showing others they don’t want to work for what they get. Although stealing content might get them a little further ahead temporarily, more than likely their sites will be short lived.

  18. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. gosh you do have a brilliant set of responsible and professional bloggers as commenters .. I like Barbara Ling’s idea .. of the MORE .. I don’t know where it is!! but it’s now in this brain box and will be found in due course.

    I wouldn’t take a straight comment and post it across .. I struggle sometimes to make a comment as I’ve seen so many good ones, but wouldn’t copy. Re ideas – I get so many and where appropriate I’ll acknowledge and link to that site.

    It is being as sensible as one can be .. the challenge will be should the blog become a published entity – then care will need to be taken.

    Photos and copyright are my difficulty .. sometimes I’d like to use “their” photo, which is copyrighted .. but one photo probably once in a lifetime .. especially when I can’t find another – I’d like to use – but shy away from. Newspaper photos .. which are out there .. I’ll use and credit.

    However .. what are the ‘rules’ re scan-copying that photo and then using?

    Any ideas .. oh oh .. lots to comment on by me – if you take this ball and run with it!!

    Have a good weekend .. Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat …Christmas through the ages …. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hilary,

      One thing I like about commenting after others have is (like you did) we can reference previous comments and say, “me, too”, and then go on to add more of our thoughts.

      As for photos, for myself I either use Flickr (and credit the source) or create my own graphics. One thing I like about Flickr is they have all of the licenses posted for each group of photos. If you need help on that, let me know.

      Have a nice weekend, too.

  19. A quote is a quote. Written or verbal. I feel that if you quote someone, they should receive credit. I’m not sure I would just ‘let it go’ like Suzen did. I guess it would depend on who it was and what the comment actually was. I do know that however I handled it, I would do it privately with the blogger in question.
    .-= Check out Heather Villa´s awesome post: Weekend Reading: My fav’s from this week: 12/4/09 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Heather,

      You’re right. If we ever decide to confront another blogger, it’s best to do it in private since we may not know all that lead up to the situation.

  20. topoNo Gravatar says:

    yes.. I totally agree..
    copying from others without citation or credits is like plagiarism
    nice article 😀
    .-= Check out topo´s awesome post: Hidup berani untuk gagal walaupun dikecewakan Miss I… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Topo.

      Yes. Not giving attribution for that which we use from other sites, could be considered plagiarism.

  21. George AngusNo Gravatar says:


    I think that if the blogger really was inspired by the comment, they should attribute. Even if the comment just provided a teensy little spark, what’s the harm in attributing? A little community building never hurts.

    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: SMS – A Review of the Sixty Minute Story =-.

  22. BunnygotBlogNo Gravatar says:

    I”m not sure. I want to encourage young women to go for it.
    Women seem to always be in a man’s shadow at least they think they are.
    .-= Check out BunnygotBlog´s awesome post: Sleeping With Your Business Partner =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bunny,

      I’m a little confused by your comment, but I do agree, some women do feel they are in the shadow of men.

  23. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, I am catching up as we are in holiday mood over here.
    So I am reading but not commenting much. However you mentioned my mate SuZen so I have to comment. don’t I?
    I love all the different perceptions given here, for me it is like commen sense AND sometimes ignorance plays a part as well.
    As it is all so new, we are all trying to find our way. However blogs like these makes us aware of the issues and that is very valuable.
    Like Lisis, our blog is uncopywrited as thoughts are to be encouraged not curtailed.
    Downloaded the cookbook but haven’t seen your recipe yet.
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: Don’t let change in your circumstances fool you. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wilma,

      I’m happy you took the time to share your thoughts on this issue. With the holiday season upon us, it’s difficult to try and to it all.

      Yes. It does come down to common sense. And if someone is new, they soon find by giving credit to others it shows confidence in what they’re sharing.

      The eCookbook of Patricia’s is great isn’t it? My scone recipe is the last one in the book. You’ll have to let me know if you have a chance to make it.

  24. HI Barbara,
    This is kind of becoming a pressing issue in my mind. I mean i love to write and share my idea…I put a lot of hard work into them. Hence my blog posts do have a bit of copyright…meaning they can be used if attribution is given to my blog/me.
    As for comments….now thats a very vast area. We comment on so many blogs…sometimes with so much emotion..if the topic is close to our heart. I am sure many of the comments whether they are mine or others..have sparked as George has mentioned..some idea in someones brain….but who can keep a check of that. I do hope that people have common courtesy…but if they dont ..what can we do…Suzen says it well..”letting go” and let the universe handle them. If they flourish thats good for them…but they will know in their mind that they took the idea from someone else. I guess for most it becomes a matter of conscience ….I cannot live with my conscience pricking me for taking another person work……if they can live with it..then well, who are we to say anything to their conscience.
    All we can do is hope that everyone who reads our comments gives them due respect…..
    Lots of love
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: Shine Your Light{Inspiration from Marianne Williamson} =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      You’re right. With the amount of blog posts and comments we read, almost anything can spark an idea for us. Sometimes we may not even be aware of it or it may hit us months later, but it’s when we are aware, we should give attribution for the inspiration.

      Like you said, our conscience lets us know.

  25. byebyebigguyNo Gravatar says:

    Sometimes that happens, good post

  26. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    We had a guest speaker visit our team one day. After his talk, we were sitting around the table, brainstorming and dreaming up some wild ideas. One person at the table said, I’m going to write a post on X. Then another guy on the team said, hey, I was going to write a post on X. The guest speaker said, that’s the beauty of blogs, you can both write your opinions on X.

    I’m a fan of giving attribution. At the same time, it’s a small world, and I know that many people come to the same conclusions, even the same wording, so I usually give people the benefit of the doubt.
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: Lessons Learned from Guy Kawasaki =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.,

      Thank you for sharing how even though more than one person comes up with an idea, they can both write about it and yet not be in conflict with each other. I always find it fascinating to see posts where two people will write on the same topic and come to totally different conclusions.

  27. Deb DorchakNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barb,

    Whenever I find a brilliant comment or pull a quote from someone else’s post I always give credit where it’s due. And if I can’t remember where I first saw it? Then I say so.

    I think it all boils down to courtesy.
    .-= Check out Deb Dorchak´s awesome post: When You’ve Forgotten More Than You Know =-.

  28. DaphneNo Gravatar says:

    I have to say, I’m a stickler when it comes to giving credit. It probably partially comes from being a trained historian. Plagiarism is never right and there are so many wonderful ways to give credit to people. I worked really hard to try to teach the few undergrads I came across the importance and the value of citing sources and giving credit for ideas that are not their own. I think the message has to be taught over and over and over. In academic settings, passing something off as your own that isn’t is grounds for serious discipline.

    My bottom line: do what’s right.
    .-= Check out Daphne´s awesome post: An Update =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Daphne,

      A trained historian? That sounds like a fascinating job.

      You’re right. This is a lesson that needs to be taught over and over and over. As new bloggers come online, it may be confusing how to handle citing others, but if they look at how others are doing it, they soon find out it’s quite easy and very rewarding.

      • DaphneNo Gravatar says:

        By trained historian, I meant that I have an advanced degree in History. I coupled it with a certificate in Public History, which encompasses museums, archives, oral history, etc. It’s not actually too related to my current job, although I’d like it to be.

        I think one of the things that sometimes holds people back from citing someone else is the belief that it makes their own words less significant if they didn’t come up with all of it themselves. This is just not true. Pulling evidence from other sources that backs up your ideas actually makes them stronger. And acknowledging someone else’s work in your own builds community for both parties.

        Thanks for responding, Barbara.
        .-= Check out Daphne´s awesome post: An Update =-.

  29. I suppose we could look at it in the analogy of what if our comments were published in a newspaper?

    Does the newspaper have to quote by law who made that remark?

    I think it’s only right that a blogger gives out their source, but like you said, not all bloggers follow the unwritten rules.

    I probably would of reacted the same as Suzen – at first a little upset but then let it go.
    .-= Check out John Hoff – WP Blog Host´s awesome post: Gift Ideas For Bloggers =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      That’s true. Suzen’s first reaction was very typical but by letting it go, it shows she is a better person for it and the other blogger will have to deal with the fact they didn’t give credit where credit was due.

  30. Tim SmithNo Gravatar says:

    Great question and topic Barbara.

    My opinion…
    Your comment is your comment. Its likely someone else out there in the planet has thought the same.. maybe not EXACT word for word..
    However if you see something that was someone elses, that made you think/ agree/ comment the same way… give them credit.

    In fact anytime you use something from another.. give them credit. We all win. Why not?

    TS, Grand Poobah of Smiles

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Tim,

      I agree. We all win when we give credit to those who inspire us.

      P.S. I checked out your site and love the positivity you offer. Thank you for also adding your name to the Blog Registry.

  31. PeggyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and the rest of all the great commentators here!

    My personal preference is to link back and reference the post, the comment author, their blog (if they have one). Call me old school…I earned a BA in American History in 1992 and proper reference of any material I used was burned in my brain.

    I appreaciate when other bloggers show me the same respect and courtesy, but if they don’t properly reference something I wrote, I’m not going to call out the etiquette police on them. If it’s habitual, I’d probably just stop commenting, but truth be told, I haven’t run across this problem in my blog community.

    Happy Tuesday!
    .-= Check out Peggy´s awesome post: Merry SITSmas & Christmas! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Peggy,

      Stuff like that does get burned in our brains, doesn’t it?

      I know what you’re saying about not calling the etiquette police. Some bloggers may not know, but if they are continually doing it, that might lead us to believe they know it’s wrong, and just want to keep the credit for themselves.

  32. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    Saw your comment on John Hoff’s post (Christmas gifts) and came over to see what you were up to.

    What a surprise!
    All these comments and your replies to each and everyone of them.
    Can’t believe how popular and successful your site has become.

    Many congratulations.

    By the way… who is the teacher and who is the pupil?
    You or John LOL
    .-= Check out Keith Davis´s awesome post: The eyes have it! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for your kind words Keith,

      Re: who is the teacher and who is the pupil? On this blog, we’re all both – teaching others from our experience and learning from others, as well. 🙂

  33. janiceNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve sometimes made entire posts out of snippets from the beautifully written comments folk leave on my blog, linking to them to shine a light on the writers. I see folk visiting my blog then leaving to go and become regulars in comments boxes of bloggers they’ve ‘met’ in my boxes. It makes me smile as that’s the heart of blogging. I never use folks’ comments without linking to them.
    .-= Check out janice´s awesome post: Angels at my Table =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Janice,

      Isn’t that wonderful how that works? Via our blogs, bloggers get to meet other bloggers, and the community grows larger. Like you, I also love to see that happen.

  34. […] Weekend Reading: My fav’s from this week: 12/11/09 Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on December 11, 2009 in: Weekend Reading If I Said It First, Is It Mine […]

  35. Ching YaNo Gravatar says:

    A mind provoking question: who do those words belong to?

    If I included a quote or an idea that wasn’t mine originally, it would be a good manner to link to the author. I do that in my blog posts as well, why not? Since it’s a good idea, the person deserved the credits. I just learned recently that a blogger friend of mine, Jan Geronimo (whom I saw commented on this post either, hi Jan!) who had his own comment ‘stolen’ by another, word by word. To me, that’s same as content theft. Commenting should be a place to express ourselves, encouraging the author while building relationships. The person mis-used it and got himself in trouble for ruining own reputation. So not worth it.

    Can we learn to be more original, find out what we really want to say without being a jerk at the same time? I do think that’s do-able. It all takes a little effort to digest the post, think then write. Well worth the time for it.

    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Check out Ching Ya´s awesome post: 8 Lessons Derived from Vacation to Boost Your Blogging Experience =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ching,

      I agree. All a person has to do is read the post and create an original comment instead of stealing the words of others. Stealing other peoples words is not only plagiarism, but like you said, by doing so, we can ruin our reputation, as well.

  36. I guess the comment or words belong to the site owner, but they should extend credit to the author. I have blogged on other site and all I want in return was a link to my site or credit for my article.
    .-= Check out Freddy@byebyebigguy´s awesome post: Could you save yourself? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Freddy,

      That’s one thing about blogging, no matter who the comment belongs to, by leaving one, we’re getting our name out there.

  37. A lot of times people just forgot where they got the source. They read it, they closed the window, it’s gone. If I see someone using something that I specifically said I either ask to have them remove it, or give credit. Use Google Alerts…
    .-= Check out Communications Guy´s awesome post: A Global Citizen =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Communications Guy,

      That’s an excellent point. Setting up Google Alerts will notify us of that which we want to track.

  38. I find that most of the people that do the comment hijacking or take your ideas/post and give you no credit fall into two categories.

    1.Spammer – they just want a link and traffic back to their site. Nothing you do will prevent them from continuing to do this type of thing.

    2.Bubble Person- They live in their own little bubble and can justify to themselves how they actually came up with the idea and therefore should not give you credit. They have very few original ideas and always seem to “borrow” everyone else’s ideas.

    For those of us who make an effort to give just credit even on a simple post or comment I salute you.

    I personally use Google alerts and set up highly unique phrases to monitor such things. The more unique the phrase the better the results. If I feel it was done blatantly I will inform the website owner (especially if they are the guilty party)
    .-= Check out Mical Johnson´s awesome post: Fortune 500 company or Online Scammer? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mical,

      I agree. There are some who will continue to spam us, no matter what.

      I like your idea of setting up Google alerts for unique phrases we use. Although it may not stop others from stealing our content, it does give us a chance to let them know that we know.