A reader wrote me last week to let me know one of my blog posts had been posted to another site. It definitely wasn’t the first time, but this case was a little different because the blog in question is fairly popular itself.
Usually the blogs that copy other bloggers work are spammy and insignificant. I was surprised that someone more popular would use my work without permission. In the end I didn’t write the person or do anything about it really. The post did include attribution, so I suppose I don’t mind that much.
It made me wonder though, how do you all feel about stolen content?
In this “ask the readers” segment, I’d like to ask you: what do you do when someone steals your content?
Do you get bent out of shape about it? Do you consider it a compliment? Do you ask the blogger or webmaster to take the content down?
If it hasn’t happened to you yet, don’t worry. Stolen content is yet another milestone you can expect on your journey to online success.
I got a few answers on Twitter yesterday, but thought this would make a great broader discussion. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
The Previous “Ask the Readers”
In our most recent segment, I asked you “why do you comment on other blogs?” The discussion that followed was really great. Your answers included “to be a cheerleader and support other bloggers,” “to not be lonely,” “to make connections,” “to bring traffic to my blog” and “to be a member of a community.”
One of my favorite responses came from Brian Driggs of Gearbox magazine. I don’t agree that people looking for traffic from comments are “insincere charlatans,” but I appreciate the passion. Here’s some of what Brian had to say:
Posts set the stage for conversations and I like to think the comments section is where those ideas presented in the post are discussed, clarified, and either adopted or denied. It’s also a way of showing appreciation for the value provided by the author (and participants).
To me, those who comment in pursuit of traffic to their own sites are insincere charlatans; self-serving hacks either unable or unwilling to provide value on their own sites in the first place. The only reason I include the link back to my site is so that those who actually read ALL the comments with a post (not just race to the bottom for that sweet link juice) and possibly identify with something I said might have a means to better frame my comments or get in touch with me.
I also really liked how David Crandall from Heroic Destiny broke his reasons down into the four categories of relationships, support, traffic and reaction. Check out David’s full comments to read more.
Thanks everybody who participates in these discussion posts. I hope you get as much out of them as I do. Finding out what everyone thinks of a particular topic makes for some really useful research.
Now, back to you. What do you do when someone steals your content? Let’s hear it in the comments!
photo by theloushe
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