Not only do I work in social media on behalf of brands. Many of Momentum’s followers are Moms. I lead a bipolar life of talking to brands and talking to Moms every day.
I was roaming around the web looking at various Mom articles when lo and behold I ran into one of mine. However, it wasn’t on Momentum.com. It was on another Mom’s site. She had copied basically my entire article onto hers. How flattering. And she mentioned my name. Thank you. However, she didn’t follow one of the many rules of social media etiquette: she didn’t include a link. So I tweeted about it to calm down and see how the Moms would respond. The response was instant. So I asked Julie Einarson, @Jule_E, to write something. Ironically, Julie doesn’t even have a blog of her.
Here’s what Julie had to say.
There seems to be an increase of poor manners on and around the blog beat. In recent weeks I have seen conversations on Twitter regarding people scraping content from other people’s sites. In some cases, credit is given but not a link to the original work. In the worst cases, people are finding their content and pictures posted on other sites without credit or approval. Most people naturally hesitate and debate saying anything when this happens to them. That’s their own good manners stepping in. However something needs to be said.
This is a bigger deal than one penguin stealing a rock from another penguin’s nest.
The content and images being liberated are often personal and based on the family, work, homes, or opinions of the original author. To boil it down to its simplest form, using it without giving full credit (including a link back to the original source) is rude behaviour. If you are savvy enough to host a website of your own and are looking for additional content, then you by rights must also know of the basic “laws” of intellectual property. Come to think of it, if you are over the age of six, you must know that taking credit or using someone else’s work without full transparency is a no-no.
Johnny in Grade One knows that taking Suzie’s picture and putting his name on it for everyone to see is not the way to do things.
Perhaps it is a rookie mistake. Perhaps someone is being too liberal with the public forum the internet provides. Either way if the purveyors of poor manners are called on their actions, it could help to make the overall big picture that much better. Don’t worry about causing a firestorm of incendiary comments. Consider it “paying it forward,” in knowledge. Hopefully it results in improved manners on the part of the person who is borrowing your work. Or helps someone new to this world understand the basics.
It should go without saying that people need to link to who is providing them with information they find valuable. Crediting others for their thoughts and work when it helps you is the equivalent of saying thank you. Which is simply having good manners.
In addition, I was going to write up some rules on social media etiquette, but Chris Brogan has the ultimate list, “An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette” so I think I will provide everyone with the link.
And one more link: the Blog With Integrity link. It’s time for everyone to sign the Pledge and get the badge.