Blogging Attributation Revisited

By Deane Barker on December 29, 2004

Roland Piquepaille and Slashdot: Is there a connection?: There’s a really interesting conversation going on over at Slashdot about something I’ve struggled with in the past: blog attributation. Some guy on Slashdot evidently just copies and pastes content from other sources, drvies traffic to his site, and then reaps the advertising windfall.

Don’t we all do this? I don’t know. I hope that Gadgetopia provides some value in (1) aggregating stuff people are interesting in, (2) adding at least some original content to each entry, (3) relating entries to one another so a reader can learn more about a particular topic, and (4) having some completely original entries on top of that.

But, when you boil everything down, a lot of what we do here is posted quotes and excerpts from other sites, and springboarding off content found on other sites. I try to give attributation, but what happens when you find something in multiple places, or are posting about something that you found three or four levels removed from the first thing?

A year ago, I talked about this same thing. I said, in part:

The other day, I added a “via Anil Dash” link to one of my entries for no particular reason, and it got me thinking about it. If the content is A, and Anil Dash’s entry that links to it is B, then should I link to Anil as C? Or should I follow Anil’s link to the target and become a B? If I become a B via Anil’s link, do I need to add attributation to his B?

It’s confusing. My only goal to just try not to screw anyone. I hope I succeed.



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