Sharing is caring or why blogger shouldn’t be afraid of competition
After praising the benefits of blogging for months, some of my clients and friends are finally considering starting a blog. By talking to these people I realized one thing: bloggers – and digital natives in general – have a unique mindset, especially when it comes to sharing and networking. The old saying: “Sharing is caring” is absolutely true, especially amongst bloggers. Or so it should be. In reality, some commercial blogs – and I am talking strictly about german ones because I can not judge US-blogs – have developped a very competitive mindset. Don’t get me wrong, in general this is a health an necessary mindset. If you look back at the coverage of CES 2013 all techblogs competed with each other in the race to deliver unique and interesting content. That’s fine and necessary. But the competitive mindset I talk about in this article is completely different. What I call “competitive” in this context means behavior like stealing or at least using content of other sites to enormous extent – without naming or linking to the source. That’s a negative and – in my opinion – destructive mindset, which goes against anything I personally love about blogging.
To be clear: If you use content from other sites, you should always quote, name oder link to your source. There are two reasons for this: First it is just good style and you have to honor the work of other bloggers and content creators of all types. That’s also true for photographers or film makers. Second – and more important – you could not build an active and healthy community without acknowledging the work and paying tribute to other authors. If everybody would only seek their own profit, we would never have achieved such great communities and networks like we have today.
Sascha Pallenberg wrote a while ago – I think it was on google+ but I can not find the post anymore – about how competitive techblogs forces him and his team to watermark their pictures, because they were using mobilegeeks pictures without asking permition or naming the source. And I am sure that watermarking his pictures is not quite on topof the list of Sascha Pallenbergs favorite activities. Using content from other sites without proper credit is just plain wrong and equals – at least in my opinion – stealing. But such behavior also threatens the trust and rules which made possible such great communities like we have today. And I don not want to see them fall apart because of some ignorant and selfish people and authors.
So please give credit and name your sources. It is not that hard and the community will reward you with an active an healthy network. Deal?