Back in March as part of a series on Blog Ethics I wrote about Attribution where due, but in light of all the recent noise about spam blogs, newbies, and professionals engaging in an all you can eat content use fest whilst the rest of us slog away, creating content or providing our own views and commentary on the news of the day, I’ve dug through the archives and rewritten the earlier post for those of you looking for guidance or even if your after a refresher. If you’re simply looking for a holier than though, table thumping dose of Riley blog ethics check out the original post here.
Referencing for bloggers
If you are going to quote part of a post from another blog directly, provide direct attribution with inline link, for example, for a direct quote:
Threadwatch reports that “At the start of the week Danny Sullivan exposed Google’s underwear” or
Darren Rowse at Problogger stated “I would also add that it helps with the search engine optimization of your post”
Block quotes have also become quite popular and are even a better way to highlight content from another site
“Riley is a d*ck head and because everyone else [allegedly] does it then its ok for me to do it, I’m looking forward to the bridge jumping for my next trick”
for an indirect quote go this way
Robert Scoble asks a good question as to how much Yahoo! paid for Flickr
The link can be either on the name of the author, or on the short reference “a good question” or the long part “how much Yahoo! paid for Flickr”. There are no strict rules on where to base your link on an indirect reference.
Ideas or seeds are the most often ignored form of attribution. Simply, if you’ve read a post about a topic on one blog, then are inspired to write in a similar vain, provide attribution at the end. For example
(via Radio Free Blogistan)
(in part via The Gadget Blog)
There’s no hard and fast rule as to the methodology either, “via” is the most common term used, although “ref” for reference can be substituted, or even “from” or “link”.
The term “Hat tip” has become much more common in the last year, and it’s a nice way of giving attribution. If I get a tip via email I use you’ll also see me use “thanks to XYZ for the tip”.
I’ve also noticed that terms like “news source” and “read” are being used without providing the name of the source (just a link from the word). Its not my choice of phrase but its better than giving no attribution at all.
There is 1 exception to the referencing rule, and that’€™s media releases. This would only really affect news blogs, but I often receive media releases directly from firms (1st person) which include direct quotes from the CEO and others: these releases are designed to be used in full or part without attribution as they are about getting a story out. As someone with a Marketing/ PR background I know when I’ve written a Media Release I’m actually hoping that the all the text will be used! The only time attribution is required for a media release is if the media release has been taken directly or in part from another site or blog.
Back in March a few people disagreed with me on Media Releases, if you’re in doubt reference it as via media release.