Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lessons from Alt Summit — Link With Love

You may have noticed the Link With Love badge on the sidebar of Cirque du Sweet. I put it up after attending an informative  panel on blogging ethics at Alt Summit this past January. The message is short and sweet, but very powerful. If you're a blogger, artist, or even someone who just enjoys casually pinning on Pinterest, you need to check out the idea behind Link With Love. Thanks to some incredible teachers, I learned from an early age the importance of citing your sources.  I vividly remember being worried that I was not citing my sources correctly on my first bibliography for a 4th grade research paper on koala bears.

When I started blogging regularly nearly two years ago, I tried to make it a point to link back to the original source. Sadly, in the jungle that is the Internet, original sources frequently are lost due to a number of reasons, despite how much time and effort you may make to track down the original source. Generally speaking, the culprit of original sources being lost is not malicious, but it's a lack of education at some point along the line. When I first started blogging, I primarily posted about things that I discovered through other blogs. If you look back at my early posts (eeks!), many are credited "via A Cup of Jo" (one of my favorite blogs). I often only gave credit to the blog where I discovered it and not the original source. I cringe now thinking about that, but I truly thought I was doing the right thing in giving credit to the blog who "found" and introduced me to all of this great stuff. It was all in love, but I've learned better. 

At some point, I started giving credit to both the original source and the blog where I first found it featured. Oy. That was a headache, but seemed satisfactory. At Alt Summit, my eyes were opened to a whole new level of giving credit where credit is due. Pretty pictures are taken by a photographer, styled by a stylist, etc. The list can go on. So, what's the best way to ensure that everyone gets credit? Link with love and always link back to the original source. I can't say that I'm perfect in doing this, but I'm trying my best.  

The most important takeaway to minimize this as an issue is to produce as much original content as possible. It's going to be tough but I'm going to try my best to do this now going forward. So, get ready for more pictures taken by yours truly! 


Kelli Long said...

I support your efforts friend! This is a good reminder to us all.

Anonymous said...

This is so, so important, especially as more and more people are self-publishing and using sites like Pinterest to help their businesses grow and thrive.