Friday, November 19, 2010

Friend Friday - Copy Cats

It's Friday, and y'all know what that means - it's about to get friendly over here. Or something.

Anyway, I've been pondering this week's topic since the questions arrived, and you may have noticed that these past couple days I've definitely been drawing on the inspiration I've drawn from fellow bloggers. So as Katy asked, "How much of blogging is coming up with your own content and how much is mirroring what we see others doing?"

So for this week:

Copy Cats

1. What are the 'unwritten rules' about copying content that we bloggers should all abide by?
So I'm approaching this from my own OOTD blogger bias, just so that we're clear. Fashion and style don't happen in a vacuum, and I will freely admit to being inspired by so many sources. That said, when I'm imagining specific outfits on specific people as I'm getting dressed, I think it's important to link to my inspiration. If the text that goes with the pictures is inspired by what I've read on other blogs, I generally link back to that as well. Not only does it provide context, but it gives credit where it's due. It's just like citing your sources and providing a bibliography - the kinds of things I was forever trying to teach my students when I was teaching.

2. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. But when is a post imitation and when is it copying?
Copying is when there is absolutely no difference between one blogger's post and another blogger's post. Imitation, I think - especially for OOTD bloggers - requires a link back. That's the short and sweet answer and I'm going to leave it at that.

3. Taking another blogger's idea (perhaps for an outfit, or DIY tutorial) is pretty common in the blogging world. Do you think it is necessary to credit the original source?
Yes, yes, yes. Sometimes there's a bit of serendipity involved - a blogger can't keep up with all five million bloggers in his/her niche - but if you are doing this knowingly, link back. Again, it's just like being back in school and learning to cite your sources, except, you know, way easier than APA format.

4. How have you improved your blog by comparing it to other blogs? Have you made changes due to something you have seen others doing?
I think I've learned to pose (a little) by looking at other bloggers, and sometimes I get fancy and pose somewhere different, which is also inspired by others. I think in a lot of ways, I can't tell what's been the natural progression of my blog and what's been influenced by others - the better pictures might just be natural progression, though I kind of doubt that. Also, I got on Twitter as a direct result of the Friend Friday group - that was totally inspired by other bloggers. So better pictures, better posing, and tweeting. And I'm sure a million other things.

5. Have you ever had one of your posts copied by another blogger or publication? How did you handle the situation?
Nope, there has been no out and out copying. I have had other bloggers link back to me regarding looks and other content they've seen here, though, and that gives me a boost like nothing else - I love that feeling. If you're inspired, link away.

So what do y'all think? What constitutes copying? What's imitation? Is there a difference? How complicated IS APA format?


  1. I think that a lot of us get inspired by looking at others girls or magazines and sometimes it's fun to go and try to try to replicate an outfit from another source (giving them credit). =)

  2. I agree that copied posts do not equal inspired posts. Those are two different things. Btw, I hated APA format when I had to write papers. Not hard...just tedious. Except now, there are "auto-citers"...I wish I had that when I was in school. =P


Talk to me.