A reblog of one of your posts: a compliment or an act of theft? Here, we discuss the process of reblogging.
The last time we discussed reblogging, your opinions in the comments were mixed: some of you felt that reblogging was a great compliment, and others felt that it was something akin to theft.
We here at The Daily Post love a good etiquette debate, so let’s wade back in, shall we?
Many of you mentioned being bothered by your content appearing on blogs consisting entirely of reblogs, with no apparent connecting theme and no original commentary at all.
No wonder! It’s true that some of the most famous blogs are essentially carefully curated aggregators, but they are still infused with the blogger’s personality. They have an easily identifiable “About” page, and their links are collected along the lines of the blogger’s specific interests, so it’s obvious these blogs are written by a person. Good curators typically also include at least a few comments on why each post was shared.
Blogs consisting of nothing but reblogs without any obvious real person behind them make people feel they’ve been used for spam. But just because these annoying blogs exist doesn’t mean reblogging is all bad!
. . . I read more broadly than I write. I love blogging and the community I have been a part of for the variety of topics. I have the voracity to match. That’s why I read wide and often; that’s why I try to share my own comments and opinions. Every time a blogger clicks publish, they are putting themselves out there. If the post is good enough, then I want to make sure they can feel confident enough to write another.
But he does admit that it’s unfortunate when his readers’ comments and likes appear below his reblog, rather than on the original post. He comes up with a considerate and elegant solution to this:
That’s why, effective immediately, all reblogs will have comments and likes turned off. I’ll make sure to post a direct link to my comment in case anyone wants to reply to me directly, but I ask of you to do so at the original source. That way I can better guarantee people will click since that’s the most important part of the post.
I think that’s a wonderful gesture to better ensure that the writers you admire are benefitting when you reblog their content. You can turn off comments for individual posts and can also disable likes on a per-post basis.
Some other good tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t reblog without comment — add your own thoughts! If others see their work appear on your blog without any mention of what spoke to you about it, they’re likely to wonder why you’ve reposted what they’ve written at all. Adding your own thoughts makes a reblog a meaningful contribution to a cross-blog conversation.
- Pay attention to sidebar warnings. Some bloggers don’t want their content reblogged and say as much in their sidebars. Others have specific requests on their front pages as to how and when they like their content to be shared. If you want to reblog another blogger’s post, it takes only a second to check their site for such information.
- Pay attention to context. Is the post you want to share about a very sensitive or personal topic? Does the blog itself appear to be mostly personal in nature (for example, does it have share buttons and/or comments turned off)? If so, it might be a good idea to check with the blogger before you share their post.
- Check that your reblog appears correctly. The WordPress.com reblogging feature is designed to display an excerpt of the original post and clear attribution with a link back to the source. Double-check all your reblogs to make sure that the link back to the source is obvious, and that the entire original post does not appear (this can occasionally happen if the post is very short).
- If in doubt, ask. While it’s not necessary to get permission each time you reblog someone’s work, it never hurts to do so. This way, you can be 100% certain you’re not stepping on anyone’s feelings.
- Respect the wishes of other bloggers. Should someone contact you and ask you to remove their content from your site, take it down promptly and confirm with them that you’ve done so.
We should all remember that anything we post on a public blog, we share with the entire world wide web. Keep in mind that even if your blog is read only by your closest friends, if it’s public, the words and photographs on it can be picked up, shared, commented on, promoted, and dissected by everyone from your neighbor to CNN. Because of this, you should never post anything publicly that you would be devastated to find was being shared by someone you don’t know.
If your content is too personal for sharing, consider setting your blog to private so that you can control who’s able to read it.
When it comes to reblogging the work of others, it’s good to recognize that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Most bloggers love to have their work shared far and wide, as long as they are credited. If you run across one of the more private bloggers who doesn’t warm to this type of attention, respect their feelings about it, and show your appreciation through a like and a comment on their own blog instead.