SeanPAune

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November 18 2008

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

I think it’s time for a small change in how blogs give credit to one another for where stories come from.

Back in May 2007, I wrote an article about “The most insane trackback ever?“, and how a picture of some storage under stairs had made it’s way from blog to blog without any acknowledgement given to the original site that had posted it.  Here we are a year and a half later, and I have found another situation that seems to follow in the same… vein.  (you’ll get the joke in a moment)

The victim this time is a antique vampire hunter’s kit that sold recently at an auction for $14,850.  I first read the story at The Inquisitr yesterday, it got my interest, and I decided to go to the source they listed to read more about it.  SlipperyBrick was next, and they didn’t have much more info, so I decided to go to their source in hopes of more information.  PopTherapy was next and… yeah, still had to go to their source for more info.  Neatorama failed me also.  FINALLY!  Antiques and the Arts Online seems to be the source!  Not only are the source, but they ran the story five days before The Inquisitr.

So, it took four jumps for me to get back to the source of the image and the story, and that is where I don’t think this is fair.  Now, mind you, I am not specifically saying the four sites involved are bad sites, or that they have done something wrong; this is a common practice on the Web, and that is what I am speaking to.  While I feel credit should be given to the site that brought the story to your attention, I feel it is only right you should also try to give credit to the original also.  So to give credit, you would do something like:

[via SlipperyBrick and Antiques and the Arts Online]

Why is this important?  Well, I think credit should be given to those who deserve it, and I also think that it is only fair from a search engine optimization standpoint.  By giving credit only to someone that is three steps removed, you are giving them the search engine credit, but none to the people who did the real work.

Again, I am not slamming the blogs involved in this bread crumb trail, this happens all over the web, and it has become what we tolerate in this business, but I think it’s time for this to end, and credit should be given properly.  Do I think people will change their policies?  Doubtful, but I think it is worth at least some thought, especially on a niche story like this.    Considering some of the complaints I’ve seen over linking policies, it surprises me that no one else has brught this up yet.

Who’s with me?  Just do a couple clicks on stories like this, find the original source, give them credit when and where possible.



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  • Point well taken Sean and I agree with you. In this case yes I was wrong in not trying to trace back to the original source. In future I will do my best not to make the same mistake again because to be honest it irritates me when other sites do the same thing.

    My apologies.

  • Steven – Absolutely no need for an apology, and I’m sorry it was your post that prompted me bringing this up. It has been at the back of my mind for a while now, and yours just happened to be the one that finally got me to write it. I promise it was nothing personal against you!

  • Better than Crunchgear, which if memory serves, didn’t credit anyone at all.

    You’re right on the Google Juice, although I sorta like these rabbit holes endemic to the gadget blogging world. Makes it feel like I’m doing real research when I write it up myself.