19 Feb
Stop Copying Me, You Copycat

Today we are honored to welcome our Guest TMH, Anna Lefler, mistress of the hilarious blog Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder. Ms. Anna is a novelist, a humorist, a lover, a fighter, a Sagittarius (unconfirmed), a blonde and one hell of a funny writer. (And she’s also one of the most genuinely nice people we’ve ever met.) Please welcome Anna to TMH, and be sure to go visit her at her own joint. You’ll be glad you did. Thanks, Anna!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I have a blog and have recently noticed that a friend seems to be very influenced by my writing style. She wrote about a topic a few weeks after I did, without linking to me or anything. Confront or drop?

Signed,


Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Ripping Me Off

____________________________________________

Dear Imitation,

I think it’s important to remember that this is exactly why the Internet was invented.   “But, Anna,” I hear you saying, “I thought the Internet was invented so scientists at different universities could easily communicate.”   No, that is a widespread urban myth or, as we professionals call it, a “total pantload.”   The Internet was, in fact, invented for two reasons: 1. to facilitate the evolution of the species known as “social media guru,” and 2. to provide a virtually limitless supply of content for bloggers who can’t think up their own ideas.

Unfortunately, many people forget this, instead taking the selfish view that content they single-handedly create is somehow “theirs.”   (Believe me, some folks get downright aggressive about protecting their “ideas.”   I could go into detail, but my lawyer says I shouldn’t talk until the settlement is finalized.   Whatever.)

Anyway, my advice to you is to take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I sharing nicely with the blogosphere…or am I hoarding my creativity?”   I believe once you adjust your perspective you will embrace your role on the supply side of the Internet content equation.   From then on, you will stand tall and proudly display the blog badge honoring the vital service you perform as an ICP – Involuntary Content Provider.

Onward,

Anna, Guest TMH

23 Responses to “Stop Copying Me, You Copycat”

02.19.10#1

Comment by admin.

OMG, “Involuntary Content Provider”! I’m so going to use that on my blog!

–Wendi

02.19.10#2

Comment by deb williams.

survival of the fittest, indeed.

i would like to know the difference between a social media maven and social media guru. are we talking apples and oranges or apes and humans?

anna, you always make me laugh.

02.19.10#3

Comment by Suzicate.

Involuntary Content Provider – love it! You know that everyone is going to steal that, right?!

02.19.10#4

Comment by Lisa Rae @ smacksy.

Spot on.

And as a voluntary content ripper offer, my new blog will be called, “Life Just Keeps Getting More Like Lefler’s.”

02.19.10#5

Comment by Heather (qtberryhead).

I thought that Dan Quayle invented the internet to fill his time in the vice presidency?
Whenever I “steal” and idea from someone, I link to them and reference why I’m blogging about it.

02.19.10#6

Comment by the mama bird diaries.

Having been ripped off several times and clearly still stewing in my own bitterness, I encourage every blogger out there to practice the phrase, “This post was inspired by…. ” and give out the linky love. Then copy away! It’s not about traffic, it’s about respecting people’s ideas damn it. Excellent advice Anna.

02.19.10#7

Comment by Kristin.

I never steal ideas. I just forget other people’s ideas very quickly. Huh?

02.19.10#8

Comment by Deb on the Rocks.

Totally agree. A blogger’s motto should be: Take my content, please. Ideas, hell yes. Some bloggers are just one-way streets, they want you to VISIT there blogs but don’t want you to leave with any swag. I say a good line, an idea, heck, a whole post? That’s the kind of stuff I’ll keep coming back for. And that IS the beauty of the Internet. I feel so strongly I’m going to go paste about this, too.

02.19.10#9

Comment by Jen.

“the supply side of the Internet content equation” love it! You always crack me up. I think there are just so many ideas to go around. It’s called recycling. Plagiarism is such an ugly word.

02.19.10#10

Comment by Ann.

TOTAL PANTLOAD

is my new tagline.

Thanks for that. Pretty sure it was my idea at some point anyway, right?

No?

02.19.10#11

Comment by Suzy.

When I first started blogging, on the advice of another blogger who already had a book published, it never occurred to me anyone would appropriate anything from my blog. I had 3 and a half readers.

But this blogger started inserting some of the phrases I was using into her own blog. At first it didn’t seem too egregious a misstep but eventually it became obvio that she was doing it on purpose.

I didn’t think she was doing it to steal as much as she was doing it to fuck with me.

I’ve never mentioned it to her because I didn’t want her to think it was affecting me in any way. I just thought she was a douchebag. And still is.

02.19.10#12

Comment by Elisse.

Plagarism is truly the sincerest form of flattery. As long as you’re a small fry. But when you, like, get Really sincere, I will, like, get an atty. But as long as you’re, like, you know, not Really sincere, I’m, like, okay with that.
LMAO! Love you, Anna!

02.19.10#13

Comment by Amy.

Really? The blog world is so dog eat dog? I am surprised and saddened. Good thing I don’t have a blog (or one worth stealing from if even I did).

If I may…

There was a girl ahead of me in high school. Anytime ANYONE half way popular bought new clothing she would (I have no idea how) search out and wear the exact same outfit not a DAY later.

I spent my precious pennies buying a suede jacket. Ditto, next day she had it.

Cute girl one grade before me shows up with Inuit kick ass boots and authentic top/skirt to match. 3 days later what does sponge show up in?? This was before the internet peoples!! How the heck did she find said items so fast??!

Anyway, my point being that this young woman envied and tried to emulate those she apparently admired (big time!).

Consider it a compliment and move on (but yeah, call the bitch on it just once for me will you!?? 😉

02.19.10#14

Comment by Margaret (Nanny Goats).

I am shocked and dismayed to even learn that other bloggers will “lift” another’s content from time to time and call it their own. Wait…does this mean that I Can Has Cheezburger isn’t one guy with twelve thousand animals in his backyard and a camera?

02.20.10#15

Comment by phd in yogurtry.

And please make allowances for memory farts. Some of us can’t remember what we had for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, even, let alone who said what in the blogosphere. I sometimes am penning a post and I ask myself, did I come up with that or did I read it somewhere? Memory loss sucks. But a comment in my post, “hey, that sounds familliar” with a link and I’d be glad to shout it. Because I’m always hoping I’m not rehashing inadvertently.

02.20.10#16

Comment by Lea Ann.

In the words of the immortal Christian Slater in Pump Up The Volume: “All the good themes have been turned into theme parks.” Gosh, what’s a blogger to do but ride on someone else’s roller coaster?

Thanks for my morning coffee-shooting-out-my-nose laugh.
🙂

02.20.10#17

Comment by CatLadyLarew.

My entire life is an Involuntary Content Provider. One weird experience prompts another idea which in turn prompts another. Simply by communicating we get prompts from each other. I would have to lock myself in a closet and never read anyone else’s blog to prevent ICP infractions. So, I’m sorry… I’m guilty of getting ideas from other people. But I try to acknowledge whence those ideas came wherever possible.

02.20.10#18

Comment by Lisa.

So the letter writer is trying to copyright a TOPIC? Someone else can’t write about it weeks later? How many blogs do you think she’s read since then? I bet she has no idea where she got the idea.

Even better, I’d be willing to bet that letter writer read the topic someplace else, forgot about it until weeks or months later and until it suddenly “popped” into her head.

02.20.10#19

Comment by haleykrouse.

Why not just comment the post w/ an “I agree, I wrote about the same topic just a short time ago.” and add a link?

02.22.10#20

Comment by kmdguerra.

If it’s a generic topic or current headline in the news, put on your big girl panties and deal with it. People talk about current events and pop culture because it’s POPULAR. You can’t claim an idea solely to yourself. That’s like Prince trying to copyright his name.

Now if this gal was copying you word for word, it’s time to slip on the gloves and throw down with the bitch. Plagiarism is still plagiarism. At least ask her to credit you if she’s used some of your wording.

Given that my readership isn’t very big, I’d be seriously pleased with my bad self that someone even thought about mentioning a topic I touched on.

02.25.10#21

Comment by Andy.

I prefer to rip off people right to their faces so as to making it as obvious as possible. In fact, I rip off Anna every day in the hopes she’ll one day get so confused and bewildered that she’ll convince herself that maybe all along she was ripping off ME, and therefore will owe me her undying gratitude and related compensation.

02.26.10#22

Comment by vodkamom.

As we say in kindergarten, it’s the sincerest form of flattery.

right?

03.04.10#23

Comment by V..

I believe it was Shakspear who said it best: “… Nothing new under the sun….”

Everyone who writes something believes, whole heartedly, that they are the sole creative genious involved in putting it all together. However, I’m sure if you search for the same topic on Google, or some other reputible search engine, you will find that many people blogged on that same subject before you did. Is it possible that you may have read their blogs many months before writing your own? Sure. Did you? Probably not. However, while we all see ourselves as unique, we all tend to have very similar experiences. This is not to say that we are not all special individuals, just that there are others out there who view life as you do.

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