3+1 Things Bloggers Should Never Ever Do.

A number of unrelated news items made me come up with this unusual post. Blogger always blog about how, what etc to do with blogs. I haven’t seen any what not to do articles. On a unrelated not I wanted to write about each of the news items separately but I thought I would group them up into a single post.

Steal Other People’s Content.

We seen a lot of bloggers complain about sploggers, but what happens when you copy paste someone’s post your not only stealing someone else hard work but also losing your credibility.

Scott Carney is a journalist who writes for Wired.com I saw him when I went for BlogCamp Chennai 06. He writes excellent Offbeat news. I been reading his blog for more than a year. Today I read on his blog on how abcnews stole his story and pictures. The story was about a group of calligraphers in Chennai who are writing the last handwritten newspaper in the world. He took the trouble to research met and talk to the people involved. This is what he has to say. If you have a account on Digg Please Digg his Story here which was submitted by my friend Bentley.

Now for those of you not steeped in media politics, freelance writers like myself make our living by selling stories to media outlets and we get paid in return for our work. We are usually allowed to resell a story after a certain amount of time to make a little more money for our labor. Still, most freelance writers barely scrape together a living, but do it out of love for the job. So when I found out that one of the largest media conglomerates in the world had decided to publish my writing without seeking my permission first (or offering to buy it) I sent a note out to them to see what was going on.

Be Rude To Your Readers / be a Comment Police.

Always be polite and to the point when dealing with your readers. Don’t tell your reader to shut up like Gizmodo did recently (Google for “gizmodo readers shut up” I won’t be linking to them in the future). Not only are you being rude but you are pissing off your readers. I was one of the few people who were annoyed with the influx of iPhone news. The only reason they can afford to do that is because they are popular and losing a few readers doesn’t impact them in a big way. (Maybe thats one reason why Engadget is way more popular than gizmodo). On another note, recently I posted on a blog telling the author that I was unable to access his site from home, I posted it as a comment on a unrelated post, I got back a really rude reply telling me to keep the comments on topic. I was a bit baffled by this, I won’t be visiting or commenting on that blog again.

Steal other people’s Ideas without giving credit.

Ladies and Gentlemen I present you with the Worlds Largest legal Splog http://news.softpedia.com/. Every news from under the sun is posted here without a mention of who,where and what their sources are. Why do I say its legal, well I think they rewrite their content hence they can get away with it since they don’t copy paste content. How about Adobe stealing Colourlovers Ideas, it doesn’t always have to be content.

Post Invalid, Uncorrected, and Un-Researched Facts/News

Bloggers like to echo what other bloggers say. In fact I recently noticed quite a few popular tech blog out there seem to be re-posting news that’s already out there, all they do is rewrite the content and give a link back. While I am not against this, but do such people take the trouble to research and verify the facts. In fact a number of so called A-list Blogs are guilty of this example TechCrunch, GigaOM, Scoble (Lately I been getting a bit annoyed with his blog posts, it look more like a 10 year old kids blog) etc. here’s what Mike Arrington said a while back.

Is it in the best interests of blogs to say outrageous things to drive traffic? Mike Arrington: “You’re wrong” Gives analogy that he could get away with saying something wrong once (or maybe twice). The trade off of integrity is something he makes every day.

P.S I decided to contribute this post as part of the group writing project at dailyblogtips.

27 Responses

Good post. The funny part is that all these things you list are common practices for many bloggers.
(That comment preview you have is awsome!)

@mirko sad but true (Thanks :) )

Wow… I had not heard about the Gizmodo incident. Amazing. A site that big resorting to “Fine! I’m taking my ball and going home!” tactics is mind blowing.

Good points, all of them!

Great post! I guess I will do all in the future. shame on me lol
but this entry makes me think.

Regarding the experience about posting on that blog and got “a rude response”, it’s hard to tell what the true situation was without you linking to it. But, if i were running a blog with comments on (which in itself is noble these days) if you are commenting about problems about accessing the website AND the post is not on that topic then IT IS OFF TOPIC. The best way is to email the blog author directly about these issues.

Some posts on blog have a history of get off-topic quickly with a single off topic post. Maybe that was the case here. NOW if the response was truly rude beyond stating your comment was off-topic, then yeah – there’s no excuse for that. They should have recommended you to send an email or to comment in a relvant post.

@Arpit: I was just about to write a post about the same incident but looks like you beat me to it. The electricity ran out on me half way through the post :) Interesting article though, I wish everyone who follow these unspeakable practices would just ‘get it’ ;)

Thanks for the tips! I’m a relatively new paid blogger and will officially start my position (with that job) in a few weeks so these will be helpful for that role as well as my personal blog:-)

Cool Post. Gotta be careful :D

@David. I guess you are right in a way. But if you look at all successful and popular blog they never enforce the rules. the general rule is to ignore such comments and to continue with the discussion.

@bentley yeah I saw that you had submitted it to digg.

@kara @shankar thanks for dropping by :)

I totally am in agreement with all the 4 topics you talked about. Being rude is the number one turn off, however a bigshot you are.

Copy pasting and using articles without crediting is certainly going to lose you a lot of readers and I make it a point to credit the places I pick up my news from.

Good article, arpit!

It’s a sad thing when bloggers doesn’t appreciate every comment. Personally I just love to read comments on my site. There is nothing better when people tell what they think about your posts.

That is how I met several really cool and nice people, including the author of this site ;)

@vijay thanks for dropping by, @Dennis wooops looks like I forgot to subscribe to your new blog after you moved domains. I was kinda wondering why you weren’t blogging lately :)

I forgive you, Arpit…this time only don’t think I will be as forgiving the next time I switch domain =P

Neat. I like your linking style! Kindda like mine, with a lot more seriousness!!!

You are right with all the points, but it still happens in Blogoshere.

Regarding comment police, I couldn’t agree more. One of my regular reads just closed her comments because “She didn’t want to give away free links, and she couldn’t figure out a way to disable URL’s”.

I unsubscribed her.

Good points, specially last one “Post Invalid, Uncorrected, and Un-Researched Facts/News” there are many blog doing this.

Wow. This is an excellent post. I think it’s going to wind up in my top 3, but I still have around 100 more to read.

I think that stealing content is bad, but stealing ideas is even more prevalent on blogs. Stealing ideas isn’t technically an issue to most people, but has ticked of some people…

@ashok and @george thanks for dropping by :)

I really liked your post, it gets my vote.

I also wanted to say how much I love your blog theme. Very impressive.

@engtech thanks :) you made my day (more like night Lol Its 10:00 Pm and I am feeling very sleepy)

maybe you should add another to the list — don’t use incorrect punctuation in the title of your post.

@jan thanks corrected it :)

I dugg it…
Your tips are great, for those writing the type of blog you write.
Many of them conflict with our style, however.
We regularly insult our readers, mainly because they are stupid and really should just shut up! Also, because we are small, small people.

Content thievery, however, is not tolerated. We get most of our outside content from submissions, as to avoid that sort of thing.

@bagel thanks for dropping by I disagree with you about readers being stupid :)

Great article. I am a new blogger and check out what other bloggers have to say about blogging. Bagel of Everything,how sad to think that you think your blog only attracts stupid people. What does that say about your blog?

hi nice post, i enjoyed it