Hat tips and blog posts

I’m new to blogging and still feeling my way around the courtesies and protocols of the genre. When I post an item I found somewhere else, I usually credit and link to the source where I encountered it — a figurative tip of the hat. Sometimes I dig deeper and link to the original source material, and sometimes to both (“hat tip [originator] via [mysource]”). These links are courteous to my comrades in the ether, and provide a richer experience for the reader.

Traditional news organizations sometimes complain that the whole blog world is an endless exercise in ripping off their work, but when these same journals find stories on line, they are often less than scrupulous about crediting the original source. A certain dead tree periodical in Nova Scotia is particularly stingy with links.

For an extended account of how all this plays out in practice, check out Danny Sullivan‘s blogpost about how the mainstream media (and a few fellow bloggers) appropriated his story, on Searchengineland.com, complete with imagery, about a Utah woman who is suing Google over a car accident she says was caused by faulty Google Map walking directions—but failed to credit him as its source.

At 2,494 words, it’s an unusually long blogpost, but it adds up to a witty seminar on attribution ethics in a digital newsworld.

And to be clear, I heard about Sullivan’s post on Episode 45 of LeoLaPorte’s always entertaining and engaging podcast, This Week in Google.