reblog content controversy . quality, quantity, or just crap?

December 13, 2010 separator marketing minute

This might get sassay (Yeah – that second ‘a’ is there on purpose…), but I’ve gotta vent a little bit. And I want to know what you guys have to say on this topic. What’s the topic? Eh – reblogging… 

::: begin rant ::: 

So I was lying in bed last night working on a paper, which we all know really means reading blogs and finding new indie bands. I realized that there are all these blogs out there with thousands of subscribers, but the blogger almost never posts a single original thought. It’s just post after post of angsty, artsy, or offbeat images pulled from the like of We Heart It. 

Don’t get me wrong now – I enjoy losing hours of my life to such sites every now and again, but I can’t help but wonder where the intrigue or inspiration come into the picture when you’re ripping all “your” content off the rest of the creative-thinkers out there.
themarinegeek:  robcham:  number 3 of “impossible to reblog” series you guys are still reblogging these things you are all dirty liars and I love you or you really did this stuff. good job.  Unless merong Tumblr account si Neil Armstrong. HAHA wait buhay pa ba siya?  Buhay pa ko.
My last little piece of rant before I turn the floor over to you dahlings is this: If you’re going to “borrow” all your content, shouldn’t you at least credit them for it? I just can’t keep track of how many times I’ve found something phenomenal on somebody’s site, only to realize that it’s not theirs, and they “don’t know” where it came from. 

Hokay. I think I’ve gotten that off my chest now. Your turn. Weigh in. What do you think – irritating lack of creativity or clever form of expression without much effort? Am I just being dramatic [as always], or does this irk you guys, too?


  1. Homework has never been my strong suit. Crafting essays, deciphering literature, and mastering grammar felt like a never-ending challenge. However, a fellow student enlightened me about this website for homework assistance. Whether you’ve been struggling like me or just need a helping hand, it’s worth checking out.

  2. I’m pretty new to writing my own blog and this post has really opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of it. I’m not the best photographer and oftentimes I’ll see an image on someone else’s blog that inspires me and I’d like to talk about what part of the image has rocked my world and how I could incorporate some of its magic in my life. Because I’ve seen the link backs to ffffound and weheartit on so many blogs I’d kind of assumed that that was the etiquette. I’ve been guilty of replicating this referencing technique but now I’m going to make sure that I find the original source and link to that in future. I feel like such a newb so thank you so much for the advice

  3. I make it a point to give credit where it’s due even if it was just a seed of inspiration I got from another blog, I let people know that’s where it came from. That’s how we support one another: sharing is caring.

  4. It never occurred to me to not use photos of my own outfits and stuff. That is the major point of my blog – how Vogue inspires me to wear clothing in the the Real World. The only time I use photos that aren’t mine is if it somehow relates to the outfit I created for myself. Anyway, I enjoyed this article and couldn’t agree more. Reading blogs with a bunch of “captured” photos is a HUGE yawn and a turn off.

  5. i don’t think you’re being dramatic, lindsay:) i can’t say i really hate that kind of blogging, although i seriously agree that bloggers should pour out their personal opinion and thoughts. so many blogs nowadays are suffering from the lack of creativity, i totally agree with that as well. for example, a post which only features pictures taken straight from (and resized) without a single line of comment or critique. sometimes, though, i got really disappointed with those kind of posts.

    i think bloggers can still re-blog, but i will stick to my point that they should add their own personal opinions.
    for example, if they want to blog about burberry’s fall collection, they can still take the pictures from but use them as a source for a collage (for example to focus on the cuts of the coats and jackets), and write the captions, which are their own opinions combined with several sources and public reviews to strengthen their notions.

    thanks for this amazing post lindsay:)

  6. Ah, where do I start? When I began blogging in 2006, the community excited me because it was full of inspiring people from different parts of the country/world who had something to say. Then the style blogging phenomenon began and people focused less on the verbal aspect of blogging and more on the visual aspects which has somehow led to this acceptance of reblogging pretty pictures scanned from magazines or taken straight from a style blog. I know I sound like one of those, “ack in the day” people, but I miss when fashion bloggers were using WORDS to comunicate their message and not simply images whether they are there own or another’s.

    Also, the reblogging of images blurs all kinds of copyright lines. It’s become so easy to steal someone’s creative work because saving it to your hard drive is just a right-click away. People are more reluctant to copy and entire 250 word blog post, but when it’s a picture here and there, noone thinks twice.

    I hope beyod hope the creme will float to the top leaving the rebloggers behind, but one never knows…

  7. I am afraid an average reader does not care much about where the content comes from as long as it is good. This is why a theft can get rich or a notorious no-credit reblogger get many followers. Both is wrong, however.

  8. I agree. If it’s not original, credit must absolutely be given otherwise it’s plagiarism which is an absolute no-no.

  9. Haute World: ” it particularly infuriates me when an entire post (including a rehash of my text) ends up elsewhere and the blogger hasn’t even made an effort to put his or her spin on things”

    AMEN. Imagine my surprise when Google Alerts informed me of a blog post I’d been linked to. And then when I clicked over I discovered that the blogger had loosely plagiarized an entire post and stolen the collages I made for it. Sure, they threw in a linkback, but the entire tone of that post implied “This is all my content, and if you’d like to read more, check out this post on Solo Lisa.” It’s aggravating, to say the least.

  10. I’ve seen some of my pics crop up on other blogs uncredited and it particularly infuriates me when an entire post (including a rehash of my text) ends up elsewhere and the blogger hasn’t even made an effort to put his or her spin on things. I really don’t understand what a blogger would find appealing about reblogging something that’s already out there. I also want to bang my head against the wall when I keep seeing the same Fashion Week images on various blogs over and over again… do I really need to see that when has them all?

    I do agree with what others have said though… unfortunately blog popularity isn’t always a reflection of originality, the same way some movies or songs are awfully contrived/repetitive/remakes but end up selling well.

    P.S. Adore your blog by the way! Just found you via IFB.

  11. I would definitely like to know where things come from- there are so many inspirational images, but sometimes I actually want to know who created them, where I can learn more about the person, etc. I have to usually put on my sptastic google goggles, but it’s such a waste of time.

  12. It’s good to hear so many different perspectives – especially one coming from a magazine editor, Brie!

    Fashion Limbo – How awful and blatant! It looks like Elle took the post down finally…

    Masha – I’d rather not link to anyone in order not to point any fingers. So sorry!

  13. I just won’t follow a blog that does that. Period. The ONLY time I’ll use someone else’s photos is 1. with their permission and 2. if it is an item for sale then I link back to it thus enabling a purchase.

  14. Agreed. There are a lot of very popular blogs that are just fantastic quality scans of magazine editorials, or photo shoots found elsewhere. There are hardly any words, just an “arty” title and that’s it. They are mostly very irritating, and when they don’t credit the source it is called stealing.
    so there’s two sides, sites that do credit but all they are doing is re-blogging, but they don’t get my attention.

    Then there’s people stealing other people’s content, like Spanish Elle has done with our lovely Polka Dot in Street Style (you can read about it here in her own site

    Re-blogging is not great. I liked this post and how you wrote it xxx

  15. Hi there!

    It’s a good question to raise. I’m a magazine editor by day and a blogger/designer by night (and sometimes during the day too)! I’m flattered if our readers re-blog, and I tend to do lots of re-blogging of good ideas that fit my blog’s theme. (Wow, how many times can I fit “blog” into a sentence?)

    However, I always ALWAYS credit and the stuff has to be really relevant to my readers. I know that Martha Stewart’s crafts don’t need any more publicity, but if an idea for a favor box helps a reader at the 11th hour during her holiday planning, then I’m happy to connect her to that resource. And I try my hardest to always add a little personality.

    Also, I feel like photos have become SO important to blogging that I usually feel like the original ones I take aren’t worthy to feature regularly, or will dissuade people from reading further. But I do try to put as many on there as possible.

  16. i completely agree with you, sometimes I open a blog and think “oh wow how many beautiful pictures” then I come to the end of the post and read “Pics by Tumblr, WEheartit etc”…
    First it does not mean crediting a picture if you say you took it off we heart it!
    Second thing, I don’t follow such blogs as a matter of principle, although I may like the blogger’s choices of “inspirational” pictures.
    That said, I sometimes use pics I found on weheartit and so on, but I try hard not to use the ones that was taken from fashion and style blog in the first place, and I always credit the original site, not “weheartit”!
    It’s such a world of superficiality… :/

  17. I’ve had a couple of my photos “borrowed” and I only found out when they popped up on WeHeartIt. I was like “wait, isn’t this mine?” and I click the link to the post and there is a link to my Flickr/blog not even a third of the time.

    I suppose I don’t really mind because it’s not like I make money off my photos but it does get irritating. One of my photos (of ice cream, of all things!) is going on about the fifth round on Tumblr, the first round was properly credited and all, now it’s all lost, it’s just a photo.

    As many above me said, I don’t see how those blogs get subscribers if not by “follow-backs”.

    The other thing that irks me a bit is when people use one of my photos with my blog as the source but they never actually left a comment or emailed me with a little “hello, love your work”. They’ll be writing about my work and saying how they like it but it’s as if I were a dead artist that wouldn’t like a tad of interaction.

  18. I think I don’t know any of those blogs. but I have a great respect for bloggers who interact with their readers (at least now and then) – it makes me kinda happy if I get a reply. 🙂

  19. i totally and completely agree.
    citing we heart it as a source is such a slap in the face to every artist whose original work ends up there. i have unsubscribed to any of those types of blogs – so boring.

  20. As a former journalism student, it was ingrained in me to always, always credit other sources, because you could get into serious copyright issues if you didn’t. I’m not really into blogs who repost images anyway — I’m not interested in photo aggregators, I’m drawn to original content.

  21. Amen girl, I hear you. And I subscribe to a lot of blogs that seem the need to post all about colored masking tape. Or felt balls.

    I hate the fact that everyone must blog the Kate Spade calendar, the latest Anthro catolog…I love it too, but I love people who make an effort to find something original.

    If ever I see something twice, then I don’t post it. Once is inspiration, twice is “seen it, done it.”

    That said, somethings do take your breath away, or deserve several mentions. so it is a balance.

  22. I think in blogging, like in other areas of art and creativity (and life..), it’s not always the most original or talented participant that gets the most attention. Sucky but true. As for not giving credit, well that’s just plain wrong.

    thanks for sharing your original thoughts!


  23. gah, I compeltely agree with you – and how do they find (and keep) their subscribers?! Thats what amazes me… sigh.

  24. I totally agree with you on this. I mean, most of my posts are about my life, but I put alot of thought into it. Its frustrating to see people who don’t, and especially when they don’t give credit where credit is due!

  25. I read a lot of interior design blogs (because it is the field I come from) and am always shocked at how people thing of a theme and just find photos that fit it. And of course, they don’t do any of the design or even give credit for any of the photos. It weirds me out. I always post my own words and my own photos whenever possible. And if I don’t, I give credit!

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