Preface: Every time there is a little tiff on the KList, we are reminded that it's very hard to tell the "tone" of an email in this electronic medium and to give the sender the benefit of the doubt. So - I'm going to tell you my tone upfront: please read the following with....hmmm...probably "amused befuddlement" would have to be the winner. In other words, don't take the following TOO seriously - it's just an observation...one that I don't believe I've seen mentioned before. Make of it what you will. ::::wicked grin::::
Today I'd like to talk about ..... Copy-Cat Bloggers. ::::gasps and muffled cries from the audience -- one woman swoons but is revived with smelling-salts -- one man's hand drifts down toward his glue-gun but he's stopped by a vigilant Copper -- murmured denials are rampant but a few are listening closely::::
As I said in Sunday's post, I've been reading knitting blogs for well over a year now -- both in the blog rings & not. I know which are the "popular" bloggers & which are struggling to find their place. Most of us (80% of us) are somewhere in the middle - not so popular that people suck up, but not so lost that we can't think of something interesting (we hope!) to say.
I'm also gifted with a really good memory -- especially for little, inconsequential facts (don't ever play Trivial Pursuit with me - ha!) so things like photo captions and certain turns of phrase tend to stick in my head. ("It's a gift...and a curse." -- Adrian Monk) That's where the amused befuddlement comes in - there are bloggers out there who actually copy what other people write on their blogs! I'm not talking patterns - I'm talking phrases, photo captions and placement, titles, whole subjects!
Obviously the "what's hot to knit" topics are excluded here - I don't count multi-directional scarves/socks/knit-a-longs/rip-a-longs, etc. as "copying." Shoot - "everyone's" talking about them & that's fine & dandy. I'm talking about, say, a specific knit stitch -- an esoteric stitch that's only found in an equally obscure knitting book published in Lithuania in the 18th century, brought across the sea on a whaling ship that wrecked on an island where the natives decided to burn all copies of this tome of knitting knowledge but two were saved by a kindly missionary's wife. In other words, a topic that's pretty darn specific.
I'll read about it on a blog one day & I'll be darned if I don't read the SAME thing on another blog the following day! Same information and, quite often, the same "tone" of writing.
And how do I know that person has read the first blog entry? How do I know the chances are good it's a Copy-Cat Blogger? ....
'Cause most of the time the Copy-Cat has left a comment on the original bloggers entry!!!
--- Here's an aside --- Didn't you Copy-Cats learn anything in high school? When you copy, you don't copy verbatim! You change things around a bit - use your own words once in awhile - and at least TRY to make it sound like your own work. And for goodness' sake, DON'T leave a trail (a comment) pointing straight to you! Come on, people..if you're going to do it, do it right! ----
I know you're wondering ...yes, there are a few people out there who've actually copied ME! I'm too busy being baffled to be flattered.
I'm thinking it must all go back to the popularity issue. Everyone wants their blog to be read - lots of knitting bloggers are anxious to be popular, knowledgeable, witty, urbane, droll, and (oh, yeah) acknowledged as great knitters. There are a very few that are willing to steal to get there. Then too, I suppose some people are just plain lazy...or feel they don't have the "gift of gab" necessary for blogging.
I mentioned that I'd noticed more of this as the blogging community grew. I want to make clear that it isn't newbies in particular that are copying - it's just that the more people there are blogging, the more likely it will be to have a few Copy-Cats.
Here's my caveat: I'm sure that I've inadvertantly used a phrase or an idea from another blog in my time and not given credit to the original blogger. Hopefully not in the same week, but mistakes will happen. I really do try hard to say things like, "Hey - I was reading on So-and-So's blog yesterday about this..." Or - "Go over to So-and-So's and see what you think about this topic, here's what I think..." Something along those lines. I wanted to make this statement to stem the flood of emails/comments pointing a finger (I'm not saying WHICH finger) right back at me. I know I've probably cadged from another blog....I also know I've never made a habit of it.
In closing, I'd like to say that I don't get the need to copy without credit. There are plenty of topics in knitting that could use a fresh perspective -- read some books or magazines or swatch awhile & I'll bet something will occur to you. Or if you'd like to talk about something you read somewhere else....just type another line that includes a "footnote." It's easy & will save lots of hurt feelings in the end.
There - hopefully that was interesting enough to be worth the wait! ;) Have a great Tuesday!
PS...um...Marcia? I believe there was mention of a sticky bun?