“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” Mark Twain
Mark Twain died in 1910. 100 plus years later with the spread of the internet and mass information at our finger tips this is obviously truer than ever.
And this applies to blogging too. It’s pretty hard to come up with original content nowadays, mostly we are just adding our spin on someone else’s idea. However that does not excuse the all too frequent cases of blatant plagiarism.
Many of us have had our work stolen, I’ve had it done to me; someone used my work and ‘forgot’ to name me as the creator! It doesn’t feel good, in fact I’d say it can feel like a violation, but it’s harder for people to get away with it now.
The internet has made the world very small which means that if you are using someone else’s content people are very likely to find out. A little while ago I have had the exact same newsletter from 2 legal companies with just the heading changed. This month two people I know put out a blog about Paypal changes. Both had just lifted the content from Paypal without changing a single word. Paypal won’t mind, but it doesn’t look good for the businesses who put it out in their own name.
Once upon a time you may have got away with it but no longer!
Last month this guy was blasted on LinkedIn for sharing a post the content of which was taken straight from Melonie Dorado’s work (I almost felt sorry for him).
And last week my friend Michelle found her weekly blog posts had been copied and used by someone else for months, which led to this naming and shaming post .
Now if either of those companies were knowingly and intentionally stealing work belonging to someone else that is just pretty darn foolish. It is quite likely that they had done what many do, paid a freelancer, or their social media person a pittance to produce blogs for them.
Time and time again I say this is your company and your company voice so pay attention!
For sure use other people’s content, all you have to do is share it from their site and thank them. But if you want to blog I really recommend you do it yourself, in house. Yes it’s time consuming, but it does pay off.
If you don’t know where to start I run blogging courses, on-line and as group workshops. My next course starts in November and you can sign up HERE We also have a vlogging course in December which is great fun.
If you really don’t have time then at least come up with your own ideas and use a writer like Word Magick to pull it together for you.
Over to you. Have you had your work plagiarised? What did you do about it? Please leave your comments below .
Jane Binnion is a social media and ethical sales trainer. If you would like to work with Jane drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter