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Friday, 14 September 2018

Blogger’s Corner: Get defensive about your creativity

Across all the blogger groups that I am in, whether horse related or not, I see multiple comments about how to tackle people using your images and self-created memes.

It’s pretty annoying...& not just because they used your content; I presume we are all secretly wishing our content went viral. But it is damn right rude when your logo or URL is cropped out. You popped it in a nice place so as not to overlay the focus of the image...and alikazam, it’s gone!

The WORST though, in my opinion, is those who don’t then add a credit. It takes less that a minute to tag up a Facebook page, or use an Insta or Twitter handle. And what if the source is a weblink? Well, take the footsteps backwards... Go to the weblink. If you share on a webpage, credit the weblink. If you share on social, I’m fairly sure most bloggers will make their social handles as visible as possible, so just tag them!

I’ve had instances of stumbling across my own content online without a credit whosoever. While everyone so far has been pretty quick to add a credit, is it really up to me to make sure that this is happening? No.

Published by me in August 2017
Shared by a brand and gathered almost 200 shares before it was credited

Even if it’s taken 17 steps back from where they originally saw it on Pinterest, follow the credit line back as far as you can, and if you hit a wall, credit where it was shared. At least then the original creator can see who is using it without credits from where you found it.

But what if your creativity is being used in an indirect way?

(This is where things turn into a bit of a rant!)

So your photos aren’t being taken without credit, but almost identical ones are being taken...similar landscape, similar composition. Couple that with almost a copy & paste of your captions, and you have pretty much a duplicate of your post.

Now I’m under no mis-illusion that also is horsey folk love a good ear shot of the perfect view with 'no place we’d rather be' captions & selfies with our four legged BFFs... so let me be clear, this is not what I am meaning in what I’m about to describe.

Couple all of that together with the extra thing of timing thrown in, and suddenly you’ve got a duplicate Instagram account or Facebook page going on...

I have noticed over several months something that is starting to become plain weird... At first, I put a few down to coincidence, but now, almost everything I post that can be “copied”, is...sometimes within an hour, sometimes a day, sometimes it’s a collective of my posts combined into one.

It’s someone I know. So why not just out them on it? Well, because knowing them, they will never admit it, and a part of me know it comes from them being hugely insecure about their own horsey zone & life. And that’s when I end up in the weird part... Just do your own thing and be blinking happy with that!!!!

It's even turned into what they choose to do with their own horse in terms of work load!! I mean, come ON, seriously...?

This individual doesn’t see the need to like or comment on my content (that they are copying), despite 100% seeing it because they reference about seeing it in other ways - messages & verbal. So they cannot deny seeing it. Then deliberately don’t engage with it (by the way, I’m not offended if you unfollow!). Then copy it... Weird.

So while I’m full of tips on dealing with content that’s been shared online BUT without appropriate credit or recognition, I’ve absolutely no idea how to deal with this bizarre situation.

I have sort of said something before, but not directly. The only person who would pick up on this IS the person doing it...Seriously, like the story says, JUST STOP!

Ironically, this is one story that wasn't copied...

Some say, have it out.
Some say, ignore it.
Some say, “copying is the highest form of flattery”

But it’s really starting to bug me...My ideas, my captions, my style of images & what I choose to do, all used, copied and posted by another.

It’s goes beyond flattery & annoyance actually, and back to the days of covering your work with your forearm at school, or copying paragraphs for your dissertation...pure plagiarism!!

I’ve left it alone until I was recently selected to be a brand ambassador which made me become much more protective over my content, my idea, MY CREATIVITY!

Why has this sparked it?

  1. I don’t want to ever be seen as the one that is copying, that would be just plain frustrating!
  2. Google frowns on duplicate content which could damage my blog. Yes, even social content...
  3. Keeping my things unique to deliver strong and engaging content for myself and the brand I’m representing

This is my little world with Louie, whatever you think to it. It is personal journey together - one that can’t be copied. And one with our own achievements.

Rant over.

Protect your creativity.

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