Copy Cats Out of the Bag
A few weeks ago there was much blogging drama. It started when a loyal reader wrote to tell me that another blogger (with a significant readership) had taken one of my posts, changed a few nouns and reposted it as her own. I sent an e-mail out to my Blog's Board of Trustees (you've got to have one these days) who in turn flooded the plagiarists comment section until the blog was entirely gone by evening's time. Don't mess with my Board of Trustees. Lesson learned.
But this weekend it happened again. An e-mail from a kind reader informed me that another blogger, with a healthy readership, copied one of my recent posts, changed spots in sentence structure and reposted. In her comment section, readers were cheering on her prose and storytelling abilities. This time I decided that flattery be damned, I was annoyed.
Chup sent the blogger a message via e-mail and demanded her to apologize to me. Which she did, claiming that she had never, ever before done such a corruptible act of internet plagiarism. I had intended to write back, symbolically waving my hand over her deed in an act of forgiveness, but that was when Azucar got involved. Azucar, my watchdog-in-waiting went ahead and started digging in the archives of this "sorry" blogger only to find more posts of mine slightly reworded for context. After Azucar posted on her own blog about this incident other alert readers got involved. As it turned out, together they found the blogger in question to have copied most of her posts from various writers across the internet. You can read about all that here and here.
I thought our outing of this blogger was a triumph until MD called to say there was another blog with lifted content. My content. A lot of my content. Pretty much my blog, my photos, my life. And then it just got incredibly eery. How many other thieves out there were thinking that my blog was just a template? Change a few names and locations and bang! A blog!
But mostly I couldn't stop thinking about readers who enthusiastically and unknowingly support these poseurs with cheerful comments and encouraging feedback. "You are so incredible!" "Your writing is so insightful!" "I wish I were more like you!" It really tore me up inside to read their genuine statements wasted on liars.
And this lead me to realize how much I love my readership. I love the readers who e-mail, who chat with me on Facebook, who leap over to my Frog forum, who stop me at Costco, who send me sweet nothings in the mail, who read. I would never want to deceive them or play with their trust for my own glory. Can you feel this heartbeat readers? This is for you. This is for you. This is for you and your little dog too.
After this insightful weekend I have a greater desire to present myself more honestly. And now I have a confession:
Last week when I posted pictures of me on my couch it appeared that I had dark hair with chunky highlights. The responses I received were all over the spectrum. Some readers loved the dark and some admitted their grief over me abandoning my inner blonde. The truth is, while I do have roots (to be touched up by Ashlee today) my hair is still quite blonde. Chup used a few filters to create a more urban feel to the photos. I wanted to look more glamorous. In real life I am not that dark, not that urban, and unfortunately, not that glamorous. That is my confession.
Wow. You can't imagine how liberating it is to fess up. My dirty secret is revealed! No more skeletons amongst cotton skirts in my closet! I can walk in ways of truth like a virtuous woman again! I am a legitimate, authentic, bona fide fake blonde! I can be honest about my imitation of those who are naturally more fair haired! My inner bumper sticker reads: I plagiarize towheads!
Coming clean feels so ethical. More people should try it.
Thank you to all the stalwart readers who helped spread the word this weekend.
If ever you come across a plagiarized post of mine please, please e-mail me.
We can win this war together.