3/21/12

Cutting and Pasting into Blog Posts: Don't Be Lazy

I have a client that is great about keeping up with her weekly blogging schedule.  She posts twice a week, period.  You can depend on it. 

And that's great.  

What isn't so great, though perfectly understandable, is taking a section of writing from another source (another post, a magazine article, a book) and then cutting and pasting the guts of that writing into a blog post with a brief introduction, "I really liked this [insert name of source material] because it's so on point! It's so true!"

Or something like that.  Why is this bad?  

Well, as my client points out this might (or might not) be within the fair use doctrine and therefore not any kind of copyright infringement and it's clearly not plagiarism because she's giving credit where credit is due (she's not trying to claim the stuff as her own). 

However, substitute the cut and paste for a hyperlink and the post becomes a sentence or two.  Insufficient original word count.

True, it's great to find something that you want to share from a book (or magazine article or blog post) that someone else has written and use it as the basis for a blog post.  There's also the time-saving benefit (as my client pointed out, these types of posts are helpful on days where posts are scheduled and there's a time crunch). 

But what are you really sharing of yourself here?  And, without going into geek-talk (my client hates going down this road), Google will not appreciate these kinds of blog posts.  At all.  

Here's what I think needs to happen.  

I think that when you share something, you need to give your reader more than "lookie."  I think you need to comment and give your opinion on why you are sharing this writing with them.  

If you don't have time for that, then go for a link list ... something like a Top Ten list, ten great sources of inspiration when you're dieting; ten great recipe sites; ten great med mal blogs, whatever.  That's pretty fast blogging and it's giving your reader more of you than one of these "lookie" posts does. 

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