Monday, February 2, 2009

I Am A Writer

On Friday while surfing around I came across this post by Kelly over at Don Mills Diva. (On Friday she updated the story, more on that later.)

In essence, a "journalist" used quotes by Kelly about blogging in an article, online, and did not include links to her blog or to the posts that included those quotes. This journalist did not specifically interview Kelly for the article but used other previously published quotes. The issue at hand, as I understand it, is not so much that the reporter used previously published quotes, but that they didn't properly attribute and link them to Kelly and her site.

In the continually emerging and changing land of online journalism and blogs I find this infuriating. As Kelly said in her article this is exactly what some online journalists point to as 'shoddy' reporting by bloggers. As people that write for "real" news outlets they should be subjected to strict rules about attribution, including links to original material.

When I first began reading blogs I knew what I was reading-a blog is an online journal written by (typically) one person about their life-by definition an opinion based medium. As a ' young' blogger I have been extremely careful to link to blogs that I take ideas from or quote from. For example, here I used an idea from Darryle: purging clutter and passing it on to someone who could use it. Because I linked to her she got a little more traffic-exposure for her project. I also got some traffic here because she linked to me. Mutually beneficial, don't you think? However, it is not just the hits that are the concern. I did not come up with the idea-she did. I asked if I could take her ball and run with it a little. She was delighted to have me do so as long as I linked to her. Small price to pay for big benefits. This is the way of the blogosphere.

These are the lessons that we learned in Kindergarten. Play nice. Be fair. Share. Help.

Wouldn't it be nice if we all remembered those lessons?

I am not a trained journalist like Kelly but even as an elementary student I was taught that you can't copy someone else's work without giving them credit. Writer's words are their property, and using them without proper credit is stealing, plain and simple.

Kelly is encouraging all bloggers to embrace the title of Writer-with a capital W. We all have a unique voice and a unique story to tell and by respecting ourselves as Writers, our communities at large will begin to respect us more as well-and not attempt to steal our work.

I am no fancy, popular blogger, and will willingly admit that I'd love to have a lot more traffic. After over a year I have to embrace that I'm a Writer-with a capital W, and demand that my colleagues in the blogging world be respected. We are worthy of that respect because we put ourselves, our highs and lows, our expertise, our insecurities, OUR SELVES out there every day and have created an important community that has become a force in our communities and world. A force in opinion, in advertising, in connecting. A force in connecting with others that are like-and unlike- us. A force that is more and more mainstream every day.

So head on over to Kelly's place, get your button, write your post, and stand up for yourself and your work. You are a Writer.

And so am I.
Headless Mom


Don Mills Diva said...

Damn straight you are!

Write on!

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

hell to the yeah

Anonymous said...

Sing it Sistah!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Rock on!

kyooty said...

This was a great post! Kelly's post was fabulous too,

The Glamorous Life said...

I 100% agree.

I refer to myself as:
online journalist.
online humorist
online writer

and my kids call me:
queen almighty.

Rarely to I call myself a Blogger. And NEVER, EVER a MOMMY BLOGGER. EVER.

moosh in indy. said...

Love it.

J Phoenix said...


I respectfully request to "borrow" from you from time to time whenever I get my chance to actually write a blog rather than comment on others. I promise to link to you each and every time I do! I think you are a phenomenal writer and I know I will be referring to you often with admiration and respect.


Hats off to you lady and to Kelly too! Well written!

Reluctant Housewife said...

Great post!

You are definitely a capital-W-Writer!