Two years ago, back when this blog was Our So-Called Life, I did some work with a rather prominent blogger, who allowed me to use some of their graphics and content. I later fell out of touch with this blogger, who has continued to be quite successful.
Imagine my surprise, when I saw that I recently had a comment from this blogger. They had come to my little corner of the Internet!
The comment was a request for me to remove all of this blogger’s content and graphics, as I did not have permission to use it. I had unintentionally forgotten to tell this person when I changed hosts, so I did explain this in an e-mail, prior to removing the content.
This incident left me feeling kind of sad. Not because I had to take the content down, and not because this person wasn’t actually reading and enjoying my blog.
But because this person, who is quite successful and making money from the products they sell, as a part of their blog, spends so much time looking to see if anyone has “stolen” their ideas. That they were so worried about someone taking what was “theirs,” that they didn’t even look at the context in which their ideas were being presented.
I presented this person’s ideas as their ideas, with links to their blog–which most likely increased traffic for them, a little bit, and may have even increased the sales of their products. I did not try to take credit for any of it.
We can get so caught up in the “that’s mine!” mentality, that we lose sight of the big picture. Yes, stealing content is unethical. In fact, I would say something if someone copied my work and claimed it as their own. But, what a waste of energy it is, to spend time searching for this! It seems that this level of concern, just creates negativity and doesn’t leave much room for more creativity. I’ve seen other bloggers who give permission for their material to be copied, and that has to be very freeing.
And, yes, it was an oversight on my part, that I did not tell this person that I changed hosts. But, it is sad that they did not see that they were being referenced in a positive light, and that their message and conversation were being continued.
Whether we are selling something or not, our blog is our gift to the world, our part in the conversation. By not allowing that conversation to continue, we are losing sight of our reason for doing this.
Some New Additions
Speaking of blogs, I have a few new additions to my blogroll, that I would like to introduce. Interestingly enough, they are all written by couples, who have written books.
The Great Jollyhoombah
CJ and Tammy (who also happen to live in Houston!) quit their teaching jobs, and started their own business. On their blog, they share their musings on just about everything, with their very unique brand of humor. Make sure you’re not drinking anything when you read their blog, because you run the risk of spitting it out!
SMART Living 365
Thom shares his photography once a week, and Kathy shares her insights on spirituality and meaningful living. Her take is very positive, and her writing is very honest. Kathy tackles the big questions, and her writing is guaranteed to make you think.
The Minimalist Couple
Back in Miss Minimalist’s heyday, a group of us always seemed to be commenting together. I termed our group the “exclusive clique,” because we were neither exclusive nor a click. Mark Douglass joined in near the end, and I found my way to the blog that he and his wife, Jess, write together. Mark and Jess both write posts, and they tackle both physical and mental decluttering, with great honesty.