Temperature inversion

Warm and cold were battling it out here in the Bogs this morning.  We had what is called a temperature inversion where the air up above is warm, causing rain, but down below it’s freezing, causing the rain to turn to ice when it hits the trees and the ground and everything else in the cold zone.

A while back I asked you all how you felt about reblogging.  The reason I asked was because, at the time, my posts were being reblogged on an almost daily basis on a blog that had no original content.  Reblogging not only picks up words, but images.  All images.  I had a post reblogged this morning that picked up the image and displayed it larger than I do on my blog.  (Yes, yes… I resize my images for the web so the larger display wasn’t all that pretty.)

The problem I have with this is that I would prefer that people visit my blog to view my images.  That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.  I also don’t like it when people use my images and words without at least asking me first so I will have a chance to see where and how those words and images might be used (or what they will be associated with).  I don’t think that’s unreasonable either.

Chances are extremely good that if you ask me, I’ll allow you to use an image or reblog a post as long as it’s not for commercial purposes (in which case, we need to talk about payment).  I’m thrilled when someone likes my work enough to want to link to it or use it in some way.  I am not thrilled, however, when posts that I work hard on, and images that are mine, appear somewhere without my permission.  It looks and feels like content theft although WordPress insists it is not.  How do I reconcile this with my stance against SOPA?

I don’t know.  The thing is, I don’t mind reblogging in theory.  What I mind is the lifting of content whole hog with the press of button and without so much as a by-your-leave.  To me that looks and feels different than a quote and a link.  At least with the quote and the link the blogger had do a little work to get there, and they (usually) aren’t lifting images with the quote.  A solution that I think might work well for all involved would be to have the reblog button become a request to reblog so the author of the images and content has a chance to approve or disapprove the reblogging of their post(s).

I gave some thought to moving to another blog hosting website.  The problem with that is it’s too confusing for some of my friends and family who are not internet savvy, and it’s a pain for those who do know what they are doing to have to change their links.  Instead, I will probably have to accept that reblogging is here to stay and find some way to live with it.  I have posted my reblogging policy over in the sidebar.  I’ll be surprised if those inclined to reblog on a regular basis (those without original content) bother to read or follow it.  After all, they don’t have to.  WordPress says it’s OK.

Thank you for stopping by the Bogs for a visit today.  I apologize for the rant.  Regular programming (without the “do not reblog” on all the photos) will resume tomorrow.  It’s entirely possible that by tomorrow I’ll have changed my mind and I’ll be one of reblogging’s biggest fans.  You never know.

Your turn:  What are your thoughts on reblogging?  How do you feel about blogs with no original content reblogging your posts?  And do you care whether or not someone lifts your images without your permission as long as it links back to your blog?

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65 Comments on “Temperature inversion”

  1. I completely understand your position. This is a difficult issue–one we faced when teaching students to do online research in our writing courses at the University of KY. I don’t have an answer, but I sure appreciate your perspective.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • By the way–great title for a post on this issue.

      • Robin says:

        Thanks, Kathy. 🙂

        It is a dilemma. I felt more than a little hypocritical complaining about reblogging after protesting SOPA/PIPA. It’s not so much that I mind reuse as I’d just appreciate the common courtesy of being asked. What happens if a blog I don’t wish to be associated with reblogs one of my posts? It would be nice to have the option to not just say no, but to prevent it in the first place. As it is, WordPress has left it up to those being reblogged to do the work of asking to have the reblogged post removed, and then complaining to them if it isn’t removed.

  2. Denise says:

    Well, I learned something new today. Whether I have had my head in the sand or not I had never heard of reblogging before. Don’t think I like it very much. Your photos are beautiful! If I took these kind of photos I think I would probably be upset someone using them without me knowing about it, without my permission. As it is my photos are more like snapshots than professional works of art. If there came a time when someone liked one enough to use, I would appreciate if they asked first or told me what they had done, and provided a link back to me, but have never stated any terms on my blog since its inception so I guess I can’t complain if someone did that. I probably still have my head in the sand.

    • Robin says:

      Hi Denise. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      WordPress does have it set up so that you are informed if a post is reblogged. You’ll see something in the comments saying “Post reblogged by…” with a link, and if you get email notifications of comments, you’ll receive one of those as well. Reblogging also provides a link back to the original post/blog. The problem I have with it is the lack of common courtesy as well as the lack of a choice in the matter.

      It’s not an earth shattering issue, but it is a bit thorny.

  3. Dana says:

    It is a sticky issue, Robin. I welcome and encourage most links and trackbacks, but I think I would have a problem with an entire post (including images) being reblogged on a site with no original content if I wasn’t asked in advance. (I’m picturing the sites you speak of as websites filled with a sea of random, reblogged posts from around the internet.) I think the dividing line for me is this: I am against censorship of people’s own/original thoughts, words, and photos, but I am in favour of requiring people to *at least ask* if they want to repost somebody else’s ideas in a new forum. Oh, the lines are blurry! 🙂

  4. Karma says:

    First I’d like to say how much I like the icy pine picture.
    Second, tough questions you raise. As far as I know, I don’t think I’ve been reblogged except for a recipe post that I did, and invited my sister to reblog it on her foodie blog. How do you know you’ve been reblogged? Do you get some sort of notification? Are you given credit at the reblog site?

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Karma. 🙂

      You get a notice in your comments if a post has been reblogged. This is what reblogged post looks like:

      http://donlucuis.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/718/

      I’m okay with that one since the blogger is posting some original content. But there was another blog (since removed by WordPress) that was doing nothing but reblogging and appeared to be set up more for spamming purposes than actual blogging.

  5. You know – I never even NOTICED that button up there until you just said something! In the past, I’ve used the “press this” feature to link to a couple of people’s posts but all that does is give you an excerpt and then a link to the original and yeah, I’ve always posted those with an introduction or a comment on why I am sharing someone else’ post. It would never occur to me to just flat out take a post and put it on my site!

    Yes, I understand the dilemma. No, I don’t like it either. Especially with images. And now I see a couple of mine have been reblogged too. Sigh…damn internet! Being so free and…OPEN.

  6. nigel says:

    Nice capture 🙂

  7. jane tims says:

    Hi Robin. I agree with your philosophy. I was a little shocked the first time I was reblogged, but it taught me a few things. One, photos and art should have the artist’s name in plain view. Afterwards, I started placing Jane Tims on all my drawings so people would know who JT was. The last reblog post returned me to my own site when I clicked on any part of it, so I minded that less. I think I will add a reblog statement to my copyright info. Thanks for a very thoughtful post. Jane PS Your waterdroplets are awesome.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Jane. 🙂

      I appreciate your thoughts on reblogging matter. I suppose the best we can do if we’re willing to share online is to do as you mentioned and make sure our names are in plain view. I usually use a small watermark, but I’m thinking of going with something a little more obnoxious.

  8. Chloe says:

    stunning photos robin, love your theme for this post with the rain droplets

  9. So now I understand what the issue is. Other people have been talking about reblogging and I couldn’t understand the fuss. You see, I thought they were complaining about “pingbacks” or when I do my Saturday Share, for example, and introduce a post I particularly liked and give my readers the link to it. I had no idea, till just now, that someone can actually “reblog” so thank you for explaining it so well. and now I know what the fuss is about. I agree with everyone who doesn’t like being reblogged.
    Write your own stuff, take your own pictures. If you appreciate someone’s work, say so and link back to their site. it’s a no brainer!!! I don’t understand why WordPress even has this feature.

    • Robin says:

      I think most people appreciate things like pingbacks and your Saturday Share, Joss. It’s a good way to get some exposure, and as you mentioned, you write an introductory post which is courteous and thoughtful. Ah ha! Maybe that’s it! I’m just too old-fashioned. I’d have to be to use words such as courteous and thoughtful. 😉

  10. Robin, have you contacted WordPress and suggested to them that a post can only be reblogged with your permission? I thought that was a great idea, as it is a compliment if someone wishes to share parts of, or even your whole post (because they love it so much), which is totally different to someone using ONLY your work for content on their own blog (why have a blog, if they don’t wish to contribute anything to it themselves? :/ )

    Your photos today are all simply gorgeous! I won’t even try to name a favourite! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Joanne. 🙂

      Quite a number of people have complained to and/or contacted WordPress with complaints and suggestions. I don’t think they’re listening right now.

  11. I saw this reblog announcement a few days ago and wondered why someone would need this. Now I understand the concept and still wonder why someone would need this. This is definitely piracy and theft.. if I wish to share a photo, then there’d better be a request, my name better be somewhere on it and there should be a link back to my website… But the request is key. I think most of us are fairly compassionate but to just reblog is stealing. This hasn’t happened yet, but I’m sure I would write a nasty comment on that person’s blog… I almost wrote on Don’s for that matter!!

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Smidge. 🙂

      I don’t understand why someone would need this either. The only reblog of one of my posts that has made a little sense to me is one that was reblogged by a middle school student who seems to be studying photography. The student (can’t remember if it was a boy or girl) used one of my photos to demonstrate the rule of thirds. (There’s irony there. I didn’t participate in a recent photo challenge because I can’t seem to grasp the concept of the rule of thirds. I’m told I practice it, but I couldn’t explain how.)

  12. eof737 says:

    We’ve had a few of those battles here… hence the rains. 😉

  13. I think you have expressed the dilemma well – in some ways its a form of publicity so others may get to see your work, but without your say so. Which is the tricky part fo rme too. It seems once your work, whether it is ideas, photos, recipes etc are on the web there is a free for all on reproducing it. So I like your suggestion of a tab to request permission to re-blog.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, PromenadePlantings. I appreciate it. 🙂

      I realize it’s a kind of free-for-all on the internet, and sometimes I’m cool with that. That’s why I find this reblogging conundrum puzzling and tricky. A tab requesting permission would be very nice. At least that way we could see who was going to reblog.

      • I see what you mean, you don’t know until it’s too late and the deed is done, and then there is no comeback. I wonder if WordPress are “competing” with twitter and the likes retweeting,?

        • Robin says:

          I think they are (competing). Their response to complaints about reblogging is that they see it as being similar to the other sharing sites such as StumbleUpon and Twitter. It IS different, though, in that the other sharing sites show your blog post on your blog. They don’t lift it off of your blog and put it elsewhere.

  14. TBM says:

    I’m torn about this issue. It is nice that people like your blog, however it also feels sneaky that they are just reblogging your stuff and not adding original content. Such a fine line on this one.

  15. jeanne says:

    I am pondering this over my morning coffee…reblogging sounds very much like plagiariam. So I looked it up…Can words and Ideas really be stolen? According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property, and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file). you can read more at Plagiarism.org. I thing wordpress should revisit this policy.

    • Robin says:

      Put that way, I have to agree with you, Jeanne. WordPress needs to take another look at reblogging.

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. 🙂

  16. jeanne says:

    sorry…sb think

  17. Hi Robin, we already had this conversation but I want to add a few more comments to the mix. I put a rather passionate comment on WPs blog on reblogging and I wasn’t the only one. I am against reblogging as I see it as an easy way for folks to use your content without permission. Links and short quotes are wonderful and courteous. I find ironic that WP took down their reblogging option before their SOPA protest but then reinstituted it afterwards. This suggests that they know very well that copyright is being violated. They responded to my comment with a dismissive manner and refused to print a second comment clarifying the issue as I saw it. Now they are practicing censorship, the very cause they were protesting.

    Like you, I am reluctant to move to another platform but I did choose WP so that it could be moved to a stand alone site without losing them design or the domain name. I’m thinking about it.

    • Robin says:

      I left a comment too, Lynn. As far as I know, it never appeared. I haven’t checked this evening, though, so it’s possible it may have finally been approved.

      I want to stay with WP for the same reason. I’m thinking of switching over to a stand alone site sometime this year.

      Thanks so much for adding to the discussion. 🙂

  18. David Hall says:

    Wonderful images Robin and I wholeheartily sympathise with your ‘Rant’ :o)

  19. Marcie says:

    There’s something about the concept of re-blogging that feels wrong. Like stealing. Hmmm…don’t know what I’d do if I were you!

  20. Coming East says:

    I didn’t read the WordPress blog on reblogging, so I was clueless about the problem until I read your blog. I was wondering what that reblogging button is that I’ve been noticing on people’s sites, and now I know. It makes me nervous, too, to think that people can use my stuff without my permission, and I don’t know how to put my name on my pictures. Guess we’ll just have to watch and see how this all plays out.

    By the way, the pictures are stunning!

  21. Wow, Robin. How do you know that is happening? Could this be happening to me, too? Let me know if you can.

    The ice look like tiny crystals, so sparkly and glass-like. The first one looks like green bleeding hearts–that was my thoughts at first sight of it.

    • Robin says:

      You would know if one of your posts had been reblogged, Teresita. You get a notice in the comments section of your post when that happens.

      You’re right! That first one does look like green bleeding hearts. I thought there was something familiar about the shape and look.

  22. cfbookchick says:

    You are right about re-blogging: it is offensive and truly I feel as though it tramples all over intellectual property rights. A bit of courtesy goes along way when using someone else work!
    I use “My Free Copyright” to protect all of my posts now and each photo gets a copyright watermark that I apply with an action from MCP in Photoshop. I know that it doesn’t stop everything, but doggone it! It may not be the best work in the world, but it is MINE!
    And now, I am going to cut my rant short and tell you that those water droplets are WONDERFUL! They look like shiny, shiny glass droplets, and we all know how much I like shiny things!

  23. loren says:

    I agree with your position wholeheartedly. When I started blogging some people would steal photos and directly link them to your site, meaning that you got charged bandwith for their site. I finally learned a way of stopping that by adding code to my htaccess file, but I can’t remember if this also stops what you are talking about.

    Either way, it seems like theft to me, pure and simple (Not that I want Congress to pass laws to protect my site, of course).

  24. ladyfi says:

    Wow – these shots are just amazing. So beautiful!

    The whole philosophy of the Web is sharing and paying it forward, so I can understand why re-blogging is so popular. Sites like Tumblr are really lots of re-blogs.

    It’s not really content theft until someone else claims your material is theirs, if you see what I mean.

    A couple of days ago, I was on someone’s site where they had re-blogged an amazing shot. When I clicked on the Read more link, I was taken directly to the original blog post – so I think that this is probably OK…

    • Robin says:

      Thanks for your thoughts on reblogging, LadyFi.

      I do see what you mean. However, if the background used is dark enough, sometimes the read more link or the “reblogged from” link is barely visible.

      I understand about sharing and paying it forward, but what what happens when a blog that has no original content is reblogging your posts on an almost daily basis? That’s where I start to feel uncomfortable with reblogging.

  25. bearyweather says:

    Robin, it was very generous of you to share such beautiful photos when WordPress makes it so easy for people to steal them. Like you, I only post copies of my photos that I have shrunk in size and downgraded the quality of. I have also started putting my name on them or a watermark of some kind. Some people are kind and ask to use my pictures and provide links back. However, in a perfect world, I would prefer that if people want to see my pictures I want them to visit my site and see the whole package of words, thoughts I put together.

    I am so glad you brought this reblogging topic up. That button makes it super easy for someone to steal your posts and use them anyway they like. At least in the old days, someone that wanted to steal your web content had to go to some work to do it. I love your idea of a “permission to reblog” button and not just one that does it at a click of a button.

    I have never put a copyright statement on my blog, because I find that they are generally ignored … but, I think I will put something up that expresses my wishes and hopefully if I ask nicely people will have second thoughts before they hit that reblog button.

    By the way …. I envy the fact that you had such strange weather, it looks like a picture taking paradise … I think I would have spent all morning outside taking pictures … they are really great

    Side note: I teach a web page class and the new one just started on Monday … I am going to share this post with them … I think it will be a great topic of discussion because those lines are so blurry. (I promise not to reblog … I will just provide a link so they can see everything in context.)

    • Robin says:

      Bearyweather: Your promise not to reblog made me chuckle. 🙂

      I don’t think people pay much attention to copyright notices either. I put it there more for myself than for others. That way I feel like I’ve done something. I really don’t mind sharing as long as credit is given, and I guess reblogging does that. I don’t think I’d mind the reblogging so much, either, if it was being done by people who have what I consider to be real blogs, the kind where they post original content. I understand liking a post so much that you want to save it, but that’s what the “Like” button (when you’re signed in to WP it’s on the top left) is for. Press it and it saves your Likes for you.

  26. Cmsmith says:

    I’m not completely sure I understand it, but my initial reaction was, why do I need it? If I like what someone has done, I post a link to their site. I don’t think I’m probably ever going to like it. I like people sharing my posts, but like you, I want to be credited for my intellectual property.

    That being said, I really don’t know that much about it.

  27. Cmsmith says:

    Does WordPress put a “reblogged from…” link on the page? I guess I should enlighten myself.

  28. Dounia says:

    I definitely agree with your sentiments. It’s not about stopping others from sharing your work, it’s about it happening without your consent and without due credit.

    Great post, and beautiful photos, as always.

  29. Anita Mac says:

    First and foremost – I think the shots you have here are stunning! I love how you have turned a rainy day into such a beautiful collection.
    As for re-blogging – I may be too new for an educated comment, but I have to agree with you – it sounds like content theft to me! To my knowledge – I have only been reblogged once without my knowing it. I have played around with my watermark – not sure I am overly happy with it – but instead of copyright – I have made my web address the watermark. If someone decides to take my work – the link is right there in black and white. Some photos – not so bad, some photos are a little ruined. My blog is more about travel than photography, so I hope my regular readers do not mind. I have had many incarnations and it still needs work.
    The internet is such a volatile medium – it can take a while before these issues get resolved. I think you have very eloquently expressed your stance – I feel compelled to share and challenge others, but feel I would never express the issues as well, especially as it has not happened to me. Interesting times ahead!
    But to leave on a positive note – I love your work!


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