Guest Post By Michael Evans.Want to get involved ? See how you can become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
“Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal” – definitely an inspirational quote for all those artists out there who are struggling to give their creativity wings. So, to be a great artist, you need to master the art of stealing right? Well, in the blogosphere, stealing is a dirty little word abhorred or seems to be abhorred by artists from all walks of life. So, everyone around hates “Stealing’ right? An emphatic Yes is likely to follow but what about the latest trends of blatantly copying the concepts of others and then passing it off as another great case of drawing sustenance in the form of ‘Inspiration’. Be it movie, music or our very own blogosphere, stealing in the name of inspiration has become a common practice and of late, it has become a disturbing trend. Now, the million dollar question is how we are supposed to differentiate between simple inspiration and plagiarism.
A tough nut to crack but let’s give it a try.
The Root of the Problem – You may be wondering why so many people are taking the shortest route available; I mean the copy and paste route, while at the same time exposing themselves to open criticism, rather than working hard and coming up with something original and inspiring. Take a deeper look and you will see the reasons. Not many people will love the idea of pushing themselves hard to come up with something inspiring and original, since it involves long hours and hard work. Moreover, there is no certainty that the idea will be able to carry favor with the targeted audience. So, it makes sense, at least to them, to try the already tested recipe rather than wasting time to brainstorm new concepts that may or not may not fare very well with that targeted audience.
But what they fail to see is the growing public discontent against this practice and the disgrace and stigma associated with it. But sadly enough, despite the caveats associated with it, people are still copying the concepts of others and there is almost nothing we can do to stop this practice.
Plagiarism In The Blogosphere
The Blogosphere perhaps is the worst place on earth where this practice is rampart. You can hardly find a single blog post that has not been replicated by other fellow bloggers with almost the same style, if not with the same words. So, does this mean that you are not authorized to write something that has already been covered by someone else? This is certainly not the case. Being a free citizen, you have every right to come up with article that may or may not be covered by others given the fact that you are not copying their concepts. Of course, you can cite their sentence as a reference but you should not follow the same pattern or reproduce the same thing with slightly different style so that when compared, it looks like a complete different article.
Inspiration Does not Equate to Replication: It is hard to make you see the fine line of difference really exists between inspiration and replication. You are free to keep yourself updated, read what other bloggers saying and pump up your creative juice. As long as you are following them, giving credit where it is due and not indulging in copying thing and passing off as your own creative tidbits, you are good and the world is happy again. But as the world at times is not such a great place, you will meet people who are doing just the opposite. They are happily copying the ideas of others, regurgitating the same idea in different words and the worst part; they are getting away with it.
So, it is up to you how you are going to draw the line and come up with posts that add value to users experience rather than taking the short route and go on copying concepts of others.