November 26, 2003

Cite your sources.

Dave is talking about reciprocation in the weblog world (or what we call in librarianship, "proper citation"). With weblogs its all about giving credit where it is due. I've mentioned this before, but Dave's post brings up the situation again.

Probably half of the stuff that I find for publishing on LS is found without reading it from another weblog. It might have been from a search result or just something that I have found when browsing around. But for those resources that I get by reading weblogs, I always mention where I found it. The people behind Radio truly understand this as they have a built in feature in their weblog software that will automatically cite to the source (because it's connected to the aggregator), which is great.

It doesn't take but a minute (less, even) to include the permalink where you found your information. Weblogs are all about community, so lets make it a community. Don't be one of those neighbors that steals cable while we all pay for it (I think that analogy works).

Posted by Steven at November 26, 2003 12:51 AM | TrackBack

Isn't that just proper citation of sources?

Wouldn't librarians do that as a matter of course?

It can get really tedious traipsing round all the sites and blogs that you check regularly only to find that half of them have the same content. At least if they acknowledged where they found the material we'd start to get an idea of where to look first.

Posted by: vapid on November 26, 2003 07:49 AM

My problem is that sometimes I see something and don't get around to blogging it until several days later. Then I'm stuck scratching my head trying to remember where the heck I saw the original tidbit to credit.
Daypop is a decent blog search engine, but it's often down.
But there have been many many cases where I've spent more time trying to source something in my entry than writing the post itself.

Posted by: Lis on November 26, 2003 12:20 PM

Steven's gripe really seems to be more about popularity ratings than "proper citation." I gave more appropriate analogies than cable theft in my comment to Steven's drug-induced rant the last time around.

As I see it, with weblogs it's all about spreading things you like to the widest audience possible (and putting your personal spin on those things). I expect to be credited for original material I create and publish, but not for links to other people's stuff I post. I have "discovered" sites that I see popping up elsewhere, sometimes months or years later, and that's a rush in itself. Being an uncredited (publicly, at least) pipeline to information is a huge part of being a librarian.

I have a groll for my frequent scavenging grounds, and I have no guilt about my lack of where-I-found-this links for individual items. 'Cause I'm not riding the ratings train.

Posted by: Brian on November 26, 2003 02:58 PM

I guess I'm with Brian on this, but at one remove: That is, by the time I print out something I've found through a weblog, let it sit, and read it/commented on it, I rarely have any idea who pointed me to it at first--and, checking a dozen weblogs, "first" is frequently a matter of the Favorites order. Maybe that's unfortunate; I don't believe it's unprofessional or that the cable analogy works at all.

Maybe once a year I should do a general shout-out to the sources I use, and list them.

'Course, since I'm not part of the blogosphere, linkbacks and popularity ratings wouldn't be helped anyway.

Posted by: Walt Crawford on November 26, 2003 08:36 PM

I like your idea, Walt. Many sites now have a list of blogs that they read "blog rolling" or whatever, and that seems to be a fairly good guide to most sources of links.

Trackback is an interesting feature on some blogs to see who's reading who but I agree with Brian that popularity contests are not the right idea.

I'd say around half of the links on my blog come from other blogs, I do tend to add a (via xyz) link in those instances, where a link is particularly obscure. I add commentary to most of my links so it's not just a linkfest anyway. Other links come from things I've heard on radio or read in newspapers. I guess most blogs work this way too.

Posted by: Fiona on November 27, 2003 10:58 PM

Very interesting

Posted by: Michael on November 29, 2003 07:50 AM

Truly, it adds value to your news, weblog, and commentary if you reveal where YOU got the info. I really appreciate it when an author shares resources. I like to travel on to the source. The web really is a web; that's part of the cachet...

Posted by: M. Ford on December 3, 2003 03:30 PM
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