Friday, July 25, 2008

Blog Borrowing

If you spend any leisure time on the computer, eventually you will encounter a blog. What, I've come to wonder, is blog etiquette? If you "lurk" without commenting are you a trespasser? If you comment on a stranger's blog, are you a stalker? If you are inspired by a fellow blogger's idea and decide to incorporate it into your own, are you a thief? Or a plagiarizer?
Malagueta (whose icon is the Tab can above) has provided most of my test cases for these questions, as she commented on my original blog before I knew who she was and I have since come to admire much about her various blogsites (see my virtual library, as well as Clay's "song a day" experiment). In fact, I'm thinking of incorporating Shelfari (the website that hosts the bookshelf widgit) into my English class, so I can thank Malagueta for more than just a fun addition to my blog. It might provide a fun addition to my class. I'll let you know if I do it, and if I do, how it works.

As I don't want to borrow Meet Me in Montauk's platform of writing about movies, I would like to direct you to check out that blog. There you will find my comments on some of the latest films (Batman: The Dark Knight - yuck, Kung Fu Panda - pretty darn good), as well as some insightful, witty and sometimes correct commentary by the blogger himself.

So... I'm off to troll more blogs to see what else is worth borrowing (would George Carlin be incensed by that word?) for my own.


Anonymous said...

Here's my perspective...

Most people lurk without commenting and they shouldn't be considered trespassers (nor should you consider yourself a trespasser if you peruse somebody else's blog).

When it comes to blogging, you shouldn't think of people you don't know as "strangers." If you're writing on a topic of general interest those people are your audience. When an author releases a book she is counting on many "strangers" reading it. A blog is the same thing.

Now, if your blog is strictly about personal or family matters and you don't want strangers reading it, you should lock it down and make it invitation only. I do think it would be creepy if a stranger popped in to comment that "your kid is cute" or something like that.

Finally, on the issue of inspiration vs. plagiarism, I strongly believe in the former. If you're inspired by an idea you see on another blog, give that person credit and go to town. There are few unexplored ideas in the blog world and if you avoid the ones you've seen before you'll wind up writing nothing at all.

My "platform of writing about movies" is one of hundreds of thousands of its kind, no doubt. I'd hate for you to avoid posting movie reviews because it's not original.

Besides, I'd relish the chance to come here and tell you why you're wrong!

Amy said...

Which is exactly why I choose to continue to go to your blog to tell you why you're wrong. It's not like you're going to tell me Maddie wasn't brave when she got her braces ;-P

Still, I like your perspective. Stranger may be too strong a word; still, it does seem odd to learn all about someone's holiday plans or tooth fairy visits or trips to Austin if you don't have at least a passing friendship with that person. I guess it's the equivalent of authors of memoirs sharing the intimate details of their lives with their "dear readers."

pegclifton said...

while I will probably never have my own blog, I do love reading and commenting on my children's blogs, so please keep it up!

pegclifton said...

and I love your new bookshelf!

Heather said...

I speak for the innumerable lurkers who read, relish, judge, laugh and, often, shake their heads in disagreement. We appreciate you for your efforts but harbor concerns over the perception of stalker-like behavior. Ok - maybe that's just me.

A bonus of all this blogging comes in the form of those twinkling little hyperlinks. I love 'em! They have the hand-over-hand quality of going up a rope. You don't know whether the view along the way will give new perspectives or if you'll just see more rope. It's good fun.

So, dear bloggers, keep blogging, keep exploring. This lurker says thank you. ;-)

Amy said...

You're welcome :-)