Sunday, January 13, 2013

Note to Bloggers

Potentially controversial but absolutely necessary and unavoidable at this point.

If you're inspired by a blog or a blog post and wish to write something similar, please give credit to the originator of the idea, preferably by linking to the source somewhere on your blog or post. It's basically plagiarism when you pass off an idea as your original creation when it isn't.

I realize that there's a huge grey zone where ideas become collaborative, sources can be untraceable, etc, etc. But as you sit down to write and post it for the entire world to see on the internet, if the thought or words aren't yours and you know it, do the right thing and credit the originator in some form.

Before I created this blog, I searched for weeks for similar blogs to make sure that I wasn't doing something that was already being done. I clicked literally 100 pages of Google search results using at least a dozen different search terms. I didn't just stop at the theme of the blog, which is reducing makeup, but also for the specific term "inventory" in conjunction with makeup collections, as I planned to use it very specifically for my own purposes. I didn't come across any, so Beauty Reductionista was born.

As I say on the header of the blog, do join me. I don't mind if you set up your own reductionista-esque themed blogs. In fact, I'd be the first one to applaud if you put an interesting twist on it to make it different. But I don't appreciate straight-up copy attempts of my blog, which I have poured my heart and soul into for two years. Give credit where it's due. Quote and cite your sources. That's all I ask.

For example: I did not come up with the "empties" idea. I fully credit Claire at Eyelining Obsessions for inspiring me to start empties posts, which I stated here and in various other empties posts. I call her my "empties hero", which was a term riffed from Ashley of Makeup Kismet during a Twitter chat or mutual commenting. I don't know where the empties originated from, but it's as common as "What's In My Makeup Bag?" posts, which go long ways back in magazine and blog history. But I do know exactly where I got the inspiration to do it from.

I'm sure that we all steer into the grey zone now and then and I don't mean to police these things on the regular. This will be the only post on the subject and I'd like comments to remain respectful and tactful. If anyone needs to discuss more in further detail, please feel free to email me and we can work out any differences.

44 comments:

  1. I wonder what blog inspired you to write this. Anyhow, I've experienced this as well.

    I don't want to accuse the blogger of copying me, I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt... after all, it's possible for 2 or more people to come up with very similar ideas. BUT when I read her post, I really it was a paraphrased version of a blog entry I wrote. Even the order of how I itemized the stuff I was enumerating.

    The saddest thing was, she is a VERY famous blogger here in our country... How will I fight that?

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    1. I'm not targeting one person. There are about 5-6 out there specifically that I want to address, but I also wanted to add a gentle reminder for all bloggers in general.

      I'm sorry if your post was copied. There's little we can do in those situations, and I'm at a loss as to what the solution to these things is.

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  2. I completely agree with this post. I think it can be as frustrating in the beauty blogging realm as it can be for academics when new ideas are being pushed for thesis or periodical work. Unfortunately there are fewer restrictions and actual sanctions in the blogging world which makes "plagiarism" very hard to quantify.

    Unfortunately, though, when so many people are doing a similar thing I think the idea sort of becomes public domain. If someone were to copy a very specific post of mine or of any blogger for that matter I'd be offended and heartbroken (and it has happened, unfortunately I think it's happened to all of us), but bigger concepts like monthly favorites or "project 10 pan" have become such a phenomenon that it's hard to credit the originator of the idea.

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. You know, I originally wanted to start a more bookish blog but decided to settle on beauty instead because of the plagiarism issue. God help anyone who plagiarizes me academically. (One, because I'm no prize winner; two, because I'll kill them.)

      I've come across similar posts to mine in the past but never raised the issue because I understand that we can be inspired from one another and the desire to do similar things in small doses was understandable though uncomfortable. But entire blog themes are another thing and I'll be damned if they get credit for something I came up with.

      All in all, I just wanted to put it out there as a reminder to be more conscious of our words and usage, which sometimes people don't give thought to. But when writing and publishing publicly, it's an absolute must.

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    2. Oooh I'd love to see what you have to say about books! I'm always looking for conversation partners in that respect. I did a great deal of writing at university and the thought of academic plagiarism is terrifying, so I know the feeling.

      I think this was a wonderfully written and thought provoking post, as Dovey pointed out! It's something that is skirted around all too often which prevents a very young community from establishing social boundaries for things like this that can only be born of careful conversation and discussion.

      Well done, Liz!
      ♥ Jessica

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    3. I'm guessing you studied literature? I went back to university full-time for a while and was wanting an outlet for all the ideas that the classes were sparking in my head. Instead, I came up with this blog, and here we are. I'm a bit of an Anglophile as opposed to your Francophile but we can find common grounds, I'm sure. :)

      Thanks for your comments and encouragements! They help me feel braver.

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  3. Yes, yes yes! I realize that a lot of blogger's content is similar but there is a way to credit people and make your own unique content. I am still a baby blogger and I look to other bloggers for inspiration and ideas, but when I do post I try to make them my own and I always make sure to credit and link back to the blogger.

    Some of my first posts were simple "Get to know me" posts that I saw a few people comment on my posts and then post on their blogs, but only one of them ever linked back to me. They used all of the same questions and everything! One in particular would always post her's a day or two after mine so one day I left her a comment saying that I was glad she enjoyed my questions so much that she decided to do them too. She stopped posting them shortly after but if she had just added a little line like I saw this on so and so's blog and liked the idea I would've been stoked instead of feeling ripped off. It's not like I was the first person to come up with it anyway!

    Honestly I feel like so many bloggers just want to compete with others so they don't want to give someone else credit where it's due, like if they do then it doesn't look like original content. It makes me sad because I started blogging because I enjoy reading so many great blogs and wanted to join in the fun, not to be the best, most popular blogger ever (!!). Anyway, that's my two cents, I feel like I'm ranting now!

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    1. That's such a great point that just a simple acknowledgement would have sprung friendship instead of being made to feel resentful. I do realize that it's something not every blogger knows instinctively right away, but you pick up on it when you read other blogs and see the community at large working alongside one another. I suppose some people feel that if you didn't come up with it, there's no need to acknowledge it directly. But if the same person is always riffing off my posts, no matter what the content is, I'd feel miffed too. In your case, if you created those questions and they were being reused, they definitely needed to credit and link back to you. :(

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  4. AMEN, SISTER FRIEND.

    See, I have no idea where empties originated, either, but I first saw it here and that's why I dedicate each post to you. :)

    It is hard to keep tabs on everything that's posted on the Internet, though; I started web designing when I was 11 and blogging when I was 12, and even back then, there were a lot of people who copied or VERY SLIGHTLY altered my designs and put them up as their own work. It pissed me the hell off (especially with design work, because it took me DAYS to come up with the ideas and actually execute them in Photoshop or Illustrator), but there wasn't a lot I could do. I mean, some people can outright deny that they copied you, that COINCIDENTALLY, their written words or designs just happened to be SIMILAR to yours. It's bullshit, for real.

    Ideas, however, are going to be much harder to prove to be copyrighted. I mean, I could say that I dreamed up of rainbow unicorn poop, but in reality, there might've already been a thousand other people out there who thought of the same thing. And then made it an ice cream flavour or something.

    I hope you do confront those bloggers, though. It sucks to see someone copying your work.

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    1. It does get tricky once the idea or product gets put "out there." I feel like stuff like designs are trickier though, because you can actually own them as tangible things. And at what point is it yours or someone else's?

      But ideas are put out there to evolve, and I don't mind it being adapted if there's a new addition or change to it to make it a part of a conversation, as a response to the original. I agree though that it's hard to pinpoint where it came from and there is the chance of multiple people having the same idea. It's just obvious in some cases because they happen with people who are following you in some form or another.

      I managed to work things out with a few people after they read this post. There are a few more at large out there, including one who unfollowed me not too long ago. It appears though that her blog has morphed into something very different, so I'm going to let that one rest.

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  5. Hi Liz,

    I commend you for you for having the courage to write this post; it certainly is not an easy topic, yet it is one that is worth discussing. It was valuable and thought provoking for me to read, and I think it will be for many others as well.

    I think a lot of this centers around respect for the effort it takes to create ideas. Your thought process behind the creation of Beauty Reductionista really showcases how much effort goes into creating a truly original idea. The best ideas are never born overnight, and often went through multiple metamorphoses and countless hours to reach their final stage. I think I can share your frustration on how it feels to develop something very personal, only to have someone slap on a slightly altered title and promote it as their original creation.

    I thought your mention of knowing the line of inspirations behind your work was a good point as well. After all, so much of our work is truly inspired by others. Simply being aware of your inspirations and predecessors is important in itself. It's humbling and that attitude shows in one's writing.

    I suppose that right or wrong, it is ultimately up to each person to decide what is acceptable, honest, and comfortable to their conscience. I do think discussion pieces like this, and the ensuing comments, can change people's ideas about the topic--- and ultimately move everyone in a better direction.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Dovey. I should copy and paste it as an addendum to the post - crediting you of course, hahaha. :>

      I know that your beautiful art series is one of my inspirations and I certainly feel the desire to mimic them at times. However, I lack the skills to do justice and for now feel content to watch the master at work. :) And speaking of your art series, it's such a creative way of responding back to the actual artists whose works you feature. It's the perfect example of being inspired by something without duplicating. I'd like to encourage more of that. Those are the kinds of blogs and voices I like to read and are drawn to.

      But we all begin somewhere, and I think the impulse to mimic or copy is strongest when we're new at something or uncertain about ourselves. And if we are going to use someone as a guide, the guide deserves credit. Crediting someone does not detract from our own skills, and that's also something that needs to be put out there more often, I believe.

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  6. I agree with this whole post and commend you for writing it! I too loved the idea of "empties" posts, and although I don't remember which of the many bloggers who participate inspired me first, I have no problem with acknowledging that I didn't invent the concept! The blogging world is full of good ideas and I think most bloggers wouldn't mind if others are inspired by a certain original post. The keys, of course, are not taking the copying too far, and giving due credit to the original inspiration!

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    1. Empties is a free-for-all at this point. But if I ever come across the originator, you bet I'll dedicate each post to him/her. :)

      I think it's silly to point fingers for too many small things, but my entire theme, concept and structure of the blog were being copied without any acknowledgement sometimes and that burns.

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  7. Very thought-provoking, Liz. I agree that it's really important to cite sources/inspiration, but it can be hard to do it all the time, especially when one reads lots of blogs––I have no idea where I first saw empties posts, for example! But I try to give acknowledgment for ideas when possible, and this post is a reminder to be ever more vigilant. In fact, it has inspired me to add an "acknowledgments" page to my blog! I'll cite you as the inspiration, of course :) And I'm very sorry that people are stealing your ideas without crediting you––I find it so hard to believe that someone can continue to copy after being alerted to it, and yet some do. So disheartening! Keep fighting the good fight, though, and sharing posts like this; one can hope that raising awareness will help curb online plagiarism.

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    1. Yeah, I totally get that we don't always know where our ideas are inspired from or who said what, when we read hundreds of blogs and articles in a given week/month. Sometimes ideas can be on the slow burn for a while and we forget where the source is by the time they're executed. I don't want to see disclaimers or hyperlinks all over the place, but I think it's only fair that we credit our sources when we do in fact know exactly who they are. Just stressing the importance of that. Thanks for your comment, Amy! :)

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  8. I've been reading for blog for months now, as well as a number of other blogs as well, and I see how it can be easy to forget where specific ideas came from. In my case, your blog and Amy's blog (comment above) inspired me to actually start one, which I did yesterday (well, I scrapped an old attempt I started last year and started over yesterday). I haven't had any views yet, but I hope that someone would point out directly to me if I ever unintentionally use their idea when I thought it was a feature of the genre! A good example is your inventory one: I did the same search not too long ago when deciding whether to use the term on my previous attempt at a blog and concluded that, like "haul," it was a staple term of the beauty blog genre, given all the youtube videos of inventories, etc. Anyway, I hope you don't mind that I've linked to you in my first post on my blog, for however long I keep momentum on it!

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    1. *reading YOUR blog, not "for blog." Apparently, it's been all reading and no writing. And really, "as well as a number of other blogs as well"? Not making a good case for myself as a literate human. I would probably fail a spambot test this morning.

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    2. Hi, Amanda! Thanks so much for your comment. I tried to take a look at your blog just now but it's private apparently. Would love to read it once you open it up again!

      I know that taking stock of inventory isn't the most creative thing, but I used the term "inventory" specifically in relation to taking measure of beauty stash when no one else did (as far as 100 pages of Google search results would tell me). Then later I saw that others were starting to incorporate that specific term into their posts as well. I didn't feel offended by those individual things so much as people who copied the entire theme and structure of my blog along with those specific posts. So I felt it was time to speak up. Already many issues have been resolved and I think mutual respect and extra consideration goes a long way!

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    3. Hi Liz! Just saw this response, my apologies! I closed my blog because I wasn't posting on it and it seemed a little feeble. Now I'm thinking maybe a feeble offering to the internet is better than none, so there you go :-)

      I'm glad you posted on this. I'm fascinated by the way the internet and plagiarism intersect. I don't know the solution, besides being proactive about drawing a line between being content to be the originator of a new word usage and being frustrated when your intellectual property is clearly being stolen. I'm interested in it as a college instructor. Copying blog themes and posts isn't that far off from copy-pasting a page of Wikipedia and telling me it's your weekly essay.

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    4. I think we all feel "feeble" at the beginning when starting out, but as long as it brings joy to you, keep at it! There's no other reason to blog, really. I don't blog as service for others; it's for my personal satisfaction for the most part.

      I do realize that once you put a word or an idea "out there", chances are they will be picked up, used, recycled, mangled, etc. So I tried to keep the issue small and specific to my own problem: a handful of people who were readers of this blog set up their own blogs in similar manners to mine and I wished they had given me credit. In this case, the issue was clear. But if you skip down to the last comment on this post as of today, you'll see that the issue is much broader. Obviously we're all in breach to some extent or degree, but I don't think that means we forfeit our own rights. I'm both thankful for and frustrated by the rules that are in place.

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  9. I always give credit to borrowed ideas, to my best knowledge. One big advantage of giving credit to the person who comes up with an idea for a blog/post/series is that it creates a trusting friendship among bloggers. For example, when I borrowed your idea of 'Inventory' posts (which I gave you credit for) I hardly knew you. After a few comment exchanges (nice ones, of course) I am a regular reader of yours :) I think crediting, sharing, linking enhances the sisterhood/fraternity among bloggers. I don't know why some people copy and not give credit. May be it threatens their ego or may be they are entirely clueless of basic blog etiquette or lack common sense. Arrogance or ignorance, whatever the reason is, it is clearly wrong.

    I haven't had any of my ideas borrowed (credited or non credited) that I know of. Makes me question myself if I am a good blogger at all :D You know, imitation being best form of flattery and all LOL! But in all seriousness, I'd be outraged if someone did that. Sorry it happened to you. xoxo

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    1. That's an excellent point, Su, and so true. As a new blogger, once I saw that people were frequently referencing each other, I did it whenever it was applicable and appropriate, and often they led to mutual following and a whole lot of fun. :) I think the thing to stress is that giving credit to others does not detract from the value of our posts in any way, as long as we have something to add to the conversation from our unique point of view.

      And I'm sure that you've been copied plenty of times before. ;) ;) ;)

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  10. Reading your blog inspired me to start my own empties project late in December :) but I linked to your post/blog of course!

    I've been on a marathon reading your blog ever since I discovered it - and this is possibly the first time I wrote a comment - I actually am curious about how you come up with the calculation (5 samples = 1 full size etc?)

    I agree with Su - imitation is the highest form of flattery :D

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    1. Thanks so much for that nice comment! Following you now. ;)

      The calculation was a bit lazy on my part. I noticed that some full size products are quite small while others are huge. To even out those inconsistencies, I made the sample calculations uneven as well. So what I call samples are not just the tiny sachets but also travel size items, some of which are quite hefty while others are tiny. I tend to finish half and half amounts of minis and samples, so I figure it's okay to inflate the numbers a bit that way since very small full size products sometimes makes it into the empties count.

      Does that help? I will follow Ashley (Makeup Kismet)'s example and separate samples from minis in 2013. :)

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  11. There are bound to be similar posts flying around. I did one post 2 days ago, only to have another blog doing the same one today. I'll bump into some posts which look and sound familiar, only to remember I did that a year ago. I usually give them benefit of the doubt unless it's so obvious that they copied.
    For me, if I find an idea inspiring, I'll first contact the blogger to ask if she's OK with it, and then link back to them in the first paragraph of the post. It also bothers me that some do very sneaky linking, right at the bottom or at places nobody sees.

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    1. I've often turned a blind eye even when it was pretty clear that I was being copied. But I realize that blogging creates a dialogue and there's no point in trying to keep people from taking off with ideas that have been put out there. I wouldn't want to stifle anyone if they were inspired by someone else, but I do want to raise awareness regarding crediting and citing sources. I know there are a lot of similar posts when new products are launched and everyone's reviewing them at the same time, but there are so many different ways to structure a post that I do think it's visible when ideas have been lifted from others.

      I think you're much better at crediting than most people who don't bother to ask for permission in the first place. I'm okay with not being asked as long as they link somewhere visibly in the post.

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  12. Thanks for posting this. I've commented elsewhere that I was inspired by you to possibly start a blog. I have, and I'll make sure to credit you.
    (I hope I'm not one of those that inspired this post, but if I am, I'm sorry)

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    1. Thanks for that. Now that you're fully aboard the reducing makeup train, we can try to keep each other strong through the new wave of makeup collections. :)

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  13. A timely reminder Liz! It was only recently that I've been politely approached by others (and linked back) to pick up on an idea that I'd posted and I really appreciated it. It's nice to know that overall other bloggers - at least the ones I know are respectful in that way. I'm really sad to hear that others out there have blatantly taken on your blog's philosophy and lack any acknowledgement of it! In terms of empties posts, gosh I've been doing it so long and it originally evolved after completing my first ever Project 10 Pan and I think it also was Claire from Eyelining who inspired me to do a monthly post to give my impressions on things I'd actually used up. If I haven't acknowledged that I'm doing so here. Good on you Liz xoxo

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    1. Aw, that's so nice of them to do so. I think that cross-linking appears to happen a lot between close friends who don't seem to require permission, and that's probably why newer bloggers rarely ask or credit with links in the first place. I didn't really know what that was about until I started reading a lot more blogs, which happens naturally once you start up your own.

      Yes, I'll also have to make it clearer going forward that empties is NOT my original idea. Would love to know who first did it though. :)

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  14. I guess the Internet has no real rules for plagiarism and there are also an ocean of amateur bloggers who probably have no background in writing or journalism and do not even consider copying to be wrong. Copiers on the Internet are not often asked to apologize/compensate/cease & desist. I think that's why "pirating/copying" is so widespread and even accepted. I'm not condoning people who copy blatantly but I'm just pointing out that it's a very difficult thing to control since the Internet seems like an unlimited sprawl. However, I do commend you by speaking out and contributing to this discourse. It takes balls to talk about such an uncomfortable topic.

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    1. Thanks, Yuming. There are rules in most places but it's impossible to police. I also don't want to go overboard in the other direction and wag fingers at every single person who crosses a perceived line. I think we can only know/guess for ourselves when we've been wronged and try to deal with it the best possible way. This was my route, and it's not something I'm likely to bring up again.

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  15. I was on Mybeautysample, where I read Becca's response about you having oily skin, so I checked out your blog and I found this post very interesting and well timed. I had my own "Oh shit" moment, except it was the opposite way around, when I read Drivol About Frivol's blog earlier this week to see a "Sunday Sundries" post. Almost 2 weeks ago, I had decided to create a sunday post for smaller items of interest. I did not do a google search, though. I tried to think of some kitschy words that would work with sunday and eventually hit upon "sundries" and checked to make sure I was using it accurately with a dictionary. It wasn't until after I saw kate's post that I did a google search to find that this little "nomer" was used by thousands of other blogs. I thought about what I should do. Ultimately, I made the decision that since no one had "inspired" me no one would get credit and I would not reach out to anyone. Whether I continue to use that little nomer, who knows - I intensely dislike the fact that the name is so commonly used.

    Which gets to my point. Despite the seemingly infinite ways people can approach a subject, the reality is that multiple people will likely fall upon the same idea without any connection, inspiration, awareness of the other because some things are just too obvious. I can't comment on your situation since I just do not know. But another example is the fact that when I started my blog I was going to incorporate actual "fairytales" and "art" posts. I had pulled out my collection of art books for perusal and needed to select stories from my collection of Grimm's, Anderson's, and Therault fairytales - the only thing I needed to do was review copyright laws. Concerning the art posts, I never got to that point because I discovered cute and mundane not too long after I created my blog. Did I immediately discover her inspired by art posts? No. But by the time I did, it was a wrap. With my dinky camera, lack of consistent lighting source, not great set up, whatever I would do would suck. I decided I wasn't going to touch it. I enjoy CuteandMundane's art posts and want her to post more. Should that stop someone else from posting their own version of "Inspired by Art" posts if they can do it justice and it was something they were planning on doing and it is a unique expression of their own taste in art? NO. The connection between makeup and art is obvious. How many makeup artists were formerly trained art students?

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  16. Continuation -

    As far as my short fairytale inspired posts, that's technically on hold for other reasons. I've been dawdling on the copyright issue and on how I want to present the information, and which stories to select, format, blah blah, blah. But someone could easily think, if and when I do go ahead with the original intent of my blog that it could be "inspired" by Getting Cheeky's literature posts. Except, I didn't discover her blog 'til much later after I created my own blog. Those are just two of my own examples.

    Copying/plagarism sucks. But when you are dealing with "beauty" blogs certain things are going to associate quicker than others, and more people will fall upon it without ever having been influenced by someone else. I think the key to counteracting this type of like-minded pack mentality, or even blatant plagarism - which will only ever be known by the plagarizer (unless they are lifting post by post, word by word, image by image), is to simply do the best you can creating the best blog you can with the most unique voice. There is never really another "YOU" if your blog is a reflection of yourself. Plagarized posts will look inauthentic in another blog and obvious. That will eventually repel readers.

    This was annoyingly long for me to even write, and perhaps, even more so to read, if anyone does - man this is a long comment - but I figured I would post a contrary opinion with the utmost respect to other's opinions and the blog owner.

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    1. Hi, thanks so much for your lengthy but very valuable comment. It adds a new dimension to the discussion and I'm happy that you raised these issues.

      I completely agree with your stance that being consistently at our best and most unique will bring success. That's exactly what I was pushing for with the post, though I'm not sure that it came across that well. It's most possible to talk about the same topic but publish posts in completely different styles and manner. It's also possible to post in similar styles yet manage to create different works of art because of the different personalities and thought processes each person brings to the table. And to your point of coincidences and chances of bloggers hitting upon similar things without prior relation to one another, OH YES. That has happened to me too, with Getting Cheeky as well as a matter of fact, because we have similar interests in books/literature and makeup. I had some ideas that never got implemented due to excessive procrastination, and after her book series, they didn't seem as fresh and novel anymore. It didn't mean that I couldn't do launch my own series anyway, but at the time I wasn't sure how to incorporate it into the blog theme and left it at that.

      So, I'm in no way dissuading people from backing away from doing what they want just because they came across someone who is already doing the same thing. What I am doing is asking those who are tempted to closely copy other bloggers without a second thought to pause and think twice. And in all honesty, if something was your idea and any similarity is pure coincidence, there is no reason for crediting someone else at all. In my specific case, as a result of this post, a handful of people emailed to tell me that I was indeed the source of some of the themes/structures/terminology, so I don't think that I was wrong to ask for some acknowledgement. If anyone had hit upon the same ideas on their own, I doubt that they would have emailed or said anything.

      As a side note, I think a part of the problem also is that despite what seems to be a very large community, the beauty blogging sphere is rather tightly knit and we're also keenly trained to quickly notice passing trends and the like. Perhaps we are hyper-sensitive at times, and I'd caution people against jumping to conclusions as well. Thanks for bringing that up, and I tempered this post in an attempt to prevent ranting about perceived insults and people taking up camps and going on witch hunts. I see art as a dialogue, and none of us are immune to the influence of others. Some things are never going to be traceable to the original source. But I just wanted to ask bloggers to be more thoughtful about where they might owe some of their own creativity to.

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  17. I didn't perceive your post as a rant. I thought it was informative. Being a new blogger, I am just not that tapped in to the beauty blogging community with twitter, instagram and commenting. I wanted to post my viewpoint from that newbie perspective. I enjoy posts like this because it lifts the veil. I wish there were more posts like this lifting the veil on tons of other stuff too. Thanks for the thoughtful reply to my comment.

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    1. Thanks again! I had no idea you're a new blogger - your blog looks quite established to me. :)

      Zuzu's Petals used to do some lovely opinion pieces on her blog but she's not around as much lately. I think the only way to conduct these sort of posts are to speak from our own individual point of view and not generalize the blogging public, which will lead to outrage and havoc. Thanks for your encouragement and I'll remember it when I feel hesitant to post about topics like these.

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  18. Wow...I must be missing something, and now my inner feline is simply screaming to find out WHAT HAPPENED? Sadly, in the rather ephemeral world of blogging, rampant plagiarism and content/style/photo coping is a common occurrence; I get emails weekly from readers that have spotted my photos on ebay and other blogs. Irritates the daylights out of me, and while I used to chase them all down, I've now resorted to watermarking everything (not that it always helps) but more importantly, have decided that those cretins are not worth my effort any more. You know why? At the end of the day, a person who KNOWINGLY steals from another, will NOT change. The very act of taking someone else's content and passing it off as your own original work, speaks volume about that person's character and moral fortitude, and someone like that is obviously flawed to begin with, else why do it?

    I've always maintained that the simplest thing to do, would be to provide some kind of credit, whether written or via a link, and yet... it's rarely done. That lack, tells me exactly who I'm dealing with.

    If you've managed to reach some of the offenders you're referring to, then I applaud you - but if it's happened once, it WILL happen again; that's the nature of this particular beast. Your unique brand of blogging is quite well-known by now, and while it's frustrating to have your work so blatantly copied, I'd just let it go -- don't waste your time & effort against brick walls. Just continue doing your thing, Liz....cause it's YOU we all want to read.

    Kudos for being open enough to post something like this - one should never be afraid to speak up when an injustice is being perpetrated. Every week, I received emails from bloggers that are just starting out and asking for my advice, and I always tell them to find their own unique signature & voice AND to always give credit where it's due. Sounds simple and reasonable enough to me.

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    1. I don't know how you nail bloggers deal with that stuff. I still don't want to watermark my photos even though it's almost asking for them to be stolen at this point. It never occurs to me that anyone would want to steal my shitty photos. But yes, I might start watermarking after the next few posts. :(

      Anyway, this post wasn't really directed at those types of people. I was talking about the more grey zone where we do somehow know in our consciousness that someone else did it first, but we go ahead and front sometimes as if things were our own original ideas in the first place. I think everyone goes through those moments and it's easy to cast aside certain thoughts and doubts at times. Not that we can track down every single points of inspiration through dimmed memories, but it was just an attempt to encourage some more thinking before publishing. And believe it or not, posting this resolved a lot of things already. Thank you for the applause. ;)

      In the end, most of us agree: speak in our own voice and give credit where it's due. Thanks for pitching in and speaking up!

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  19. Truth be told, I've read empties posts long before you started posting them. A blogger by the name of Haru (RougeDeluxe.blogspot) has a empties series called "Operation Use It Up" and I've been following it for a long time. It wasn't until you started frequent empties posts that I noticed a "trend" growing. Either way, those following your example or anyone else's should have/be credit(ing) back to THEIR source so it would not only spread the Blogger/vlogger love but to also hopefully track back to the person who started it all. One of the top reasons why I resent a lot of Youtube "gurus" is because they do these tag posts without linking back to the original source and many of which happen to come from bloggers, not vloggers -___-
    Anyway, I'm glad you brought up this topic. It probably made a lot of people look back at their own posts and sparked necessary change!

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    1. I read Haru's empties too. :) And I'm in no way taking ownership of the empties posts! Just using it as an example that the origin can't be traced and I adopted it into my own blog theme while adding on some other components to it. Ugh, and I don't even want to get into the vlogger thing because it's impossible to source things on the verbal front. I get similarly riled up when a friend steals a witty verbal phrase from me and the writer in me is furious when plagiarized by either method.

      Thanks for pitching in, Ashley!

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  20. I'm sorry that others have been copying your blog. For what it's worth, I can't imagine anyone ever being able to truly duplicate it. While the reductionista angle hooked me, your personality and the heartfelt way you open up to your readers kept me entranced. While you have every right to be upset at having your work duplicated without even crediting you, I think that no one who reads your blog would ever be drawn in by a copy-cat.

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    1. Thanks so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to say that. :) I know most people wouldn't be able to duplicate tones, but I was feeling territorial over the idea aspect. Anyway, a lot of issues were sorted out and I'm ready to let this drop now!

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