Heads up: Well, many readers are not going to like my loud thoughts in this particular post. I am mentally prepared to receive hate comments!
I was going through my Google reader last night to check and recheck the content quality of all those 90 odd blogs that I am following. I keep doing this clean up activity once in a while. Needless to say 80% of the blog that I follow are dealing with Internet, Technology and related online topics such as social media. The rest of the blogs in my favorite lists were personal blogs, photo blogs and some corporate mouthpieces. The shocking fact was that 90% of those tech blogs that I had in my list were having most of their post topics stolen from elsewhere, inspired or consolidated from multiple sources whereas most of the personal blogs had somewhat unique content. (Tech blogs in this post’s context is anything related to computer and Internet)
Plagiarism in tech blogosphere
Before proceeding further, I must pause a while to appreciate the work of those handful of people who, without referring or copying from elsewhere, wrote some of those wonderful blog posts that are full of life and based on own experience. This included some technical blogs as well but mainly personal blogs. Most of these bloggers are unsung heroes because they do it with a purpose of writing for justice, to hold up the culture and beliefs they have or even imagining and writing about some innovative technical or new generation topics.
Now, coming back to the plagiarism in the technical blogosphere. Couple of days ago I read a very interesting comment on Facebook by a successful Indian tech blogger. Basically, he wanted all his FB friends to protest against someone who had apparently stolen one of his blog post points as a whole to compete some contest. At first, I thought he had a valid point with him but when he browsed that particular post of his, I figured out that even he himself has taken a dozen or more pictures from elsewhere and copyrighted it with a proud www.hisblog.com. And most topics he was writing about was something that was already present on the web but major traffic generators. I have no grudge against any such smart people but then they shouldn’t crib about others stealing their ideas.
Plagiarism is not just about copying something as it is. Even if you take content from two or three different places and putting it together in a single post is kind of content stealing as well.
The following are some of the modern, smart content copying technicians that I have observed and according to me they still are faces of plagiarism:
1. TechCrunch and Mashable mash-up bloggers
A huge number of sub-standard technical bloggers, depend a great deal on big technical blogs to get ideas. Basically they can be called blog re-writers and not bloggers.
2. Consolidators from multiple sites
So, you want to write a post that goes like 15 money making ideas for college students, and you go get those fifteen ideas in less than fifteen minutes from three or four other blogs. So easy, isn’t it? They possess exceptional consolidation skills.
3. Blog and feed scrapers
Biggest losers of them all are the blog scrapers – All that they need to have is a registered domain, blog platform installation on a shared hosting account and some free tools. The
4. The traffic generator blogger
Basically, his blog may not be standing for any particular topic but can dig out traffic generating and buzzing content by digging into anything current. In fact, these bloggers, since they are into most searched hot stuff, may not copy stuff as it is always but their content will be mostly incomplete.
5. The tech-liar or clueless
Basically, these people (a variation of the previous category) do not have any know-how nor are they any subject matter experts. However, as and when they hear something now, they just write some crap that mostly remains in the title only. Basically, they don’t know what they are talking about but they may still drive traffic with high bounce rate. They will never have any patronage or involvement from readers.
Where do these blogs and bloggers come from?
Though I do not want to specify a particular country, from what I have observed, a huge percentage of these ‘smart bloggers’ come from fast developing nations or where the number of educated but jobless people are very high.
Basically the point I am trying to drive is that there’re very few genuine tech bloggers around us who writes about really unique topics. While it may not be possible to write everything fresh and innovative, it may be still okay to write on a 50-50 basis (i.e. 50% unique stuff and 50% inspired). I would like to believe that I belong there as I have multiple blogs – personal and otherwise.
Your assignment: Could you name three bloggers who churn out very unique content and thoughts every single time they go out there to blog?