My One Piece of Advice
There has been several interesting discussions in the “blogoshpere” lately surrounding negative behavior and actions of book bloggers. The posts started with Presenting Lenore’s “Bloggers Behaving Badly” then it was followed by Persnickety Snark's “Blogger Conflicts.”
And honestly as horrendous as the topics in those posts are, it is nothing compared what has happened recently. It’s one thing to commit an act because you are unaware that it’s wrong. It’s a whole other issue, when you know something is wrong and you do it anyway.
If I could give a new blogger one piece of advice, it would be: Find Your Voice.
It doesn’t matter if your reviews aren’t the most articulate or the best written. That’s something that can happen later, something that you will acquire with practice and determination. But find your voice and make your blog your own.
Which brings me to the topic of this post.
Plagiarism is wrong. No matter how you look at it.
There is no excuse... “I didn’t know.... I didn’t mean to... I did it subconsciously.” No, you didn’t. You did know and you did mean to.
Plagiarism isn’t just copying and pasting word for word and passing it off as your own. It can be taking someones work and changing around the sentence structure, getting out your thesaurus and changing a few words here and there... basically taking the central idea tweaking it and passing it off as your own work.
It’s especially frustrating for this to happen in the blogging community. Why would you plagiarize a review? What is the point? Isn’t the whole idea of a blog to share YOUR views on a book. How could you take someone else's review and pass it off as your own? Where is your integrity? You don’t have any. You’ve cheated yourself, your fellow bloggers, your readers, the author who wrote the book, and the publicist that sent it to you.
I have no respect for someone that does this.
My reviews may not be the greatest. I know that on the blogger hierarchy my reviews are somewhere near the bottom. (Which is probably why, as far as I know, no one had plagiarized my reviews.) But at least I can say in all truthfulness that they are my own thoughts and ideas.
I was outraged to find out earlier this week that the same blogger not only plagiarized the reviews of one blogger but three! And possibly more! I can’t express how hard it is for me not to call this person out and let them be reprimanded for their actions.
The three bloggers that were violated are some of the most talented, respectful and intelligent women. Adele, Steph & Tirzah write some of the most wonderfully expressive reviews. I am envious at their abilities. And furthermore, I am devastated that this issue was unnecessarily inflicted upon them.
The bottom line is, plagiarism is wrong. There’s no excuse for it.
This community is one of the things I love the most about blogging. But in the recent weeks I’m almost embarrassed to be a part of it. I hate feeling that way.
Before you decide to take the “easy” way out and use another persons work as your own. Think about the person you are really hurting.... yourself.