The Too-Much Quote Post

Do we have quality control in the blogosphere? Wait–don’t answer that question.

my postI’ve been a curious observer of the “professional” blogging scene at places like BeliefNet, InsideCatholic, and such. One of my bugaboos is the post in which the blogger ctrl–c’ and -x’s some long section someone else has written. It’s a big problem when there’s no link provided and the whole article is reproduced. I think most amateurs are doing this less frequently. Even with a link, I still think it’s bad form, as in this post of an otherwise excellent blogger. Isn’t it enough to post a teaser line to catch the readers’ interest, and offer a link? I click on links of essays I’m interested in, don’t you?

When I work professionally, I get paid by the item. Do professional bloggers get full commission when the post includes 25 of their words, and 536 of someone else’s?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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5 Responses to The Too-Much Quote Post

  1. Mollie says:

    Totally agree; it’s bad form. Rocco Palmo, by the way, is a major offender in appropriating basically everything from his sources and not identifying them as prominently as he should. I know he’s independent, but I think some of these newly-pro bloggers are taking cues from him.

  2. Todd says:

    That said, I will acknowledge I include broad stretches of church documents in my posts. I have done so with a few good (I think) reasons.

    First, for the Vatican II documents, there is not a direct linking feature on the Vatican pages I linked. I can send you to Ad Gentes, for example, but not Ad Gentes 28.

    Second, for the purpose of study and clarity, I judged it important for readers to see I wasn’t hiding or whitewashing passages others might sense were troubling for me or for progressives. You get the whole sections of Church documents here.

    Third, for copyrighted documents from the USCCB, I procured rights to reproduce.

    Fourth, where documents aren’t available online, I generally don’t scan and edit; I retype what’s in the book.

  3. Thanks for the suggestions and feedback, Todd.

    Generally, I try to keep the cut-and-paste routine to under 400 words, but it sometimes spills over to allow for more context and information, which I think makes it easier for my readers. (My raw readership figure — about 100,000 page views a month — tends to confirm that hunch.)

    But your point offers food for thought. I appreciate it.

    Blessings,
    Dcn. Greg

  4. Tony says:

    Todd,

    I may quote the whole post (as I’ve done in the case of some of yours) to address all of the points in the post one by one. In every case I have prominently mentioned you as the author of the piece, and have provided a link to the original posting on your blog.

  5. Todd says:

    Tony, I’m okay with the attribution.

    I’ve come down hard on the fisk method–let me just say it’s not the way I write.

    I suppose if I posted shorter essays, there would be no temptation to fisk, eh?

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