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?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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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.

    Dcn. Greg

  4. Tony says:


    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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