Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Seeking inspiration ... or straight-up thievery?

Something has been bugging me for quite a while now. I am really curious as to what you guys think, as readers of a blog (and maybe even writers). These opinions in this blog are totally and completely mine, and you are more than welcome to leave your opinions and thoughts in the comments. However, I want to bring something to light:

Have you ever been going through your blogroll & thought
"Gee, this looks really familiar ..."

You have, right? Okay, that's expected. With all the really cool link-ups and swaps (none of which I can ever fully commit to because I'm a such a sporadic blogger) that are out there now, it's inevitable to see a common thread of stuff in some of your favorite bloggers - especially if they are friendly with each other! We bloggers have a certain vein of similarity and amazingly like qualities that tend to grow into long-lasting cyber friendships, and may or may not end up in meeting face to face and becoming even closer. We rely on each other for inspiration, for help and for support but ...

... where exactly do we draw the line & start calling foul on Blogger Faux Paus?!

I think once a "blogger" feels entitled enough to go relentlessly seek out & stalk other blogs in an attempt to ride their internet coattails and/or "harvest" them ... it's crossing a serious line. If your best friend in the real world followed you around and bought everything you did, talked the way you did, peeped in your windows to see what you were doing everyday ... you'd get pretty sick of it. It'd come off creepy and sick and in a really weird way, demented. You'd think she'd want to ... I don't know, boil your bunny or something right? Right. So why is it okay in BloggerLand? Look at the following examples and tell me what YOU would do. I mean, I know how I'd react as Blog A ... but what about you guys? Am I imagining this kind of stuff?

Dabuyu Shoes Blog A vs. Blog B
Uber Mom Wipebox Blog A vs. Blog B
Brian the Pekingese Blog A vs. Blog B
My Little Pony Equestria Girls Blog A vs. Blog B
Huggable Melodies Blog A vs. Blog B
Piggy Paint Blog A vs. Blog B
Chronicle Books Blog A  vs. Blog B
Skights Blog A vs. Blog B
Hip Hop 50s Shop Blog A vs. Blog B
Baby's Journey Blog A vs. Blog B
Surprises From the North Pole Blog A vs. Blog B
Okiedog Blog A vs. Blog B

Guys. There are soo many more. Go look for yourselves. I just chose some that I thought were super similar. I guess you can say these are the top ones. Let's not even look at the common ground in both blog media kits and overall attempts at similarity. At what number do we stop chalking this kind of stuff up to simple odds and two bloggers being like-minded friends ... and call it what it is? This is way past inspiration. It's thievery!

Am I going crazy?
How many of you out there have 11+ product reviews in common with a fellow blogger?
(& if you do, are the other persons reviews posted a month or two later than yours?)

If you're a blogger, please let me know how you feel on this.
I'm asking. I really super want to understand this.
I mean .. I understand the motivation, but not the action!

Why is something like this okay in blogging, but not in real life?

Editorial 2/9/14: The Blog B in question has posted a blog regarding the questions I have posed to you all. Apparently, she feels bullied. I simply stated facts. She is a very young blogger and new to the world of social media. It was not my intention to "bully" her, and I'm sorry she feels this way ... but the truth isn't blurred by feelings. Pulling the bully card was, in my opinion, a cheap and misguided attempt to deflect blame. It's like when your kid steals a cookie, blames the neighbor kid & acts hurt that you thought it was him. Same concept! Until this blogger reaches out to me directly, my opinion (and apparently your opinion) stands. I'm sorry she is involved in this mess, but it is by her own actions - and I just happened to be the one who brought them to light. I opened a can of worms.

Blog A doesn't deserve the backlash this has created, and neither do other individuals who have just called the motives of Blog B into question. Those individuals all run great blogs, with a great professional aura. They have realized that this is exactly what they don't need cluttering their blogs. I, on the otherhand, blog for me - and sporadically host reviews. ;)

I wish Blog B all the best in her life, and even her blog ... but I hope that as she grows as a blogger and person, she learns that she is setting the moral example for her child. Stealing is not okay. Whether it be in real life, or safe behind a screen. I was willing to chalk this all up to her not knowing any better and being a young-gun in the blogging world, but she remains unapologetic and unwilling to change. So, this post? Stays.


  1. Getting different ideas from blogs is okay I guess, BUT copying bloggers over and over is a HUGE no no. People should learn to show some originality in their posts!!!

    1. I completely agree! Originality is the key to making our work ... truly ours! Thanks for commenting.

  2. What you might have is 2 bloggers in the same blog groups with the same opportunities. It's the same with those of us who go to DIsney screenings too. After a while you are having bad cases a de ja vue (I think I spelled that ok). Anyway it does seem eerily similar but I am not surprised.

    1. Yeah, I can see how certain groups of bloggers would have similar experiences and product reviews - but not like ... layouts, widgets, ideals, opinions and ideas. I love reading two different views on one product/show but ... that's a little much haha. I am glad you commented, thanks!

    2. I entirely agree if it was a group opp or something like a screening, an event or something. I work with The Pitch List, so like right now we are all reviewing Jiva coffee and we will have a big group giveaway, but we will each be giving our own product reviews, entirely separate from each other.

      This doesn't look like that.. Dabuyu Shoes doesn't even have 5 other blogger reviews that I can find.

  3. I will occasionally see something I like on a blog and see if it's something I might want to review, but by no means do I stalk through a certain blog and do blog after blog after blog. There are going to be similar posts and product reviews of the same item, of course, but there is definitely a line.

    Like you said, if this was happening in real life, it'd be incredibly creepy. Especially if it's someone you don't know at all. Imitation is the best form of flattery, however, I think this looks bad on the blogging community as a whole.

    1. I think as bloggers, we tend to utilize each other's ideas and tweak them into our own - as much as we can. All of us have seen something on another blog and thought "that'd be awesome to review!" but ... to pursue each and every post? I agree - it does look pretty bad for bloggers in general.

  4. Wow, came by from Growing Up Madison Twitter link. That sure is creepy and I clicked on the links and guess what? I know both bloggers. It does seem as if one is just waiting for the other to post a review before contacting the company to do the same review. Even her navigation bar is eerily similar. I'm not a blogger so I don't know where you draw the line but I'm sure there has to be one. Anyway you can certainly see who the better blogger is so I'm sure there is nothing for the other to worry about. :)

    1. Its uncanny how similar the posts are - and yes, there is a major difference in quality. Of course, one is much better looking, more streamlined and even grammatically correct ... but the principal of the whole thing! It'd be like someone wearing a knock-off sleazy version of your designer dress to a function you're attending. It seems like if it wouldn't happen in real life ... it shouldn't happen online. Sadly, that never happens haha! Thank you for commenting!

  5. I have seen this blasted all over twitter and I have to say that you can see where the similarities lie. If it was a one time incident then I could chalk it up to "hey maybe the companies just wanted them both to do it". With the fact that one review is usually posted sometimes months before the other, you can see that the other is actively seeking out the reviews the other has done. They say imitation is the best form of flattery but this is downright creepy and almost bordering on the verge of plagiarism. This Mini Me person (yes I called her out) needs to stop what she's doing and stop it now!

    1. It is amazing how well your comment conveys my exact emotions. While I am glad this post is being shared, I am disappointed that there are so few comments I'd love to hear from a blogger who thinks Mini Me is not at fault of any faux paus or blogger backstabbing. This does seem reminiscent of plagiarism - in SO many ways. Thanks for commenting - and calling it what it is. :)

  6. I honestly wish said blogger would come post her feelings over here, since she won't allow us our say on her post. I really do feel incredibly bad that she feels that we are "bullying" her, however, that is entirely not the case.
    Granted, there may have been a less blunt delivery that could have been more appropriate, what was said was not meant in a mean way, whatsoever. And what she's doing is wrong. You can't claim bullying simply because you don't like that you got called out. There is a HUGE difference between bullying and not liking what someone says to you. And I feel her crying bullying is like crying wolf. It demeans the actually term, it demeans the people who have ACTUALLY been bullied. No one wishes this poor girl any ill will. Simply hoping a young mom/blogger might learn proper blogger etiquette.