Friday, 18 March 2011

Where did that come from?

A space I wouldn't mind blogging from instead of from my bed!  Interior Design by Betsy Burnham. Image via Lonny Feb/Mar 2010 by Patrick Cline

I love blogs. My suspicion is that you all do too. Writing posts can bring the blogger great satisfaction & usually involves a deep passion for the subject matter. I assume that all bloggers have maybe not a sense of pride about their posts, but surely a sense of ownership & a desire to be recognised as the author of their work.

This leads me to a pet peeve about blogs that I am noticing more & more. How many times do you read a post that is accompanied by wonderful pictures? You see a pic whether it be of a product you want to know more about, in our cases perhaps an interior you want to know who designed it or see more from that particular shoot, but yet there is no credit on the image as to who took the photo, where it's from or a link back to where it was originally found. This can be so frustrating for all, none so more as the person who has originally created the image whether it be the photographer or stylist responsible.

Think about the hard work you put into creating your blog posts. Is it fair if someone copies your hard work & posts it on their blog without giving credit where it is due? Of course not. So why does this practice seem to be so pervasive within the blogosphere when it comes to photo crediting? Chelsea Fuss at the blog Frolic! kick started this discussion in a big way a couple of weeks ago with this post.

The ensuing result of that great post by Chelsea & it's interesting comments was this flow chart poster that I find to be a wonderful reminder of photo crediting etiquette. It's a collaborative effort by a number of fantastic bloggers. See the credit below the image for links to the other super women.

Another post on the issue that may be of interest to you is this one from Design Sponge. Also, this post by Rosscott, Inc. features a less "clean" flow chart expressing a similar sentiment (may offend some due to language). It is a joint endeavour of The System & H. Caldwell Tanner of

To my mind, it comes down to a number of main points. I think the first & most common reason is pure laziness. Some bloggers just can't be bothered or they are new to blogging & perhaps a bit naive to the topic.
The second reason I imagine, is despite the loveliness & support of the blogging population, there are those who choose not to credit just to protect their resources. This is the "competitive" side of the blogging world rearing its' ugly head. To have the best pictures for everyone to ooh & ah over, one must protect where they find their pics from! It is subtle, but I have no doubt it happens.
The third is, you simply don't know where you found the pic. Now I have been guilty of this & never really considered it be a problem. I was being honest, I did not know where the pic was from. But, I was wrong. Those images have resulted from the hard work of numerous people & it certainly isn't fair to use an image if I can't give those people the recognition they deserve.

This issue has been on my mind for a while now. The number of posts where I have seen images credited to we heart it, tumblr, flickrgoogle & even my beloved Pinterest is amazing. I use the net & read blogs mainly to be inspired but also to glean information & store it for future reference. If something isn't credited, it just makes the task of finding the information so much more laborious.

I am trying my hardest to give credit where it is due. I've found TinEye Reverse Image Search to be quite useful in some but not all cases.

Computer Talks has a brief post on the top ten reverse image search tools here if you want to check  out some others. Reverse image search engines are definitely worth a look if you are serious about crediting unknown images or just to find the source of that beautiful image for your own information. I'm even going to the extreme of trawling back through my posts to give credit to the amazing people who play such a huge role in all of our blogs. You may from time to time see an old post reappear in your reader. I apologise if this annoys you, but I do feel it's an important thing for me to go back & credit the pics. I'm even trying to do it for my 5,000 + images on my boards at Pinterest!

Sandy K
[above images via Lonny Feb/Mar 2010 , Pia Jane Bijkerk blogTinEye blog]
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