For fifteen years, I have worked as a writer, and later, a photographer and an editor as well. I love editing, be it book or magazine or for an individual client. Not just the research and working with writers and the robin’s egg blue cover of the latest CMOS, but because I know what it’s like to be on the other side. I’ve had editors of my own. I still do. And when I’m editing, I want to make sure that the work of others is the best it can be.
While I’ve been guest posting on various blogs for four years now, this site still has a bit of that new blog smell. I have netiquette conundrums all the time. (What my great grandmother Fifi, my personal Emily Post, would have made of this, I wonder?)
With a blog of my own, I’ve thought more about the way words and photos roam. How often I hear about people seeing their own work plagiarized. With a writing career mostly in print, I never really worried too much about that. (Photos more so.) Unfortunately, the ease of a cut and paste is too hard for some to resist. Fortunately, many cutter and pasters find karma is alive and well online.
Just yesterday I was talking to my friend Janna about public Flickr accounts and how much trust you had to have in others when you posted things. Because when you post photos online, they can end up anywhere. Like glitter. Or a Czech grocery store advertisement.
Whether here or on other sites, I have always been quite particular about images, taking my own photos (or scribbling a few words) most all of the time. I never quite understand how people deal with images otherwise. I’m baffled by the issue of credit. And what is OK to post, and what isn’t. So, I err on the side of caution and generally do my own thing.
Check out this fabulous poster about photo creditiquette that was created by Erin Loechner and Pia Jane Bijkerk, with a font by Yvette van Boven. Great typography AND in pink! (It comes in three other colors, too. You can purchase a print here.)
And please pay a visit to LINK WITH LOVE – you’ll find that there is a whole wide web of people who create and respect the creativity of others and want to see their names, URLs, twitter handles, placed beside their words and images.
While I’m learning that not everything requires permission – I no longer will email/tweet and ask people permission to link to them – the editor in me will always want to source and fact check because it’s the right thing to do. And it’s the nice thing to do.
And while it’s nice to be important, it’s most important to be nice. xo a.