The principle behind linking is simple, but also a bit of a culture shock to many journalists who have spent years working in competitive environments.

If you see something else someone has written which you like, link to it. Let your audience see what you’re reading and where you’re getting your information from.

So far, so simple – but then along came the idea of the ‘reblog’ to muddy the waters.

And I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

I blog using WordPress and, when logged into WordPress, I get the option to ‘reblog’ any post I see on another WordPress blog. Until last weekend, I’d ignored it, largely through ignorance.

then Vicki Kellaway, a former colleague at the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo – and author of the brilliant Bananaskinflipflops travel blog – shared a link to a post on the Sweet Mother blog. It’s a brilliant post which goes through the thoughts you have when you’ve crafted a post, published it and waited … and waited … and waited for a reaction.

My reaction was to press the reblog button, just to see what happened. The result was that the first couple of paragraphs appeared on my blog, as though seemingly a post I’d written. Once you’d clicked from the home page to the post page, you got a couple more paragraphs and then a link to the Sweet Mother blog. Oh, and it imported a picture from the Sweet Mother blog.

Because I have Twitter and Linkedin auto-updates set up on the blog, this is what people finding my blog from Twitter will have seen:!/davidhiggerson/status/183633170816708608

To me, this somehow felt wrong. I’d pressed one button and was now getting traffic to a blog post I’d played no part in writing, and wasn’t telling people was something I liked, or wanted to share, rather than crafted myself.

So I deleted the post – but then noticed the author had left a comment on the reblog saying thanks for reblogging it.

So this is my muddle. On networks such as Tumblr, there has always been the principle of reblogging – it’s a quick, short blog service which is as much about sharing as about ‘original’ blogs. On WordPress, or long-form blog sites for want of a term to differentiate, do readers expect work to be your own, unless it’s a ‘links of the day’ post?

I may just be thinking about this far too much – but having dealt with multiple occasions where work has been ‘lifted’ from one source to another – but there’s something about the idea of pushing one button and getting more readers as a result which doesn’t sit right.

What do you think?


22 thoughts on “To reblog or not to reblog? A blogger’s dilemma

  1. Whilst I can understand your concern that the reblog initially appears as your blog, I’d see it in a similar way to re-tweeting – to spread something around to a (potentially) wider/different audience.

    But perhaps there is a need for WordPress to modify how reblogging works so it is clear it is a reblog.


    1. A tweet does not normally take hours to research, write, photograph, and publish. (I know this is a very old post, but I am trying to get some information on re-blogging.) I don’t like it. And I am trying to find a reason to like because someone is now re-blogging my posts. Again, posts that I have taken hours to research, write, take photos for, and publish. Just seems wrong to me.

  2. I think worrying about the traffic is a very journalist way of viewing the world. For many blogger getting read is more important than getting traffic – and seeing their work reflagged (as long as its properly credited) is just another way of getting read…

    1. Good point. I don’t think I was thinking of the traffic for me so much, just the illusion that I was repurposing someone else’s content

  3. I did have similar thinking like getting viewer’s only because someone else spent time creating the content. But, I guess it’s better thn plagiarising, at least you credit the Real Author and also generate a good audience for them…

  4. I was recommended this web site by way of my cousin.
    I am not sure whether this publish is written via him as no one else realize such special about my trouble.
    You’re amazing! Thanks!

  5. Reblogging makes sense when you want to post some content which is generally not posted on your site. For E.g. mine is primarily not a news blog. But if I want an occasional post on latest technology news, reblogging is a good option.

  6. I love reblogging from someone who write great content. It is a function to share good stuff. I just don’t like how some people in SEO overusing it. They create a private blog network and reblog for link building. It turns out a spam network. I hope Google and other search engines can identify the spam and normal one.

  7. If I see a good article that fits into my usual content, I have no problem reblogging it. Im not trying to take credit for another’s work. Rather I see a well written article I think my readers enjoy. They are coming for content. If I see good content, why not share it. If it’s similiar to the things you write about, you might even develop a relationship with your fellow blogger. It’s not stealing content, its giving a backlink and a compliment. I think most bloggers feel honored by a reblog. I know I do.

  8. Hi David- I googled “is reblogging bad?” and found your post. I am new to wordpress and I was facing the same dilemma; the feeling of guilt about transmitting something across my networks that I didn’t write. However, now I realize that it’s a two-way street: I reblog what I see and valuable or interesting across my networks to promote that blog and hopefully others will do the same for me. It creates benefits for both parties as long as your content is relevant, interesting and origianl. Win-win, right?

  9. I never reblog. I think it’s not helpful to me or to the persons post I ‘reblog’ If I particularly like a post,then I click the ‘like’ button. And perhaps even add a link to the article in a post i write. I think Re-blogging merely makes ones own blog look untidy and unprofessional. Just my opinion 🙂

  10. Reblogged this on Back Table Blog and commented:
    I have to say this is true and very well written. Any writer with the faintest sense of journalistic integrity should feel just a little bad. However, I’m not completely against it because I feel it’s a form of paying it forward. And yes I am going to reblog and follow 🙂

  11. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all
    that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say great blog!

  12. Thanks for this post. I was in a quandary myself as to whether I should reblog, especially as my website is ‘kerrysmallman’, i.e. – people probably expect to just see stuff I wrote.
    I think I’ll just share things on twitter for the time being.

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