That one time that Buddy the Elf stole my blog…
You probably saw the title of this post and thought,
“Oh, that silly Jenn. She’s probably going to tell us a story of some weird crazy dream she had about Elf and her blog!”
But, no. I’m totally serious. Buddy the Elf stole my blog. Sorta. Except not really. But he kinda did.
Yesterday at 2pm my husband sends me a message “Buddy the Elf is posting your St. Patty’s Day post on Facebook.” and I’m like, “I have no idea what that means.” So he tells me that his sister sees this picture of our house in her Facebook feed and she called to tell him, and then he told me.
At first I was excited thinking about how awesome it would be to get a ton of unexpected traffic from a Facebook page with over 11,000,000 followers. And just in case you have trouble following all of those zeros, that’s over 11 million people. Woo to the hoo!
So I go to the Buddy the Elf Facebook Page and I see my photo has been “liked” over 6,000 times and shared on Facebook over 1,000 times. And my heart sinks. Because here is no source link back to me included. In fact, there’s no link at all.
To make things worse it was an older version of the photo from 2011 that wasn’t watermarked. I hadn’t even been blogging an entire year yet when I published that post and it never crossed my mind to watermark my photos.
Then I saw a glimmer of hope. There was a link in the comments to a pin…maybe I was given credit after all! The link goes to a pin on Buddy the Elf’s Pinterest account with the description, “Have you seen these toilets? They’re GINORMOUS!” And when I click on the pin…
It leads nowhere. Well, actually it leads here. The original pinner (Buddy?) had pinned the image url instead of the post url, so when you click on the pin it just brings up the photo instead of leading directly to the post. The good news is that “coolestfamilyontheblock” is included in the image url, but most people aren’t going to take the extra step to search for the blog.
So this is a cautionary tale for you, girls and boys. Always watermark ALL of your photos before putting them on the internet, because you never know if your content will be stolen by a 6 foot tall elf with a following of 11 million people.
Furthermore, never pin or repin a photo without a proper link to the original source! This means that you should be clicking through and checking sources before repinning. I know that Pinterest can be addicting and you can get pin happy and just start pinning all of the things and who has time to click through when I’m so busy planning my dinner/wedding/birthdayparty/dreamhome/workoutplan?!
But you seriously need to slow your roll, pinner, and make sure that you are pinning responsibly! It doesn’t do anyone any good to spread “bad” pins around that lead nowhere or that lead to the wrong place. It’s frustrating for fellow pinners who are seeking the original source for content/information and frustrating for the bloggers (content creators) who are missing out on traffic and potential new followers. Follow the golden rule while pinning, if you wouldn’t like someone else spreading around an unsourced photo of yours then please don’t repin without checking the source first.
I know that you’re busy. So am I. (sorta) If you really like a pin and you really don’t have the time to check the source, please repin to a secret board and then go back and check the source later before pinning publically. (“Woah, Jenn, what a great idea!” You’re welcome, imaginary blog readers.)
As I’m writing this my image has now been shared on Buddy’s Facebook page over 2,000 times and has over 10,600 “likes” and his pin has been repinned 250 times. And mama ain’t seein’ none of that traffic :(
Woo Boo to the hoo.
I could report the photo on both Facebook and Pinterest and have them removed for not crediting the original source and copyright infringement or other fancy legal sounding what-nots, but I have no interest in this at the moment. I don’t care if they shared my photo…I just want my traffic. In an attempt to remedy the situation, I started dropping my link in the comments on both the Facebook page and on Pinterest. I started “liking” the positive comments and replying to some of them. Did it help? I don’t know. “Buddy” hasn’t responded to me at all.
How can you help?! I’d really appreciate it if you could help me get the watermarked version of this photo along with the source link out into the internet, particularly on Facebook. It would be great if you could share it on Facebook through your personal profile and/or Facebook page.
I’ve included some links below for quick and easy sharing!
*Share/like/comment on Facebook
*Share/+1/comment on Google+
It would also be great if you could head over to Buddy’s Facebook page and find my comment where I left my link and “like” it so that it gets bumped higher in the comment thread. Click here
Do you always watermark your photos? Do you check sources before repinning? Has an elf ever stolen your blog content? Let me know in the comments!