Friday, February 15, 2013

on blogging etiquette

While blogging has been around for many years now, in most cases it is still a new arena of communication, journalism, and hobby. There aren't any hard and fast rules about what we put on our blogs, in our pictures, or in our links. Because there isn't anyone policing us and putting our blog posts into that website our professors in college used to make sure we weren't plagiarizing our midterm papers, it's up to us as a community to police ourselves.

The thing I truly love the most about blogging is all of the inspiration, advice, and suggestions I receive from fellow bloggers and readers. If it wasn't for Bri, I would never have learned the more layers, less frump trick and I would still be trying to figure out how to layer sweaters. If it wasn't for Kelly, I would have been stuck on what to wear for my third day of TOPIO. If it wasn't for Audrey, I wouldn't have my new favorite t-shirt. There are countless other instances where I was inspired by one of you and I never want to take credit for your creativity and claim it as my own. I always try to pin from the original source, and if I use your picture on my blog, I try my hardest to find the original source. If I see a cute outfit or item on your blog, and recreate or buy it, I always try to credit you. Why? Because that's the polite way to blog.

The majority of us all shop in the same sort of stores - mass produced clothing from the mall. Of course we throw in our thrift finds, our hand-me-downs, and our vintage items, but in general our clothes all are pretty similar. How does one find their own style when we are all presented with the same items? How can you even not be a copy cat when we all basically have the same things to pick from? There isn't an easy answer, but I do know that there is a very strong and hard line between the coincidence of having the same article of clothing as another, and continually and systematically hunting down pieces that another blogger has. The point of fashion blogging (I use the term fashion blog here loosely because most of us fall under personal style blogging) is to show yourself, your cute outfit, and your general point of view. Blogging is for working on yourself, on how you dress yourself, and how you present yourself to the world. The point is to show you, not the blogger down the internet street.

You may be asking yourself why I'm even blogging about this. Like I said, I think as a community we have to police ourselves. There isn't a professor here to flunk us when we are caught copying someone else's work. When one blogger copies another blogger for years and years, our community has to take a stand against it. I don't want to be a faceless voice on the internet gossiping about blatant plagiarism of a blogger who has put a lot of time and effort into their blog. I want to present you with what I would consider to be the worst part about our blogging community.

Be inspired by others, don't try to be them.