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Be First, Be Unique, but—Please—Do Not Repeat!

Today—just as I was going through my content feeds—I noticed the same story posted on over 20 of my feeds. Words like “excessive” instantly came to mind, but that is being nice about it. Come on already—it is really becoming an issue! I saw this story about a GPS drawing more than enough to get the idea that it was cool, and the entire situation was becoming pathetic. If it is not about GPS drawings, it is the same old stories about Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft. It is far too repetitive.

I am, somewhat, over exaggerating, but these problems are becoming apparent now as the overcrowded blogosphere continues taking in more repeated information. It is now like big news organizations trying to be the first to get an exclusive interview with Paris Hilton instead of a dedicated journalist doing research for an insightful piece about the world’s fuel consumption. I am most likely to appreciate the latter.

Even popular blogs seem to write about the same things that other blogs—even serious competition—have written about. Is it really this bad? Are bloggers becoming lazy? I mean, this is only the beginning! Things are bound to get worse as information overload continues to annoy us all.

Further more, I am expecting new tools and services to be developed that will filter though all the rehashing of content in an attempt to show readers the initial sources of content. Most blogs about blogging—like Performancing—within the blogosphere will tell you it is important to create original content, and right now, that sentiment is right on the money.

If your blog relies on posting content from other blogs without adding anything to the story (e.g. reactions or criticisms), the future might be grim for that particular blog—in other words, you should try making serious efforts to becoming more unique and original. Failure to do so might result in your blog being less valuable to your readers.

However, all this excessive reposting by popular bloggers provide opportunities for smaller bloggers to get noticed from creativity and hard work. If a smaller blogger has even one amazing article go mainstream, it could be the key to unlocking that door towards success.

So, please, turn off your feed reader right now, and try to think of some original articles you could write about which relate to topics that you have experience with. After all, you should be blogging about things you have experience with and are passionate about, and if so, then this should be no problem. When you are done, you should be writing about these ideas which you have come up with. If the finished product is well written and of value to the blogosphere, the views will come—people will link to your content.

In other words, if your blog is going to be great, one of the easier ways to start working towards that is by writing great original content! Not only will you be doing yourself a favor, but you won’t add to this excessive replication issue that is plaguing the blogosphere. Do your part, and the hard work will pay off.

Author: jamesm

10 thoughts on “Be First, Be Unique, but—Please—Do Not Repeat!

  1. I don’t mind using my own personal blog to journal about stuff I stumble upon… It would locate the initial article, and it could check this by seeing how many of the articles that first mentioned it were linking to it.

  2. Yeah, I mean, I am not against linking to great content. I am absolutely not opposed to that, but again, like you said, the A-listers repeatedly posting the same stuff that competition posts? I just don’t really understand it.

    I really think they would be better off by hiring writers to come up with unique and original content.

    Tools are going to be developed to sort through this stuff, and I am not flat out criticizing anyone that does it, but I do believe that their future is being threatened by tools being developed today to combat this in the future.

    Plus, I don’t mind people reposting content when they offer something to it. If they have a response, if they have some new insight to add, if they have anything else like that, I am all for it. I’ve done that before. I mean, I was asked to come on television by G4 because of an article I wrote about Yahoo. It wasn’t something I got from another source though, it was my own unique opinions about Yahoo’s future.

    These blogs that make massive amounts of money by simply linking to content… without adding anything to it other than a summary of what they just saw… they really should start rethinking their business plan.

    So yes, I think linking is quite fine, and I think linking to something while offering something to the existing content is amazing, but just linking to other stories for the sake of doing so is starting to become a problem.

    Hopefully all that I have said makes sense. In no way am I attacking anyone that posts links to content. I would just be concerned if those people are trying to make money from it. It might just bug me more because of the fact I’m subscribed to so many feeds as well, but I see what goes on in the blogosphere, and someone is going to find a way to indirectly ruin a lot of people that are making money on blogs by relying on other blog’s contents.

  3. I posted that story yesterday, but when I posted it, I was sincerely interested in it (but I linked to the artist’s website). It had inspired me to think about how the unpredictable usage of technology and I stated that I would plan a future posting about it.

    I agree with you about reposting. But for a dude like me (I get a staggering 0.04 unique visitors per week), I don’t mind using my own personal blog to journal about stuff I stumble upon. I didn’t think the story would get blogged all over creation, but I guess I just learned another thing about the business. In fact when I opened my reader this morning and saw this post I was like “uh, well, that’s me, I guess I’m guilty too, sort of”. But I do see your point in regards to the A-listers re-posting.

    But the points about reposting and infOverload that you raise applies to daily news as well. I think there’s always going to be some level of repetitive noise. Eventually our feeders will become finer instruments and this problem will be more manageable.

    My view: news happens & gets reported & memes spread. You can build all sorts of tools to track who does what first, but in the end it’s the quality of writing that keeps blogs going on. Policing these sorts of things can create even more noise.

    But what you say is useful to us newbies. I know I learned a few things. Thanks!

  4. You can use the unique article wizard to get your niche articles marketed automatically. You can even turn one article into ten using the unique features to create unique content.

  5. It makes sense.

    For a tool like that to be developed, it would have to find all the articles that are related. It could do this by detecting similar keywords, links, names, etc.

    Then, it would needs to start locating the articles that were created first, and hopefully, with some magic, it would locate the initial article, and it could check this by seeing how many of the articles that first mentioned it were linking to it.

    Hopefully this could be used to detect copyright infringement. Say someone posts an article, and another person posts the same article a few hours later. The person that posted the article a few hours later gets all the links and recognition. If this system could find out that this article was published earlier, it could send a warning to the original author, and then things could be taken from there.

    There are a lot of possibilities, but this has been an area that has been relatively untapped. I think that a service will be designed, and hopefully it can be intregrated with many feedreaders. Perhaps it could simply read all your feeds before delivering them to you.

    Many ways to approach it, but it is bound to be developed sooner or later.

  6. sounds like what is needed is what has been developed for research papers. Students/teachers upload papers to the detecting sites and the sites scans for a recycled paper and/or plagiarism. Too bad there isn’t some kind of something for blogs that does what those plagiarism sites do–or maybe there is?….and hopefully…that all made sense >_< 😉

  7. Exactly, and that is why tools are going to be developed which will locate the sources of the stories.

    It is a shame when the author’s own story or art does not get much credit for it.

    Some brilliant developer, which will likely end up earning a lot of money for his or her efforts, will develop a tool that will do exactly that. It will be able to remove rehashings of stories in feed readers and more.

    It will all be part of the fact that we don’t need to see the same story discussed 20 or so times. Some of us might like to read all 20 variations of why a GPS drawing is so cool, but I don’t need that. I didn’t even know the guy who did the GPS drawing had a website because many of the blogs didn’t even link to the source.

    One day, this problem will be rectified, and these blogs that simply rehash content are going to be in dire need of change.

  8. I get tired of seeing the same friggin things over and over…I just don’t read the repeated stuff, or if I do I look for the more interesting article–even though someone is writing about the same thing it is the person that writes about it that has the biggest impact in my opinion.

  9. I have another article in the works that looks at this issue and others like it. Just a heads up. Anyways, let me know what you think about rehashed content. I am, truthfully, sick of seeing rehashed content everywhere, but I am interested in getting your opinions.

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