There’s nothing new under the sun.

More than a watermarkThis is quite true… we are all always building on each other ideas and rehashing things we have heard time and again. In an age of Facebook photos and Pinterest pins, of blog posts and tweets, how do you ensure that you are giving credit where it’s due while bringing a fresh perspective?

1) Be generous with credit. It never ever ever hurts to say “I was inspired by so and so” or “This post got me thinking” – why not give a linkback? Especially now that SEO so relies upon that. How much better to say “Thank you for getting my brain jogging” then to link back!

2) Be transparent. The best safeguard against being slimy and thiefy is to reach out to the person behind the idea that got you thinking. Post a comment on their Facebook wall or blog post with a link to your post. Tag them or send them a message. This will not only stop you from being sneaky, it will also give them first chance to say “no way” or “right on!”

3) Be ready to take it down… Or add to it. If the original poster, or idea inspirer, blows the proverbial whistle, be prepared. Go ahead and take it down if that’s their wish… Or add even more linky love at their request. It’s not worth a social media war.

4) Be notsoforthcoming. Has a shop created a print that you just love? Does a photographer have an image that speaks to your post? Does the original poster have some creative that adds more to your post? Give them a link, rather than sharing. Instead of saying “Hey look what so and so made/did/said,” say “Go check out what so and so made/did/said.” That nearly guarantees them a click on their site, which they deserve for their work.

“But wait,” you say. “There’s a watermark.”
That’s nice. But what does the original creator get out of that? A little exposure… maybe… if that.

Always, always be ready to share the love.
The original poster will love you for it. Your readers will enjoy a fresh perspective, rather than a rehashing. And the greater community will benefit from transparency and generosity.

And when in doubt, ask.

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