July 14, 2011

a renovation + some clarification.

I undertook quite the project recently: revising, reformatting, and rethinking every single post I've ever published on this blog. (Like I said, quite the project.) It's something I've been meaning to do for a while now because when I first started blogging, I knew absolutely nothing about the community--or the etiquette. I found photos from random sites--completely ignorant as to proper crediting techniques--and provided sources at the bottom of each post in a teeny tiny font. Translation: I had no idea what I was doing.

Over the years, though, I've tried to learn as much as I can about blogging protocol and photo credits, hoping to be as professional as I can in a community whose guidelines aren't always so clear. It's important, I think, to respect photographers and fellow bloggers and copyright laws--to identify and show appreciation for the talented individuals who so kindly let us display their work.

So how did I go about this blog renovation? Well, I literally went post by post--starting at the beginning--to make sure that everything was in order. In case you're curious, or in case you'd like to check out your own blog, here's what I was looking out for:

1. Is the formatting uniform throughout?
This is more of a Type A thing, but it also helped me stay in check as far as photo sources, links, etc. I wanted to be sure that credit was clearly provided at the bottom of each post, and that there would be no mistaking another photographer's work for my own. Which brought me to my next concern...

2. Are all the photos properly credited?
This was the Big One, my main reason for revisiting earlier posts. Personally, I wanted to make sure that each and every photo credit linked back to either (a) Flickr or (b) a photographer's main site. Anything else, I decided, was unfair to the artist. So what did I do if I couldn't find the original source? I deleted the picture. And in some cases--most, actually--the entire post.

It took me hours upon hours to go through my entire blog--changing fonts and pictures and credits and entire posts--but it was so, so worth it. I now have peace of mind that even if things aren't perfect, I've at least done my very best to give credit where it is due. If this is something you're interested in, too, or if you'd just like to learn more about blogging etiquette, here are some posts I'd recommend reading:

Online Etiquette & Ethics by Grace of Design*Sponge: Parts I, II, & III
Pinterest Manners by Sam of unconventionally beautiful (My real life best friend!)

On a similar note, I've gotten several emails/comments from readers who ask to read some of my creative work--and I so, so appreciate that you guys are interested! As some of you might remember, I used to share some of my short stories on the blog; unfortunately, though, I found that other people were copy/pasting excerpts from my stories into their own posts, and since some are published (or hopefully will be someday), I had to stop sharing. So my new plan? Write a novel! Yep, it's in the works... :)

Alright, enough blog business talk--Thanks for bearing with me today! On a lighter note: In going through my first few posts, I found myself cracking up at this photo all over again--Reason #234098 I like to keep my hair on the longer side these days...


Holly said... [Reply to comment]

what a professional! ;)

I think you're such a talented writer- just the words you choose, the way you put them together--i mean EVERYTHING you write about is so beautifully put together. I really enjoy reading your blog everyday (stalker, i know!!), because even the smaller, simpler posts put a smile on my face.

To have the education under your belt and the natural talent that you have is such a treasure. I really hope that you continue writing (for your own sake and ours!) for a long time. I know you'll be successful in your own way, whether it's writing a ton of novels or whatever you decide to do! Heck, you've already accomplished so much! :) Thanks for everything!


Emily said... [Reply to comment]

I have pretty much stopped blogging because of the photo issue. I don't want be accused of stealing...but it doesn't seem like a small credit is enough--especially when you don't ask to use the photo in the first place.

Thanks for sharing this post. I will check out those links and hopefully feel confident enough to start blogging again.


becky said... [Reply to comment]

I think I mentioned it on Twitter before but oh MY, learning that you are planning a novel is just about the most exciting thing I could hear. (Also up there would be that you're getting married--oh WAIT, you are!--or that Meg would, too, work on a novel. I still hope, every day, for that). I cannot imagine just how beautiful your writing would be page after page after page. You have such a beautiful sincerity and observance in your comments on the day-to-day. More than that: you are so incredibly down to earth. And that, really, is a very virtuous thing.

Laura Marie said... [Reply to comment]

@Holly Wow, thank you, Holly! I really, really appreciate it :)

Eleanor at Mirror Of My World said... [Reply to comment]

good luck for your novel laura x

Natalie said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Laura, my friend and I just started a blog and we are wondering if you ask the photographer (from flickr or wherever) if you can use their photos every time you want to.

We were greatly inspired by you to start our own blog and we really enjoy reading your posts! You are a gem!

s a m said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
s a m said... [Reply to comment]

sheesh, i know that was a big project. it was for both of us, but oh so worth it.

(you know why i used the lower-case "i", wink wink)

Thanks for the shout-out pal. Sometimes, between all the sunshine we have to get a bit academic (even if just for a moment).

"we interrupt your regularly scheduled positive encouragement for this brief and kinda boring message ...."

missy. said... [Reply to comment]

haha that picture of you is priceless! and way to help others with the proper etiquette!