(Mal-)Quoting My Blog

I’m not sure if there’s an established style for quoting someone else’s blog messages within your own, but I sure know what isn’t appropriate.  Certainly traditional text quoting conventions apply:  You should make it clear when you’re altering a quoted region via brackets and ellipses and you should not deliberately distort the original meaning.  You should also include a hyperlinked reference to the message you are quoting. 
 
Whether you preserve hyperlinks within the quoted text is subject to interpretation.  I’d argue that, in the spirit of web hypertext, under all but the most extreme circumstances you should preserve all of the links, but I recognize that reasonable people may differ.  What’s less arguable is that you should never alter a link’s destination unless it’s broken, and even then only with clear indication.  If you remove the links you should either remove all or none, not edit selectively, and if you do remove the links you should state that you have.
 
I also think that the bar for preserving the integrity of a quoted blog message is higher if you’re quoting the entire message, as opposed to just a short excerpt.
 
I raise this because of two cases where this blog has been quoted in a way that violates these conventions.
 
The first example is from April of last year.  An entire blog message is quoted save the final paragraph, which is only three words long.  The quoter selectively elides two of the hyperlinks without indicating so.
 
The second example is from today and is more insidious because the quoting blog is on a web site that sells a product.  It quotes an entire message without being explicit that it’s a quote.  It appropriates as its title a quote from within the message and it makes it appear as if the quote was made by me, when in fact I was quoting others within the message.  It doesn’t include a hyperlink to the original message, just the unlinked URL of my home page.  And it removes all of the links from within my message, not surprising because some are links to competitors’ products.
 
To be clear, I have no problem with references to and quotes from this blog as long as The Golden Rule is applied.
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One response to “(Mal-)Quoting My Blog

  1. Unfortunately the blogging community in general isn\’t one that holds itself to highest standards of proper writing etiquette (not to mention proper usage of the English language).  I would suggest that the former quote is just missing a set of ellipses to show that your post does go on (regardless of it being three words short).
     
    I don\’t necessarily agree with preservation of hyperlinks–although it is highly desirable, you can\’t expect other bloggers to go retrieve the underlying html when copying and pasting for quoting purposes; which is why a link to the original entry is superlative.  As for the latter example, it is a day-old blog (!) and looks to be written by someone that doesn\’t know the first thing about HTML (oh I take that back: this post actually has links).  Regardless, it does leave much to be desired.

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