Friday, 27 February 2015

Attribution & Link love

Snow; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2013
This winter weather has offered perfect conditions for reading under a warm quilt, and this week I finished Debbie Millman's How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer, a book of interviews with the best in the field. Many had me laughing out loud. Debbie Millman wears a lot of hats as a designer, author, educator, and brand consultant. She is also the host of the radio show Design Matters, with 213 programs available for free via podcast. 

The other evening I listened to an Design Matters interview with Maria Popova from Brain Pickings and her concept of the Curator's Code to honour attribution caught my attention. I knew that it was only a matter of time that images from my blog would be taken and used with neither permission nor attribution. Lately it has been happening more and I've been surprised to see my images on Tumblr and other sites without a link to my blog or crediting me as the creator of the content. One Tumblr site in particular never honours attribution. As I looked through this site, I realized that although the (stolen) images are well curated, it's not interesting because I don't know where they came from. There's no connecting the dots and learning the deeper story. 

If you Pin or repost other people's images or words, remember to link back and give proper credit. Asking permission is always a good thing too. Better yet, try creating all your own content. From scratch. For two or three or five years. Make something yourself, from your own imagination. Not "inspired" from Pinterest or Tumblr or blogs. Go ahead and do this. Write two or three posts each and every week of the year, whether you are on vacation or not. Go ahead and make something original. I dare you.