I love blog stalkers, even those of you that read my blog, who I may not know and have never met! What a privilege it is to have people come to my site and even care one bit about my photos or what I might have to say! If you are a blog stalker…leave me a comment, I’d love to get to know you! I’ve found many of blogs following them through links from their comments to my posts and I absoulutely love it!
Recently though, I had a negative experience with a blog stalker. After a generous comment posted on my site I followed links to a website of a fellow photographer in another state. I was flattered to see it wasn’t someone I had met from a seminar or knew from anywhere, just a blog stalker…someone that found me and was reading my blog! I was flattered as I do this to many other photo blogs, mostly anonymously because I don’t have time to comment all the time.
Fast forward as I browsed this website I was shocked to see this photographer have an almost word for word copy of my “about us” section. In it I list things like, My Philosophy about my work, My Passion about photography, and My Pride, my family! That in and of itself is slightly unique but not unheard of for someone to have come up with on their own (ironically listed in my same order though), but as I read on it was obvious to me that this person had copied almost the entire paragraph of two of those three categories! I was shocked, I couldn’t decide if I should be flattered or mad, it seemed kind of misleading for someone to take your words and market themselves with your creative writing. Especially because right across the bottom of the site was the words “copyright and DO NOT COPY,” plain as day!
I sat on this for a number of days and opted to handle it gently in hopes to motivate someone else, not hurt them. Rather than being dirty and posting the links to see for yourself on my blog, I sent an email and what I thought was a reasonable message saying, that as I have been taught in so many seminars etc that copying is not the way to get ahead, but rather money, time, education and effort put into your business. I mentioned the flattery in being followed and copied by someone and how I feel it is of UPMOST importance in this creative business of photography, to network and learn from each other! I encouraged this person to be unique and not use my words anymore on their site, but to come up with something on their own, or with the help of friends or hired professionals. At any rate, my message was not received well, I think this only further confirmed for me the guilt of the suspected party.
It’s too bad really, this isn’t a “cut throat” business like some businesses out there. In fact I view it as just the opposite, I think there are so many people and so many photography opportunities that ALL of us can be gainfully employed in our respective elements! And I for one know that I have spent countless hours networking, mentoring, encouraging and teaching other photographers to do what I do, cause it’s seriously the best job ever!
So, if you are a blog stalker, WELCOME and hopefully I can mentor, teach or entertain you in some way, thanks for reading…um…and copying!