Everybody and their cat owns a blog these days. I am one of them too.(Possibly one of the cats). In keeping with some long-lost new year resolution of writing more, I started a new cookery blog. I set up a page on facebook and sent an invite to all my friends. Now, not all ‘facebook friends’ are really friends. At best they are acquaintances, at worst they are a motley bunch of rivals, people-whose-guts-you-hate, people-who-hate-your-guts, ex-best-friends, the girl/guy-crushing-on-your-significant-other etc., all keeping an eye on you and plotting your downfall. (There I said it. I know I am paranoid). Unfortunately, I had already opened up my blog to the mercy of all and sundry!
And that’s when I discovered the perils of blogging –
- People who you’ve not talked to for years, will read your blog and put in their two penny bit of criticism.
- People will pass on their own blog link and expect you to read it (and give a good review).
Soon enough there was an interesting message from a distant acquaintance – “Hey decent blog. You should write more than just recipes. Good start though”. (This was peril (a) being fulfilled.)
The message seemed very patronizing. “Hmmm..” I thought. “Does this person write? And if so what does she write?” I was curious. I replied to her message. And that kicked in peril (b). Turns out that she had a blog too. She eagerly gave me her link, and asked me to tell her how I found it.
Soon I got some free time (You know- the time when you do have work, but instead you get on the internet and look at pictures of cats). I typed in her url and settled down to read. The first post had gotten off to a good start. Against my will, I was pretty impressed with her writing style. Halfway through the first paragraph, I had a slight feeling of déjà vu. The déjà vu intensified as I read further. I kept reading trying to shake off the annoying feeling of having read it somewhere. By the time I reached the second paragraph though, I knew. This was not written by her at all. It was a word to word plagiarism of a blog I like and follow! What a nerve!
That piqued my interest. I checked the number of posts. There were 6. One down and 5 to go, I said to myself. I was determined to find out if there were other plagiarisms. The second blog post again seemed too good to be true. I googled a few key phrases and voila – found a match. It turned out that all her posts were copied off other blogs.
I replied to her messages – “Hey decent blog. I suggest you write something on your own. Good start though!”