So I was peeking in on Google+ this afternoon at about 3:30 and saw a dude post a link to the McKayla is Not Impressed tumblr. I thought it was funny so I plus one’d it, and shared it on Facebook. Because I’m not friends with the dude from G+ on FB, no attribution was necessary. I logged off for a while and did stuff away from the internet. I know – crazy, right? Anyway, when I went back later I saw a bunch of people I follow and who follow me sharing the link on their FB pages and Twitter with no attribution. I get it, it was a fast-moving meme. But still. You saw it somewhere.

Back in the day we all attributed. We’d either say ‘via @theperson’ or ‘h/t* @theperson’ or mention the person directly in some capacity. We even attributed across media, if we were friends/followers with the person in various channels. Nothing cool that you found in your streams went unattributed. That was how we grew our audiences and made more friends. Attribution is how we rolled.

Not anymore. Now everyone wants to be fucking Len Kendall (who I know for a fact uses monkeys to discover content.) Very few give attribution.

Maybe everyone forgot, so here’s the rule on how to share stuff in social media:

When you see something in your stream from someone you follow that you think is cool enough to share with your audience – share it, but give attribution to the person you follow. That’s what happens when you RT. That’s what happens when you ‘share’ directly from a FB post. Give attribution. Anything less is virtual plagiarism. You have no monkeys.

* = hat tip, newb.


Jim Mitchem

Deconstructing Hope
The Next

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.