A reader asked:

I have a blogging friend who’s pretty paranoid about anyone passing on her work without quoting where they got it from, telling when it was posted and contacting her for permission to pass it on.

What are your feelings on the ethics/etiquette of passing along a great post without jumping through the hoops of getting permission? I imagine it would be hard for a post to go viral if everyone was getting permission to send it on down the line.

Thanks for all your great contributions to the blogging world.

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You don’t legally need permission to pass on a public post any more than you need permission to hand a magazine to someone else to read. Proper etiquette does call for you to at least give an original link , and if the author isn’t named, it’s good manners to include their name.

It’s also an acceptable practice to put an excerpt from a post /article you like on your own blog, maybe make a comment or recommendation, then link to the original.

Writers almost universally appreciate it when you share their work. Getting more readers is the whole point for 99.9% of bloggers.

If your friend is that particular about her own work being shared, then she shouldn’t be too surprised that her audience won’t grow very fast (unless she just has truly remarkable content).  If she has strict rules about her own content being shared, she should post those rules prominently and clearly at the end of each of her posts.

Regardless, no one is breaking a law if they share her public blog content as long as they credit it to her.

Seems kind of strange to put content out there on a blog for the general public then be “paranoid” if people pass it on with a link and/or the authors name. The only element that really matters with respect to page ranking, search engines, back links and growing traffic is that the correct link is prominently and accurately included.

Maybe she is worried about DUPLICATE content, and someone else getting the “juice” for her content. She shouldn’t worry. The search engines give value to the original indexing of content, not the duplicates.

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