Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sharing is Caring

Hi, I'm Erika and this is my blog. I use this space to share my love of sewing and making with you, through how-to's and tips, tutorials, and step-by-step projects. At the very least, I hope you find a fellow comrade in me, someone who shares your appreciation for the handmade, for all things sewing, and for learning new things. At the most, I hope to teach you something new, maybe inspire you to make something with your own two hands, and hopefully to call you my friend.

It may seem to you, because my content is posted "on the house" here on the wonderful world-wide-web, that it is free. I assure you, it is not free - there is an unseen give-and-take between us, and it is called sharing. There is a fundamental difference between sharing content and looting content. For those of you who may not fully understand how sharing works and why taking my content is paramount to looting, I will now explain.

I post content here to share with you because I am incredibly passionate about making stuff. I want to share with you; I want you to get inspired to make stuff yourself, and I want you to learn how to make something new if you've never tried to make something with your own two hands. I am not paid in any way, shape, or form for posting this content. I make a point not to advertise here, I do not accept free merchandise in exchange for reviews, I do not accept sponsors, I do not post giveaways in return for free merchandise, I do not accept advertising links on the sidebar or in the body of my blog. This blog, simply put, is for the love of sharing about the joys of making and the handmade.

The unseen cost to me for providing content is the time it takes me to put the posts together; to create the idea or project, shoot the photos, write the text, edit (and edit, and edit...), and finally to post here to share with you. Time is something that is precious to me. First and foremost, I am a housewife/mother responsible for caring for my family; I cook, I clean, I do laundry, I chauffeur, I mother, mentor, and teach, and I make sure our elderly Auntie upstairs is alive and kicking every single day. Secondly, I work part time from home, fitting in these tasks around my family's schedule. I volunteer with several groups, adding in time for meetings and events when I am not with my family or working. Lastly, I am an aspiring artist, struggling to find enough time to put my ideas into reality. Sharing through my blog is something that I fit in as best as I can because I love it and am passionate about it.

The unseen price to you for viewing the content is simple, that you are visiting me here at my blog. Maybe you are visiting just a few minutes to read about hand sewing basics or how to make a simple apron. Maybe you come back often to look at the same tutorial a few times while working on a project. Hopefully you will also read my latest post to get to know me a little better or see what I'm making. And maybe - just maybe - you follow me and read each of my new posts. When you like what you see and you share my content responsibly, it brings more people back to visit me here, which is absolutely awesome! There is no better compliment  than having you share my content  responsibly; through Pinterest (by pinning in a way that leads back to my original content), through your own blog (by sharing a link or linking directly to a photo that leads back to my original content), or at Facebook (by posting a link that leads back to my original content and maybe even tagging me in there as well), or anywhere else out there in the big world that is the internet. I know the majority of you get it.

When you take my content from me without giving me credit or linking back to my original source, you are breaking the chain of sharing, you are taking my content for your own, you are looting my work. Actual examples of looting my work include;
  • Downloading photos/text and uploading to a Pinterest pin without giving credit or linking back to the original source
  • Downloading photos and uploading to a blog/website/article without giving credit or linking back to the original source
  • Copying/pasting an entire blog post without permissions, giving credit, or linking back to the original source
  • Downloading a personal photo and uploading to a social media profile as if it were you (yes, creepy, and yes this has happened to me)
If you are unclear on where the line is between sharing and looting content, here are some suggestions. First, contact the person who's content you'd like to share and simply ASK. Chances are, if your plan is to share responsibly, it's all good. You can also read up on guidelines for sharing at whichever online venue you'd like to share (Blogger, Wordpress, Facebook, Pinterest, etc...).

I know that the majority of you that visit me here have always shared my content in a responsible way, and I thank you for that. Seriously, there are lots and lots of bloggers out there talking about making stuff and sewing, and I really appreciate that you choose to visit me here. And a very special, heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has taken time to leave me a comment - I do really appreciate the time you take to give me a little feedback, it makes my day.

For those of you that maybe didn't quite understand the fine line between sharing and looting, I hope this has made things a little more clear to you. Please think twice the next time before you take content that is not yours to post as your own.

Thanks for visiting me, for sticking it out through my rant, and for sharing. Because, after all, sharing is caring.

That is all.


Bunny said...

♡ Thanks for clarifying/ reminding. I am always paranoid that I'm doing this without realizing as you know I tend to pin in fits of wild abandon!♡

Sarah C said...

Well said!!

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Thanks Bunny for stopping by, and thanks for your comment!

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Word, Sarah C!

Exuberant Color said...

Good post! I agree about Pinterest, it leads people back to my blog but I'm pretty miffed when I find one of my photos with misinformation printed below it and no link back to my blog.

Robyn of Coffee and Cotton said...

I hate that this has happened to you. You didn't rant, you spoke the truth. Unfortunately it is something we as designers / bloggers / artists etc. have to be diligent about. I gave up a former business of mine (selling machine embroidery designs that I designed and digitized) because of theft and duplication. I like to think the good people outweigh the bad.

Julie Ann said...

It is sad that this even has to be said; and, unfortunate that Robyn gave up a business because of the actions of others. I do agree that the good people outweigh the bad. It would just be nice if they outweighed a little more! :-)

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Oh, Robyn that is too bad - I had no idea, so sorry! Argh!

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Hi Julie Ann, well said! Thanks for stopping by and visiting me here!