Monday, July 11, 2011

Plagiarism is as Plagiarism Does...

I'm in the middle of changing my strategy for my online writing... again.  This time trying to move the majority of it away from content mills and go for a more residual income type.  Where the article is written and posted once but the benefits are ongoing and never ending with each article that is posted.  Along the lines of Squidoo, but on more reputable sites that are known for knowledgeable content on a variety of subject matters.

Just like everything else out there, the possibilities and the how to do it has to be researched thoroughly before actually doing it.  From what I've read, it's going to take quite a few articles strategically placed to amount to anything in the beginning.  It's a project that takes time to reap the benefits from but once the bulk of the beginning content is written, it will pay off handsomely.

One of the sites that I do occasionally post on that does absolutely nothing for me except grant a backlink to another one of my websites is Ezine Articles.  You'll see a link for them on my sidebar here that will take you to my twenty something articles that I have posted on their site.  One of the great things about Ezine is that my articles there can be "borrowed" and published on other websites.  But they are supposed to be published in their entirety, unedited and with the original author's (that would be me on my stuff) name.

This is where Copyscape.com comes in...

I run every article that I write for publication or payment through Copyscape Premium.  Even though each one of my articles is out of my own mind and unique, I do it as a safety measure to protect myself from any chance of plagiarism charge from another author.  The online writing world is horribly competitive with people from every country in the world trying to come up with unique content for each and every article that they write.  Unfortunately in this profession, just like others, there are a few lazy, bad apples (or bitches as I like to call them) that just don't get it.

Occasionally I run my own articles through Copyscape a second time after they have been published for a while to see where they have ended up.  And each time there is some lazy writer from elsewhere in the world that has felt the need to plagiarize all or part of one of my articles.  Today it's this article that I wrote back in October of last year.  We are talking entire sections of the article that are showing up verbatim with someone else's name attached to it.

Do I freak out?  Naaah.  There's really nothing that I can do about it.  I just remind myself that copying is one of the greatest forms of flattery.  They obviously liked what I had to say so they stole it.  There's really not much I can do about it anyway because when I read the rest of their articles it is very obvious that English isn't their first language so I'd probably be dealing with some content mill in India and who has time for that?  If it were the entire article... well... that's different.

It's getting harder and harder to write for the content mills.  Not because I can't write, but because the subject matter has become so repetitive and dry that it makes me want to beat my head against a wall and take an ice pick to my eyes.  Yeah, hating it just that badly.  I signed up for a new one today hoping for a fresh batch of subject matter.  From the looks of it, I just might be in luck but I will still expect the worst so if and when change happens I'll be pleasantly surprised.  And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they accept my first two articles.  Those are the evaluation articles.  Written in AP style which is a style that I'm not real familiar with when writing.

Originality and interesting subject matter are what I'm looking for I guess.  Not regurgitating or rewriting the same article about car insurance that is already on 100 websites out there fifteen times for fifteen different clients.  No wonder Google changed the way they rank websites earlier this year.  People were puking the same information all over the net and it is frustrating to try and search for an answer to a question when you are reading the same thing over and over again... just worded differently.

This low level writing stuff is crazy sometimes.  But I'll figure it out.  Because that's what I have to do.  Well, either that or once again I'll be repeating the phrase "Would you like fries with that?"

I swear this economy still sucks and the only "hope" and "change" that I've experienced is "hoping" that there's more "change" mixed in with the lint in my pocket when I go to the store in case the price has went up again and I don't know it yet.  And that scares me my friends.  It really, REALLY does.

Happy Monday... I think.  :)

*hugs*

~Lanie

4 comments:

  1. Yep everything just keep going up, trying to venture off in two new projects online as well. One is getting done, the second just an idea. But anything to try and get an extra few cents be worth it now a days, don't want to ever go "do you want fries with that"..lol

    Yeah people copy so damn much it isn't funny, screw it, not worth the hassle I say. Most of the copied stuff end up on crap sites anyway, with spam galore, so they really aren't doing themselves a whole lot of favors.

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  2. Hi Pat,

    I hadn't considered that most of them end up on crap sites but you are right now that I think about it. Thanks for mentioning that because it actually makes me laugh about it now! The only part of the articles that make any sense are the parts that they copied word for word from mine. It looks really odd but there were quite a few of them that liked the original.

    I've done the fast food gig and really don't want to go back to it. It's really no fun and doesn't pay worth a darn but if I had to, I would. For a while anyway. :)

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  3. Lanie,

    Everyone should do a tour of duty in the food service industry. It gives you good insight into how people treat other people. I have never published anything and "copy" portions of halloween attraction websites for my "description" of the attraction. I think since it is for promoting the attraction I am ok and will not get sued ... LOL

    Chris :-)

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  4. Hi Chris,

    Yes, they should. But I still don't like it! LOL!

    I bet you are correct. Since it benefits them in the long run they won't mess with your site at all.

    It's hard to prove unless you have something like a dated article like mine on Ezine that proves who posted what first. Crazy, I know but that's just how it goes. :)

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Say want you want but be nice or be gone. :)