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Brendan Cooper is Editor-in-Chief at byyd, the leading mobile Demand-side Platform.

Colt PR keep tweeting my blog posts as if they were theirs

That’s all, really. I’ve posted this so that it’ll appear on their twitterstream and make them look slightly foolish, even if just for one tweet.

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12 Comments on “Colt PR keep tweeting my blog posts as if they were theirs”

  1. Jason Keath January 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Wouldn’t you want people to tweet your blog posts out automatically? Free automatic promotion?

    They are not claiming that they wrote the article, they are just automatically feeding blogs they like into Twitter, the title and link. There is nothing saying “written by Colt PR”. They are not reblogging it under their byline. I would be happy.

    One of the other blogs they TwitterFeed is ReadWriteWeb.com, great company to keep. Seems like a good thing to me. Let me know if I am missing something.

  2. Brendan January 28, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    I guess you’re right Jason. They’ve been doing it for a long time and I opted for your strategy ie they’re promoting me for free.

    But the flipside is that their Twitter account will now be associated with a lot of social media terms because they’re syndicating my content – and others, as you say – without having to lift a finger, so Twitter searches for those terms might find them in preference to me, and I don’t think that’s fair.

    Plus, while it’s true they don’t claim ownership, they don’t attribute ownership either.

    There’s also the issue of whether they’re actually monitoring what they’re producing on their feed. I very much doubt they know that they tweeted this out. At least, they haven’t contacted me.

    To be honest I just did this as a bit of an idle test. I’ll probably remove the post sometime soon. It was really a post designed to slot into the world of Twitter and consequently doesn’t have a long shelf life.

    • Jason Keath January 28, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

      Don’t get me wrong. I think it is lazy and silly what they are doing. Unless they for some reason, and no offense, have so much faith in your content they are ok blindly tweeting it out.

      But on the web, that is kind of the game. People rip you off daily. Rarely, unless they are the originator of the content, will they ever get close to the benefit of the content creator.

      All in all though. It was funny.

  3. Brendan January 28, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    Glad you appreciated it in the tone it was intended! :)

  4. Ole Emil Johnsen January 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Hi Brendan. I’m sorry if you feel that this is ”plagiarism”. I’ll try to explain why we created a social media feed on our company account on Twitter.

    Many people have asked us why we feed during the last two years. This topic has been up for discussions many times, both among the partners at ColtPR, and with other people. In 2009 we wrote a blog post trying to explain why we do this. http://coltpr.no/sosiale-medier/derfor-feeder-coltpr/ (It’s in Norwegian, but with a little luck the Google translator isn’t too far off: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=no&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=no&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fcoltpr.no%2Fsosiale-medier%2Fderfor-feeder-coltpr%2F )

    In short: We offer a Social Media feed service on our Twitter account. We’ve chosen from our favourite sources and bloggers. It’s true that we don’t “produce” anything in this feed ourselves anymore – we’ve actually just facilitated a news service. Debates, personal expression and comments are posted by our personal accounts. Perhaps it isn’t the ideal way of doing things, and we’ve tried not to be a spambot, but selectively chosen relevant sources for our followers.

    Thank you for the burn. It keeps us on our toes.

    • Jason Keath January 31, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

      For the record Ole, feel free to tweet out socialfresh.com posts any time you would like. ; )

      Seriously though, I completely respect Brendan’s perspective. And the fact that you are replying here shines well on your intent too. I think any logical person clicking on a link you were feeding into Twitter would see that you are curating and not publishing. Seems obvious. But at the same time, it is Brendan’s content and if her feels it is not transparent, he has the right to ask you to clarify or stop or whatever.

  5. Brendan January 31, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    OK, but you need to be much more explicit about this.

    The vast majority of tweets you issue are in English. But your bio – which you say explains what’s going on – is in Norwegian. So the audiences that will be reading the tweets will, in the main, not be able to read the bio. So they, like me, will naturally assume that you’re riding off the back of their content.

    Also, on your website, the only part that is in English actually says ‘Our Twitter Updates’! They’re not ‘your updates’ – they’re my blog posts, which you’re syndicating!

    So I can see what you’re doing but I do think you need to be more transparent about it. Changing the description on your home page would help, as would stating what you’re doing on your bio in your audience’s language. I’d also recommend adding something to the feed, perhaps put a prefix before tweet saying ‘Syndicated’? Even better, depending on which tool you’re using to do this, if you can have a different identifier for each feed, then put the name of the blogger in, something like “Syndicated from Brendan Cooper”.

    You say the topic has been up for discussion many times, and if a significant proportion of these discussions are in response to negative feedback, then, well, you should consider changing, surely? It’s not true that any PR is good PR.

  6. Ole Emil Johnsen January 31, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    I agree we could be more explicit. Our target audience at coltpr was Norwegian, and we wanted to help them to find inspiration in blogs from around the world. We actually didn’t think people like you, Todd Defren, RWW, Brian Solis or Chris Brogan would care if we tweeted your blog posts, but I understand your message about being more transparant about who wrote these in the tweets.

    I don’t agree that we present your blog post as our own, but we should absolutely credit you by name.

    The reason why we’ve continued with the feed is because of all the positive feedback. The negative feedback gives us learning about other peoples opinions and a reason to evaluate ours. That’s the fun part.

    Personally I think the List-function on Twitter, paper.li and netvibes let the users make a better service. The awarness and knowledge about social medias has increased drastically the last 6-12 months in Norway, so perhaps it’s time to evaluate again.

    I’ll do some changes in our settings tomorrow morning. Thanks for your input.

  7. Brendan February 1, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Great. I’m pleased this turned into a positive outcome rather than a public argument. :)

  8. Simon Ashley February 3, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”

    Or

    “To steal from one is plagiarism, to steal from many is research!”

  9. Daniel Kirby March 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Interesting discussion, I guess attribution is the key issue here

    Bit of a sidebar – the above reminded me of a Malcolm Gladwell article on plagiarism which I read in his book ‘What the dog saw’

    (BTW I am NOT saying that plagiarism is what is happening here. it’s just that Gladwell has an interesting perspective – as an author – of his words reappearing in another work)

    You can read here:
    http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_11_25_a_borrowed.html

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Colt PR keep tweeting my blog posts as if they were theirs « Brendan Cooper – your friendly social media-savvy freelance copywriter and social media consultant. Or: words make ideas make money. -- Topsy.com - January 28, 2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Barbara B. Nixon, KarenRussell. KarenRussell said: Well, here's one way to embarrass intellectual property thieves http://tinyurl.com/4lmpp4b (you go, @brendancooper) [...]

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