Get widget

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bloggers - Tag Your Stuff! A Cautionary Tale

I messed up. Before you read the rest, know that, and then at the end, when you're done reading, come back here and remember that. That, above all else, is the moral of this story.

I messed up.

Have you seen this yet?

If you haven't, and you run in mommy circles, you probably will.

If you have you most likely didn't see it from me.

And it's mine.

I made this card.

Now, you'll notice in the version I have here, I put my blog name at the bottom. It's not on the Facebook version, and here's a little tale to convince you why your name should be on everything you do.

Most little bloggers (like me, and maybe like you?) work pretty hard to increase their following, to get noticed, to have people start paying attention. In order to do that, I started, just in the last month or so, making ecards of some of my personal status updates over the past year. (Yes, that was a status update of mine.) You'll see a bunch more on my page that did okay. None of them have my branding on them.

None of them have my branding on them because when you upload an image you've made onto your FB page, anyone who shares that image gets your link right on top.


You can imagine my joy when this card literally took off. I have more than 1,300 shares! That's huge for me. Like major.

So, I'm derping along, happy as can be that finally I've written something the internet thinks is funny. And I get a message from a friend on my wall.

Hey there! Joella from Fine and Fair says. You might want to brand those photos you're making, so when they go viral, you get the credit.

And I think, aww, Joella! That's a good idea, but 700 shares (that's where it was at the time), is hardly viral. It's just a big deal to me. I'm sure it's fine.

No. Wrong. There was a purpose to her message.

Many people, instead of sharing, downloaded the picture then re-uploaded the picture to their page. Meaning my work is now divorced from me. Meaning my work now goes out under her link. And even though she says right up top that the work isn't hers, that it was shared with her, the millions (yes, more than a million people) seeing the card with her link on top don't know it's my picture, don't know it's my joke. It links back to her, and they go.

They are bigger operations than me (by far) to begin with, so as was likely to happen, it took off much faster on her page than on mine. It is, in fact, outstripping me by ten times.

I'm taking the numbers out because from the time I wrote this post originally until now, the numbers are astronomical, and they have nothing at all to do with the original page I was talking about.

I am so small, I literally had no idea what viral really meant. Now I do. Now it's viral. Really viral.

Someone else makes a really good point about Someecards and their terms of service. Which says that all of this stuff is basically not done. Which I can only say I didn't know because I made these cards more than a month ago, and clearly didn't pay attention. Again, my fault. I may have to go make some right there, particularly if I am wrong.

The safest thing to do, if you are a blogger and trying to do this is to totally make your own meme. Then put your name on it.

Like my Peep meme. That's my peep, my counter top, my everything.

That's what you have to do.

Bloggers don't trample each other because they think others don't count. They literally don't see the small guys because we are small. Most of them found the card from another source, not my page, anyway, and shared from there. They don't see you at all. You have to make yourself seen.

I think this happens a lot.

I never put my name on it. Because I didn't have the confidence to do so. And this viral-thing isn't ever meant to hurt anyone. People share and upload and download, that's just what they do.

The point here being:

1) If you're a big guy, resist the right-click save. You don't know who you are stepping on. Sometimes they'll come find you and be a royal PIA like me, and other times, you'll just profit from their hard work. Share. Use the share button. That's what it's for.

2) If you're a little guy (or a big guy), for God's sake, put your name on your stuff. Put Your Name On Your Stuff.

Put your name on your stuff.

All of it. Any crappy, stupid idea that pops into your head that you're going to share on the internet. If it fails, no one will see it anyway, so they won't know it's stupid, and if it succeeds, you are covered.

For me, it was gut-wrenching because I put stuff up I want shared every day, and this was the first thing the internet ever liked. And I didn't get the credit for it. So, yeah, I'm a whiny mess. (Although this post is the last thing you'll see about it from me. I'm cutting myself off. My poor friends have listened to enough of it.)

I messed up. Don't do the same. Brand your work.



  1. I still think you should name names here on the blog...

  2. naaaaaaaah.... the offenders know who they are... and they clearly are uneffected by simple words... and on top of that... naming names... only gives them more notarity..... n we dont want that now do we... get your own stuff... and if you want noticed.... flash your own name...

  3. Thanks for the heads up. I wouldn't have thought to put my name on it either. Of course I don't even know how to make ecards so I might be safe! But the point is, everything you post, brand. Thanks!

  4. I'm not sure if you are sharing a lesson you learned or whining about how you've been wronged. You didn't label your stuff, lesson learned. No one is "profiting" from sharing your e-card, no one is getting a trophy of having this or that many shares. If you learned your lesson then why not let it be? Why complain endlessly? What will that accomplish?

    1. If the other blogger is getting more pageviews and drawing more traffic from the widespread sharing, then those hits count for ad revenue. So yeah, someone is quite literally profiting.

    2. Not if the "blogger" in question isnt actually a blogger, but rather just a facebooker and doesnt get PAID.

    3. But hey, a dramatized version of the reality is how media works. Kudos to this blogger for figuring out how to alter the truth to make it barely interesting enough to warrant getting some page views.

  5. Who tags an someecard to label it their property? It's someone else's image and card, you just captioned it. I think you have acted very childish about it, especially by using their cover image in your blog. The downloading and reposting is inevitable. I've done it numerous times as that is how it works on my phone.

    Also, this is from the Terms of Service from
    "Someecards User will not use this service to create advertising, promote a product, brand, Web site, social media program, or Facebook fan page. Someecards are for personal use only, and can not be taken off the site. Only the social networking buttons on the site can be used to share the content."

    "Someecards User will not use this service to create advertising, promote a product, brand, Web site, social media program, or Facebook fan page. Someecards are for personal use only, and can not be taken off the site. Only the social networking buttons on the site can be used to share the content."

    1. I was going to rewrite this post anyway, because when I wrote it this morning, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't even know what viral was, and it was a whiny piece of BS.

      I'm glad I got your comment before that, because I didn't know that about ecards, and I have a lot of research to do to make this right.

      I rewrote with this information in mind. Thank you so much.

  6. This is the second item I meant to post from the ToS, instead of the 3rd paragraph.

    "In addition, you may not reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble any Content, nor shall you use or download any images separate and/or apart from the associated product or service."

  7. I can sympathize with you and feel your pain, but the bottom line in this case was this wasn't "your stuff" to tag and take credit for in the first place. The copyright belongs to since you used their platform and their image to create it. The people sharing and reposting didn't do anything wrong. Someecards is clearly noted on those shared images, so credit is being properly given to the source. As someone mentioned above, Someecards does not allow for "tagging" of their cards, doing so is against their terms of service and in violation of their copyrights. If you truly want your work protected, it's best to create your own images to be shared. :) I would be careful drawing attention to yourself with this blog post and any related notoriety that is coming with it. You're practically shouting out to that you violated their terms of service and infringed on their copyrights and are encouraging others to do the same.

    And for what it's worth, I love your phrase. :)

  8. Someecards doesn't enforce their Terms of Service for the most part, for a very good reason. Having their logo shared across the internet gives them tons of business. While technically you shouldn't be putting your logo on images shared on Facebook... technically people shouldn't be posting them to Facebook.

    1. That is certainly true, but if they did want to enforce their terms of service, they certainly are well within their rights too.

      As for sharing, technically, if the images are already on Facebook, they can be shared so long as they're properly cited to someecards, which they are. The terms of service only apply to site users like this blogger. They're the ones who are bound to only share through their own platform on the site. A typical Facebook user who runs across one of the cards on Facebook and shares it would not be bound to those same restrictions, but they would be bound to federal copyright law.

    2. In a blog eat blog world though, folks, it's still POLITE to give your source a heads up. I watch humor sites on Facebook and they nearly always include the tumblr site they're being pulled from or wherever. The point is, you can still be nice and put a link to help out a smaller blogger.

    3. The point here, though, is no one knew the source other than it being from and that source was properly credited. So the people reposting it, no matter what manner they did so, are not at fault here.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...