hear me out.

A few weeks ago, I shared a post on cleaning up my Pinterest. Consider this post an important continuation on a similar and equally important topic. I am writing this post to support the people who spend their lives making the content we pin so freely. They work tirelessly to design the rooms, style the outfits, and whip up recipes so they can share their talents with the world. The absolutely awful part of what is happening is that some bloggers {and pinners} are taking the hard work of others and passing it off as their own. When did this ever become ok?!


#1: Using a photo found on Pinterest and not properly sourcing it in a blog post. 
Properly sourcing a photo does not simply mean providing the URL for the individual pin--or better yet, a general Pinterest user profile. It means going the distance and finding the actual source of the pin. {If you didn't install it after my initial post, you need to install this bookmarklet pronto.}

#2Sharing photos in a post with the intention of gaining traffic--even though the content is not yours.
Let's be honest: we all know the power of Pinterest when it comes to generating traffic for our blogs. We know a few good pins can help tremendously with pageviews. This knowledge does not mean we should use it to our advantage at the mercy of those who created the content for the pin. They deserve the credit for their efforts to make the "pretty" we share.

#3: Executing #2 and then self-pinning from a generic blog URL rather than an actual post. 
Again I say: we all know well what a game-changer Pinterest can be. The tough part of this equation is that when trying to track down sources, pinning from a generic blog URL stinks. It takes much more time to track down the pin than should ever be necessary. Though bloggers can't control how other people pin from their blogs, bloggers can certainly be aware of how they do it on their own.

#4Pinning without first looking to see if the pin is properly sourced.
I see some of the biggest brands, bloggers, magazines, and pinners violating this every day. This is far from ok. I have learned to maximize the "like" feature of Pinterest as a way to try and combat this. If I'm on my phone or don't have time to track down a source, I will "like" something to save it for potential pinning. This way, I'm not further perpetuating a bad source by pinning it first and sourcing it later.

The reality is this...
We should be pinning in a supportive manner--rather than one which works for our own gain. 
I may sound naïve, but I get it. Maybe the people who have "gamed" the system really know "what's up"...but I would rather reach readers with content that is my own, even if I'm incorporating the work of others. It simply requires the appropriate sourcing to make it right. {If anyone else can help me say this, it's Leela Cyd.}

What am I doing to change things? I'm still working diligently to clean up my entire Pinterest. Each and every pin I've shared since my #cleanupyourpinterest post has been sourced as accurately as humanly possible. I am also making a whole-hearted effort to give more credit where credit is due when I make photo collages {see example here and here}. I wouldn't be able to make such a collage without their photos after all. I know it takes a little extra time, but we should willingly give that time in return for using the content of others.

Should you still be reading by this point in the post, thank you: it shows a real commitment to making the blogosphere a better place. If, as a result of this post, you realize you've been doing any one of these things, there is always time to change! I'm far from perfect {and will never be}, but I'm going to try my best to be cognizant moving forward. I know it is worth writing this crazy long post to change where things are headed. One day, when we're all successful fill-in-the-blank-here's, we will be eternally grateful for the people who shared our work the right way.

43 comments:

  1. AMEN!!!! I think I left the comment before when you started your "clean up your pinterest" campaign, but number #1 is my biggest pet peeve! Pinterest is not the source documentation!

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  2. I completely agree! Thank you for spreading the word!

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  3. I totally agree! Thank you for these wonderful tips!

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  4. This is definitely one of those tough topics that I'm pretty sure most don't want to bring up (c; Definitely want to give credit where credit is due so that all of us gawkers still have pretties to look at!

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  5. This is a great post. I am guilty of all of the above, but vow to make an effort to change my pinning ways and to do a much better job of providing credit and accurate source links on my blog go forwarding!

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  6. love! i've been using that bookmarklet nonstop since you posted it. SUCH a lifesaver! xox

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  7. I was intrigued by your first blog about these issues, and it encouraged me to get that Bookmarklet image source tool that you mentioned. I have to be honest though, I'm rather confused as to how it works. I may be missing something really simple, but I can't seem to find the original source of some images.

    I tried using the bookmarklet on a gorgeous outfit I found on Pinterest, and I was run around a ton of blogs and Tumblr pages and could not for the life of me figure out the actual source of an outfit. Is there a website that explains how to use the bookmarklet?

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  8. love this post & the information about how to correctly Pin images & use Pinterest.. I think it can be confusing so the more it's talked about the better understood it may be. Hopefully at least! Thanks for the information and bringing this to our attention!

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  9. your desire to give proper credit is inspiring - it is initiatives like this that inspire others to continue creating things for the public to admire. without that proper sourcing, i think people become really fed up. this is so important, & i am going to start cleaning up my pinterest boards this week.

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  10. I think this is an important topic to cover and I loved your candid honesty in this post! I have over 18,000 pins and I constantly wonder about the ones that don't go to their proper source. I'm going to make more of an effort to track down the original source so that people receive the credit!

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  11. Ugh, #4, I am so with you! I mean, i agree with all you said but Pins not being correctly sourced drives me nutsos! (especially for recipes. a picture of something yummy is not helpful!!) I used to manually copy/paste/caption any Pins I used on my blog but then i found the "Embed" option. I'm noticing it doesn't go to the original source though, only the Pins. I might have to go back to my old way, or check out your links above. :) keep up the good work!

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  12. Great post. So many of us bloggers do these things without even thinking about who we might be hurting in the process.

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  13. I agree! I know it drives me crazy if I find a pin I really love and I want to see where it came from, and you have to click back on like 9 repins just to find the original source! I personally don't even like repinning- I try to do everything straight from the page it came from. I'm glad other people are starting to do the same!

    ~L

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  14. I soooo agree! I think it's so ridiculous when people do the photo source as Pinterest... ummmmm... have you checked out Link with Love? http://linkwithlove.typepad.com/linkwithlove/

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  15. Completely agree! Great post. OH and your last post about Pinterest inspired me to clean out my pins!!!

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  16. so proud of you for posting this! such smart tips every pinner should know! xo

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  17. Good for you! I admit that I've been guilty of #1 on two or three occasions, but going forward, I'm going to make sure I source properly :)

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  18. Great post! I've been trying to get better at this, but this post makes me want to go through all my pins. {Note to Pinterest - please make editing and moving pins easier!}

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  19. Oh my goodness, this is a fantastic post. I'm sure at some point I've done all of the wrong things the wrong way while pinning. Lately I've tried to get better about sourcing everything I post on my blog if it isn't my own. Of course, there are times I slip and mess up, but I agree that the original owner/photographer/person needs more credit. I also need to go through and clean out my Pinterest account. Xo

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  20. this is awesome! i definitely need to go through all my pins and do the same, it's just such a laborious process that i've been doing it piecemeal.

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  21. Again, like your last Pinterest post, I totally agree! But there have been a few times that I look forEVER for the original source of an adorable pin and cannot find it. I know the answer should be that I shouldn't use the pin at all, but do you have any further tips besides the ?src-img bookmarklet? Sometimes that tool only directs me to Pinterest and Tumblr links. Thanks!

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  22. Great post! I need to definitely clean up my Pinterest!

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  23. Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I can't stand when I go to a pin's link only to discover it's some scam. :\

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  24. Hi, I'm new to Pinterest but I stumbled upon something I could use some help with. I tried to explain it here but there wasn't enough room. I really appreciate your advice & know-how. Would you mind if I emailed you about? Thanks so much for creating such a great blog! I'm so glad I found you :-) Molly

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  25. No clue what you're talking about, which worries me. I might just be too tired to take it in. Going to reread this tomorrow.

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  26. Reading this post makes me realize how negligent I've been with using Pinterest.
    Not that I use pics from P. on my own blog post, but more that I never check if image is properly linked, nor if I can go back up to its original sourcing.
    That's the thing with pinterest, we pin a image that has been pinned and repinned so many times by so many different pinners that I've never even asked myself the question.
    But it's about to change as I feel more concern about the ethic way I want to be using this oh so precious and resourceful app.
    Thanks for raising this matter to us!
    Take care
    Laetitia

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  27. Great post! Having only recently started on Pinterest, I am shocked at how many pins lead to broken pages or blogs but not specific blog posts. What's the point then?

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  28. I tried clicking on a Pinterest pin and used the bookmarklet and this is what I got at the bottom of the page:
    ♒ This bookmarklet is brought to you by @jarred & @hydnhntr and is in no way afilliated with Google™. Found a bug? Fix it.
    I'm not sure I'm using this correctly, can u help me?

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    1. hi there! you need to make sure you drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar. unless it is installed, you're likely just seeing the disclaimer the generous folks who host the bookmarklet provide ;) hope this helps!

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  29. Great article! I agree that accurately sourcing pins is the right thing to do, and I even use Likes the same way!

    We recently added a tool to Pin4Ever (my business) which lets you find any broken links in your pins when you run a backup. Then you can track down the correct source. I still need to run it on my account, since we just released it a few days ago, but I think it will be very helpful Please let me know if you'd like to know more about it..

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  30. I too am trying to clean out my spam. I'm reading ur site and would love more information on bookmarket!

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  31. Thanks for this post! I am rethinking my frivolous habit of pinning haphazardly! I am planning on getting a DIY website up soon and while I have quite a knack for tools and DIY I'm almost computer illiterate. I had planned on making my website solely of my own projects and this post has reinforced that idea. I will need to also be mindful of any pics or pins that inspire my projects to be sure to give due credit to the original source, to the best of my ability, (at least as far as that goes in the internet world). Thanks again!!

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  32. I just went through and deleted a ton of pins for this reason. I'm now not repinning anything and only pinning things from blogs that I've visited and I know the blogger made the graphic. If enough of us do this, hopefully we'll see some change down the road!

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  35. I am a new pinner and I find this article invaluable. I did not know any of this!
    Thank you!

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  36. A great read, Thanks for sharing and educating me! ~ Sammy @ Www.bargainbaglady.com {xx}

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  37. After reading your post, it's still not clear to me HOW to source the original pin. You say putting the URL is not enough. Many of us pinners don't really know how to do this properly so that the original pinner gets the credit. I'm an A-B-C kind of person who doesn't understand until shown step-by-step what to do. In fact, I read your post twice to see if I missed something. I understand it should be done, and I want to do it...just don't know how.
    I know the first time I came to Pinterest & started pinning, I was shocked that a pin I innocently pinned was then credited to me. I didn't know what to do to fix it & still don't. Maybe rich pins are the answer?

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  38. Great tip, but I think the thing that gets me just as upset is when you look into a post and its either not there because the page has gone or it's an add for an item for sale. I can go to the shops or shop online, if I click on a pin I am interested in the content being honest, not a money scam.

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  39. Thanks for this article! It just came up as a suggestion on my Pinterest. I'm a new blogger. Or more accurately- a newly serious blogger! I started sharing items I found on Pinterest as a way to build credibility with my readers. I not only share the source, but I tell a little about the person who made it and what they made it for--whatever I can glean from their post and/or about page. Then I contact them and told them I shared it...as a way to meet them and get to know other bloggers. Not sure if this makes sense, so I'll share a link to one of my posts so you see what I mean. I've met a few people already and have only done these sharing posts twice now! http://calmandcollected.us/blog/14-fun-summer-printables-for-free/

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