Blogs and Attribution

The recent ruckkus over attribution at Engadget raises issues about how you source an item when you blog about it.
Heather Green

A recent mini-brouhaha over attribution got me thinking about the whole messy issue. On Monday, the gadget blogger Dapreview accused Engadget of using their news and not giving them credit. The details are a little complicated, but in the end Engadget apologized for what it called an unintential mistake.

I'm with Problogger, who wrote that the bigger issue here seems to be about how you source an item when you blog about it. There are lots of approaches to this, though I still find some confusing. Off the top of my head, the standard style used by Engadget comes to mine.

My point about Engadget is different from Dapreview's. It's more about the style they use to attribute a post. Engadget reports its own items or writes up a brief explainer of some item found on another blog or site. Most often the way they attribute back to the other blog is site is with the LINK button at the bottom left hand corner of the site. (Like here with this BBC item on Apple.). More rarely, they will do the classic "via" statement, like here with Akihabara News and an MP3 player.

Their approach always struck me as odd. Wouldn't it make more sense just to consistently name the other blog or site in a a "via" line or within the post itself?

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