Read this article recently about the editor of one of my favorite websites Buzzfeed. It got me thinking. With the pressures us Sales People are under to create content as part of our Social Selling journey. How much easier would it be if I just copied somebody else’s? Have we reached the point where just copy each others work – The point where, content will eat itself?
BuzzFeed Fires Editor After Twitter Users Unearth Plagiarized Articles
I Love Blogging
Started this blog 6 months ago and I love it. Hard work coming up with new and original ideas. But that’s what I love, the freedom and ability to sit here and type on my laptop creating something from nothing.
In the middle of putting the finishing touches to a recent blog, my phone goes. It’s a Social Selling colleague. “Take a look at these two LinkedIn profiles” he says.
OK, they are not exact copies, but you can see the similarities?
“It gets worse” he says, suggested running a colleagues articles through Google.
One is pretty much a word for word copy of a Deloitte White Paper. There is no acknowledgment at the end of the article.
I’ve discussed this with other Social Media people and we all agree this is plagiarism.
There is nothing new under the Sun
“There’s nothing new under the sun – you just get a can of paint out.”
While I love the creative process, in 2014 is anybody really creating something new? New but not unique.
We have all taken somebodies idea and expanded on it. I looked at Gerry Moran’s LinkedIn profile the other day and thought, that’s a good idea, need to craft something like that. Like being the operative word, I would never directly lift it, and copy it word for word. But Gerry did spark some creativity in me. to draw an analogy, listen to Robert Plant’s songwriting (Solo and in Led Zeppelin) he has heavily “borrowed” from The Blues. Nobody calls Led Zeppelin plagiarists.
How do we define plagiarism? My view, this is where you intently take someones creativity. The time they have put in, the sweat the energy – and passed it off as your own. Not necessarily for money but at least personal gain.
Somebody passed off my photos on Twitter as their own. OK no real matter. But I’m the one that researched were to take the shots, took the train to Shoreditch and stood in the rain to take the photos. That makes me feel those shots belong to me. Why did somebody feel they could just take them and repost them on Twitter as if they were their own.
How do we prove intent?
The Essence of Social Selling
Social selling is about creating a profile so that people seek you out as a thought leader in your field. While I agree that not everybody can be a Thought Leader, surely we can all come up with something about how your customers gain value from your products and services? If not go and ask them. (Obviously ask them permission if you can use the material, or use it with the names taken out). Why copy somebody else?
Also, surely you can up with something original about yourself? What are you passionate about? Beliefs? What it is you want people to see you as – honest, trustworthy, etc.
Why don’t you read some periodicals, see what your thought leaders and influencers are doing, but if you post such articles, make sure you quote your sources. If you’re not interested in what you sell and not passionate about your customers, maybe you are in the wrong job?
I’ll finish with a Jill Rowley @jill_rowley quotation
“If you suck offline, you are going to suck more online.”