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Stop copy/paste – quote in Twitter-size

January 12, 2011

There are so many news websites and news bloggers out there that most of us are about to drown. Very often you have no idea if the story actually stems from the site you’ve found it on, or if it is quoted/copyed/stolen.
Other times the original sources is quoted. But then you often have to go back though several website articles, before you reach the original source.

One year ago, Attributor released a ground-breaking study showing that on average, an article is reused 4.4 times, whole or in part. And for large national papers reuse can go up to 15 times per story. This study only dealt illegal reuse.

Most sites that live on others’ original stories like Huffington Post, Yahoo News and PSFK + apps like Pulse and Flipboard are very good at crediting the orignal source. But most often they take/copy/steale so much from the original article that there is NO reason for the reader to go back to the original source.

News Overload
Also many original content producers participate in this trend. They copy/paste whole articles or great parts of articles and re-publish them on their own sites.
In Denmark an orignal story is only a few minutes old, before it is copyed to most other news websites. Most news wesites look like each other, unlike paper newspapers their websites have too little uniqueness and readers don’t really care which site they go to. They are not loyal readers.
Some Danish newspapers even pay to get quoted though the national news bureau, Ritzau, so their original stories reach as large an audience as possible on websites, radio and tv. A custom that made sense before the internet and the news overload, but today is completly outdated and useless.

As original content producer these trends are bad news. It is dead expensive to create quality content.It is dead important that customers come to the original content producer’s websites/apps to either pay for the content or click on it to generate ad revenue. All those who don’t spend money on original content shouldn’t make the main part of revenue on it by copying, over quoting or even stealing it.

Twitter Size
Therefore I believe that the original content producers should make a deal. Promise each other only to quote on anothers’ articles in Twitter-sizes. 140 signs inclusing a shortened URL. This would create more uniqueness and brand loyalty on each original content site. And the money would go to those who actually spend money on producing the content. With a deal like this, a new practise around quotation will arise, and in the long run it will be easier to stop those who only copy paste to make money on others’ content.

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