blogging with integrity

Have you noticed some funny business happening around blogland over the past year or so? 

We're not the only ones who've noticed unsavory practices: stealing ideas and photos, not providing links or credit, leaving anonymous, hateful or hurtful comments.

In July, four bloggers got together (Susan Getgood, Liz Gumbinner, Kristin Chase and Julie Marsh) to create the Blog With Integrity Pledge "to provide bloggers with a tangible and collective way to express our commitment to a simple code of blogging conduct."

You can view the pledge here. You can sign it here. It was brought to my attention as I was preparing the Build-A-Bear JONAS Dog Giveaway. The Blogging With Integrity Pledge lets my readers know that I was in some way compensated for offering them the giveaway (in this case, Build-A-Bear Workshop provided Loopy with her JONAS Dog), thus making it a form of advertising, as well as a fun and interactive blog game. You see?

I think now would be a good time to tell you that I often get solicited for giveaways and prizes here on the blog... I turn many of them down. For instance, I was approached recently by a jewelry company that wanted to give my readers a chance to win a $200.00 gift card and in return, they would give me a diamond ring. After investigating, I realized nothing on their website was remotely within the $200.00 price range, meaning that the winner of the gift card would have to find at least $1400.00 in order to use the card. That's a bit sketchy, don't you think? Yes, I'd have liked that ring, but in times like this I didn't think asking a "lucky reader" to feel pressured to spend money in order to claim their prize. I have to tell you, here and now, my giveaways are with companies that I feel confident in "endorsing" or sharing with you. You are my peeps, after all. Saucy takes care of her peeps.

Only a few of my giveaways are compensated endorsements. Sometimes, I just like giving things away for the fun of it. Remind me of this as I attempt to bake cupcakes in the ninety degree heat this week to deliver to the winners of my local reader cupcake draw this weekend.

And sometimes, I just like telling you about a cute place to go or to shop, because, that's what girlfriends tell each other, right?

Aside from keeping my readers aware of my endorsements and blogging practices, by displaying the pledge button, I am also stating publicly that I will do my best to cite sources, provide links and give credit for ideas. I will do my best. I may miss something by accident, but I promise to do my best. If you notice a mistake, please email me. That's one of the reasons I keep my address in the sidebar.

Let's take this one step further... I have seen (and been the recipient of) some pretty hurtful comments. The cloak of anonymity provided by the internet makes it easy for us to attack each other. We should respect each other's blog as we would each other's home, don't you agree? If you respectfully disagree with me, please say so. But please own it. Sign your name. Allow me to respond in a respectful manner. For more thoughts on blog comment practices, take a look at my post about it during Build a Better Blog Week in July.

Reader, what are your thoughts on this? Has another, big-time (or small time) blogger stolen an idea from your blog and claimed it as their own? Have you been the victim of an anonymous blog "flamer?" It's happened to me, and it hurts. We need to be kind to each other. 

Go ahead, take the pledge. It only takes a moment. Integrity lasts a lifetime.


Sandra said...

Congratulations on your commitment to integrity. There are too many people willing to take the easy way out so kudos to you for taking a stand and doing the right thing. I fully support your stance and will continue to recommend your blog to all my friends.

Blue Creek Home said...

Great post. I signed the commitment and got the button...wish everyone would.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm going to do this, too.

jkddz said...


and yes I will be there on Sunday... I realize now that I have not paid you yet either =( I can drop it off ASAP! sorry

Chris said...

HI ,
Oh I am so glad that you addressed this ,I was recently hurt when a commenter was mean and put me down , I no longer allow anonymous comments , there is no place for them .
I don't think any of my ideas have been stolen though ?
I too have been apprached give away a $50.00 coupon to my readers , however after I looked into it everything was $600.00 and more , what the heck.
But no one has asked me about doing giveaways , I have already decided not to , unless it is something I really believe in , nothing so far.
Keep up the good clean bloggin .
Just Beachy

40isthenew30 said...

Very well said. I appreciate the time and effort you put into your lovely informative and fun blog.

{ L } said...

Well said. I agree. Thank you for taking this stand.

Jex said...

I am new at bloggin´ I started my blog last week, but I have always read yours and I love your posts, the giveaways and the tips. It´s good to find good people at blogs...I always credit to the artist of my grpahics, I linked the sites and grab buttons of the sites I like. Thanks for letting us know your thoughs everyday.

Hugs from Mexico!

Jerri-Lea said...

I always think of a quote from Thumper on Bambi, "If you don't have somethin' nice to say, don't say nothin' at all!" I think we are all here to encourage and support one another and share some great hints, tips and ideas!
I have copied ideas before and try to remember where I saw it but have checked out so many sites sometimes I lose track of where it came from! There are a lot of great people out there!
Thank goodness I met Saucy!

Rue said...

Well, I think you know that I've had quite a few issues with anon. comments, but I think I knew who the worst offender was and so I made it impossible for them to be too mean to me, by showcasing their children. It was the ex wife LOL

Other than that YES, I have had a very well known blogger steal several of my ideas. I know she reads my blog, but never comments anymore. In fact she's been in quite a few nasty fights with other known bloggers, but still has a huge following. At first I was mad, but then I thought it was pretty darn flattering that she came to me for ideas. Anyone that reads my blog and hers would have noticed that I posted them first anyway, so what does it matter to me? Not a whole heck of a lot. It's kinda sad really.

I try very hard to always acknowledge anyone that I get an idea from. I don't like people being mad at me.

Oh and I don't advertise for others unless it's a friend. There's nothing wrong with that at all, but it's just not for me.

I'm grabbing a button!


PS Give my love to The Fan!

Kim said...

I read about this kind of behavior again & again & it really boggles my mind. I admire what you are doing. Keep up the good work!

Saucy said...

However, my favourite line from Steel Magnolias is when Cherie (Olympia Dukakis) says "if you can't say anything nice, then come sit next to me!"

In all honesty, the negative anonymous comments need to stop! I haven't had a problem with them lately. She-who-must-not-be-named is obviously busy with her new baby and her time off from The View.

{lauryl} said...

Yes, I've had anon negative comments before. I think I know who they were from, but still... not fun. Not fun at all. And I've had my photos stolen, which is why I watermark them all with my name now. It's sad that people can't be more thoughtful.

RobS said...

On my website I have disclaimers on all my images that they fall under the 'creative commons' license system or 'copyleft' as it's called. I've actually had many people respect it when using my images for their own purpose.
or in Canada

Claudia said...

I will definitely take the pledge. I haven't been the recipient of hateful comments, but have certainly encountered other bloggers who have. In every case, the blogger was terribly hurt.

I make an effort to link and give credit where credit is due. When I comment, I comment in a positive, supportive way. If I disagree with someone's post (usually a political post), I keep my thoughts to myself. Why hurt anyone?

Thanks, Saucy, for telling us about this important pledge.

TidyMom said...

Great post Saucy!! I've been lucky in avoiding the flame throwing (knock on wood) but I have had my pictures and word stolen and used on another blog as their own! (even with my watermarked photo) - I looked thru this blog and it was quite obvious most all of her content is copied - and never once does she mention a source - and this lady is a crafter who sells on etsy - wouldn't you think she'd understand these things???

it was very easy to find other owners of several of her blog posts, I contacted a half a dozen of them, all were very appreciative - she removed my post and preplaced it with someone elses! - when I called her on it again, she removed that one - but her blog is still VERY full of stolen content! - some people just don't "get it" - I did report her blog to blogger - what good that did!


Linda Crispell said...

Companies approach you, really??? Wow!!! Hey, J. Crew do a big giveaway on my blog! No one has shown any interst in advertising on my blog or stealing any thing from it. I feel rather inadequate.
Your Pal,
P.S. I love your nutty anonymous blogger, she's so darn easy to mock.

Kerryanne said...

What a great post! I've been the recipient of some horrid comments in the past. No good reason, just miserable people I guess;)

The Berry's Patch said...

I want a button! I hate mean comments...although I haven't had any I've seen other bloggers that get them.

The Stiletto Mom said...

Signed it a while back. Great idea!!!!

dragonflydreamer said...

This is a great idea. I had some hurtful comments left on my blog and my son got the I.P. address and tracked the person down. He was able to even see where the person was everytime they contacted us because it was via Blackberry. It was a family member. Saucy, I love your blog and you are amazingly creative and positive. I want to blog with integrity and I was happy that I hadn't been guilty of any of the things you listed. After reading the comment by Claudia, I realize that I have recently commented twice on a blog with a very long impassioned disagreement about some political propaganda. I now realize that I shouldn't have commented. Thanks for pulling my awareness up. You have a great group of readers.

xo Susi xo

Sweetina said...

Thanks Saucy~
I took the pledge to integrity.
Glad you spoke for the blogging world.

The Vintage Kitten said...

Great post as always Saucy. I have had the nasty anon commenter which is why I decided to turn my comments off once and for all just so I dont have to deal with it everytime I log on. Ive spotted a few people using my personal photos but they have always been complimentary and linked back. I have no idea why anyone would want to be nasty about your blog. You are always fantabulous! X

the treat girl said...

Yeah!! I think integrety goes a long way....not just in bloggy-land....but in all of our day to day lives. I promise to take the pledge as well. Thanks, Miss.

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Saucy! Thank you for this post. I'm so glad that there's a movement here in blogland that supports integrity. I have had several blog posts stolen and it is exceptionally frustrating.

I have tried hard to always give credit where credit it due, because I believe in the golden rule! (Wish everybody did.)

I love your blog...and I love the way you always refer to yourself in third cracks me up every time!

Sue said...

WOW! So glad someone addressed this issue. Sure, we can admire someone else's work, maybe create a version of our own, but if we post it for all to see, why can't we give credit where it's due? Say we were inspired by so and so, link back to that person, etc etc...

Fairness and integrity in a person's character are very important to me. But, sadly, many others are blind to their "goddesses on a pedestal." And there are a few of them out there! I don't understand it but I am content knowing that I am neither a guilty party nor someone who supports the dishonest one.

Debi Ward Kennedy said...

Saucy, I'm on my way to sign up. Thank you for sharing this resource and making more people aware of how wrong online theft is. I'm dealing with it on my two business blogs right now, and it's a time-consuming pain!

Someone here asked why people can't just be nice? - some people out there use other people for their own gain. That's the way they are, they don't care if it's wrong, and they intend to keep doing it. They are the internet bullies that we have to band together and stop. I've seen very very popular bloggers steal images & ideas from national magazines and other bloggers, with no credit given - they feign innocence, but they know it's wrong. And they keep doing it! Frrrrrustrating.

An easy tip for remembering where you found a photo: When you save it, rename it with the blog name where you found it: 'bloggedyblogblogcupcake1' for example. Then you can give credit where credit is due when you post it on your own blog!;0)

Mistuk said...

Great idea! You inspired me to take that pledge also. Thanks!

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

Thanks for the great post Saucy. I too believe in integrity in blogging, as in everyday life. I agree with Rue, Sue and others, I always try to give credit on photos. I think carefully before using photos and link back to blogs I was inspired by. I'm off to sign up now. Thanks.

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