Always state the source


Say you’re writing an article or a blog post about something you heard about elsewhere. Maybe the source was a press release, or an interview, or a book. Years of schooling and common courtesy suggest that you should provide a credit to the original source, which usually means a link. Yet many reputable sites and their authors never do this.

Regardless of the rationale, I’d like to point something out about this behavior. Here’s the question we should all be asking: what sort of site is most likely to write about something without providing credit to the original source? The answer: spam blogs, or “splogs” for short. You’ve probably seen these sites after performing a web search, only to click on the result and be greeted by an ugly page filled with crappy text and lots of ads. These guys make a living by stealing content, mashing it together to look original, and then filling the space with ads.

So whether you’re quoting a third-party source or an in-house researcher, make sure to provide credit when it’s due. Otherwise, you might be acting like a spammer without even realizing it.