Philipp Lenssen on Linkage & Credits – Blogiarism Series

28 Oct 2005

Together with Jason Schramm from Shiwej, I’ve decided to start a guestblogging series which will run on both our blogs at about the same time.
Today (October 28th, 2005) it’s all about Philipp Lenssen, who’ll explain how he treats his sources, how he credits people and helps them build their virtual image through a decent linking policy.

1. How did you get into blogging?

I’ve started blogging because my news articles became more frequent, and it was a nuisance to upload them. Also, I wanted to create the kind of blog I wanted to read myself, but couldn’t find at that time.

2. What is your blog’s name, what is it about?

Google Blogoscoped – [rss], about Google and “20% everything else”. It’s mostly tech stuff, with a focus on interactiveness, fun, and art.

3. Are there any policies you follow when reporting on an issue?

First, I try to get to the most relevant “source” link. So instead of linking to someone who links to someone that links to something that is the core of the story, I try to link directly to the core. However, the original blog post or news story where I found the link will be credited too at the end of the post. This helps people track the spreading of a meme; it gives credit where credit is due; people can find more relevant information by following the link; and the author I got the news from can see I linked to him in certain backlinks aggregators.

4. What guidelines do you follow when linking to an outside source?

I always include a “via X” in the post when I found something via someone else. When someone sent it to me, I credit this with “thanks X” to differentiate between pull (when I found it myself) and push (when someone alerted me to it). I do not credit the sender if he alerted me to his own site I’m then linking to (as it wouldn’t be necessary). I do not credit the “via” if I found it on a search engine or a generic news aggregator (like Google News).

5. Do you think you are trustworthy? Why do your readers trust you?

Yes, I think I am trustworthy. I follow several principles to be trustworthy:

  • I publish my full name, home address, ungarbled email, and photo on my blog
  • Every post has a permanent link with a full date and my name below the post
  • All posts can be commented on for corrections or feedback
  • If I change a post (and it’s more than a simple corrected typo) I will make it clear what has been changed either by using the HTML elements [del] / [ins] which were made for that cause, or by posting an update at the end of a post(which is flagged as such), or by making sure the comments contain the information on the change.
    This way, I won’t report on X, have people link to it saying I reported X, and then change my post to Y, as that would hurt the blogspace discussion.
  • I don’t report rumors as facts, and I always state who said what (e.g. by naming the full name — I prefer linking to people who write using their full name — or by linking to the source). I avoid “Some say…” or “Some people argue…” when I don’t have a link ready to accompany this. When I report on a rumor I clearly mark it as such and end the post’s title with a question mark (like “New Google Service XYZ?”)
    and I mention the word “rumor” or similar in the post.
  • I come up in official news aggregators such as Google News and am mentioned in other blogs and mainstream news sources.
  • I am always available to be contacted and discuss a story, and also, I publish arguments which are against my posts so the other side gets their point of view be seen as well.
  • I keep on posting on a daily basis and there is a trustworthy community building around the blog.
  • When I did make an error in a post, I clear it up by posting an update. I don’t try to hide this error but make clear that I did it.
    When the post is very fresh and I find out it covers a hoax (even when I warned it might be a hoax or rumor), I rarely remove the post completely; if I do so, I post the full text of the original post in the blog’s forum as reference that it was online.

6. Do you think bloggers should be treated as journalists and be privy to the rights and protections that journalists enjoy?

Absolutely. I’m not sure if everybody who registered a Blogspot sub domain yesterday should be given those rights. Maybe there should be a filter critera to separate which blogger gets the “extended rights.” Maybe it could be the blog’s PageRank, or its Technorati, or Blogpulse rank, or its appearance in Google News, or a mixture of these.


Initiated together with Jason Schramm, this guest blogging series will continue to make people aware of the power of linking and the need to give credit to the people who earn it.
Together, we’re improving the Blogosphere,you can help if you start linking here !
And be sure to check out Jason’s post here.

Note :

Jason and I are not related but have a common field. Jason writes for the BlogNewsChannel, and takes care of Apple Watch, very surprisingly the Apple section of Nathan’s network.
I sometimes write on Inside Google & Inside Microsoft.

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Posted by Miel Van Opstal in Blogiarism, Ethics, Interviews, Thoughts


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