I absolutely do not mind if someone with a platform of communication of their own, be it blog or web site or whatever, reblogs one of my posts. In fact, I’m flattered when folks in the blog-o-sphere (if I can borrow that term from Matt Kailey) find something I’ve written to be worthy enough for republishing on their blog.
However, there are different ways to reblog, and some are better than others. Reblogging has a certain etiquette all its own which can vary depending on what’s being reblogged and who wrote the original post.
I saw a number of different types of reblogging after I posted “14 Reasons Why It’s Not Okay to Out Someone as Trans.” As I watched my post pop up on other blogs and sites, I found myself cringing at times when reblogging etiquette went by the wayside. (And I have to say that mostly came from a number of the reblogs on Tumblr. More on that below.)
With that in mind, going forward (or even going backward to revise a previously reblogged post), I would ask anyone who reblogs from American Trans Man to please follow these simple guidelines…
Reblogging guidelines for American Trans Man posts:
1. Please leave a comment to let readers (and me) know that a certain post will be reblogged and where it will appear. I am interested in checking out other blogs and readers of my original post might be curious about those other blogs as well.
2. Please give me credit up front. What I have seen (and sorry to say, most of the serial reblogs on Tumblr are like this) is that the last person who reblogged the post gets the credit for it. It becomes a string of reblogs that go back to former reblogs, all of which are attributed to the first reblogger rather than to the original author (who would be me). When this happens, it looks like plagiarism. Please give credit where credit is due. And putting a source link at the bottom of the reblogged post doesn’t do the trick. Please write at the top of the reblogged post something along the lines of “Reblogged from AmericanTransMan” with a link back to the original post on my blog.
3. Please don’t reblog the entire post. I suspect that most bloggers like to see traffic come to their site. Well, I’m no different. Why would readers come to my blog and read the post if they can read the entire thing reblogged somewhere else? Please only reblog the first couple of paragraphs and then provide a link back to my original post.
For bloggers on Word Press, there is already a nice reblogging function that does all of the things mentioned above. When a Word Press writer reblogs someone else’s post, the original author gets a “pingback” showing that a link back to their blog has been made elsewhere, the original author/blog gets credit and only the first bit of the post is reblogged with a link leading back to the original.
Here are some examples of reblogs of the “14 Reasons” post so you can see what a well-reblogged post looks like. Just click on the names to link back to the blogs:
transbeautiful, theadventuresoftransman and transfabulous as examples of Word Press bloggers using the reblog function
Gender Reality – variation on a theme, making the reblog a part of a new post
harm reduction coalition – a Tumblr blog where the author made an interesting reblog by giving the ‘titles’ of the 14 reasons with links back to the original, plus credit at the top and a nice comment at the bottom (thanks!)
In addition to reblogging, some folks also provide links back to the original post, like this one for “Related Info” from Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies 001 at the University of California Riverside. The link is at the bottom of the page and it’s pretty cool to see it there for a college course, but I wish they had put a description line under link (like they did with most of the others) listing American Trans Man as the source.
So whats the bottom line? (I realize I say that sometimes at the end of posts, so I’ll say it here too.) Okay, the bottom line:
If I’ve spent hours or days or even weeks or months writing a blog post, I don’t think it’s asking too much for due credit and traffic coming to my blog because of it. So if anyone would like to reblog a post from American Trans Man, please go ahead with my blessing, as long as the guidelines given above are followed, and I will do the same when reblogging others’ posts.