Monday, June 03, 2013

Credit and Context

Hrm, a post on Blogger about a gripe that was catalyzed by Tumblr. Maybe I'll tweet about it.

Tumblr - I'm still not sure I "get" it, but I have one that I post at infrequently. It's a decent way to find some interesting stuff that doesn't necessarily make it to Twitter. One of its major problems, however, is the lack of proper sourcing. Lots of pictures, comics, gifs, etc., fly through it without being attributed to the original source. I've seen a couple of my photos on there with narry a link to my Flickr page or mention of me. I assume similar things are happening elsewhere on the Web as well.

[there was a part in here about Tumblr making it hard to anchor to the original source. This seems to be something they fixed, so that part is gone now.]

There are users out there that do try though.  The Frogman comes to mind as someone who tries their best (or at least, his assistant does) to find out where things are from originally instead of just hitting the reblog button. Likely because he creates a great deal of original work that gets ripped off.

Wil Wheaton is another who has championed sourcing your material. But he often falls prey to the beast of "it's easier to hit reblog".

Case in point, this recent post.

This one caught my eye because I instantly recognized the location. It's the Distillery District in Toronto. That truck is all over the place. I've taken some shots myself. Thinking that "hey, Wil retumbld a shot from my city", I clicked on who he got it from. It was from an actress, who as far as I could tell was neither a ballerina, nor photographer, nor from Toronto. It seemed unlikely she was the original source. In very light grey and a tiny font, hidden amongst the tags of her post, was a "source" link - to a Tumblr of a 19-year-old dancer, or at least dance enthusiast. Okay, this seemed to be getting somewhere. Except that there was nothing else like this in her feed, and no more links to earlier sources. It seemed that this was just someone who liked the shot and put it up without attribution.

To be fair to Wil, he had a more visible link to this same source on his post

So I spent a whopping 5 seconds copying the link to Google's search-by-image tool, and found this article in Chloe Magazine about Heather Ogden, a Principal Dancer of the National Ballet of Canada. The second image in was the one in question. With two others from the Distillery District. Photography was credited to Aleksandar Antonijevic - whom another search revealed is another Principal Dancer in the National Ballet, who also happens to be a photographer.
It took far longer to ramble on here than to actually find where this image came from. It's really not that hard. It's even easier if the original poster includes a link in the first place. I mean, I have 10 links in this post alone. They're really easy to use.

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