General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Please stop piggybacking off me

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BG: I play an online video game (MMO) and am an very active member of the online community. I participate a lot on the forums for the game, have won several official art-related contests, and write a comedic blog about the game. Without tooting my own (dorky) horn, it's safe to say I'm fairly well-known person in the community. In game, people will frequently send me messages complimenting my artwork and/or my blog. I started the blog about 9 months ago and it is updated a few times a week. /BG

Recently, another player (I'll just call her Other Blogger/OB) has surfaced on the forums promoting her new game-related blog. I checked it out, and the content was almost identical to posts I had made on my blog. They were not plagiarized, but the collection of very similar posts (and their order), made it pretty obvious that she was reading my blog (which I later confirmed that she does indeed "follow" my blog through the blog site's interface), and making her own version of my posts. Imagine I make a post about how I wish I could ride a pink sparkley unicorn in the game. Two days later, OB would have a post about how she thinks a glittery unicorn should be added to the game.

I brushed it off, because frankly...her posts were just not that good. My blog is very humorous, and every one of her attempts to make a joke just completely fall flat or make no sense. I ignored it because I figured anyone in the community would probably be familiar with my blog and be able to make the same conclusions I did.

About a month ago, OB advertised her blog on the forum and it backfired. About 20 people replied with messages like "This looks like a bad copy of Kitchcat's blog," "Kitchcat's blog is way funnier," and "You're not funny, stop copying Kitchcat." OB replied that she reads my blog and hopes hers will be as successful. I felt a little bad for her (she appears to be a bit awkward and trying to fit into the community), but I decided to MYOB. She regularly makes new threads to advertise her blog, and the responses tend to be more of the same.

Well now, OB has taken to advertising her blog along side mine all over the forums. She just puts the links to both side by side, not stating which blog belongs to who, or evening mentioning my name. This bothers me for several reasons:

* She is bordering on spamming and I don't want my blog would be associated with constant ad-spamming
* Her ads don't give any credit, so it could be easy for people to assume both blogs are hers
* I don't want my blog being promoted alongside hers because it is of poor quality
* I do not know this person (they have never even spoken to me) and they seem to be implying that we are somehow friends
I don't care if OB blogs or not. Unless she starts plagiarizing my posts word-for-word, I intend to just ignore it. However, I don't like that she is starting to try piggybacking of my blog now with her constant ads.

How can I politely let people know that our blogs are not affiliated and ask her to stop piggybacking?

I would send her a private message.  Inform her that you don't allow others to advertise your blog without your permission, which she does not have.

It sounds like this is taking care of itself for the most part, as most of the visitors to her blog seem to be able to tell that (a) she's copying you (b) without being as good. If you want more recourse, check the forum policies or message a moderator--you may be able to stop her linking you in her sig without your permission, or there may be an overall policy dealing with advertising/spamming.

I would also post a reply every time she does that and say "I do not need you to advertise my blog, www.myblog.whatever. Linking to it without identifying the owner misrepresents it as yours. Not cool. Stop now."

Can you get the moderators in on this?
They probably saw her posts, and might be waiting for you to actually say you're not ok with it.
Some forums have very stric rules about what might be considered spamming and all, and she might make less off a fuzz if the mods are the ones to tell her to cut it out, then you're not even seen as the bad guy.


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