Why social news sites should give Credit to bloggers (or “giving credit where credit is due”)

Solving the “giving credit” problem in social bookmarking.

One of the things that really frustrated bloggers when digg became popular was the fact that digg insisted that users link directly to stories–not the bloggers who found the stories. So, if Boingboing or Engadget found something interesting digg instructed the community to bypass those blogs and link directly to the source information.

The result? It looked like digg found the story and the people doing the hard work–the bloggers–got no credit.

The result? digg gets credit for being the place where cool things break, when in fact many of the stories are–for lack of a better term–stolen.

Now, I understand why digg came up with the rule. There were folks acting as “middle men” between good content and digg users. They would post a good story and link to their blog which provided no value. We have the same problem at Netscape today and we tell folks to not break the “middle man” rule which states that if you link to yourself you have to provide some significant value that the original source does not.

However, this doesn’t solve the giving credit for finding something cool problem.

To solve this I’ve asked the Netscape team to add a [via WEBSITE ] link at the end of story capsules to give credit to the bloggers who work so hard to find these stories (see image above in yellow). I understand the issue because I’m on both sides of it running a blog network and a social news site.

Bloggers should be very wary of social news sites that don’t respect them with the via link. If you find the story you should get some credit for it–credit where credit is due.

This feels like the best way to solve the problem. Thoughts?

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