Ok, so this is something that half of you probably have experience with, and half of you probably do without realising it’s a big deal. But not sourcing your posts is pretty uncool of you.
What does sourcing your posts mean?
It means providing the initial source of origin for the content you are posting (generally, here on Tumblr, that’s image/photo posts). So, giving a link to the person who made the thing you’re posting.
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Why is it uncool not to source posts?
When a person makes something independently - such as fanart, fanfic, cosplay, photography, and hand-made merchandise - and especially when it’s derivative (not of a series original to the creator), they’re not getting a whole lot back from it. Often times they are even spending a LOT of time and money to make it without any compensation. The only thing they can hope to get back from it - if it’s not being done for commission or contest prize, of course - is recognition.
Giving somebody credit and recognition for the work they’ve done is free and easy for you to do, but it takes away so much if you don’t do it. Basically, you’re saying that the few minutes of time it would take to add a source to someone else’s work before posting it to your own blog is more important than the hours/days/money that they spent making it. Not cool.
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My picture doesn’t have a source though.
Yes it does. It didn’t magically fall from the Internet sky into your hands. Getting an image from Google Image Search, or finding it on a forum, or having it saved on your hard drive since before you can remember does not mean that it does not have a source. You just need to find it.
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How do I find an image source?
Finding sources for images is easier than ever with Google’s Reverse Image Search.
Clicking on the little camera will give you an option to put in an image’s URL, or to upload one from your computer. It will then try and find that image again; from the results you can look until you find the source.
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If I can’t find the source, does that mean I can’t post it?
Not necessarily. You just need to make it clear that you’re aware the post is not sourced and that you’re looking for it. Tagging or mentioning ‘source needed’ spreads the word; then if someone knows the source, or where to look, before you know it people will have links for you. Doing this means you’ve learned a great new source where you might be able to find more cool content.
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I’m ok, I source all my posts.
Do you? The following websites/links are not sources:
any I Can Has Cheezburger sites (failblog.org, 9gag.com, etc.)
Why? Because most of the time, the content on these sites has - you guessed it! - been taken from somewhere else, sans source. These websites more or less encourage people to take things they like off the Internet and upload it back on their servers (so they get visits) and couldn’t care less about finding proper sources - and will often put their own source over the top. Rude. Essentially, these websites make money off of other people’s work without the original creator’s permission or even knowledge.
Just grabbing the URL/address of the page where you found it is not always a source, either. So often I see source links leading to general DeviantART galleries or some random page on a person’s Tumblr. On DeviantART, click on the name of the Deviation you want to link to before copying the URL. This will help to make sure your link will always link to the right place.
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This sounds like a lot of work.
More work than the time studying, practicing and working took for the creator to make that image you’re now going to take and put on your own blog? Of course not. Don’t be a tool. Do the right thing and care about sources.
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I’m sure many of you already put these into practice, but you can help spread the word by reblogging this, encouraging people you see not sourcing to find accurate sources, and not reblogging posts that aren’t sourced. Thanks for reading!