Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Wiggin Effect

With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has a lot of completely unique content...but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any methods to help protect against content from being stolen?
 - an anonymous reader

To the best of my knowledge, nothing of mine has been stolen, rewritten under someone else's name, and claimed to be their own. However, I haven't actually gone and checked. I know it's a gullible assumption to make, but I have my reasons.

First off, I'm not particularly well known. While I claim a few thousand hits a month, most of those are from bots. If I take a look at my pared-down analytics, I'm lucky if I break one hundred.

I try to stay off politics and current events, so my posts don't tend to bring much attention to themselves. For the most part, they're not controversial, so people aren't inclined to care enough about my material.

It's taken a lot of work and a lot of persistence, but I show up close to the top of search results. Depending on the engine and the terms used, I'm rarely in the first slot, but I'm usually on the first or second page.

If someone wanted to steal any material, for there to be any value to it, they would need to appear above me on the search results. I can't see many plagiarists having that much dedication to their theft. (That's not to say they haven't any, I just haven't seem any evidence of it.)

The Wiggin Effect

No surprise I should leave this to last, making you wait to find out what it is (though the most impatient among my readers could easily have just skipped to the bottom and not read anything else).

What I call the Wiggin Effect of Writing is named not for Andrew/Ender/Third of Orson Scott Card's novels, but for his elder siblings, Peter/Locke/First and Valentine/Demosthenes/Second.

The truth of the matter is that I feel honored (that's not to encourage you to steal, only to borrow) if someone takes something I've said and runs with it. If they take it, regardless whether they attribute it to me or not, it means they care about what I said; it means I've wrought a change in the world, though it may be a small change.

That's what I want.

I don't have the voice to launch a thousand ships. I don't have the face to break a thousand hearts. I don't have the spirit or the conviction to lead an army, or even a mob.

But some of my readers might.

I do have these words. Not everybody can write. It seems a simple thing, especially among contributors of the arts, but not everyone can take their ideas and emotions and beliefs and throw them out on the page. Sure, in a world of two-plus billion, there are a lot of people who can, but none of them can say these same words in this same way, and sometimes, just saying the same words in a different way can make all the difference in the world.

Update (2 Feb 2019):
Some things have changed since I wrote this. For one, my writing has improved, though I can hardly see it. For another, I do now write about politics and current events, because to avoid such topics would be akin to burying my head in the sand (something I do anyway to a small degree).

Additionally, though the numbers on my traffic trackers have gone done, my readership seems to have gone up. I'm on more platforms every year, not because I'm recruited, but because I push myself.

One thing that hasn't changed is the thrill and honor I feel when someone chooses to quote me, or when I find my particular phrasing popping up somewhere else, even if it's uncredited.

This is my eighth (I think) year blogging, and while I occasionally have to take a hiatus for recovering from writer's block, I have no plans to stop anytime soon.

Posted thanks to a mention on a Patchwork thread by The Weekly
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