So a top Washington Post blogger by the name of Ben Domenech has crashed and burned. He’s been banished by the blogosphere for one of the most egregious transgressions possible — he plagiarized articles and blogs from other sources.
This is a real shocker, considering that the 24-year-old Domenech was one of the shining lights of the young Republican movement. He blogged for something called Red America, an attempt by the Washington Post to provide Conservative content for readers and browsers on www.redstate.com. Sadly, though, Domenech struggled for original thoughts, found himself compelled to rip off ideas from other authors and was immediately set upon by the blogosphere. He’s now looking for a job.
Bogus content is a big deal to the blogging world. In our survey of some 200 corporate and agency types, we found that "ghostwritten blogs for executives" was seen as one of the major weaknesses of corporate blogs.
I try to be careful about this with RepMan. While I encourage others to submit ideas for blogs and will have them occasionally draft articles for me, 99 percent of the RepMan content comes from my unique, if somewhat warped, view of the world. In fact, I recently had to reject a well-written attack on the "new AT&T" by Peppercom’s very own Ann Barlow because it provided her perspective, not mine. So, sadly, poor Ann saw her post end up on the cutting-room floor.
Fresh, original content is what draws people to blogs. Hopefully, Domenech has learned his lesson and will no longer poach other people’s ideas and re-circulate them as his own.
I couldn’t imagine ripping off someone else’s thoughts since I really enjoy volunteering my own. I would think most people do — and no one more so than political types. If Domenech found it that difficult to express his own point of view in hopes of persuading other people to follow, he might be better off designing actuarial tables or filling in tax returns. Of course, those jobs require honesty and integrity, so he’s still got some thinking ahead of him.
Hat tip to Ed Moed for sending me the Domenech story.