What Blogging and Rap Music Share

If you’ve ever blogged like I have, you’ve probably done it. You read a blog that somebody else wrote. It inspired you to write a different take on the same subject and, voila, you had a new blog without creating a totally new subject. Happens all the time. Is it wrong? I don’t think so as long as a) you give credit where credit is due and b) create something brand new with a new perspective even if it was originally inspired by another blog.

So where is the connection to rap music? When rap music started, it was primarily a singer/rapper/MC along with a DJ who spun and “scratched” LPs. To create the music behind the rapper, the DJ would “sample” short music riffs from old R&B artists like James Brown or funkmasters like P-Funk. Using this “borrowed” music became quite controversial, especially considering the original artists were being cut out of the mix when it came time for payday. Soon, the wrong was righted and the appropriate liscensing fees were paid when artists “sampled” previously published music. Most of these samples used just a few bars of the original song and would then repeat the rif over and over as part of the beat or background.

Today, much blogging is done the same way. A creative thinker will write a blog with a unique perspective and others will “play” off of that idea. In some cases, they will credit the original blogger. In other cases, not so much. Now there is a group trying to implement a new way to credit those who provided the seed or inspiration for a blogger. The name of the organization is The Curator’s Code http://www.curatorscode.org. If you check it out, you will see that there are two symbols that can be used to provide credit to others. A Via! represents a link of direct discovery. A Hat Tip represents a link of indirect discovery, story link or inspiration. The symbols for these attributions are on the website as well as the rationale for using attribution. Do we really need to explain the reason to provide attribution for another who contributed to your “great idea”?

Anyway, just as the rap world cleaned up its act (not necessarily in terms of lyrics but at least in terms of paying for borrowed music), it seems time that we would have an easy to use vehicle for doing the same in the blogging world.

So for this blog, I could include a Via as a direct link to curatorscode.org but I could also provide a Hat Tip to the NPR show OnTheMedia http://www.onthemedia.org where I heard about the idea in the first place.

Check it out and give me your feedback.

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/peem/4207634185/ via Creative Commons


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