Are people copying content from your blog? Yes they are!

I HAVE to tell you about the coolest thing I’ve seen for a long time. I’m just bursting with excitement about this! It’s kinda scary really!

If you run a blog then people are copying stuff off your page. Guaranteed. It happens all the time. Sometimes it’s malicious (take a look at http://ecommercesolutionnews.com/ and compare it to Linda Bustos’ hard work at http://www.getelastic.com/) but most of the time it’s just for emails to friends… “Hey, I saw this…”

You can’t really prevent the former, nor can you turn it to your advantage – short of going public and creating a big expensive stink about it. But the latter is an interesting situation. Here’s someone with an interest in your work sending content to someone else… but not giving them a way of coming back to the original. They lose out and you lose out.

I was recently introduced to the most amazing product from Calgary-based startup Tynt. Tynt Insight is a simple modification to your blog which monitors your blog page and… get this… it detects when anybody copies anything from your page. The even neater thing is what it does next: it amends the copied content in the clipboard to include a tagline referring the reader back to your blog. Just when you thought that was too neat for words… it gets better still! I know, I know… I’m borderline hysterical here, but there’s a reason. The URL in the added tagline is a link back to your blog with a unique id embedded in it… when the reader clicks on it it takes them back to your blog and shows the post that was copied from with the copied text highlighted!

Try it! Try it now! Copy a paragraph from this blog post and paste it into something… an email, a text editor, it doesn’t matter. Heck, I’ll do it for you, look… I copy text from a previous post:

tynt1

I paste it into an email. And look what happens:

tynt2

Then when someone clicks on the link, look where they go:

tynt3

Go on… tell me that isn’t cool – I dare you! Added to all of this, the blog owner gets a great dashboard on Tynt’s site with details of what’s been copied and a raft of analytics.

I met Kerri Knul at a presentation where she was demonstrating Tynt Insight and I was just blown away… I think I stood there with my mouth just opening and closing and no words coming out (disclosure: until she gave me a T-shirt). Sure, this solution’s not perfect – it only works in the more modern browsers and it’s a 2 second job to delete the tagline if you don’t want it. But for the majority of “Hey, I saw this…” cases I think it adds genuine value to the copier, the reader and to the blog owner.  If you have a WordPress.org blog then all you need to do is create an account at Tynt and add one line to your footer.php – so go try it out!

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