Bligter: Letting Others Republish Your Content

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Written by Ben Yoskovitz. Ben is co-Founder of Standout Jobs, a startup tackling the online job market. He also blogs regularly at Instigator Blog about startups, business, marketing and social media.
bligter logo
Bligter is a recently launched service that allows you to submit your blog posts for others to use on their blogs. The idea is simple:

  1. Input your blog posts. This includes: title, full body (HTML allowed) and tags.
  2. Other bloggers find your posts. They then copy and paste your blog post into their blog and publish it.

Bligter adds a snippet of text at the end of the blog post you’ve taken to attribute it to the proper author. A simple example:

author: John A Ciampa # via: bligter.com

But, there’s nothing that stops a blogger from taking that out (even if it’s against the rules.)
The goal for people submitting posts into Bligter is that it generates link backs to them. For people using the content, it’s an easy way of feeding their blog with new posts.
Is this a good idea?
No. There are too many problems that I see with the model:

  1. People using content are publishing exact duplicates of original blog posts. I’m not concerned about Google’s “duplicate content” penalties (which are focused on duplicate content on the same domain), but what does concern me is that you water down your own brand and the value of your own content when it gets re-purposed, especially when you have no control where it’s being reused.
  2. People could remove the attribution. It’s too easy to remove the attribution and claim the content as your own. On top of that the attribution is not prominent enough. Bligter doesn’t change your post’s byline (which most bloggers use) so now you’ll see a blog post by one author, but at the bottom it’s attributed to someone else. Very confusing.
  3. People aren’t adding any value to the conversation. Copying someone’s content doesn’t add to the conversation. Instead, I’d much prefer if you summarized someone’s blog post, linked back to them prominently and added your own thoughts. Even if you don’t add your own thoughts and you’re just summarizing other people’s work, it’s better than publishing it verbatim.

On top of this, I’ve discovered that some of the content in Bligter wasn’t put there by the original authors. I found a few articles in there from bloggers who did not give Bligter the right to use their content. One author told me:

“I never heard of Bligter, and didn’t give permission to have my postings reposted. Are they just randomly grabbing posts from bloggers and repurposing them?”

Brent Evans told me that his blog content is legitimately in Bligter; he posted it there. “Yes I’ve received some traffic and a couple of links back by using Bligter, but to be honest, I’ve only posted a few links over there so far.”
So Bligter is getting some user-submitted content, but if they are seeding their service with content that they don’t have permission to use that’s very, very bad and extremely disappointing.
I’m a fan of guest writing on other blogs. I haven’t done a great deal of it, but I plan on doing more. And I can see the value in services that would help guest bloggers get together – although generally, like most things in the blog world, success in guest writing comes from building one-on-one relationships with people.
Bligter isn’t a service that helps people guest write or find guest writers. Bligter isn’t a service that will generate a lot of links back to your blog (there are plenty of better ways to do that!) And, if Bligter is in fact using people’s content without their permission, Bligter is a service in big trouble. I understand what they’re trying to accomplish, but I don’t think it’s going to be successful.
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