Imitation can be Costly Form of Flattery for the Imitated

You may have heard the phrase “Imitation is the sincerest [form] of flattery”. The quote comes from Charles Caleb Colton. And it’s true.  What’s also true is that being imitated online can be costly to those being imitated if they don’t account for it and adjust their way of doing things to minimize its effects.

I recently started a site called Nameinator that was created based on work I’ve done for other sites of my own. I own a bunch of sites about names and I’m working to roll them all into one under that site about name ideas – things from fantasy football team names to boat names.

Historically, what I’ve done was added names to the list and after a certain number were added I’d write a rundown list article of the newest items. But due to imitators (maybe better said thieves), I’m planning to move towards publishing our name ideas articles a little more often instead of adding them straight to one of our lists and then later writing a rundown article that includes them. It seems that doing it the old way we managed to see our names in other peoples articles before we even got to publish an article containing the name ourselves. People were reviewing our lists and taking the names and not linking back – as if the names were their ideas. So we’ve got to do what we can to minimize the effect this can have on us.

For the reader it’s no big deal. Basically we’ll be creating a new type of article that will be less lengthy but very fresh. We’ll still do longer rundown types of articles and we’ll still do articles highlighting user added items. This new way of doing things we hope will allow us to rank on the search engines for our own content before other sites copy it. We want to get our own fresh content straight to you from us rather than someone else giving your their take on our ideas without attribution.

If you’re someone who creates a lot of content you may want to consider posting more often in smaller bits rather than saving up to publish some huge item. Especially if you’re putting the little bits out there in pieces for the convenience of the end reader. Take a little more time and do both so you’ll get ranking for all your hard work.

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