Trunks & Truncating

Pottery Barn Trunk

Let’s talk about trunks!

Well, actually, let’s look at cool coffee and side table trunks, but talk about truncating!

As you might know, I’ve been blogging for five years. And in that time, a lot has changed on the internet. Of course, there were bloggers blogging long before 5 years ago, but it was definitely a different blogging world even a few years back. For those of us who started years ago, there was no “how to blog” manual, not many big blogs to watch and learn from, and basically no clear direction on how to do this blogging thing. We just kind of had to make it all up as we went along through trial and error.

In many ways, this whole blogging thing is still new and we have to make stuff up as we go! But, that’s kind of how life is anyway, you just have to learn as you go and do what seems right when the opportunities present themselves.

Country Living

One of the tools that has been used by most of us blog writers and readers for years has been the “RSS feed and readers,” which is basically a way that many people read blogs. Each blog can have a “feed address” which can be used to read a blog post in its entirety through a blog reader service like Google Reader. You can read lots of blogs in one place and that makes it is really convenient! I’ve read blogs that way too for years and it is convenient for keeping track of blogs you like. Most blogs offered their full posts through those services and you never had to visit the blog to read the content.

Personally, I always prefer to go directly TO the blog because I like the visual experience of seeing the banner and all the sidebar content, but a lot of people just like to read the posts in a reader or an email.

Lately the convenience of offering a full post RSS feed has been really abused and its convenience intended for trusted readers has fallen into some unscrupulous hands. Unfortunately, sites are stealing entire blog posts through that RSS feed address and using them as the foundation for their own new blog. Clever, but not cool.

Pottery Barn Trunk Side Table

They aren’t just sharing a photo with credit to the source, or a quote from our blogs and a link, or simply wanting to feature another blogger and their great ideas or products through a short feature, which is a commonly accepted and approved practice, they are taking ENTIRE blog posts and often EVERY BLOG POST we write. The posts we may have spent days or hours of our day creating and working on. The ones that contain content we intended for our own blogs, not posts we wrote to help them build their blogs by using our content.

Creating an original blog is hard work. Fun at times, yes, but writing a great blog, doing the projects, taking the pictures, finding the ideas, sharing the tips, rounding up features, crafting a worthwhile post on a consistent basis, and dealing with all the behind the scenes stuff is a full time job. I love my job, but it is a lot of work, I won’t lie!

Featuring a blogger or a project on a blog with proper credit and link back is awesome and most bloggers appreciate the mentions of their projects and efforts. But stealing an ENTIRE body of someone else’s work (such as a whole post, even with a link back) to use on your own blog without permission is not OK.

So, after lots of thought and consideration over the past few months, it’s finally became clear to me as well as other bloggers you might follow that we needed to take clear action to protect the integrity of our blogs. So as of this post, if all goes according to plan (ha!), you will not be able to read this post in its entirety anywhere but on The Inspired Room or in your email if you subscribe that way, because the RSS feed for readers will be truncated.

Basically that means if you are on a reader, you’ll see an image and an excerpt with a link to the post, and if you like the post you can click to come to The Inspired Room and read the rest of the post when it is convenient for you. 

Note: If you use Chrome for your browser, you might want to check out this option for reading blogs! Sounds like a great option that protects the blogger but also allows you to read a blog from your reader.

Pottery Barn Coffee Table Trunk 

As always, my blog is FREE for you to read and enjoy. I don’t charge you a dime to read or follow. Nothing is changing about my blog at all. The only thing that will change is if you are used to reading my blog in a reader, you will come here to read the whole post. The excerpts and post titles will appear in a reader to let you know I’ve posted something new, kind of like I do on facebook or twitter.

The exception to truncated posts will be for those who are subscribed to my blog via email (you can subscribe via email on my sidebar if you’d like to). At least for now, my email subscribers will continue to contain full posts as a convenience.

Thank you so much for being such awesome readers and supporters and for understanding this change! I’m beyond honored and humbled to have you all visiting me and encouraging me on this wild journey for the past five years and I do my best to keep my content worth reading. I hope we can all band together and just say no to these sites that steal content! Let’s keep blogging fun, original and ethical for everyone!

Thanks again for your help and support! I’m looking forward to the next 5 years of blogging!

 

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Comments

  1. Wow, this is crazy! I can’t believe people actually do this! How do you go about only putting a portion of the post in an RSS feed? Is it easy to set up?
    Cassie recently posted..{Save Your Dollar}My Profile

  2. I was always wondering why I couldn’t read the whole blog on some of the ones I subscribe to. It’s too bad that there are people ruining it for us.

  3. Unbelievable! Good for you for taking action on this and truncating your blog (although honestly I’m not sure what that is). I get your blog through my email account and also through the blogroll on Blogger. But I always link directly to your blog and anyone else’s. I learned early on as a blogger that if the reader doesn’t come directly to my page, it doesn’t count as a hit. Now I know that you have thousands of hits each day (well deserved hits), but as a small blogger I’m still counting all of mine. Will look into how to truncate and see if it’s for my little blog project.
    Heather recently posted..Gremolata Sauce on Pork LoinMy Profile

  4. That’s too bad that people have to ruin a good thing for us bloggers who follow the rules. I’m wondering what the difference is between copying your post from the feeder and copying it from your blog? Would it look different on their blog? I actually don’t like going to the blog since I often read blog posts at work (when I should be working). The main blogs are so colorful that they make it obvious what I’m doing. I also like moving quickly through posts and clicking on the link just takes a bit longer. I noticed that the website you gave us on Reader was not a link so I had to cut and paste it. Will you be providing a link from now on? I’m so sorry that this has happened to you. I really love your blog and plan to continue to follow you even with the truncated post (maybe just not at work) :)

    • You are sweet, thank you! Yes that link was my boo boo, you can click the title from the RSS feed or I should have a real link next time! :-) I know it’s a hassle to read at work but thanks for making the effort to come over when you can :-)

  5. Barbara (WA) says:

    Just the other day I read quite a long post about this very thing. That blogger discovered at least 75 of her posts stolen including posts about her cat! She gave quite the tutorial about the methods she’s taken to protect her work. If you are interested in who this was, let me know. The site that was using her content was closed down my Google when she reported it, btw.

  6. I just learned a new blog word “tuncating”- crazy.
    I have you on my Google reader and have for many years…..but I always come to your blog site to read…more fun that way =)
    It’s sad how people think it’s okay to steal someones hard work….
    teresa recently posted..How I starts a room, picks paint, fabrics, etc.My Profile

  7. I just discovered the RSS feed and I only use it as a way to see if my favorite bloggers (you are one!) have posted something new. I use it as a time saver, really. I’m not a blogger, just a reader. If the truncated post appeals to me then I will pop over to the main blog. I think the way you’re doing it is actually a great idea but I’m sorry that you’ve been the victim of theft.
    Best from South Carolina

  8. I just read about truncated post yesterday and it was all Greek to me. When I saw your post I came over here right away, because I knew Melissa will explain it so I can understand it and boy did you ever. I had no idea someone would do such a thing. How do you find out if that has been done to your blog?
    I don’t blame you for truncating your blog post!! Is Truncating a word?
    So sorry it has come to this in blogland, so sad.
    Kathysue
    KATHYSUE recently posted..My Transition Wardrobe From Summer To Fall!My Profile

  9. It’s sad that it’s necessary. I guess some people really will steal anything. Since I enjoy your blog, I’m glad you are protecting yourself.
    Ginger recently posted..Living Among the ThinMy Profile

  10. i’ve always read your blog in the regular old format, so no worries here on change, but sorry that you’re having to do this. too bad there are people out there stealing….keep up the good work.
    sarah recently posted..mini mudroom finished…My Profile

  11. If this becomes a big deal I think I will be reading blogs less and less. I rely on readers in my busy life to read blog posts, and if they blogs go to only showing a small clip I rarely, if ever, open the whole thing up – just don’t have time. I have loved your blog recently about all the new stuff you’re doing to your house, so I am sad to see you leaving my reader! Hopefully there will be a way soon to keep this kind of thing from happening.

  12. so sorry to hear about these hackers … yes, we all want to protect the integrity of what we write because in the end, it represents who we are.
    Linda Stoll recently posted..Her Six Minutes InvestedMy Profile

  13. Hi Melissa,

    I have always just come directly to your blog for the same reasons you shared. Just curious, how do you know about the copying? I read this truncating thing on another blog as well. I guess I’m just not devious enough to think of it. What a real shame but it’s the same all over -

  14. I’ve been seeing this a lot and it’s awful for you and for those getting things lifted. I wanted to say thank you for the great preview that showed up in my RSS feed. A lot of people truncating aren’t formatting so I lose track of which post or which blogger is which but I recognized you and your blog right away from the RSS preview I saw. Makes a world of difference and I’ll keep clicking over!

  15. What’s to stop those who steal from coming to your site and stealing it that way? Am I misunderstanding something? I absolutely prefer reading blogs through my blogging service for a variety of reasons. If I want to click onto the blog, I will, but most times I will simply read from the reader. It’s just much easier. If you could explain how this will curtail thieves from stealing, I’d appreciate, otherwise it just seems you are “punishing” everyone for a few crooks. (of course I understand it’s your right to do whatever you wish with your blog but since you put out the explanation, I’m simply asking for further clarification.) Thanks.

    • They can steal an rss feed in its entirety and have it placed on their site. If the rss feed is truncated they can only get part of it and the rest links back to me. They would have to cut and paste each post to steal it without an rss feed and that would be a lot of trouble! Certainly not trying to punish you :-) I’ve kept the full posts in my emails if that is easier for you.

  16. I knew something was up when suddenly the majority of ‘established’ blogs I follow started truncating. People suck, a lot. I totally support any decisions you make to keep your blog going! I’m not sure if it’s possible but including a picture before the break might get people to stop over more than just a block of text.
    Alecia recently posted..Vintage Lace Pennant BannerMy Profile

  17. I use my reader to speed through blog reading. I only click through if I want to share a post or comment. I would need to axe a lot of blogs to click through & read most of them.

    I hate to do this but I just unsubscribed. :(

  18. I had this problem several months back for a client of mine (I’m a web developer). So annoying! I’m so sorry – how aggravating.

    Just a tip for your readers with iPads or similar: I use an RSS feed app called FeedlerPro. I’m able to set it to automatically view the post on your site when I click on your new item in my feeds list. Voila! In fact, that’s what I’m using now! And no, not selling this app. Lol. Just wanting to help. I follow a ton of blogs and am not going to suffer one bit from the truncation revolution. ;)

  19. I would love a tutorial on this as you mentioned. that would be great! I would like to do the same

  20. Hi Melissa, I love the look of vintage trunks in home decor too. I actually purchased an old fashioned leather suitcase with the intention of adding more to use as decor. Now, I think I’m just going to use it as a photo prop-lol. Love the new cabinet and your pretty dishes too from your most recent post. Can’t wait to see how that fits into your new kitchen.

    On another note, thanks for the additional insight into the issue of content theft. I had noticed that lately you included a note at the end of your posts that clarified that the info was “first published” on your site. I always wondered why you included that additional mention and now I know.

    I’ve seen a few of my things pop up elsewhere without fair attribution and it does rub me the wrong way. However, I’ve never had an entire post lifted (at least, I don’t think so).

    As a blogger, is there a way to find out if your posts have been stolen or do you just happen to run across the violations on your own along with notification from readers?

    By the way, your changes pose no issue for me because I also like to visit the actual blog too.

    Good luck protecting your content and hard work.
    Lisa at celebrate creativity recently posted..HOW TO CREATE A SUCCULENT GARDENMy Profile

  21. I tried to use Google reader, but I just enjoy the fun of clicking over to my favorite blogs and hoping there is a new post! It’s kind of like a little gift from a friend when you get to a fave blog and see that, indeed, there is a new post, and isn’t it lovely to see what Melissa has been up to this week! I choose not to subscribe through email because I don’t really need anymore email, and if I was checking mail and saw a new post, I would be tempted to sit and read all the new posts. And sometimes that is not the prudent choice for that moment!

  22. Cheryl Thornton says:

    I follow by email…but I would click over if I had to – it is a shame to see that this is happening to some very talented people like you who do your best to share your stories and ideas with the masses…lets hope that a few bad apples dont spoil everything for the rest of the talented people out there like you

  23. Whenever I see the word “truncate”, I think of “truncated henins” (hats worn by females in Burgundy in the 1400s…can you tell I’m a bit of a nerd?) Love that Country Living picture with the suitcases.

    Good for you for taking steps to protect your work! I tried truncating the RSS once, but met with protest from a couple of my readers so I changed it back. I was just doing it for the pageviews, but now that I know there’s another reason I just might change it again.
    Jo recently posted..Anna and Chrissy’s Fairmont Corn SaladMy Profile

  24. Boo hiss on those thieves!
    Tracey recently posted..For the Love of CarrotsMy Profile

  25. How cool and clever incorporating trunks in your truncating post :) I actually just read this now after I sent you the email yesterday. ha!
    jessica recently posted..The workshop {a post from my gramps}My Profile

  26. I use, and highly recommend, Google Reader’s “Next Bookmark.” It’s a button you drag to the bookmark bar of your browser (look for it in the Goodies tab of Reader’s settings). When you click the button it will take you directly to the next unread item in your subscription list. But it takes you to the actual blog so no worries about truncated posts and having to click through anywhere.

    • I’ve heard of that! It sounds fantastic and might be the the best option!! I’m still researching ways to have a feed others can’t steal. It is frustrating! My blog and business identity is trademarked, so to have other people steal it is illegal and requires me to do everything in my power to defend my own trademark. It is too bad that people can’t be trusted, but offering up an identity (my blog posts) that is easy to hijack through an RSS feed is obviously too tempting for people. Hopefully the Google Readers Next Book Mark is a good option! I’m going to try it myself!!

  27. How sad — I am so bummed that this is happening to you! I read about this on Sarah’s blog, too (Thrifty Decor Chick) — it just makes me so mad. Whatever you have to do — no worries! We will still be reading. :-) Let us know if there is anything that we as readers can do!
    Maria recently posted..Friday’s Fancies: Labor DayMy Profile

  28. I guess I was a little naive in thinking this kind of thing doesn’t exist. I’m sorry that this happened…I just started my blog two months ago and it is hard work making sure you have content and interesting topics! For someone to “borrow” is quite sad – as it now takes me a while to complete a post. I will certainly look into securing the RSS feed – thank you for calling attention to this issue! Great blog, by the way…
    dawn trimble recently posted..spaces in a sexy cityMy Profile

  29. I’ve read about this on another blog recently…so sorry for you guys that scandals are treating you this way. Kind of makes me glad my blog isn’t bigger than it is.
    *kind of. :)
    tara recently posted..Exie & Carl & a winner for the give awayMy Profile

  30. I’m sad. I’ve put my opinion on truncating out there on too many other really fave blogs to count so I won’t clog the space. I do have a question though.

    When I come over to your link from my blog, it looks like even the direct to blog posts are truncated too? Not just reader feeds? I do appreciate the way that you truncate (with a photo and a great snippet that actually invites me to read more, not just the first few words of the post that don’t tell me whether it is worth clicking over). That said, I did delete the feed from my reader because, well, there’s nothing to read there. I didn’t delete the link from my blog because I wanted to still be purposeful about visiting (not just stumble back upon you via Pinterest, ie), but it looks like from the link, it is truncated too…?

    All said, I’m constantly looking for options for reading full out blogs (and commenting) via my ipad. I’ve used upsite (might be an option for you) to make an ap out of my blog so that ipad/iphone readers are not left out. Lots of the other options require you (or are easiest) on a desktop. I read blogs on the go and from my stats at least, so do a lot of folks so finding an easy to read option outside of a feed reader for those folks would be awesome.

    Bernadette
    http://www.b3hd.blogspot.com
    Bernadette recently posted..What. A. Week.My Profile

    • Hi Bernadette,

      My most current post is a full post. The older posts all have to be truncated or the site would load WAYYY to slow :-However, if you went directly TO a post, from a reader, it would not be truncated on my site.

      I am totally looking for better options and welcome any ideas you have! An app would be awesome, I’ve heard Google next is great because you can group your blogs into folders and read through the ones you want very easily!

      Thanks for your feedback and continued support through this situation and hopefully we will all come out happier blog readers and writers and smarter internet users after we figure all this out! :-)

      Best,
      Melissa

  31. Just discovered your blog and it’s refreshing to find a decorator who doesn’t need to spend millions to have a beautiful home. Lots of inspiring ideas.
    I, too, have a blog and it’s upsetting to know that there are so many virtual thieves out there. I don’t post that often but I am worried about people stealing my work. How did you find out about your content being stolen?

  32. Just discovered your blog and I’m happy to find a decorator who doesn’t need to spend millions to have a beautiful home!
    I, too, have a blog and it’s upsetting to know that there are so many thieves out there. I don’t post very often but I’m still worried about my content being stolen. How did you find out?
    Linda recently posted..Pumpkins and devils and Poncherello! Oh my!!My Profile

    • Sometimes you get a ping back from the site if you have a link in your blog back to your own blog, but usually I find out because someone else discovers it. Recently I found my blog on someone else’s blog because I googled something I knew I had written about and google pointed me to my information — which ended up being MY WORDS and MY BLOG but on someone else’s blog. That was really annoying knowing Google was directing traffic to someone else because of stolen content. :-/

  33. I am really sick of people doing rude and selfish things like this and making the rest of us suffer the consequences. My practice up until now when a blogger decided to truncate her feed was to just delete that blog from my reader because I really don’t have time to go to every single blog on my list and load their entire site so I can read that day’s post. I already spend too much time online as it is. But now so many of the blogs I enjoy are doing this all at once and I hate to delete all of them! I’m going to try that add on for Google to see how it works for me. I loaded the Next button a while back and tried using it with poor results. It really messed up my feed. Several times it erased the list of blogs I hadn’t seen yet emptying out my feed list before I had read many of them. So proceed with caution there.

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