I’m in Unicode Love: The Curator’s Code Mike | April 2nd, 2012

Attribution on the web is a controversial topic; ideas, stories, videos, graphics are copied and pasted over and over again, propagating their way across the virtual universe. As an entrepreneur and blogger, I am always pleased when I see my articles shared on other sites, or linked to in the social media. While I would prefer for all of those readers to come over to our blog to read the piece, I certainly understand the value of additional reach that can be gained when my posts are re-published elsewhere or when others discuss ideas I may have written about first. The negative comes when those posts or ideas are used without any attribution whatsoever. The formula for plagiarism on the web is sometimes as simple as copy+paste=post.

Last week Maria Popova, the founder of brainpickings.org was interviewed by Brooke Gladstone of NPR’s On the Media about her latest creation, The Curator’s Code. The code, created in collaboration with Tina Roth Eisenberg of swissmiss.com is their attempt at a structure to govern online usage and attribution.

The code is a straightforward way for an author (or curator in some cases) can give honest and proper attribution  not just for a source, but also for “inspiration.” It works by sorting all attribution into to basic categories, the “via,” which is the original content that the author is reposting, quoting, or paraphrasing, and the “hat tip,” which is the secondary source where the author may have first learned of the primary material, idea, or article.

Popova and Eisenberg have created two uncomplicated unicode graphics meant to be inserted into text, graphics or video which simply and cleanly indicate to the reader that the content was discovered or created elsewhere. For instance, I would use the following ‘hat tip’ attribution when referring to the On the Media story where I first learned of the Curator’s Code, I would attribute in a footnote or parenthetical, using a ‘hat tip’ like this: Brooke Gladstone, onthemedia.org. But, I would credit Popova and Eisenstein who originated the idea and are the primary source, using a ‘via’ like this: curatorscode.org. I could also display as a twofer like this curatorscode.org | Brooke Gladstone, onthemedia.org. The unicode character always links back to the Curator’s Code site allowing a reader to better understand the usage of the symbols as well as the philosophy behind the code itself

Simple and elegant, Popova and Eisenstein have created an uncomplicated method for visually and ethically providing attribution where attribution is due. You can listen to the entire interview here or read the transcript here.

Need something designed? Name your price. Pick from 110+ entries. Love it or your money back.

Like our blog? You’ll freaking love our Twitter updates. Oh, and you’ll dig our Facebook page too.

  • Getting a Loan for a Small Business

    Hey there, You’ve performed an incredible job. I’ll definitely digg it and for my part recommend to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

Hey, it's crowdSPRING!

Tens of thousands of the world's best and most successful entrepreneurs, businesses, agencies and nonprofits use crowdSPRING for affordable and risk-free custom logo design, web design, a new company name or other writing and design services. More than 158,000 designers and writers work on crowdSPRING. We create designs and names people love. 100% guaranteed.

Get Blog Updates

Free E-Books

12 Question Interviews with cS designers.
Get it »

Contracts for designers who hate contracts.
Get it »

Contracts for software developers who hate contracts. Get it »

More in Resources, Small business, Start ups (159 of 542 articles)

/** chartbeat **/