fixing reposts

I received some feedback during the week that creating a full content re-post wasn't ok. I accept that this is a pretty common view, probably the view of the majority of people.

But what to do if you like the idea of full content re-posts? I am more than happy for people to share my writing, but I wouldn't want to re-post content from anyone that would be upset by that happening.

I've been thinking about that for the last few days and decided that I would start by checking for a new microformats property called repost-allowed. This is an experimental microformats I've added to Dobrado that can currently have one of three values: full, link or none.

If the property is set to full, the author of the post allows the full content of their post to be reposted. If the property isn't found, or set to link, then a link to the original is shown instead of the content. I also added none in case the author preferred that a re-post wasn't created at all.

I'm open to ideas if people think this is useful, or maybe there's a better way? For now I'm going to set repost-allowed to full in my own post templates. I'm ok with just reposting links if no one else adds this markup, though I've made re-posting content from Twitter an exception since that seems to be more acceptable.
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I think the issue that was raised was less about the reposting of the full content and more about how that content was presented in the UI.

When I repost something, I very intentionally designed my reposts so that the post on my site would clearly look like it was written by the original author and not me. Specifically that means things like not having my name or photo anywhere near the content, and instead having the original author’s name and photo in the same place that my own photo would appear on my posts. You can see some examples at

Granted I don’t ever show the full text of a blog post I repost, but I do show the full contents of notes, regardless of their length. In practice this means I don’t have many occurrences of large amounts of copied text. If I were to repost a blog post, it would show only the blog post title on my site. It’s debatable whether that’s a “real” repost, but I’m happy with that decision.

In any case, I still think the more important issue here is how the repost is presented rather than whether or not a repost should be allowed in the first place.

I'd also recommend having a read of as there are also legal implications of sharing others' content

hi Aaron, I received very clear feedback that the full content was a big part of the problem.

I'm pretty happy with my repost formatting in general, though there was a problem with the repost in question. It didn't find a name or profile picture in the original post, so it used the url as the name and my profile picture instead. The latter was a bug that shouldn't have happened at all.

Either way I think it's quite common for people to not what their full content re-used and there should be a way for people to specify that (or the reverse as I'm suggesting).
thanks for the link Jamie, licensing is definitely worth thinking about too.

I totally get where both sides are coming from. It’s definitely a presentation problem.

I’ve even had incoming emails in the past like this. Once a site owner actually asked me to add a rel=”canonical” tag to point back to their site, which I was quite impressed with. Ultimately I just fixed my display and provided only an excerpt. My intention was only to ever provide the reposted site the ultimate credit.

These days I don’t do too much reposting at all, and if I do, I’ll highlight a snippet and then ping the Internet Archive to save a copy on my behalf so that it’s still there in the future if I want to refer back to an original.

In rare cases for things that I find highly important, I’ll also repost, but keep it as a private post on my site that only I can see as an archived copy. Other times I’ll post and also add a rel-canonical back to the original site. I’m certainly never reposting as a means of creating traffic for my own site.

It’s interesting to me how frequently these same sorts of behaviors on personal websites will freak people out when they’re daily occurrences within the social sphere where they may not have better presentation. I had an online magazine send me a take down request a few weeks back for using a photo version of one of their generic mastheads in a spot that was obviously a reply context (and incidentally met all the requirements of fair use). Sometimes you can’t win despite your best intentions–just keep trying and we’ll get there.