What to do if another blogger came up with the same idea and posted it first?

A while ago I had this idea to make a feature on my blog with my favorite quotes. The general idea was to choose one quote at a time, share with you why it affected me so much, and tell you my thoughts about the book in a short format.

So I searched the blogs to make sure there wasn’t similar feature, and I found out that Maja at The Nocturnal Library had Nocturnal quotes, though her posts were a little different from what I had in mind. I contacted her and asked if it was ok for me to make a quote feature, and she said go ahead.

Me being me, I decided I should make some preparations. Firstly I needed a feature name; secondly I wanted to select quotes. I planned to start this feature in November.

Then last weekend Jamie at The Perpetual Page-turner posted “From My Quote Notebook”.

My first thought: OMG, it’s exactly what I planned to do for my quote feature. Funny how the same idea came to mind to different people.

My second thought: OMG, now if I start my feature everyone would think I stole the idea from Jamie. Because she did it first, and because she is a very popular blogger.

And this made me sad and a little bit angry. Angry at myself that I waited so long. Angry at Jamie, because she posted it first (I know it’s petty and totally uncalled for). Angry at book community, because everyone is obsessed with plagiarism.

Of course I calmed down, but I still don’t know what to do. Should I start this feature as I planned? Should I abandon the idea completely? Should I contact Jamie? I’m lost.

My dear fellow bloggers, I reach out for you. I need your advice. Have you ever been in such situation?


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13 Comments on “What to do if another blogger came up with the same idea and posted it first?

  1. Honestly, at this point it doesn't even matter what idea it is or who had it first. The thing is – each post/feature will be unique to the author and blog, and of course your feature will not be the same as Jamie's or anyone else's. Do what makes you happy! It's not like you're copying the person word-by-word. That's why the blogosphere may appear so gung-ho about plagiarism. In the end, with your own voice coming out, people will enjoy it more than you think. :)

    – Aila @ Happy Indulgence

  2. I would go ahead and do your thing! It's hard to have completely original ideas with so many people in the blog world – I think a lot of blogs have similar features, but they always bring a little something unique to it when THEY do it.

    -Lauren

  3. Everyone is definitely obsessed with plagiarism in this community and quick to whip out the pitchforks at the slightest hint of it, but here's the thing: you can't plagiarize ideas. They're not able to be trademarked or copyrighted or owned, which is why in the not-book blogging world you have so many different brands that sell the exact same thing. Different product/service, same idea. I think you should do your posts in the exact way you want to and make the feature your own, and if it makes you uncomfortable, link to Jamie's post as well:)

  4. It is hard to say what is plagiarism and what is not in blogging community. Because ideas are just that, ideas. And people tend to have similar ideas. It is not as if we can put a patent on blog post ideas. So I would say to go ahead with your quote feature and do it your own way as you have planned all along. Having similar posts around bloggosphere is excpected. Word by word, format by format copies are not cool, though.

  5. I think you should go on right ahead! I mean, it's about loving quotes, and I think that there are many similar features, but no one could accuse you of copying. I write discussion posts quite regularly, and usually do a google search before posting it to make sure I haven't accidentally read it somewhere and inadvertently copied it – in most cases, even if the titles and structure are the same yet you make it your own, there's no issues. The only problem comes from a person who DELIBERATELY looks at someone's post, and copies it without any due credit. I've had that happen to me before and it sucks. But in your scenario, I think you will run into no issues.

  6. I agree with Nick, do it! It won't be exactly the same and being how we all read so much, we are all bound to have those quotes and sayings that stick with us and there is nothing wrong with sharing them. 😉

  7. Nereyda did a discussion post about this a few months ago. My advice: just go for it! There are lots of features that are similar around the blogging community, and I honestly doubt anyone can claim that you copied someone.

  8. Hey don't worry about it Ksenia, I have seen a lot of similar blog posts around and I know when you think of a post and you want to make it unique to you, it can be annoying when you spot a similar post elsewhere. But I love the idea you're proposing and would love to see you feature it. If you are slightly worried about people thinking your idea is similar to Jamie's then I would totally email her, she is a lovely blogger and I don't think that she'd have an issue with it!

  9. I totally know what you mean!! And it's always hard to know when it's plagiarism or not, right? I've done styles of posts and then seen them pop up across the blogosphere and been kind of twitchy and wondering if it was stolen. BUT. I fully appreciate that people can have the same ideas at the same time. *nods* I honestly think the blogosphere is a big place and people are ALWAYS doing features and posts with quotes in them. I really think you should go ahead and just do it!! You'll have your own flair to it, right?!?!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  10. I wouldn't be overly worried. There are so many different quote memes. Just do your thing. It happens, like you I blog ahead and will write up a discussion post for December and someone else will post about it before hand..I just post anyway.

  11. eh honestly with so many people out there who have blogs, I'd imagine its okay and you can contact her. Honestly there is already so many different quote features, someone is bound to have a similar idea

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