Friend Using My Insights on Her Blog

Updated on September 16, 2011
M.R. asks from Edmonds, WA
15 answers

I have spent a lot of time with a friend who maintains a popular blog about parenting. She's a very skilled writer.

She just forwarded the last several stories to me. Everyone of them is a struggle she shared with me regarding her children. So the basis of the story is not my own. But all the insights and possible solutions and how to handle something like that again, etc, are all my input. So her blog is 50% her, 50% me.

Should I feel honored? Or a plagiarized? And how do I compliment her writing now? Like, "Thanks for adding my 2 cents about that issue?"

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So What Happened?

Jen C and Laura U,
Cool your jets please....where did it say I was losing a friend over this issue? And how is asking a question here overreacting? Really about overreacting.

BTW, thanks for all your replies..I personally am honored that she thinks highly enough of my input to include it in her writing. Just curious what other women are thinking...

Featured Answers



answers from Kansas City on

I know where you are coming from with this. A simple "one friend of mine suggested" would go a long way. I have a couple of friends that will sometimes copy word for word what I have written on FB and they don't make any reference to a friend or anything. I can't help but feel a little irritated!


3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Sacramento on

If she's not crediting the insights to you, I'd say something. Maybe: "I remember when we talked about this one. I guess you liked my suggestions!" Make it known you realize she's stealing your insights and sharing them as her own expertise.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

who cares? It's a blog. You didn't give her your advice and then tell her not to tell anyone, right? This seems pretty silly to risk losing a friend over.
ADDED: I didn't say you were overreacting. I said it's not a big deal. I said that if you made some kind of comment you COULD lose a friend. You asked for my opinion, you got it.....and 8 people thought it was a good opinion.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It's not plagiarism, it's human communication and growth. If you're a smart cookie, it's because you've incorporated other people's brilliant ideas and insights into your own way of doing things (and they, in turn, probably picked up those ideas from others). I'm pretty sure that almost every wise thought I've ever had was probably prompted by things I've heard or read elsewhere.

Ideas can't be copyrighted. If you do the actual work of putting your ideas into the written word (or some other medium), then you technically own those words, but only as you expressed them, and anybody else who wants to use the same ideas must reframe them in their own words.

Your friend thinks you have wise insights. And she's going to the trouble of making your wisdom available to others. It's a compliment!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I think you are over reaching. I am sure you are not the only one she turns to for insight, I am sure she also looks in books, talks to other moms, or goes to mothering forums on line. I am sure that your insights are not things you just made up from scratch that no one else is using. Now, if I am wrong and you are the ONLY source she is using to gain these ideas, than she should mention you in the blog, but otherwise I think you are taking too much credit for her work.

If you feel you are the one doing the work on this, than maybe you should consider starting your own blog, so you really are doing the work.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Months ago, I had a mom on this site PM me and ask if she could use my comments on her blog. Honestly, I was flattered, and of course told her she was welcome to my "words". After all, I had posted them on a public website :)

I think you should feel honored. Obviously you advice and wisdom is such that she values it and wants to share it with others. If you are feeling plagiarized, maybe gently and casually mention to her that you want a by-line on her blog - say it with a laugh and love in your voice.

God Bless

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Wow, yes, some people are really overreacting to your question.

I think your friend probably admires your parenting skills. I think your compliment is perfect.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Interesting issue.

My immediate reaction is that I would want her to at least be aware that I was aware that much of her post came from me. Or you, as the case may be. :) I don't know how I'd subtly do that, but I think I'd need to convey, and hopefully have her acknowledge, that her posts are a combination of her dilemmas and your thoughts. I'm not saying I'd do this in an accusatory manner, perhaps in more of a, 'hey, I'm glad I could give you some insight that you could draw from for your blog' kind of thing...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

What are your feelings? Do you feel honored? Do you feel plagiarized? From your question, and I may have it wrong, it sounds like you feel a bit of both. To me, you should feel honored. If an "author-blogger" are using someone else's "ideas", isn't it only honorable they should give that person credit, i.e., "my good friend--insert first name here--suggested I do this." If it bothers you, be honest with her or choose to stop sharing with her.

Example: Dear friend, those are my ideas. I love how you liked my ideas enough to put them in your blog! I would feel perfectly acceptable for you to give me a credit mention my name. That would be great.

The fact is that life is all about learning and sharing experiences. If she is going to share your wisdom and ideas in a written blog, it is proper to give credit where credit is due.

Fact is, it is professional courtesy and common ethical practice to give proper credit where it is due. If you are blogging about an idea that is not truly your own, but was given to you by someone else, it is proper to give them credit.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would very cleverly comment on her blog, something to the effect of "I am so flattered that my insights have gone a long way! Love your BFF."

The problem with blogs is that there are no rules per se for "attribution," that is upheld in print journalism. Well, that's just one of many problems with blogs. They're simply online musings, no credit required.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I don't know if I'd be upset.
I mean, how many times have moms on here asked for help with what to say on their resumes or for suggestions on what to name their business?
Do any of us who answer expect credit?
I've used my friends, my kids, my family, my neighbors as examples in many things I write. I don't mention them by name. I can't imagine any of them being mad that they didn't give express, written permission for me to share my experiences as it relates to them. On a public forum, I think they'd be more mad if I DID mention them by name.
Your friend is obviously including you by forwarding her stories to you.
I don't know that you can plariarize thoughts.
You didn't put them on paper, she did.
I don't know....
We're not talking about taking credit for inventing fire.
There's nothing new under the sun when it comes to struggles with kids or solutions on how to handle them.
Someone, somewhere, has been through the same things, thought the same things, used the same tricks.
If it bothers you, say something to her.
Think first what you want her to do.
Do you want her to say that the blog is written by both of you or do you want her not to use any of the things you discuss with her?
Would you simply be happy if she said, "You know, I don't know if I could do this blog without you." ?

Like I said, it's kind of bothering you and you have a right to your feelings.
Think about what it would take for it not to bother you.
I'm not in your shoes, but I wouldn't be bothered too much by it.
If I tell my friend to plant her corn on one side of her garden and her root vegetables on the other, should I get credit because her garden did so well when she is the one who did all the work?
That's just how I look at it anyway.

Just my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Couldn't say how you should feel, but more importantly, how DO you feel? If it makes you feel somehow uncomfortable that portions of what you thought were a private conversation are appearing in print, let her know. Otherwise, just be aware in the future that as you converse with her, she's gathering information for a future blog.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Take the higher road, and have an in person conversation about this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I would be upset, personally. And I would probably do something like what CAWriterMom said.


answers from Toledo on

CAWrite mom has a good idea!

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