It happened today, during a session on Remix Culture: Building a Digital Divide Between Students and Teachers at the NMC Online Conference. The backchannel chat was bubbling out of control, like it should. There was discussion on copyright & IP on content that gets mixed… which typically starts from Copyright 1.0 — meaning restrictions, what you cannot do, etc.
My mind wandered to the flip side, the part of Creative Commons that greases the skids- the notion that the simple act of receiving attribution is sufficient to put one’s creative works out there. I still get a self-infating high when someone links to a photo, a blog post I have made. It fuels me to do more. I recently got a message from someone requesting use of a 15 year old photo I had posted in my web site. Wow! Last year, a German rock band asked to use another old photo for the cover of their CD. Amazing! Just seeing the inbound links to your blog is enough to motivate you to write more, correct?
So it is all about the simple mighty tiny link.
But the word “Attribution” sounds vague.
There are more then these ways this happens:
* Provide a link to the original photo when using a flickr image, in a web page, or done in powerpoint. Link it! Attribute it! Linktribute!
* When writing a blog post, at the bottom, give credit to another blog where you may have seen the story. Link it! Attribute it! Linktribute!
* Writing in a discussion board about content elsewhere? Link it! Attribute it! Linktribute!
What happens when you link? You give credit. You motivate the link recipient to keep at it. You add a few more points to someone’s Google ranks or Technorati chips. You connect your readers to more content. In a blog that supports the technology, the person may get an automatic notice via a ping/trackback.
It takes very little time to linktribute, and it can do so much.
Oh well, we’ll see if this meme can fly, or limp, or shrivel.