The Cooks Source Debacle and Content Marketing

When I wrote the blog entry on thinking like a media company, let me clarify:  I wasn’t thinking about Cooks Source magazine.

In case you missed the story last week, apparently the magazine’s editor printed an article from the web in the publication without getting the author’s permission.  When challenged by the author, she responded that the Internet is “public domain” and in other condescending ways made the whole situation much worse. This ended up bringing the wrath of the social media world down on the publication, completely subsuming its Facebook page with complaints.

While this has nothing to do with technical marketing per se, it does illustrate the perils of really bad content practices – which is to say, getting content at all costs.

What lessons can we take away, other than the really obvious one (observe copyright laws)?

Here’s one: the social web magnifies stupidity.  In this case, the editor escalated the initial stupidity (lifting the author’s work without permission) by being condescending and insulting in her email to a blogger – yes, a woman with an online following.  Hmm, that was really stupid.

There’s plenty of good content out there. If you’re thinking like a respectable media company, you can write your own content, hire writers to create content for you, invite thought leaders to contribute to your content, or ask permission to use existing content with attribution.

‘Nuff said.

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