Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Hills Have Eyes!

Today, having chanced upon a recent comment on an old post of mine, I went searching to see if there were others (perhaps there's a widget that would allow me to do this automatically, but at the moment I'm limited to trial and error). I found one! And what a comment.

Oh my poor ego! Some months ago - when another bout of that cyclical whine that "the blogosphere is an A-list conspiracy" was whipping around the net - the muse struck and in five minutes I threw together my rules of blog club, got a few laughs and made a point or two. I was quite pleased with myself.

Five days ago, Michael O'Connor came across that same post. But the reason he did so was that he was trying to find this much older post. Even though one knows it is a pure coincidence, the initial feeling is not exactly a pleasant one and the experience certainly raises questions about the nature of creativity.

However, I guess it's entirely appropriate that a marketing blog should feature some unconscious plagiarism!


Blogger michaelo said...

Awww - you're too hard on yourself, John. As it was totally unconscious, it certainly wasn't plagiarism - just two smart blokes independently coming up with the same basic trope entirely by accident. Either way, it's a hoot of an idea. I'm just kicking myself that I didn't have it first :-)

8:31 PM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Michael Seaton said...

Hi John,

There is something I heard the gents on American Copywriter ( ) say about when this happens with creative ideas. It can be chalked up to something they call the "Collective Unconsciousness" where most everything that is done is a riff on something we have buried in our heads and stashed away somewhere.

It is an entirely different beast when some one cuts and pastes yoru exact words, phrases and thoughts and calls it their own.

I have been more than straightforward in saying I would forgive this bloake if he stood up like a man. Scott Cress, be a man!

10:38 AM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...


Riffing on something we've heard before is well-known and fills the advertising world of course, but in the case of blog club I think it was even more circuitous than that since I'd not only not read any of Chris Pirillo's writings, I'd also never read the rules of Fight Club until I created the post.

As for your situation, I agree it is entirely different and you should pursue him to the ends of the blogosphere.

5:08 AM, January 26, 2007  

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