Blogger Stalks and Copies Another Food Blogger

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Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Strohmeyer of Virtually Vegan Mama.

What do you do when another blogger copies your recipes, ideas, and even gets the same freelance gig? That’s the situation food blogger Jennifer Strohmeyer of Virtually Vegan Mama found herself in recently, when another blogger took Strohmeyer’s recipe ideas for her own blog, and even got the same freelancing gig at the same website where Strohmeyer contributes.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. We’ve had lots of discussions here about adapting recipes. Everyone modifies everyone else’s recipes, it seems. Maybe Strohmeyer was imagining things?

I think not. Let me tell you what happened.

But first, a little background on Strohmeyer. She started her blog in mid-January (full discloser: Strohmeyer is a former client), sending photos to Food Buzz and other photo sites to drive traffic. She got higher visibility all right, when another blogger noticed Strohmeyer’s site. These four coincidences happened, one more infuriating than the next:

Qinoa Date Nut Truffles. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Strohmeyer of Virtually Vegan Mama.

1. The case of the similar truffles

In March, Strohmeyer wrote a post on quinoa date truffles. She sent her photo to Food Buzz, where it appeared. Shortly, a photo of similar truffles with a different offbeat ingredient appeared on Food Buzz. “She pretty much ripped off my content and made it into the Top 9, ” Strohmeyer recalls.

At my suggestion, Strohmeyer left a comment on the blogger’s truffle post, saying something polite about how fun it was that she had used a similar unusual ingredient (I’m not linking to her blog because I don’t want you all to go postal on her). The point was to make the blogger aware that Strohmeyer knew about the similar recipe. The comment appeared, but then the other blogger removed it.

2. The case of the similar pie crust

Soon after, Strohmeyer blogged about a no-bake date almond pie crust. She wrote that she wanted to make tarts, but she didn’t have tartlet pans. A week later, the other blogger wrote a post about tartlets with a similar crust, but made with a different nut. Her photo made the Top 9 in Food Buzz again.

“She was obviously reading my blog and getting inspiration from it,” said Strohmeyer. “Ethically she should have acknowledged my recipe.”

3. The case of the mentioned pasta dish

Two months later, Strohmeyer wrote in the comments of her pasta post, “I’m making Penna Alla Vodka next…yum!”

Guess what happened? Yep. The other blogger made that same sauce, using a different title, and posted it on her blog. “This one was kind of an F U,” said Strohmeyer. “Was it a coincidence? I don’t think so. I’m not crazy.”

“I thought, ’91How dare you? You took my next post. ’91I didn’t do the next post on that subject.”

4. The case of the same freelance gig

Strohmeyer landed a gig where her blog posts appear on a website that attracts vegans. She added that info to her bio. Soon, the other blogger’s vegan recipe posts began appearing on the site as well.

Was it a coincidence? No. Strohmeyer figures the blogger read her bio and pitched the site.

So what’s a blogger to do? Should she contact the other blogger and confront her? “I don’t want to start a whole big blog war,” says Strohmeyer. “I don’t want the negativity. I try not to look at her website, but I see her photos on Food Buzz, Foodgawker and Tastespotting. I don’t know if people are going to make the connection.”

“She has a great blog,” Strohmeyer concludes. “She has a lot of great things going on. I feel like: Do your own thing.”

So far Strohmeyer has put on her big-girl pants and looked the other way. What would you do in this situation?

* * *

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  1. says

    This is really interesting to me. If I ever have inspiration from another blogger, I always make a point to give them a shout out. Even if I don’t know exactly where I saw it or whose idea it originally was, I’ll state that. I would never want to steal anyone’s thunder! Give credit where credit is due! I hope that others would do the same for me.

    I honestly don’t know what I would do in that situation. I would definitely contact that other blogger privately via email and express dissatisfaction and say that you are genuinely flattered by being their inspiration but you’d appreciate some link love.

    • diannejacob says

      Hmm. It’s easy to have your message misinterpreted on email, and this is kind of touchy. But still, it wouldn’t hurt to ask, in a polite way.

  2. says

    This is an interesting subject. I’ve had this happen to me with at least 3 or 4 recipes–and the combinations of ingredients were (at the time I posted them, anyway) so unusual that I assumed those people were copying. But unless the recipe is obviously the same, it’s difficult to claim it as one’s own. For instance, I’ve seen dozens of that kind of vegan truffle recipe on blogs–it’s not considered original any more (except for the quinoa in this case). Similarly, date-nut pie crust is everywhere in raw vegan cookbooks and on their blogs.. And adding one “unusual” ingredient to a standard recipe could be done by anyone.

    Even if the blogger acknowledges you, it sometimes works against you. I’ve had a few of my recipes “adapted” by a couple of other bloggers with large followings, and they do, indeed, credit me (for which I am soooo thankful). However, since their readership is so much larger than mine, after the first look, people assume they created the recipe and thereafter attribute it to the other blogger. So now everyone thinks my recipe is someone else’s, even though she posted more or less the identical recipe to mine. There’s really nothing much that can be done in this situation as far as I can tell, except politely ask the other more popular blogger to “please stop making my recipes”–but why would one want to do that if the other blogger drives traffic to your site (at least on the day the recipe is first posted)? I think these kinds of dilemmas exist all the time on food blogs.

    • diannejacob says

      Oh how fascinating, Ricki. Thank you for adding so much background info about vegan recipes.

      Yes, it’s hard to tell whether what she wrote is original or not, and I have covered that subject a lot. What made it suspicious in this situation is the timing.

      Re someone else’s recipe, yes, readers do tend to think it’s the blogger’s recipe, no matter where it came from. If they’re driving traffic to your site or book sales, that’s great. But that assumes they put in a link. In this situation, she could have said she was “inspired by.” It doesn’t cost anything.

  3. says

    By coincidence, I recently posted a recipe similar to someone I admire and am friendly with through our blog-writing connection. This week, she has published either a galette or crostata – guess what, my next post. I have decided to postpone it until fall and redo it with fall fruit. I feel I am so careful to avoid “copy-catting” that the behavior of the person described above is simply outrageous!

    • diannejacob says

      Yes, sometimes these things are coincidences, where you’re coming up with the same ideas.

      This comes up a lot in freelance writing — people see a story published that they pitched and think the editor stole it. But what you don’t know is that 5 people pitched the same story. Or that someone was writing the story when you pitched it. Editors don’t have time to explain.

  4. Sam Breach says

    I have many situations where I suspect people have taken more than a little inspiration from my work. Even a famous food critic just about copied a small part of my restaurant review word for word. What can I do? I can’t prove it. You know what they say about imitation. I also know I often have what I think are marvellous, unique ideas only to find people have done it before. I have had too many crazy, crazy coincidences happen in my life to argue they don’t happen. So my advice would be to try and put it out of your mind and continue to forge your own true path with conviction and pride, regardless of what anyone else is doing.

    • diannejacob says

      Lovely, Sam. I think that is her approach. But for a while, it drove Strohmeyer crazy.

      That is really sad about a famous reviewer copying part of your review. You wouldn’t think he or she would have to stoop to that.

    • says

      I couldn’t agree more–and so well said. Conviction and pride!

      Re: the reviewer, if it truly was word for word, why wouldn’t you be able to prove it, then? Sounds like pretty obvious plagiarism to me in that case.

  5. says

    I actually was on the opposite end of a similar situation once, when someone whose blog I’d never been to accused me of copying their recipe. I was ghostwriting for another site, so it wasn’t my personal blog that had been called into question, but it was still rattling to get an email from my employer saying, “Can you explain this?”

    The recipe in question was a pumpkin oatmeal I’ve been making for years which was born through trial and error, so I was pretty ticked off that someone would accuse me of copying them without giving due credit. I’m also very careful to cite my sources and note the inspiration for recipes I post, so if I’d used theirs, I would have been sure to list it. To be on the safe side, though, I went to that person’s site to see if our recipes were, in fact, identical.

    Well, it turned out that our recipes were very, very different. Yes, they both included oats and pumpkin, but that was pretty much where the similarities ended. I told my employer and showed the two recipes alongside each other, so she passed on the info to the other blogger in a polite email. It all worked out fine in the end, but it’s something I hope I never have to go through again. For a few hours that day while we straightened things out, I was worried I was going to lose my job over a bowl of oatmeal.

    • diannejacob says

      Hah! What a great story, Jess. It sounds like you handled it well by calmly going through both recipes and pointing out their differences to your boss.

      The whole idea of accusing people is very delicate, and a lot can go wrong. Perhaps that is the lesson here.

  6. says

    I’ve seen this a lot in the vegan niche, since it’s the one I’m most involved in. I agree with Ricki, there are hundreds of “raw balls” or “raw truffle” recipes permeating the blog-o-sphere these days, and date and nut crusts are extremely common (actually, one of my favorite go to “quick” crusts), but the similarities of said ingredients used and the time frame seem more than coincidental for Jennifer. So it brings up the question of intent and ethics.
    It seems these days, as Ricki also states, whichever blogger garners the most attention (even with an “adapted” recipe) seems to be the one who gets to claim it. This is unfair, but it is also a part of blogging that I have learned to deal with. I knew starting out that I just wanted to expose people to vegan recipes–sort of a food activism thing for me–so “giving things away for free” was never a big deal. I guess it’s hard for me to complain about people “sharing” my recipes with others if all I really want to do is get the word out there about vegan food not being so scary (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). But, that may not be the case for other bloggers who generously share their original recipes and don’t feel so indifferent about who “claims” them. Although, I truly believe that the (coconut) cream always rises to the top, and that anyone who has to steal recipes from others won’t last very long in the blogging world anyways.

    • diannejacob says

      Terrific response, Allyson.

      For me the issue isn’t about who “owns” the raw balls or truffles, but more about what that means when another blogger “copies” another several times. You can’t deny that she was watching Strohmeyer and imitating her. But she never tried to befriend Strohmeyer as a fellow vegan blogger or give her credit. If she did either of those things, it have worked out differently.

      Re sharing recipes with the world, the problem is that anyone can claim them once you put them out there. That is the predicament of food bloggers, where it is easy to copy and paste. Before them, recipe writers for publications and cookbooks had the same problem.

  7. Elise Feiner says

    As a food blogger, I have seen some ideas copied from my site. I have also tried recipes from other sites and tweaked them to my taste always giving credit to the original poster. I once sent a copy of a cookbook I wrote to The Food Network and never had it acknowledged, but I swear I have seen very similar recipes used. Really, what can you do, after all, how many ways can you make a chocolate chip cookie anyway!! My feeling is, as a friend once said, unless your name is Eve, and your husband is Adam, it’s not an original recipe – someone’s already been there, done that. I take it as a compliment and move on. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I actually did a post on this topic awhile ago. As for trying to steal her gig, now that would piss me off!!

    • diannejacob says

      Okay, you’re just getting on with your life, and you’re not trying to figure out which recipe was whose originally. Makes sense.

      Just as a note of accuracy, the other blogger did not steal her gig. The site has a bunch of recipe bloggers on it, and added one more when she came on.

  8. says

    I completely agree with giving credit where credit is due, but in this situation, I’m having trouble seeing where credit was due. Admittedly, I don’t know the whole story, and I didn’t see the copy-blogger’s posts, so my opinion is based strictly on the details above.

    “Similar” Truffles and Tart: Even if copy-blogger was inspired by Vegan Mama’s truffles or no-bake almond tart crust idea, it doesn’t mean that she adapted those specific recipes’85 there are hundreds of blog posts about no-bake nut crusts, all of them similar, that may have all added to the inspiration, and I fail to see how a recipe for mini-tarts with no-bake hazelnut or cashew crusts is copying a fruit tart with no-bake almond crust.

    Pasta: Technically copy-blogger didn’t ’91steal’ Vegan Mama’s post or recipe’85 since Vegan Mama hadn’t yet posted it. Should she have noted “My pasta sauce’97which I made without using or even adapting someone else’s recipe’97is inspired by a comment I saw on a blog post that briefly mention the idea of making a vodka sauce in future, therefore, I can’t take credit for it”?

    Freelance Gig: Copy-blogger saw a lead for a gig and took it’97it’s the same way we’ve all been introduced to sites like tastespotting and foodgawker, as well as sites with freelance opportunities: we see that a food blogger we admire is using it, to some success, and since it’s a resource for food bloggers or writers, we take advantage of it to get more traffic to our blogs, or to become more involved in the food blogging community.

    Simply being inspired by ideas is far different than adapting specific recipes. Inspiration is what led us to start food blogs in the first place, and what continues to make it a thriving, growing, community.

    PS: I continue to see recipes “similar” to mine show up in Martha Stewart… I’m pretty sure she’s not copying me :). I like to think that great minds think alike!

    • diannejacob says

      Amber, thanks for the thoughtful reply. You made lots of good points, and I like your 2nd to last para about inspiration. I take it you think Jennifer is being too sensitive.

      Re similar: I wish I could show you the blogger’s post so you could see how similar it was, but unfortunately, people tend to get into mobs and I’ve had a bad experience with that, so I like to keep it anonymous. But you are right, she could have looked at tons of other recipes as well.

      Pasta sauce: Yes, she didn’t steal anything, so the title doesn’t apply to this example. There was no reason to credit Strohmeyer, agreed.

      Re freelance gig: Yes, I can’t blame copy-blogger, as you call her, for taking the initiative. This is more about how it felt to Strohmeyer, where she was proud to get the gig and then, right away, copy-blogger showed up on the same site. Just one more creepy “coincidence.”

      Freelance gig:

    • says

      I tend to agree with Amber. It’s entirely possible that if you were to see the second blogger’s website, you’d think all this were more than just coincidence, but just making three dishes that may or may not have been inspired by the first blogger doesn’t constitute something illegitimate. Could it be that both were using seasonal ingredients or following larger trends in the vegan food blogosphere? And maybe the second blogger deleted the first blogger’s comment because she felt it was unwarranted?

      I think this is emblematic of another issue in the blogosphere — with so many people writing about similar things and competing for similar readers, some nasty competitiveness can develop. It’s often there, underneath the surface, whether people like to admit it or not.

      • diannejacob says

        You are making some good points here, Liz. I don’t think it’s about seasonal ingredients, but I do agree that there are food trends in the vegan world that everyone jumps on, and maybe healthy sweet chocolate balls are all the rage. On the other hand, the recipes were awfully similar. Wish I could show you, but I can’t.

  9. says

    A long time ago, a friend gave me some of the best advice, which I’ve tried hard to heed: Keep your eyes on your own paper.

    What makes each of our recipes and blog posts different and unique is us. What we pour into them. That’s why I really impressed upon my students to write the hell out of recipes because a list of ingredients and a few cursory steps ain’t gonna cut it as original. But write the hell out of that recipe (and post), using your experiences, your stories, your language, your passion, and…to steal a well-worn phrase, “They will come.” The recipe may get someone’s attention (and may tempt them to steal), but how you present it is what will keep readers coming back again and again.

    That being said, I know for a fact people at print publications keep an eagle eye out for what others publications are doing and even go back into the archives of competitors’ back issues to see if they can trump them–beat them at their own game. It’s what business is all about. Perhaps copy-blogger looks upon her/his blog as a business. I don’t know. But our intent–mission, if you will–for our blogs will inform how we work it.

    • diannejacob says

      Well yes, I agree that we should mind our own beeswax and write the hell out of a recipe. That is the best way. But when someone kind of taunts you with all these coincidences, it is hard to look away. I have to give Strohmeyer credit for not contacting the other blogger, because nothing good would come of it.

      Re print pubs, yes, as a former magazine editor, I too read all the competition and made sure we were doing something different. A freelancer once pitched me a story that we accepted and ran, and then I found it in a competitors’ magazine a few years earlier. I never used that freelancer again. On the other hand, I was once an intern at a city magazine. In those days, Clay Felkner’s New York magazine was the 500-lb. gorilla. We copied story ideas from it every month.

      • says

        Taunts hurt, taunts torment, but they happen. Sadly, all the time. As you know, I have been hounded by a food and cookbook writer who has publicly attacked me, taunted me–basically, undertook a character assassination of me. I eventually had to ignore this writer’s articles and books, ask people to stop telling me what this writer was saying about me. In short, keep my eyes on my own paper.

        I don’t envy Strohmeyer, but she’s set her course in the right direction, and on a higher road. Applause.

        • diannejacob says

          How awful. Actually I don’t remember you telling me about this person. Maybe you have already taken the higher road.

          Your story makes Strohmeyer’s problem seem tame. Other people in the public eye have told me about this kind of thing as well. I have decided not to write about stalker types because I don’t want to give them the satisfaction.

  10. says

    It’s funny. Well, her experience isn’t funny, but I’m chuckling because a few years ago I created a recipe for an employee recipe contest sponsored by Calphalon for Williams-Sonoma employees. I, as David says, Wrote the hell out of that recipe. I came up with it. Prepared it. Ate it. Made it again. Ate it again. Made it another time … well, you get the point. I was bound and determined to be sure there were no mistakes and win that contest. They never ended up finishing the contest so WS has my recipe for free. But that’s not what makes me chuckle.

    I’ve seen this recipe now a number of times in various magazines and the first thing that comes to mind is — AH HA! Did they steal my recipe?! I posted it on my site after I submitted and as such, it’s very possible since it was “out there,” the recipe has been picked up and you know what? It’s darn good, so if that’s what I want to do here — share my experiences and recipes with the world, then I suppose that’s what I get for doing so and all I can do is smile, because who am I going to go after? Cooking Light? FoodNetwork Magazine? The Washington Post?

    Nah, I didn’t do anything so off the charts different. It is most likely coincidence or … I’m just ahead of my time and everyone wants to make Chipotle-Tamarind Shrimp Tacos on steamed corn tortillas … right?

    But if someone was stalking me like the “copy-blogger” clearly was, I’d be down right pissed and I’m not so sure I’d be able to be a grown up about it.

    Once again, another topical and interesting post. Thanks!

    • diannejacob says

      Hi Fran, great to hear from you.

      Who knows what WS did with your recipe? Maybe it’s in a file drawer somewhere. But you made it available to everyone, and it’s so easy to copy and paste. I guess it’s possible that dozens of other recipe developers also thought chipotle and tamarind was a good combination for shrimp. There’s no way to know. But I have seen recipes copied identically, and I guess that is the test. Are the methods written the same way? Are the amounts identical? That’s what Jess figured out in her comment.

      On the other hand, examining this stuff for copying can make you crazy. Better to just get on with what you do well.

  11. says

    I agree with David on keeping our eyes on our own paper. My grandfather used to tell me something similar “Do your own thing, people will recognize it”.
    In this day and age, it is so hard to draw a line where inspiration ends and copying begins because everything is “out there” for grabs.
    We get too attached to our posts sometimes and get emotional. I guess I would draw the line if somebody starts making money with my ideas but still how do you “patent” an idea? I have been thinking about this topic and the event you described above since I watched “Social Network”! Just because he stole the idea, nobody stopped using FB.
    And I really don’t know how Foodbuzz chooses their Top 9. It might be just because second bloggers pictures are better or more like what all those sites are looking for! Who knows?
    I guess if it happened to me, I would be mad for a while, and then calm myself saying I am doing this because I love it. I do not need to lose the spirit of this and go into an ugly argument- because you dont know what kind of damage that person can do. People will notice the difference eventually.

  12. says

    This is such a slippery slope! I admire Jennifer’s restraint and I tend to agree with David. Keep your eyes on your own paper and keep moving. But yes, it hurts and it must have felt really creepy. I admit I have my head in the sand on this, and even if anyone was ‘stealing’ recipes from my blog, I probably wouldn’t know it! I guess ignorance is bliss. Nice post, Dianne!

  13. says

    Unfortunately, this is one of things that happens in the world of food blogging!
    Sure, all of us at some point find someone else’s recipe attractive and worth trying out. When that dish turns out really good, some of us feel it is worthwhile posting about it. But then you either credit the original if you adapted it (I always point out how I adapted someone else’s recipe), or if your recipe is more or less verbatim the original then you do not re-post it but point your readers to the original.

    Personally, I think Jennifer Strohmeyer could bring it out in the open and fight it if she chooses to. If she finds enough of her recipes have been copied ( upto 10 or more maybe) then she needs to compare them to make sure. Then she needs to do a blog post about this stalking/ copying while linking to the “copycat”. Then give it as much publicity as possible (on fellow blogger blogs, Twitter, FB and Google+), including writing to Foodbuzz, Foodgawker and Tastespotting asking that the “other” blog be blacklisted..
    I’m sure no one in the food blogging community would want to support this “other person”.

    Sure the blog post will drive traffic initially to this “copycat’s” blog but once people realise what is going on, I don’t see this other blogger getting much traffic. How else can one fight this?

    • diannejacob says

      Wow. You are the only one to suggest she confront this situation, Aparna. Quite a program you’ve laid out.

      • says

        When I mentioned Twitter and FB and other social media, I didn’t mean it in the context of “attacking”. I only meant it as in “putting the word out” about this matter. It was only a suggestion. The right decision for each person is an individual choice depending on various issues.

        And I said what I did because I have had so many instances where my stuff has been copied or my photographs “used” without my permission.
        I used to just leave a comment at the concerned site requesting they remove what they had “taken”.
        When Good Housekeeping used one of my photographs without permission, I wrote to them. It took a while but they finally admitted to it, printed an apology and paid me damages. Now they will think twice before they do anything like that again (I hope).

        • diannejacob says

          Wow, Aparana. Good Housekeeping stole one of your photos! I am so disappointed, because they should know better. I would love to know what constitutes “damages.”

          • says

            They should have known better. They blamed some intern in their photgraphy/ editing department. They put out an apology in their next issue saying they had used my photograph without permission and apologised for it. I asked for financial compensation with the amount being non-negotiable. They took a couple of months, trying to negotiate but I didn’t budge. I also refused to sell the photograph to them!
            I now understand that a lot of magazines and papers (some of them are big) routinely instruct their employees (supposed to be unofficial) to get information and photographs (which they alter) off the net from smaller and unimportant sites (blogs included) because these are unlikely to find out and fight!

  14. says

    If this person is stealing her ideas wholesale, maybe she should just let it go, after all the thief will soon become unstuck if she has no ideas of her own. On the other hand, when your recipes are based on a specific cuisine (mine is French Provencal cooking) you are always going to come across others writing about the same recipes as yourself, so just try and give the post some originality, the internet is full of recipes for Nicoise Salad. Photos are different, of course, that would annoy me, but having said that 5,000 people upload a photo of a sunset on flickr every day! But at the end of the day, the more time you spend looking at other people’s blogs, the less time you’re spending on yours, which reminds me I must go and make those Almond Tuiles, toute suite!

  15. maria maxey says

    Yes i agree i’ve had the same problem before where i’ve made my pms chocolate cookies with my granddaughter.Only to find out someone else made the same recipe ,and they won blue ribbon.TO me that’s the same as taking my credit ,and making their own.We all should at least give all our fellow cooks,pat on the back,or just say thank you to a friend to share this and i either,change or add few things different.But still give someone.Happy thanks sinc.Happycook Diva

    • diannejacob says

      That is so odd, Maria, particularly if it was exactly the same. It’s hard to know where inspiration comes from.

  16. says

    What a great post and great comments! I understand the frustration in the timing and coincidence for Jennifer – would make anyone feel a little paranoid for sure! This happens all over the blogosphere – in fact, a great social media blog yesterday posted about Original Creative Content versus Sharing Content. Personally, I think giving a hat tip or acknowledgment is a great way to recognize the hard work and how you came to a recipe or some information. I also think it provides a base for good relationships with other bloggers. I liked the Adam and Eve observation – in this day of sharing info, sometimes it is even hard to attribute inspiration – did we see it on twitter, facebook, a blog, a book? I think most bloggers are happy to be acknowledged though so give the hat tip, otherwise you may become known as a stalker :).

    • diannejacob says

      It’s always preferable to do the right thing, Kim, and you have laid it out. You don’t have to acknowledge someone else’s work every time, of course, but it doesn’t cost much to tip a hat.

  17. says

    It sure sounds like there was a trend going on but still, David’s advice is to be reckoned with. On top of that, making something truly original is hard. Whenever I develop something I love and think is so unique and creative…a quick Google search will prove me wrong!

    I see my work revisited a lot by people that either get my feed or follow me on Twitter. I also recognize a lack of mention of inspiration. It is what it is; I might not like it but I’ve just adopted my own, ‘don’t get your panties in a bunch’ attitude for my own sanity.

    I don’t agree with using Twitter to forge attacks on offenders; that is playground behavior at best. If that blogger is an offender than I have a whole list of similar type blogs that deserve to be flogged. Twitter seems to be above the law; no trial, no jury, just one person’s irritation and the mob scene ensues. I applaud you for not giving us the name or blog address Dianne

    I had something happen this week that has been the most shameful behavior I’ve personally experienced in this realm. After another blogger realized my involvement with a particular group from a blog post; she sent me a DM on Twitter letting me know if I needed help ‘pitching’ ideas to them that she would be happy to help. I thanked her but said I was working with a PR firm (basically I’ve already made the connection). She then found the groups Twitter handle, RT’d my tweet about the event but added their handle when she did and is now pushing herself to them. Hey…if you want to try and hijack my role at least do the right thing and go behind my back!

    I’m going to try and do what I preach. Ignore it and expend my energy on new creative outlets and not get immersed in ongoing efforts to manage stuff like this. Because it won’t stop, I have to.

    • diannejacob says

      Yes that is so true about doing a Google search. It’s a big wake-up call if people think their recipes are original. I don’t really understand how the psyche works where several people at once get obsessed with vegan cocoa balls, but obviously, it happens.

      I don’t agree with attacks on Twitter either. In fact I don’t think attacks are ever a good way to go. It’s bad karma and will come back to bite you in the ass. I should have said that earlier.

      Agree about the shameful behavior. I guess she was jealous that you got a connection with a p.r. firm that lead to something.

  18. Rebecca Lang says

    This happens much more often than most people think. And, not just for bloggers, but for other areas in the food profession as well. I feel pity for those that have no original ideas or identity. If someone had the chops to make it under their own pretenses, they wouldn’t have to copy others.
    DIanne – Thank you for bringing this out in the light. All the best to Jennifer.

    • diannejacob says

      Thanks Rebecca. It sounds like you have some juicy stories to share but, due to your good manners, you probably won’t.

  19. says

    When I wrote the Inside Scoop for the Chronicle, a colleague ripped off information from my about-to-be published column. The excuse was they were “very busy.” Sanctioned by the Chron. editors. After all, I was popular, but freelance.
    She is now the food editor of an Ohio newspaper. I’m still freelance.

    • diannejacob says

      That is so lame that the editors thought her behavior was okay. I guess employees have a leg up over freelancers, but I sure wouldn’t trade places with them. I’m guessing you wouldn’t either.

  20. says

    This is rampant in “professional” blog publications as well. I’ve had a couple of articles that I’ve written about local food events be frantically copied only hours after mine has been published. Events that were totally under the radar so it wasn’t just coincidence. In once case, where the events were actually a series of chef competitions, another professional blog publication cut and pasted a version of the event schedule that I had written out – in my own publication’s style – complete with my typo. It’s utterly frustrating.

    And maybe it’s completely evil of me, but the one thing I’d consider doing, if the copycat blogger is “stealing” ideas before Strohmeyer is even writing/publishing her own posts on the topic, is to string the copycat along. Publicly post her intentions to prepare/write about the most labour-intensive dishes of the vegan genre. Multi-step, day-long recipes that use a whole pantry of (ideally, super-expensive) ingredients or obscure equipment. Then sit back and watch the copycat scramble to make a version of said dish before Strohmeyer does.

    • diannejacob says

      Sorry to read about the pathetic rip-offs you’ve experienced, Sheryl.

      You’ve laid out a good revenge fantasy, but I don’t think it’s worth the trouble.

  21. says

    I love your posts Dianne, as well as the comments that ensue. I have to set a chunk of time aside to read your blog because I know I won’t just be skimming.
    I feel for Jennifer. That is creepy and upsetting. If it were me, I’d do just what she’s doing, though, and look the other way. And hope that this person will get a clue, realize what they’re doing is not ok, and move on to post about their own ideas and not ones they are clearly lifting from someone else.
    I love David’s advice about keeping your eyes on your own paper…

    • diannejacob says

      Thanks Winnie. I appreciate that you and the others reading here have found the comments worthwhile of your time.

      I guess rip-offs happen more often than we know, so it’s worth figuring out a strategy to deal with them. Something like: take deep breaths and carry on. And take David’s advice.

  22. says

    Actually I became staff for 3 years. Got tired of being the cat’s meow and having no health care, no sick or vacation days.

    It was one of the worst experiences of my writing life. I used to say, I cdn’t lean back in my chair, too many knives.

    A hornets’ nest.

  23. says

    This is so tough. Upsetting how unthoughtful and unethical people can be, and why should we be surprised in today’s world? Strohmeyer is handling it really well and I give her a lot of credit for that.

    Blogging is hard work. Attribution is critical as well as mentioning inspiration. I am so careful about that. Too, it is really hard to come up with completely unique content today. Like some have shared, you can create a recipe never having looked at other recipes, then find many similar.

    Once or twice, ok, but four times and the other stuff? I would contact the blogger and nicely (not easy) tell her she’s flattered to be an inspiration but to do her own thing and the stop unethical behavior. It doesn’t have to be negative. I think we all hope that such behavior will catch up with this person, but it’s so hard to experience it.

    It would be tempting to contact the site she got the freelance gig with an see how they react, if for no other reason than to learn what they would say. It could be done in a nice way, quietly.

    Pretty regularly now we are having content and photos used without permission. It is disconcerting and maddening. I email the blogger or whoever owns the site. I let them know, politely, that they are using copyrighted material and that they need to ask permission. Most of the time, I receive a message apologizing and asking permission. Once yet I have not and I’m tempted to file a DMCA. Stole it all and posted on her site. But no one has done it over and over.

    Good conversations.

    • diannejacob says

      So you would call the blogger. What if she says she has no idea what you’re talking about and all those things are coincidences? It would be hard to prove otherwise.

      I wouldn’t contact the site. You would be seen as a troublemaker, and since you are a relative newcomer, they might decide you are not worth it. I can’t imagine that the editors care. They just want to get free content to put up that has reasonable quality.

      Very nice that you allow people to use your photos. What is a DMCA?

      • says

        Not call the person, I was thinking more about an email contact. But you are probably right. Someone who is doing this over and over again isn’t going to care or respond. They are just unethical and no changing that. Too bad that raising the question could brand you a troublemaker. It should be an ok thing to do. I would hope that editors would care, but then again, probably not in this day and age. Little ethics.

        We sometimes allow our photos to be used. We review, look at the site, and make a decision if it’s beneficial to the blog for traffic and visibility potential. Example, I got a pingback in my comments, followed the link and found photos and recipe had been used by a So Cal Farmers Market. She did provide a link to the post and attribution. I emailed the person about it being copyrighted and approval is the right thing to do. She sincerely apologized and seemed very nice. She had actually missed the lead photo, so we granted permission to use. She invited us to come down and see the market and look her up. Case by case. Hard to prevent these days, so it’s beneficial to make the best of it.

        DMCA is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Here is the link on how to post/send a take down notice. Learned this from Elise.

        • diannejacob says

          Speaking as an editor, I don’t think they would care. They would want the two of you to resolve it.

          Interesting story about how you followed the link on your blog to find your photo being used elsewhere. Thanks for this link, Sally.

  24. says

    I had someone taking each and every one of my posts, pictures and all, and passed them off as his own.
    I sent him an e-mail and told him he was very welcome to my posts but to please link them back to my blog.
    He told me he would, and then didn’t. I wrote to him again and told him that it was a copyright infringment. Again, he told me he would link the posts back to my site. Again, he didn’t.
    I contacted wordpress, and twitter (He was tweeting them as his own as well. and finally he started to link them back to me.
    I would love to have everyone use my posts but I do ask that I get credit.
    Whenever I want to use someone else’s stuff, I always contact and ask for permission, and I always give credit and a link back.
    I believe it is just polite. You know us Canadians We are polite! LOL
    Thanks for writing this! I think it is an issue for many and hopefully we can educated others to the proper ettiquette. (may have misspelled that)

    • diannejacob says

      Wow, someone taking every single post was ripping off your entire blog, not just the occasional post. You were way too polite (I’m Canadian too so I can say that.). I love that you finally contacted WordPress and Twitter about him.

  25. says

    Wow, it’s just disappointing what people do. Shame they don’t have original ideas or what to share with everyone what is unique about them?

    I’ve had people copy my blog, but (as far as I know), not recipes. My main concept.

    Here’s an example.

    In my “About” here are some snippets of what I’ve written…..

    ” ….Each month, a new baking theme is featured on M’e9langer. A new theme devoted to sharing my favourite recipes, discovering new sweet dishes, perfecting a fundamental technique of patisserie and baking, or celebrating a new season….

    Having been fortunate to live in various countries around the world (and traveled to many more), I have also been inspired by the subtlety of regional differences in baking. I am fascinated of the origin of many baked goods and how a seemingly similar set of ingredients can produce such different outcomes. This makes baking for me an intriguing process.”

    A new visitor left a comment on my blog in late 2010. Then in early 2011 she started a new blog of her own.

    After visiting this new person (to say ‘hi’) this is what I found in HER “About”:

    “Each month, XXXXX BLOG NAME REMOVED FROM HERE XXXXXX features a theme related to baking. Either focusing on an ingredient- its history, recipes, how it is used and its role in our culture; a particular sweet, or a specific region and discovering the methods and recipes unique to that region’85..

    I have been fortunate to live in a few different parts of this country and have enjoyed traveling the world discovering different culinary cultures, which continue to inspire me’85..”

    Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    She has since removed the monthly theme section.

    Funny though, my monthly themes reflect the way I think (I’m very structured and like to research broad concepts and ideas at once), and thus it reflects the way I bake.

    I’ve been doing the themes for over two years now. And although it’s not a unique idea, it is reflective of me. She obviously liked the idea and thought about using it, but it obviously didn’t work for her.

    BTW, I’ve not contacted her to say anything.

    In this case, Strohmeyer’s ideas reflect her cooking style. It’s sort of sad that someone has to copy her, and they obviously don’t have ideas of their own.

    • diannejacob says

      That is sad that the blogger couldn’t come up with her own idea or wording and copied yours. Very good that she removed it. It’s kind of funny that it didn’t work for her in the end — hello, it wasn’t her idea in the first place!

  26. says

    This is a tough one. , As much as I love my blog, it’s not that well known, and it’s a red letter day for me when a photo makes it onto foodgawker or tastespotting. My recipes have been reproduced, complete with photos, a couple times though, and I’ve practically blown my stack when it happened. It’s easy to prove when the thief has simply cropped out your watermark!

    That’s a little different from very similar posts with her own photos, which can be chalked up to using the same seasonal ingredients, or having similar ideas. I’d really like to see a side by side comparison of some of the posts that have been copied by the other blogger. If she really is flat-out copying you without giving credit, chances are VERY good that she is doing it to other bloggers as well.

    I would start to do some intense google searches, carefully using the “search blogs” and dates feature. If you can determine who else she is copying, perhaps you could contact “the refs” at FoodBuzz and the vegan site where you both contribute with the evidence or alert the other bloggers to her behavior.

    Your blog is lovely with absolutely beautiful photography. I would be upset, too, if I were in your situation.

    • diannejacob says

      I take it you’re speaking directly to Jennifer here. I’d love to show you a side-by-side comparison but just can’t take the risk that my readers will find out the identity of this blogger. In the past I identified someone and people went crazy attacking her! So it’s not worth it.

  27. says

    I agree with many of the other comments that it’s hard to tell whether it’s coincidence or copying. Admittedly her recipes are different, but if it is, as you say, very similar in content of the post and style, then she should absolutely contact the blogger. She has to communicate with her about it because the other blogger may have no idea she is doing anything wrong. It would be hard to be nice, of course, but she has to try.

    Of course, her comment was ignored/deleted. That’s certainly a show of some guilt. Yikes.

    • diannejacob says

      Yeah, I thought so too about the comment, but then on the other hand, a commenter pointed out that maybe the blogger thought her comment was self-serving, since she referred to her own dish. So who knows?

      I guess it’s possible the blogger doesn’t know she’s doing anything wrong. I once got up the nerve to contact a big blogger who was writing sponsored posts without disclosing that she was paid to write about the product. I sent her an email about how the FCC requires you to disclose if you endorse. She was so nice about it! Maybe I was lucky.

  28. says

    Hi everyone!

    What great comments and feedback on this important topic. I was a little nervous about putting this out there because I really wanted to let it go and it isn’t a big deal to me anymore. I am over it! However, Dianne and I both agreed it was something that is clearly happening all the time to bloggers out there and we decided to go ahead and put it out there for discussion. I’m so glad we did and thanks for all your input and well wishes. I truly enjoy what I do and continue to do it for the main purpose of increasing the health of myself and my family. I’m just going to try and ignore “the other stuff”. =)


    • diannejacob says

      Thanks for commenting, Jennifer. I hope you are enjoying the discussion. Very thoughtful comments here, as usual.

  29. says

    Too bad about that for sure. On my blog, I ALWAYS mention where it comes from, even if I’m just skirting around another one. I do this because I don’t want to lose sleep at night by having nightmares of the other blogger chasing me down with dull paring knife wanting to cut my manhood off. Seriously. I have a lot of original recipes, we all do. There are a lot of recipes out there which are similar, but I don’t waste my time looking for another one which resembles mine. I write it, post it and don’t worry about it as I know in my head and am confident it’s mine, all mine. If, however, I see something in a newspaper, magazine or on TV which I like and want write about and post, I follow it directly and give the originator full compliments. If I choose to make it my own way, I at least mention where i got the idea from. It’s only fair and reasonable. If you think you are being original with every post you write and are actually ripping off someone else’s recipes, it won’t last long and you will soon be outed, as what happened here. Originality is what makes you original, not plagiarism.

    • diannejacob says

      Sounds like a good strategy, Mark. On one hand, sometimes you think you’ve made something up and it turns out there are recipes for it everywhere. On the other hand, you can’t worry about every idea you come up with.

  30. says

    You’re always one step ahead of a copy cat as long as you don’t spill the beans on your next project, giving you the opportunity to be even more awesome. At some point, the copy cat won’t be able to deliver, will fall short and Karma will catch up with them.

    Easier said than done, I know. Personally, I would have addressed the situation given enough coincidences, with a cease and desist letter waiting in the wings if they crossed the line.

    • diannejacob says

      In hindsight, now Strohmeyer knows not to mention an upcoming blog post. But when she wrote it, I’m sure she had no idea that this person would take it and run.

      So you’d send a cease & desist letter? I’d do that if someone stole my photo, or ripped off my copy word for word, but this is a little more subtle.

  31. JJ says

    I’ve had this happen a lot… I confronted one girl and she flipped out after I pointed out that when i mentioned my next recipe she made her own version and belted it out the following day. another time with a different blogger… I just looked the other way. Its not worth it anymore. Just today I was accused of stealing someone else’s blog name when it couldn’t be further from the truth. for some reason being accused of what has been done to me (copying) hurt so badly that I dont want to blog for a while. one similar word shared in two separate blog names and i’m a loser who needs to “get my own ideas and get creative?” really? because one word i’m a total fake? I can’t stop crying. a friend just sent me this post to read and I would love some advice if you have a moment Dianne. thank you ever so much!

    • diannejacob says

      JJ, I feel badly for you. This is why I get nervous when people say they want to confront other bloggers and it turns out to be a misunderstanding. That’s all it is, right? A misunderstanding. And that person was very rude.

      She’s not worth crying over. One lousy blogger should not have so much power over you. Go back to your blog and read all the nice comments from people who think you’re worthwhile.

  32. says

    I try my best to create my own ideas but I worry frequently that someone has already done it. Then there’s the dilemma, do I do a search on google and see? If I find one similar do I drop my idea, or say I know it’s been done? Do I not search , so that way I can totally play dumb and say I didn’t know?

    I’ve done it both ways, but I’m never sure if I’m original because the food ideas I get are very quick and easy without much work, but they are mine. At least I think they are… I have an idea for some date nut truffles….

  33. says

    My practice is to proceed with an abundance of caution regarding attribution. If I have any idea of the origin of the recipe, I will cite the author/developer. While I have never experienced someone outright stealing my recipe, I have noticed a blogger that follows in my footsteps. I post a recipe for a chocolate pie, the next day she has a chocolate pie. I start posting food related questions on FB to encourage participation, the next day her FB is doing something very similar. I am confident that I have given my writing my voice and my personality shows through. That’s the reason people follow my work. The best that I can do is to concentrate on constantly improving my work and providing fresh content. I think I am better served by doing that than worrying about someone else. I firmly believe people appreciate and recognize genuineness.

  34. says

    This is a complicated one for sure because there are so many things to consider. In the of The Virtually Vegan Mama it does sound intentional and quite viscious, but I would bet more times than not it’s not intentional. But it still gets messy as it’s been pointed out in the comments especially in instances where the recipe has been made by a blogger with a bigger following and more clout than you and suddenly you feel like someone else is getting all the credit.

    I guess I’ve always been fortunate in that those who have borrowed my recipes have always seemed to be generous in linking back but it can be frustrating when you type in the exact name of one of your recipes in google and find that those who made your recipe come up first. I think that is the part that is tricky is that even if you’re curteous with who you give credit to (I know I am and will often cite bloggers & books that served as inspiration even if the output in the end is very, very different) sometimes it negatively impacts the original blogger, even if you never intended to. So yes, complex.

    David’s comment about keeping your eyes on your own paper seems like a good one in theory, but I’m not sure how practical it is in real life. Other bloggers are my friends and mentors and I think if I only ever focused on my blog that I would miss out on the broader community. I think it’s more about employing common sense and treating others’ content how you hope your own would be treated. How would I want to be cited? What kind of credit would I want?

    Beyond that, I think we live very much in a culture of mashups and remixes so if you truly never want your recipe to be claimed by anyone else you might just have to keep it a secret.

    • diannejacob says

      Thanks for this philosophical reply, Kelly. Food blogging and recipe sharing is complex, and writers are a sensitive lot. Sometimes this is not a great combination. Re “keep your eyes on your own paper,” I think what David means is that it’s best to believe in and concentrate on your own work, and try to ignore all the nonsense.

  35. Trisha says

    There doesn’t seem to be any doubt that Copy-Blogger (love that) was (is) reading and taking much too liberal inspiration from Strohmeyer. But, as so many people have pointed out, there’s nothing new under the son. One week seems to be Vegan Truffle Week all over the internet. And then it’s Kale Chip Month. And then the whole of 2010 is declared the Year of the Cake Pop. And then everybody turns their collective attention to boozy Jell-O. While etiquette and morals do call for pointing out the source of your inspiration, sometimes you’ve seen something in so many places that it’s hard to do that.

    On the freelance gig, I see absolutely nothing wrong with what the second blogger did. When I learn of a new outlet — no matter how I learn about it — the first thing I do is check their submissions policy. It’s how I make my living.

    That said, if I were Strohmeyer — and I really do admire her for putting her story here — I would keep half an eye on Copy-Stalker anyway.

    • diannejacob says

      That is so true about all these trends. They take off like wildfire. That’s what’s so weird about food writing — sometimes you think what you know is what everyone else knows, and you’re wrong; and sometimes you think you’re the only one that knows about it, and you’re wrong too!

      I know what you mean about freelancing. I love to find new outlets too. It was just kind of creepy for Strohmeyer to see her on the site, on top of everything else.

      Fortunately Copy-Blogger seems to be doing her own thing these days. Hope it continues.

  36. says

    I thought you maybe interested to learn about different copies, as well.

    I have started to prepare guest posts as a way to “spread the word” about my site. One of the recipe was just copied by another food blogger (who blogs since 2005 as compared to me from December 2010), who did a wonderful job with the recipe and the cake looks just as good, if not better. However, no credit is given neither to he host where she took the recipe from, nor to me the originator. She writes that she visited another blog (no name mentioned) where she saw this recipe, but clicked away, because it appeared to her too complicated. Later, she changed her mind and she is delighted to present it and let her readers know that it was not hard at all and worth the effort.

    Events like these do damp your enthusiasm for guest blogging (or even writing recipes). I will not let her lack of ethics effect me, but I thought people should be aware of these events and perhaps we should have a “black list” for blog owners of this tpe.

    • diannejacob says

      What a terrible story, Jayne, especially because she is a long-time blogger who should know better.

  37. says

    Sorry, I just became furious and I don’t even know this blogger. I would call her on it. I guess my Latin temper gets the best of me at times…what an awful person.

    • diannejacob says

      I don’t even know if she is an awful person, Norma. It’s possible she’s very nice and just a little too competitive.

  38. says

    Last week I saw an older post for a banana split party bite. It was adorable, and I wanted to make it. I wondered if it would be wrong to blog about it .My version was not the same . but similar enough to the orginal blogger. So, I searched on the Internet and found about at least 8-10 other blog posts for the same recipe. The blogger I orginally found probably got the idea from a magazine, cookbook or even another blogger . I blogged about it, but did give credit to the blogger where I originally saw it with a link to her site.
    I am learning that it is hard to find an original recipe and that its fun to share recipes that I think my following will enjoy. Of course I always give a reference if I do it ( I’ve done it about 3 times total)

    So, my feeling is that yes, the other blogger probably got inspired by Strohmeyer, and should have acknowledged her with a link, but I feel the other blogger has every right to blog it.

    I do understand Strohmeyer’s frustration. because ithe other blogger seems to coincidently be making similar items from her blog multiple times. That does seem not nice, but I’m not sure it is ” illegal” .

    The least the other blogger could do is acknowledge how inspried she is from Strohmeyer’s blog and perhaps ask her to be a guest blogger .

    This is a great conversation . I enjoyed reading all the comments.

    • diannejacob says

      Aren’t the comments great? They are the best part of my blog, and now you have added more value to the post, Judee. Thank you. Yes, I have learned to Google recipe ideas because some bloggers do take them verbatim. It always amazes me that they don’t know it’s a bad idea.

  39. says

    I’ve just discovered this post, as I’m in the middle of reading Will Write For Food at the moment and love you blog Dianne!

    Few months ago I had something similar happen and I thought I was just being nuts.
    I posted about some pancakes and salsa I whipped up and the next day a well known blogger did the same. I thought its just a coincidence. Then it happened again a week or two later with another dish. I knew the blogger in question did view my blog when I posted so its not like it was unknowing. I’m not saying that the recipes were copied at all, just extremely alike. The blogger was like an idol to me and since I’ve become less interested in viewing other’s posts. If there are blogs that I’m aware of and people that view and comment on my blog, I’m always careful not to repost something remotely around the same time or similar recipe as them, I’d feel horrible if I stole their thunder!

    I know my experience isn’t the same as Jennifers but I can understand the horrible feeling you get. I love that you took the higher road and can keep on trucking with what you love.

    • diannejacob says

      What a story, April! If you were being kind you could say the big blogger took inspiration from your post, and you are flattered. Or you could be crushed that your idol copied you and be mad. You’ve probably been in both places. Probably best, though, to go with the former.

  40. says

    Credit should be given if it’s so close to the original recipe that you’ve only adapted an ingredient or two. I do this under the title of the recipe. If it’s just “inspired by” I often mention it in the intro paragraph but don’t put “adapted by.” If it’s a combination of recipes or techniques and is commonly done, then I don’t credit a single source. Honestly, I’m just now learning and still haven’t found my cooking voice or brand. So I give a lot of credit. If I don’t adapt the recipe at all, I just post a link to the original recipe with a photo of my attempt at duplication. If I accidentally did this, I would want to be contacted by the original author via email. But it sounds like this person isn’t interested in any dialogue.

    • diannejacob says

      Yeah, I don’t think she wants to talk either. It sounds like you are doing the right thing by giving lots of credit whenever possible. You can never go wrong with that approach.

  41. says

    Hi there! I agree that this is horrendous, and that credit should always be given because it’s the right thing to do!

    I do just want to point out that recipes do not appear to be protected by copyright. Observe:

    So the whole notion of them being one’s “own” or “my recipe” and therefore not allowed to be copied by someone else may not be actually correct. Just throwing that out there for purposes of discussion. By all means, what this person did was terrible, absolutely. And not attributing in general is just not cool.

    Great post, cheers.

    • diannejacob says

      You are right, and so many recipes are adaptations of others. This is something I discuss all the time on my blog.

      Here, the issue is more about inspiration, and whether what inspires you from the universe also inspires someone else, or whether someone else can only copy your own ideas. It was frustrating!

  42. says

    I just came across your site and this article via David Lebovitz. Food blogging is a new interest of mine which I’m combining with my growing interest in food photography (in addition to experimenting with my own recipes), so this is good to know. I have had a very similar bad experience in the world of knitting props (hats and cocoons) for newborn photographers where a competitor “got inspired” by my designs, sold them as her own, and then turned the tables and accused me of stealing “her” designs. In the end, after much frustration and lost productivity, I decided to put on the blinders by removing all of the pages on Facebook I’ve been following (thus not knowing what this competitor and her “fans” were saying) and starting anew with the pages I followed – which are now mostly food related.

    Sure, we all get inspired by others who are willing to share via this online community, but there will always be those who insist on souring the experience for everyone else. I’ve discovered that engaging in an argument and worrying about what was being said only caused a distraction from what I love to do and stole precious time away from my creative endeavors. I’m sure she still “bashes” me, but I choose not to care anymore. It’s not always easy to know what to do in a certain situation, but keeping your cool is very important.

    • diannejacob says

      Good advice, Natalija. What an awful experience! I’m sorry you’re learning that the same kind of behavior exists in the food blogging world, but you have already learned how to cope, should it happen to you again.

  43. says

    Just give credit when credit is due and things should work out. people use others work all the time but if you use the majority of someone elses work, CREDIT them with at least a LINK in the post. so annoying that this is an issue. people are SO weird sometimes!

    • diannejacob says

      I agree with you in theory but I think you’re oversimplifying a little. It’s not about credit. It’s about divulging that you got a product for free or that you are being paid to promote it. People are uncomfortable with that. But then, maybe they shouldn’t put themselves in that position.


  1. […] At the top of my list of recipes to cook sits this lovely and simple avocado appetizer. Originally prepared by Gwyneth’s father, Bruce, the recipe appears in her most recent cookbook My Father’s Daughter as “Bruce’s Dip.” I’ve made the original twice and adapted it half a dozen times as I find her version to be heavy on the mayonnaise and a little too creamy. I’ve added texture with green onions and a higher fresh herb-to-mayonnaise ratio that I find just does the trick. Although my recipe differs quite a bit–I even suggest the grilling of the avocados–I cite her here for good food writer etiquette. After all, Dianne Jacobs, of the blog, Will Write for Food, makes an excellent point on the citing of our food sources even when recipes turn out quite differen…. […]

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