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G+ Etiquette Tip: A Few Reasons to Credit your Sources - and a modest proposal - the "TY2 Consideration"
Why crediting your sources is an important part of the G+ community

TL;DR summary - It'd be rad if you thanked at least 2 people if they helped you find information by tagging them.

For some of my long time Followers or those new Followers who have patiently and diligently gone through my 250ish shared items - you may recognize that the theme of this post matches some of my earlier posts regarding sharing etiquette.

The importance of sharing and re-sharing has been well documented and a few of mentioned the importance of tagging the OP, even though the OP is often automatically granted credit due to the very nature of the shared post. When a post is shared/reshared you get to see the author. This is a fantastic element of the sharing function - Google was smart to add that. After all, if you were on Twitter for any amount of time - you know that the information in the tweet was paramount and if you couldn't fit the "RT:@whoever" into the 140 chars, it was better to just leave it out - effectively taking credit away from whomever was the author of the original Tweet.

Luckily, with G+ we have the real estate in our posts to give credit to the OP (automatically done for the most part) and we also have room to credit the person who shared the post with us, or allowed us to find that post.

Why do we share?

Maybe I'm getting a little too far ahead of myself, here. First, let's define the reason we share or re-share a post. I propose that: if you are sharing a post with anyone (or everyone) - at some level you think that post will be useful or interesting to somebody in some manner even if you haven't consciously designed it that way. Whether or not it is useful or interesting is another story altogether, but that original intent (whether realized or not) is that you are sharing... something that you think is worth sharing.

If you are re-sharing something - then you are almost certainly re-sharing that post because you think it might useful to someone else (anything from a cheap laugh to a "tip"). You might think that it is useful to others because it was useful to you.

What some people have been doing is ignoring the person who was responsible for them discovering info and going straight to the original post (via the link embedded in the shared post) and then re-sharing it themselves - and then not giving credit to the person who enabled them to find that post. Now, there are no steadfast rules or Google TOS policies that dictate this sort of credit thing (nor should there be, imo), but why spurn the person who helped you? Is a kudos really that hard to give?

Here is my proposal which I call the "TY2 Consideration"

TY2 = "Thank you, too - or Thanks, you two!" - however you want to read it. I'm basically proposing that when you share non-original content, you consider giving at least 2 degrees of that discovery chain a shout out. For example - Jimmy B writes an awesome post about G+ photographys, then Susie Q re-shares that. I would write a post that looks something like:

"What a cool post by +Jimmy B - you should all take a look, thanks to +Susie Q for sharing"

Boom: thanks, you two or thanks to you, too, Susie Q. Not only are you benefiting the person with whom you're sharing Jimmy's post - but also letting Jimmy know you appreciate his efforts, and thanking Susie Q for her own efforts. You are essentially passing on some good feelings to three different people - and - now people are like, "Jimmy B has some awesome posts - and Susie Q is sharing stuff I like to read about" - all of a sudden you are benefiting more people than you realize. Keeping people in the chain allows people to discover other people - which is important for the growth of the G+ community.

So, if you find that the situations above are familiar in your experience (and maybe even obvious) we can move forward. In my opinion, if someone has shared something with you - EVEN if they aren't the (OP) it'd be cool to tag them in your share with a simple via +(whoever) tag. This let's that person know that "Hey, you helped me out or provided me with good info - thanks!". While that person didn't create the content they still consciously thought of others and went through the trouble to share that information. This also allows other people to see your "source" and will allow them to check out that source to see if they are worth following, too.

If you really wanted to keep the entire chain of "credit" alive - you could essentially keep track of everyone in that chain - so if we take the above example it would end up looking like Jimmy B> Susie Q> Ryan C> Next Person> Next Person and so on and so forth... which might get a little ridiculous... but imo, 2 is enough.

Which posts are most appropriate for implementing TY2?

+Vishnu Suresh made an excellent point in the comments - if you have a viral story going around that tons of people are sharing - to whom should you apply TY2 besides the OP? A +Robert Scoble post gets shared by like 50+ people almost every time he posts something remotely interesting - if you have 6 people in your stream who share that post... and you saw them all at the same time... do you thank them all? Not sure... TY2 is of course, a judgment call.

What are your thoughts? Is this too idealistic? Do people who re-share actually deserve a "thank you"?

PS: just for the record - I am in no way telling anyone how they should be using G+ or saying that if they don't do this they are ... doing it wrong. This is just something to keep in mind. The way you use G+ is, as always, up to you - and you shouldn't let anyone else make you think that you are wrong for the way you do so... unless you are actually violating the TOS... even then - are you "wrong"? Maybe the subject of a future post. But, "Be Excellent to each other".

EDITS: Changed title to "Reasons to Credit your Sources" from "Why You Should be Crediting your Sources"
Changed "TY2 Rule" to "TY2 Consideration" - to avoid the negative/demanding connotation of a "rule".
Ryan Crowe's profile photoVishnu Suresh's profile photoAllison Sekuler's profile photoThanh Le's profile photo
Re-sharers deserve a HUGE thank you! They are bringing content you wouldn't otherwise see into your Stream.
I'd like to see more people share the way I try to:

I like to link to the person I saw it shared from, their post directly, and the original post, just in case people want to see all the discussion on a topic without hunting around someone's profile.
I have been trying to make sure I do this very thing. Especially since even though it appears as though the sharer and their comment will be mentioned in my re-share, that is not the case. Or if I have a reason for posting a link someone else did without sharing their actual post (ie they posted it mobile and I want the real image & summary to display) At the very least, the person it is re-shared from and the original poster should automatically be noted IMO. Especially early in the game when some people are struggling to find others worthy of circling.
Re-shares require an ack. Can use the +1 on their posts and share the original post.
No sense in spamming the resharers (especially if the content goes viral).
+Vishnu Suresh - that's a very good point! You can still show gratitude by the +1. Maybe, then, the TY2 has certain situations where it would be more appropriate than others. If 17 people are sharing a viral story, who would be the second person you "thanked"? The first person you saw? The person who shares most consistently? Maybe a revision is in order...
The problem with the +name is that it can lead to a person being spammed. What if 600 people reshared the a post? I don't need acknowledgement from 600 people that they gave me a shout out of thanks. I'd prefer just a written mention of my name without the +. It's fine in a smaller circle where you know the audience is very limited.
I like the intention of this. Always good to mind your manners, no matter where you are.
When it's a post I think that will spark a lot of conversation, I also like to provide a permalink to the original.
Good point +YungJun Yang - maybe changing "Rule" to "Consideration" makes it less of a compulsory call to action - and instead just raises awareness of the benefits of giving credit to those who helped.
Well, as the idea is to ack the person who pointed it out to you, the "first re- share I saw" gets the +? (Though, in the chronology, they may be the last person who actually reshared it)

Another point is that if you + a re-share, the original poster doesn't see it (all they see are the re-shares). Discovered that a few hours ago while agonizing over a re-share I made for which the original poster was not getting the +1s!
+William Washco 's approach is nice - enables people to see not just the OP, but also to check out any additional content added by the re-poster very easily. Whenever possible, I do try to add some extra value in a re-post and then that gets lost in a re-re-post, although sometimes the OP simply says it all.
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