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The Curator's Code. I really like the idea of explicitly mentioning hat tips.

ᔥ On The Media http://www.onthemedia.org/2012/mar/23/curators-code/transcript/
Keep the rabbit hole of the Internet open by honoring discovery.
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Ezra Bradford's profile photoSohum Banerjea's profile photo
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That website is a little intense for me, but I'll make some time later on to figure out what it's trying to say.
 
No, I'm pretty sure now that that website is completely opaque to me. All I got from it was "attribution is good," which I already knew, and "here are some tools to link back to us," which is only as helpful as the site. The rest of it made no sense to me.
 
Also, "here are some nifty unicode symbols", which is awesome :P
 
Whenever they talk about the difference between "HT" and "Via", I find I think they're confused.
 
I think it's deliberately intended to be slightly vague. The intent of "hat tip" seems to be "the people you wouldn't normally attribute" or the "non-primary sources".

An attempt at specifying. Suppose source A wrote content a, and source B wrote content b(a). You found this content through B.

Then, if you write something that's transformative on b(a), then you attribute "via B". But if you write something that's transformative on a, i.e., f(a) as opposed to f(b(a)), then you attribute "via A, ht: B".

That is, your content would have been perfectly properly attributed if you'd just attributed A, but you mention B as well to be polite and transparent.

The vagueness comes from this question of which one you're transformative on, especially in the case of identity transformations, like reposting or link aggregation or arguably interviews-which-are-promotions.

In this post, for instance, because I was posting just a link that OTM had linked me to, I judged myself to be transformative on On The Media ("direct discovery") and chose "via B". But I could see the argument both ways.

But if I'd quoted curatorscode.org, I'd have definitely chosen "via A, ht: B", and if I'd quoted OTM, I'd have definitely chosen "via B".
 
While that's still ambiguous, it's already well-specified enough to be inconsistent with normal usage. In normal-people English, via means "by way of", and shows you the intermediate (not the original).
 
I think the distinction it's trying to draw is between direct intermediates, on the chain directly back to your primary source, and any indirect intermediates. Your original source is just the last link on the chain, right?

Hm. Though, scanning through the examples again, none of them are for original sources, actually. Chalk that up to my misunderstanding, then. Your primary source is cited as per normal, with an em-dash or suchlike, and then you add your vias and hat tips.
 
Thanks for confirming it's confusing.
 
(In response to a question about what "in a roundabout way" means:)

"Not on your primary chain". If you're writing f(g(x),h(y)), but you originally found links to g(x) because of some other chain a(g(x)) and to h(y) because of b(h(y)), then you hat tip a and b.

It matters because curators matter, and deserve recognition too. Those who sift through the glut of data available these days are doing actual work, and if you find worthwhile to follow and transform their curated content, you should acknowledge them, and be transparent about it.

Yea, it needs more recordkeeping than normal, but that's not a bad thing. I think the intent of curatorscode.org is to construct an expectation that this bookkeeping will be done, by trying to establish a community politeness standard.
 
Okay, simple case: Which little Unicode symbol do they want me to use for a reblog/repost/retweet? (Well, Twitter's already got their own retweet symbol that works fine, except I don't think it's Unicode.)
 
If it's a reblog in the tumblr sense, where you quote the intermediary's content as well, then it goes source → intermediary → you, and so "via". If it's a reshare in the G+ sense, where you discard the intermediary, then it's source → intermediary and separately source → you, so you "hat tip".
 
The more I think about this, the more the metric of "would you have normally not via'd them, but they were instrumental in getting you to the thing?" makes sense to me.
 
I think I will probably just go on adding "via" to posts where I think it makes sense.
 
I don't think they would mind, as long as you "via" what they call hat tips as well :P

That's the main message of the site, I think. The additional bookkeeping of "where did I find this from", and recording that.
 
I hope they put in the work to actually say so on their site, instead of a giant Javascript eyeball.
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