Perhaps a better term to use would have been "emulate" but emulate begins with "emu" and I wanted to take care not to offend the few animal rights activists that might be passing through. So "steal" it is...
So Tell Me, Would You Consider This Site to Be Stealing?
I wasn't asked for my permission and according to this short interview with an IP attorney, that's not ok
So instead of getting my knickers in a bunch, I'm just going to show you a tiny little way of "stealing" that is perfectly ok. In fact, calling it "stealing" makes it seem a bit dirty but after I'm done telling you what to do, you can shine it all up for me and tell me what you think it should be called.
The Only Thing You Can and Should Steal from Another Blogger
Next time you write an article that links to an article of a blogger you deem competent, consider using the tags they used for their article. You might find some you never thought of using and as long as they're fairly relevant, you could pick up extra traffic from a field you never thought of before.
Let's take an example...
Shana Albert, SocialDesire.Com
Ok, social media is HOT and Shana's just gone crazy about it. If you were to find one of her tasty treats worth linking to (ex. "In "Help Me… Social Media is Trying to Take my Life!"), and it was entirely relevant to your "Look How Hot Social Media Is!"-type article, wouldn't it make sense to grab her tags, too?
And use the category labels as tags, too... why not?
Social Media, Web 2.0, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Blogging, Websites, Web 2.0 Basics, Facebook, Twitter, Time Management
For instance, I wouldn't have thought to use "Social Media Marketing" in a tag, but it's a perfectly good tag. Though, I'm not sure why she didn't use the category labels as technorati tags, too. After all, the labels are all relevant and people will be searching those tags on Technorati, so why not? Maybe there are reasons but, in general, most of us overlook some of the small, simple stuff like getting ideas from tags to relevant blogs to which we link. And I think it's because we're conditioned to go after the big traffic all the time like at our favorite social sites or commenting on famous blogs. We don't really think or believe that a few extra, really good tags that we missed could make some kind of a significant difference down the road. But it can, and does. I have the stat logs to prove it.
(Note: Technorati doesn't require a person to actually link to them. They will pick up ANY tag if the link includes the rel="tag" tag. Or so I've read...! ;-) )
As I've said before, this is REALLY a numbers game. If picking up a few extra tags that wouldn't have otherwise occurred to you brings you in even a few extra visitors per month, it's worth the time. Because each one of those visitors likely has connections to countless other potential visitors and now you know why it's said that the devil is in the details. This tip is so simple and easy to do. It's one of those few things that we can actually "steal" from each other without anyone objecting.
If you're feeling guilty, though, then you might just email the person and say, "Hey, thanks for the tags!"