Why you should watermark web images

When I posted details on how to put a striped RAID array in your MacBook, I was pretty sure it was going to get picked up by Digg. Victor submitted the original article, but it was a Macenstein blog article that ended up being in a Digg story that became "popular". Not long ago, it was picked up by Engadget, although they credited Macenstein for the information instead of my site.

digg story as of april 29, 2007 (on digg.com's homepage)

Since then, a bunch of tech blogs have picked up the story, yanking the image I posted to use as their own. Luckily, I watermarked the image with my name and URL, so at least my credit is carried along with all of those unauthorized uses.

My default watermark usually lives in the lower right-hand corner of an image, but I've had people crop out the watermark when using the image in their websites. This time, I wasn't going to risk putting the watermark anywhere but in the very center.

do you like my new watermark?

In general, I don't care if people use my images on their non-commercial websites, as long as they credit me and link to me. Links are important for high search engine rankings, and I'm happy to trade the use of an image for a hard link.

About 10 tech blogs have linked to me with this exact text. When more than one site posts the exact same entry (with trackbacks/pings), I consider it to be spam. Engadget used the same wording for their post, but I doubt that they're in the same blog network as are the other ones, which seem to be small-time tech blogs. Maybe they did the ol' cut 'n paste plagiarization so common on the web.

It's been fun to see how the news spreads, even at the small scale of the Apple Fanboy world.