General

New Year, New Practice

It’s a New Year and we have a new business practice that we are excited to share! Since we launched in an Alaskan garage three years ago, we’ve grown exponentially. Looking back, we are sometimes shocked to see that we have now fulfilled over 50,000 orders and have over 1.3 million social media fans! It makes our hearts swell to know that we have had a small part in bringing creativity and play to tens of thousands of kids across North America.

As we grow, our green company continues to evolve and learn. We believe that a green company is one that not only strives for sustainability but takes a step beyond to try and create positive change. Through community, collaboration, and play, we are working to create a new generation of creative leaders. While sharing with our Green Kid community activities that promote growth, creativity, learning, and leadership we are constantly inspired by an army of hard-working kid bloggers, parents and small business owners like us who are passionate about creativity, education, play.

Often we are so inspired by them that we share their project ideas and images with our Green Kid Community. We recently learned that sometimes while sharing this content that we didn’t properly credit these hard-working mamas who originally posted about these ideas. We made a mistake and we’re sorry. As this is misaligned with our company and brand values of collaboration and community, we realized that we needed to create a practice to make sure that in all cases we properly credit these talented bloggers. There are so many amazing sites where parents can be inspired to parent better and play creativity with their kids. While we can’t name them all here,  you can find many amazing bloggers that focus on activities and crafts for kids on this list from Fun at Home with Kids.  Additionally, we are always inspired by Happy Hooligans, The Educator’s Spin on It, Inner Child Fun, The Crafty Classroom, Growing a Jeweled Rose, and Little Learners Lounge. We encourage you to like their Facebook pages and to sign up for their newsletters!

While we researched this new practice, we were very interested to hear much confusion surrounding how to properly credit original content online echoed in every entrepreneur and marketer with spoke with. Bloggers and photographers spend hours, days, planning an article or post only to have someone improperly (or fail to) credit their hard work. This is often crushing and disheartening for the original author as they lose all the benefits of posting the original work online: page views, new followers, new subscribers, and extra income.

So, in the spirit of education, collaboration, and community we are excited to share our learnings with our community and with other entrepreneurs. Here are the new polices that we have adopted. We strongly encourage all companies active on social media and publishing online content to adopt similar policies with the goal to give proper credit to the original content creator and to abide copyright law.

For Republishing Blogger Content/Articles

• Always give reference to the original content creator when using content or images in a post on our Facebook page, Google+, Twitter pages, or in our Green Kid Activity Guides.

• Always provide the URL link back to original content – blog, website, etc. If using content from Pinterest Boards, do not link back to Pinterest but instead link directly to the blog or website where the content originated from. You can always mention your Pinterest board after you credit the originator.

• Don’t post full recipes. Instead, link to the original site so the author gets the pageview. Also, don’t use their photo without permission.

• When using content in online documents and guides, credit each one AND reach out to the owners of the material and ask their permission to use the photo / content. People do not like to be caught off guard with their photos/content posted in random places.

• Link to content creators Facebook page, when applicable.

For Using Google Images/Blogger Images

• It is best practice not to use any images from Google Images. Google Images is simply a search of all the images on other people’s websites. Clicking the image will take you to the page of the content owner, who you can then ask permission/credit. Using Google images without permission create copyright issues in commercial use.

• It is best to use stock images from websites that offer free images if you don’t want to pay for the license from accredited companies such as Corbis, Stockphoto.com, etc. Here is a list of free royalty-free images websites:

Image Base: These images are completely free to use for commercial use. You are not required to link back to them or mention them when using.

OpenPhoto: More commercial fee images. Make sure to check the license agreement again. The best term to look for is “Pubic Domain”

EveryStockPhoto: This website searches all of the free license and free images on the web and brings them back to you. Each image will have a “license” tab. Make sure to look at the image stipulations. Some images require you to give credit and others do not.

If you still have further questions on giving proper credit to original content creatora and to abiding copyright law, please check out Christine Watson, lawyer and bloggy law expert. We highly recommend her to make sure that you are properly citing online work!

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