- Jason Kottke has pointed out something that warms the very cockles of my heart, with regard to fair linking and Digg, something I've previously discussed more than once here on GameSetWatch.

He explains: "Digg policies from Lifehacker and [from] Gizmodo, which state that the only Digg-worthy posts of theirs are those with "original content, new reporting, treatment, or photos" because "it's not fair when we get the Digg for someone else's work.""

However, Kottke then goes on to make the fair, but slightly tortuous point that: "This seems inconsistent on the part of Gawker Media. One of their main innovations (if you'd like to call it that) regarding the blog format was the idea of linking to things in such a way that readers don't need to actually leave the site to get the full (or nearly full) story."

Yet should a site be actively promoting a story that's been broken by another site? As I've said before: "You can absolutely submit things from your own outlet to Digg - we also do it from time to time - but IMHO, it should be your own original reporting, otherwise the dilution of information just discourages first-hand reporting." I think Kottke's arguing that the very blog format does that already - so the Digg-ing of such stories is just another form of what makes the blog useful in the first place.

But I think what Jason is missing is that increasingly, blogs are running original content in order to lock in their readership increases and develop a more unique editorial voice, while getting people to link to them - Kotaku has a fair amount of original stories every week, for example. So they're also now in the situation where they break exclusives and other editorial sites and/or blogs don't give them the respect that they deserve - which is unfair.

This linking thing is mighty confusing, of course - but consider this an open call sites and ESPECIALLY random Digg users. Here's what I think. When a blog picks up on someone else's tip or original reporting, then when writing a story about it, they should name the source (at an absolute minimum) and link them (unless there's a v.sensible reason not to).

At which point, site admins and _especially_ users - don't Digg the story or heavily promote it unless you are promoting the primary source. Checking out the Digg game page right now, I can see thousands of hits redirected away from Newsweek and from IGN, without any crediting, natch. It discourages independent reporting and thought in the game journalism community, and it's lame. Anyone else want to comment about it too on their own sites?