Happy timezones friends! It has come to my attention that some members of a studyblr zine think I have unjustly copied their work and I think it’s time to address this! I have yet to read a full issue of their work, I have yet to speak to any of their founders or editors in chief about this issue. That being said, I will try my best to use neutral words about them concerning their identities and their personalities bc I haven’t gotten the chance to get to know them and I have no reason to call them rude or threatening. I will also try my best to only involve myself in this matter, not my staff, they don’t deserve to get caught up in this. The members of the zine’s main points are this: I am using a theme which they used to use on their website, I am using essentially the same tag line, my application page is incredibly similar in format and content, and I never spoke to the zine about it or applied once.
To the members, you’re right. It is fishy that I’m using the same theme that you all used to have and the application page being similar is definitely questionable. However, I only started viewing the academic zine recently, I never saw their use of the theme Project College uses. I’ve noticed they have a hit tracker on their website; if they search the history of their hit tracker they will see that my ip address most likely won’t show up having visited their website while they had the previous theme (unless someone else in my neighborhood read their zine). The same goes for the application page (until recently when I checked their app page to see what the similarities are). I created the application page free of input from others, I thought of the application process myself after working at a non-profit for a year and seeing how they handled applications.
Currently, Project College has no tagline, we have a description on our site that gives you a general jist of what to expect from us. I’m waiting to talk to my staff about developing a tagline. Our blog descriptions are similar, though. I’m here to promise that I won’t steal the zine’s tagline, after all, that would be plagiarism.
The members of the zine are correct in stating that I never spoke to the representatives of the zine about creating Project College. I also never applied. I wanted to create my own niche in the studyblr community as a college student, so I did. I entirely meant for Project College to be a positive addition to the studyblr community. Don’t get me wrong, I had heard of their zine before announcing Project College. I read snippets of their issues before creating Project College to see if their content was going to be the same as what I hoped to publish. Why? Because I didn’t want to be copying their ideas. I’ve worked on two of my school’s newspapers for three years. I was also an editor for my school’s yearbook. I know the hard work that goes into publishing and I would never want to plagiarize work.
I would like to think about it like this: if I had been a member of their zine and decided to create a tangent zine specifically for college I would hope that I would have gotten support from them. So I wish for support now, if I won’t get that, then I hope they don’t try to sabotage my work or deface my public identity.
The studyblr community is not a place to threaten people or tell them to hurt themselves. The studyblr community is a safe space to embrace differences and find similarities. The studyblr community is a place for civil discourse and creative problem-solving. I am hoping to talk to the zine reps to resolve this issue.