Here is a copy of the letter that I sent to the sun. As you can see, I tried to give a small slap on the wrist to the Sun, but then suggested pleasantly that we colaborate. I hope they publish the letter, but even if they don't, hopefully they will take some of the suggestions. I don't think this should be an issue, I've heard from multiple sources that Monika is a lovely girl, and I have no intention to make this a real problem for the sun or for her. How dope would it be if the blog was just straight up represented in the sun? It would be particularly dope.
I’m writing in response to a story published last Thursday entitled “Overheard: Eavesdroppers Welcome” by Monika Derrien. I manage a blog called Overheard at Cornell (http://overheardatcornell.blogspot.com) which has existed since April of 2006. Our idea was very simple, we took the format of the website Overheard in New York City and applied it to Cornell. So I was surprised, to say the least, when Monika’s article was brought to my attention, as it followed almost exactly the same format and content of my blog. While it is entirely possible that both of us came up with the idea independently, and no actual content was taken from my site, there are certain similarities I found disconcerting, particularly the email addresses (ours is email@example.com, hers firstname.lastname@example.org).
I know that it is not a huge conceptual leap to transpose the idea from New York City to Cornell, but when I started my blog I contacted Overheard in NYC, and made reference to it all over my page. The same was not done for me, and while this is certainly small intellectual property, I have put a lot of time and effort into maintaining this blog, and it was very frustrating to see this impinged upon.
This letter is not intended, however, to be accusatory or defamatory. It is instead intended as a proposal. Since we would otherwise be competing for a limited amount of content and readership, we should collaborate. At the very least, I think it would be more than appropriate to have my site referenced at the bottom of the article. But why not go much further? We could share a submissions base, and have the article include (but not be limited to) the best quotes of the week from the website. If Monika’s intent is indeed entertainment (as mine is), the website could end up being an archive and extension of her article. This would bring more readership and more submissions (the lifeblood of overheard) to both formats.
There is no reason for us to be competing for quotes, ideas, and intellectual space. Working together, we can make a funnier, stupider tomorrow.