Published on February 25th, 2019 | by Chuck31
Who Gets the Hat Tip on Doctor of Credit?
A few readers recently asked about why they didn’t get a Hat Tip in a Doctor of Credit post for something they shared. A hat tip doesn’t make you richer, but there are some bragging rights there 😎 . I thought to write up some insight into how that works since readers may find it interesting . I also like writing these kinds of things out so that when the topic comes up again I can quickly send this link for the reader to see a broader discussion about it.
First, there aren’t any rules about this, and we don’t spend a long time thinking about who should get the hat tip as that would take away time from working on the actual content of the site. We do try to give credit when possible, and numerous factors are at play:
- Sometimes people send in tips to either myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Will (email@example.com). That’s totally fine, but we don’t see each other’s email and if the other one writes about it we won’t usually know that you sent it in. We do communicate about content on the site, but only a small amount of what’s written was first discussed. Most often, one of us sees something and just writes about it, and we’re usually not even working on the site at the same time of day. If you have a tip or deal to send in, best is probably to just add us both into the email and one of us will get to it. Some topics I cover more, others Will covers more, but it can’t really hurt to just put both email addresses there.
- Some deals are sent in by many, many readers, often forwarding an email from a company that just went out. That’s great: we aren’t members of every company, and we don’t necessarily get those emails ourselves, so we rely on readers to send those in. But in those instances, we don’t usually hat tip anyone, or, we’ll write something like ‘hat tip to all the readers who sent this in’. Don’t hesitate to share something assuming others sent it in, we can easily scroll through the emails.
- We get tips and ideas from numerous sources, including email tips, comments on the site, and Twitter tips. It’s sometimes difficult to trace down when multiple people sent in the same thing. If I see something in a DoC comment and subsequently see a similar thing in an email or on Reddit, I may forgot the original source and just quote the later. We do our best.
- As far as hat tipping other blogs or forums goes, thats much trickier since often multiple blogs are writing about the same things. If it’s a public thing, e.g. a press release that one blog discovered first, I won’t usually hat tip that blog. If the blog added good analysis or if they uncovered a hard-to-find piece of information, I will hat tip them. Most hat tips to other blogs fall into the latter category of small deals that were discovered by a blogger, and we’ll give them credit for that. I’ll sometimes hat tip forums like Reddit or Slickdeals to give readers an additional place to look for discussion of a new deal.
On a related note, personally, I try replying to every email tip that gets sent my way, usually with ‘thanks’ or something of the sort. If it’s something I plan to write about, you may get a reply ‘thanks, posting soon,’ or ‘thanks, just posted.’
Some tips sent in are on topics I’m not knowledgable about or don’t enjoy writing about or I don’t have time to write about. In those instances, I’ll just reply ‘thanks’ without knowing myself whether Will will find it interesting to write about. Other times, I’ll have a specific reason why we don’t plan on covering the topic, e.g. it’s a mediocre deal or we’ve already written about it. If we already wrote about it, I’ll usually note that in response. If not, I usually just reply with a thank you. Not everything ends up getting posted for various reasons, but we do truly appreciate ALL tips and ideas people send in!
Another thing that comes up is what name to use in the hat tip. Some people sign off their email with their DoC username, in those cases we’ll use that. Some will write specifically to leave out any mention of them. Usually people just send over tips without signing off. If it’s a common name like Kevin or Jacob, I’ll put a hat tip with that name (without a last name). If the name is not so common, I’ll usually use initials in case the person doesn’t want their name public. If you see the name written the wrong way, don’t hesitate to send an email with the correct name or with your DoC username or your Twitter handle and we’ll update that.
Ideally there’d be a system where we could link to someone’s comment profile in the hat tip, but I don’t think that’s possible at the moment.