Friday, March 17, 2006

Discretion is the better part of valor

Words of wisdom from Shahid:

Fellow bloggers: if you find someone on the Internet doing something that you don’t like, please don’t take it public until you’ve tried to resolve the issue privately. Regardless of how egregious you think the offense is, it’s possible that another fellow blogger or site manager may have a different opinion and is willing to rectify your complaint quickly and quietly. Always try and resolve the problem via private e-mail first, see what the response is, and then if you need help from the community to resolve your grievance even have some fellow bloggers send email to threaten action. If Dmitriy was approached properly, I think he would have changed the policy and posted about the policy change along with the reasons (requests from the community). It would have been quick and painless for everyone.

By making all grievances public it makes us bloggers look like we are a bunch of cry babies that throw tantrums; and, it makes it more difficult to be taken seriously. I talk to many PR people who are afraid of sharing things with us sometimes because they think nothing is private. When I was at HIMSS I was wearing a “I’m a blogger” button so that everyone knew I was a blogger. Many of them would immediately stop talking or carefully choosing their words as soon as they find out they were speaking to a blogger. I assured them that before I wrote anything about anyone I ask permission because it’s the right thing to do. The blogosphere is not a different world: regular rules of etiquette do apply.

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