Off the record part II
The other day, I wrote about private conversations and how they should be kept that way, meaning - if you and I were to have a conversation (email, face to face, phone to phone, whatever), you would not read about it here unless I asked and you said "OK".
I got a couple of followups on that, and one email. The email stated:
Have started blogging recently at svijayak.blogspot.com. In some of the posts I've used references to the 'unison' tool (picked from your blog) and about your blog site too. Although my site is not public, after reading the 'off the record' post of yours, I felt really bad about using your references without prior permission. Thought would drop a line about it and apologize. If you do get a chance to check out my blog and decide that the references should go away, then I'll do that immediately.
(Yes, I asked before posting it :) That to me is different. I've written it, it is public, it is out there. Anyone -- ANYONE should be able to reference it, quote it, comment on it, make fun of it, praise it, do whatever they like with it. It was a very public comment.
So, let me refine my thought - things you reasonably expect to be private such as
- An email directly to me, without a .cc list (it is not already public)
- A conversation we have standing face to face, even if a few others are milling about
- A phone call, even a conference call - it is still a "you and me" sort of thing.
That sort of stuff is private, will be kept that way. I would not publish that without getting your consent and would hope you would do the same.
Events that would cause this to not hold true:
- It is already public, you (I) wrote it and put it on the web somewhere, a white paper, blog, book whatever.
- It was a question to me and I was on a stage talking to dozens of other people during the answer (it was already public)
So, anything I've written - reference away. Anything I've said in public - reference away. (try to include links back to the source whenever possible, in case the "source" changes over time with corrections and in order to properly attribute the thought to the source). I encourage the references, get the information out to as many people as possible.
Howard Rogers had an interesting comment. I don't agree 100% with the "if you send me something, what I then choose to do with it is up to me" part, but I do agree with the "threatening emails" comment. I would have to be pushed really far to print them but I could see getting to an "enough is enough and this needs to be exposed" level of frustration. It would take repeated and fantastic claims to have that happen.