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My Words, My Thoughts, My Responsibility

Posted by Rick · April 13th, 2004 · No Comments

A discussion with a friend recently leads me to realize that I might want to clarify something about Unspun™.

People, including Steve, Bob, my wife, my wife’s mother’s husband and sometimes people who have other blogs periodically ask me if I’ve seen such and such a story. Even as much as I try to read, I can’t get to it all, so not infrequently, I’ll ask, “No, what was it about?” or something along those lines. They’ll sometimes give me a synopsis — as Steve Malm recently — of what’s already been published.

In the discussion with my friend regarding some recent blog entries about local issues, a implied question rose to the surface as to what the source of my information was. In other words, am I a reporter, interviewing people? Or do people feed me stories that I publish? Or what?

And so I want to clarify that whenever I say something like “Thanks to so-and-so for this-or-that” it’s always a situation where I’m thanking them for drawing my attention to something, or perhaps emailing me a link, which I then read about and/or research myself before I write anything. Often, I almost never stop at whatever was given to me. That’s why I usually specify something like “thanks to [fill in name of a person here] for [fill in specific title of story here]” — in fact, I have a template for this. It’s boilerplate. The person who is being thanked almost never wrote or otherwise provided primary material for whatever it is they’re being thanked for. Sometimes they don’t even like what they sent me! Sometimes, they’re sending it to me with a comment about how outrageous they thought this thing was. And sometimes they’re then surprised that I didn’t find it equally outrageous.

Anyone who knows me realizes I don’t print anything I don’t do the work on myself. When I thank someone for drawing my attention to something, that’s all I’m thanking them for. To me, this is just a matter of not taking credit for finding everything myself. Call it a throw-back to the days I was writing Philosophy papers while earning my degree at California State University, Fresno. (Yes, this means I’m a big, important and highly-educamated philosopher…not.) To fail to thank someone for showing me something that I later used feels to me ungrateful; thanking someone does not mean that I used their information in the way they thought I might use it.

This blog is mine. I am the only one responsible for the opinions expressed here unless they appear in comments written by others, or unless I expressly state otherwise.

Oh, one last thing: I’ve thought about doing more of a “reporter type” thing, where I go visit meetings (e.g., City Council) and then report on what I saw or heard. But I don’t have time for such things. I’m a Director of Information Systems for a large company by day, a law student by night, try to maintain two blogs of my own (TechStop™ and Unspun™) and periodically help others with a variety of things, including technology issues or dressing up as Scoopy the Bee.

Hence, this blog primarily depends upon my reading secondary sources and either trying to tie things together in a way I may think hasn’t happened before, teasing out the implications of whatever I’ve read, poking fun at it, asking questions, or just generally expressing my opinion. In the end, as I said above, this boils down to one thing: This blog is mine. What’s written here are my words, my thoughts and my responsibility.

Categories: Blogs & Blogging


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