On Courtesy Amongst Bloggers
By Steven Chan (Oracle Development) on Jul 04, 2007
I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
~ Tom Stoppard
Being bedbound with illness gives one more time than usual to catch up on some long-delayed reading. So here I am, battling pneumonia and fever, when I stumble upon a blogger who appears to have lifted one of my recent articles -- word-for-word, including images -- and reposted it as original content. Worse, the blogger provides his name but no way to reach him directly.
Words cannot properly express my reaction.
A Teaching Moment
I have had many teachers in my life, and have been extraordinarily lucky to have had some Teachers, as well. You can always spot the Teachers: they're the ones who can turn even the most-awkward or difficult situations into teaching moments about issues broader than the ones at hand.
So here's my chance to impart something -- a call for courtesy amongst my fellow bloggers. I submit that this has at least two important dimensions:
- Respect: fact-based, reasoned dialogue in the face of differing opinions.
- Citations: links to others who have inspired your own ideas, with the understanding that we all benefit from the great pooling of ideas
Plagiarism in the academic world is grounds for expulsion, dismissal or loss of tenure. Plagiarism in the business world is grounds for copyright lawsuits.
At the very least, plagiarism is simply rude.
How To Do it Right
A recent shining example of doing it right is Niall Litchfield's recent article, "Critical Patch Application Redux." In his insightful article, Niall reflects on some points I made about patching myths. He doesn't fully agree with my reasoning, but no matter: he extends and expands on that with his own experiences.
When I'm back on my feet, I might even contact Niall directly and have a more in-depth discussion, which in turn, may even result in patching-related improvements down the line.
Regardless, we are both more wiser and richer for the dialogue, and for the grace with which Niall brought his views to the table. If all Apps bloggers did the same, our Stone Soup would be hearty, indeed.