Netiquette 2.0

I recently received another request for information about blogging. It could have been e-learning, Web 2.0 or some other area, but a freelance writer found me online and asked for my input for an upcoming article. For the past several years I have given free advice and comments to anyone who asks. Here are two examples:

  1. A few months back I received a well-worded request for an interview from Joe Horne, as part of a graduate class project of his. I consented to the interview, at a time of my choosing, and we had a great discussion. Joe followed-up with a handwritten thank you card. I must say that Joe’s extra effort was really appreciated.
  2. This week I answered a series of questions that had been e-mailed to me by a freelance writer for a business magazine, without any previous contact. There was an additional request that I respond within two days. I answered the questions almost immediately and sent off my response. So far, not even a thank-you in return.

After four years in the free information business I wonder if I should have a policy on being a source. I have no hesitation in helping any bloggers who also make their information available. I also don’t mind helping researchers and students who are disseminating their findings. However, I’m starting to feel used in providing free (and synthesized) information or advice to someone who is being paid to collect it.

This issue has reminded me of a story that I previously reported, in Good manners are still important. It was about an uninvited “professional” dropping in on some bloggers and expecting to be treated as an equal, or even a celebrity. This uninvited guest assumed, incorrectly, that the corporate hierarchy prevailed.

In a wirearchy, your position means much less than your value to the network. For instance, everything on this site is free and licensed for sharing and all of the content is searchable. This adds a certain amount of value to the overall network.

A few years back, Netiquette was about “NOT ALL CAPS” and enhancing communications. Netiquette 2.0 should focus on sharing and enhancing the network, not just drawing from it.

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7 Responses to “Netiquette 2.0”

  1. Scott Marshall

    You’re quite right. I think people who work in the media (as I have done myself, here and there) sometimes assume that it is some kind of honour for a “regular person” to be called and interviewed when in fact, it can be an imposition. It is certainly not unreasonable to expect thanks when your time helps someone else hit their deadline and get paid.

    This is a very interesting blog you have here, by the way. I found it quite by accident yesterday while googling for information about Learning Management Systems; it’s always a pleasure to find good blogs so close to home (I am in Saint John). Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  2. Anne Bartlett-Bragg

    Glad I’m not the only one experiencing this currently!
    I’m also finding the “demands” – not requests – are becoming more frequent and more abrasive.
    It’s starting to spill over into presentation requests too – you’re invited to present but then the “demands” for handouts (I never do handouts), Powerpoint slides 30 days in advance (I’ve stopped doing them too!) are becoming obnoxious and I’m starting to feel that people are taking advantage of my generosity…
    That’s not what networks and open sharing of resources is about…
    Networks – online or physical – are only valuable when there is mutual respect!
    Seems like people are forgetting that these days!
    ABB 😉

    Reply
  3. Jay Cross

    Right on, Harold. I’ve gone through a hundred of these experiences. For a number of years, I felt I was doing my part for net karma. Help people and you’ll be helped. Or be reincarnated as something better than a toadstool. Requests that particularly get my goat are (a) students asking me to write their papers, (b) questions about help for something that’s easily found on my site, (c) journalists who do not send a copy of the printed article. One guy asked me to prep him for a job interview because he didn’t have time to do it himself; I told him he didn’t deserve the job.

    I have to admit that I’m still as softie when it comes to helping newbies.

    Reply
  4. Jon Husband

    It’s about negotiation between peers in a purpoeful initiative … of roles, who has the necessary expertise and how / where it needs to be used, getting clear together on intended or desired results, the loci of accountability, and .. letting ‘er flow !

    I think.

    Reply
  5. Jon Husband

    I have no hesitation in helping any bloggers who also make their information available. I also don’t mind helping researchers and students who are disseminating their findings. However, I’m starting to feel used in providing free (and synthesized) information or advice to someone who is being paid to collect it.

    Boy, do I know this one .. including all sorts of people in (well) paid positions who are quizzical / skeptical, ask lots of questions, want links, etc. and then a couple of months later run around talking about all this good new stuff, with no attribution. Gee whiz, you’d think they could do some of their own research, or something.

    Tired of it, but have my ideals to consider. I doubt that I will stop volunteering my opinion or sharing information of which I am aware .. as I slowly starve to death 😉 My antidote also being tired off listening to myself whine !

    Reply
  6. Harold

    OK, Jon, I’ll probably keep volunteering my opinion as well, but now I’ll feel better if I refuse someone.

    – starving in Sackville 😉

    Reply

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