Tag Archives: blogs

Threat vs. Collaboration: How Do You See Others?

cautionWe are hard-wired to default to the negative, whenever not enough positive information is available about a person or situation. In other words, we do not automatically trust in the good of people or the world, unless we have sufficient reason, past experience or ‘proof’ to do so. We cautiously default to the negative to prepare for anything bad, just in case.

A few weeks ago I received an aggressive email from some lady far away, demanding that I remove a blog post that contained her original article. It was from at least two years ago, and it was for all intents and purposes, forgotten, and buried among my other posts. So why was she upset?

When I had copied the article to my blog, I also included the hyperlink to the original place where I had discovered the excellent article. I always cite the author and original website properly, because I know exactly what it feels like to see your articles posted on someone else’s blog or website, and not have proper credit given. I get it. To us authors, coaches and trainers, we spend a lot of time building ‘street cred’ on the internet to be recognized hopefully as a thought leader. It is our intention that our pieces of writing get shared and circulated, but we hope that sharing will lead people back to our site, and to our product and service line.

In this case the hyperlink now led to nowhere, as the hosting site where I originally found the article had shifted, been shut down or had been sold. The point is, the hyperlink I had placed in good faith years ago now did not lead to proper accreditation and this lady was upset that her work looked too much like it was ‘my’ work. I can understand her wanting to rectify this situation.

She came at me guns blazing, defending her work, threatening serious action if the article that I ‘stole’ was not taken down, or a new link to her new site was not put in place. I was a bad guy I guess in her eyes, and she had me in her cross-hairs.

She didn’t know me, had no proof of my innocence, and therefore defaulted to the negative. I must be a guy trying to pass off her hard work as my own, and leverage her article to gain my own new clients. I understand this from a psychological and evolutionary point of view. It’s a natural instinct to protect yourself and your stuff. What I want to preach today is to learn to recognize that evolutionary auto-warning system, shut it off, and think before you respond.

It would have been much better in my opinion if she would have approached me (or any other author in a similar situation) as a potential collaborator, not a competitor. After all we are obviously in the same market space.  Here’s my suggested email:

Dear Ric,

I noticed you have published my article titled “ABC Great Article” in your blog post (dated month day year). First of all thank you for sharing my work. It is much appreciated. I noticed that you included a link to the site where you found the article but you probably had no way of knowing that the site has changed owners/function and so the link is unfortunately dead now. I was hoping you could simply exchange Link A with this new Link B in your blog post, so that readers of your blog may follow the article back to me with no problem. Alternatively you may choose to remove the post completely, but I hope you choose to keep it up on your blog.

Thank you so much for your time and once again thank you for sharing my article with your readers. Perhaps I could post one of your articles on my blog for our readers, since we share a common target market?

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.


Mrs. J. Smith

Had I received an email similar to the above, I would not only have changed the link immediately, but would have personally responded to the email and began to find out which of my articles would best suit her blog. It could have been the beginning of years of collaboration between colleagues.

Instead, what I did was delete the article immediately and not respond at all to the email. I won’t even cite it here in this blog post. It is dead to me.  Which response do you think is better for her business?

I wish her the best and hold no grudge at all.  I just thought it would make an interesting topic for a blog post.  Please feel free to share this post, and I trust you will properly cite it.  😉

Blogs & Newsletters – How Often is Enough?

I am unsure why some companies and organizations send me an email or newsletter almost everyday, and even up to several times a day. I really can’t understand their thinking on this. It really bothers me, and usually leads me to unsubscribe. Is my case so different from yours? Probably not.

We are all busy, and we all know (or at least today we can admit) that a lot of time and productivity is wasted on checking emails and reading other people’s opinions. If it is good advice or a helpful resource, that is fine. It will actually add to our efficiency and productivity at work or at school. But when I have to sift through junk all day just to find the gems, it gets a bit trying. I have patience, and will not unsubscribe in the first month, just to see if I am learning valuable information and if it is worth the daily intrusion. But after a while, or on the wrong day when I have just simply reached my limit, I hit the lovely ‘unsubscribe’ button. Simple solution.

As a business person who manages 3 blogs and a newsletter system I am all too aware of not wanting to bother my clients and readers too often. Actually, the truth is, I really should blog more often, as that is what a blog is for – daily thoughts. A blogger like Perez Hilton, who focuses on Hollywood, young starlets, and whomever is currently in the media, blogs several times a day actually. But that is not my goal. My goal is to print short and medium length articles of interest to my readers, under the categories of communication, ESL and confidence. I also want to let readers know of any workshops or valuable resources out there for them. For example, I am now in the process of building a new website which will be a great place for communication resources. That way if you find that you need something like an ebook, website, coach, free articles etc. you can simply visit one site that has it all. I hope you enjoy it.

My newsletters are sent out twice a month. I think I will continue that pattern, as it seems to be working well. I haven’t had anyone write to complain yet! And yes, today I have decided to blog more often, for those of you that want advice more than two times a month.

Want to help me?

If you have a question or particular subject you want me to discuss, just send me an email or leave a comment on one of the blogs. Thank you for helping me serve you better.