I spent last week at a non-work-related conference, so I was somewhat out of the loop. I did check my aggregator every day, admittedly in skim mode, but I marked a few posts for later, more leisurely digestion.
I spent a little time today catching up on those. I also caught up with conversations to which I had previously contributed - I don't like to fire and forget my comments, since sometimes people come back with valid points I hadn't thought of.
In the process of this, I came across a thread I had all but forgotten in one of the communities to which I belong. The community is for training professionals, mainly in the corporate environment, and it includes fairly active discussion boards. The thread which jumped out at meagain today was started by someone who seemed a little miffed by the fact that some people in the community were asking questions without ever contributing answers to others'. Taking without giving, was how she saw it.
This generated a fairly interesting and slightly heated discussion which included a call to name and shame the culprits. I was quite surprised. I often contribute my 2p worth to the discussion threads, although I have yet to pose a question. But I had never noticed this. I have noticed familiar names cropping up repeatedly with suggestions in the threads to which I contribute. One new young trainer even expressed guilt that he was one of the takers and wondered whether he should leave the forum!
I can't claim to have been the only voice of (what I like to think of as) reason, but my contribution to the conversation was:
As a trainer, I was born to teach, to enable, to empower - I don't look on it as a debt that needs to be repaid, but simply as a function of who I am. I don't mean to sound holier than thou, but in my experience, it is only wise to keep score in competitions. This is not one of those.It occurs to me, that some of the people whose blogs I read regularly might see me in the role of [name deleted]. None of them have ever expressed any resentment. So are they just being polite, or do their views align with those I expressed in my response quoted above? Since I have no reason to believe these people read my blog as avidly as I do theirs, I am listing and linking to some of the key players below to attract their notice (note: I read many more blogs than this, but these are the ones from whom I seem to take without giving in return). If you're on the list, I'd love to hear your views. If you're not, I'd still like to know how you feel in respect of your own readers...
Whoever it was ([name deleted], maybe?) who asked whether he should stop using the site because he had never contributed... you stick around, mate - there's room enough for all shapes and sizes here!
So, in alphabetical order of feedname: