5 Thought Provoking Posts on Responsibility

I tried an experiment last month: I jotted down 50 ideas (with post headlines) for you to take away, borrow, and make your own.

There were 5 responses to the invitation.  Well one wasn’t strictly speaking in response, but so closely tied in to the theme that I’m going to include it anyway.  It’s not a huge number I know but the posts are of a very high quality.  (I’m sure you’ll agree.)

The other thing I liked about this experiment was that I got to know some different blogs and bloggers as a result of it - people I didn’t know before but who were interested in the concept, the theme, or the nudge that the idea give-away offered to complete a ‘back of the mind’ post.

Here are the pieces: if you’ve time please do pop over and have a read.

Blogging with Responsibility by Man of Depravity

I’m going to give you 5 ways I think will help you watch your words, so as not to regret them later.

1. Always give yourself a break. Usually when I blog about anything that I think could cause people to get heated I write up my thoughts and wait a day or two. I then come back later and add/reduce/edit everything. Often I end up with something totally different. Too many bloggers write and post in the heat of the moment.

Did I Really Send That? by Brad Shorr at Word Sell

On the e-mails you’ll wish you’d never sent:

On those rare occasions when I impulsively send that nasty email or publish that snarky post, I’ve regretted it almost immediately. In the first place, after the dust clears I usually forget why I was so upset in the first place. Second, adding fuel to a fire invariably makes matters worse.

Can Taking Responsibility for the Financial Crisis be Good for You? by CV Harquail at Authentic Organizations

An organization that claims to have done nothing to cause a negative outcome can’t be expected to do anything to improve its future situation. In contrast, an organization that takes responsibility and acts as though it can and will influence its future will be expected to do better the next time. And that kind of organization is seen to be more valuable, hence the higher stock price.

(This is a branch off from the writing theme of course, but interesting to see the relationship between responsibility and authencity being explored in such depth)

Derelect House in Juterbog by Ulla Hennig

This is fascinating exploration of the theme in relation to photo-blogging:

When presenting a photo, you have to ask yourself:

* Does this photo represent reality? or does it not?
* Is there more than one reality? If yes, what about the other ones you don’t show? You should at least mention them!
* Are you documenting something with your photos? Then do some research..
* Are you not documenting something, but trying to present a certain mood to the reader? … Then you should put this picture in relation to what you saw in the rest of the town - at least one sentence.

Always keep in mind: It is so easy to create wrong realities with pictures!

I think the same can be said of the word pictures we paint, don’t you?

Influence and Responsibility on the Web by Karen Swim at Words for Hire

My own conclusion is that we have a responsibility on the web. Whether we are posting a status update or writing for the New York Times. Our influence and responsibility are not determined by the numbers but by that one person who may read our words. To focus on anything else, to chase after a false celebrity is the height of irresponsibility.

Thank you to everyone who took part and helped to develop the conversation on what it means to write, publish and work with responsibility.

P.S. The ideas list is still there - you’re welcome to help yourself to a post title if you’re ever stumped for a topic :-)

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

Photo Credit: Community Art - responsibility by roland on Flickr

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7 Responses to “5 Thought Provoking Posts on Responsibility”

  1. On November 12, 2008 at 11:49 am Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Hi Joanna, Your generosity in making these ideas available to us has not gone unnoticed! You’ve already inspired several memorable posts and there are more to come, I’m sure. Thank you!

    Brad Shorrs last blog post..Which Are Better, Short or Long Blog Posts?

  2. On November 12, 2008 at 12:28 pm Ulla Hennig responded with... #

    thanks for the link love! I think you are doing a wonderful job on your blog - without your inspiring post I would not have written mine!

    Ulla Hennigs last blog post..What you See is not Always what you Get

  3. On November 12, 2008 at 2:45 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Brad, thank you :-)

    Ulla, no worries, and I know what you mean about how ideas get intertwined like that - it happens to me all the time. It’s a good feeling when our words interconnect isn’t it?

    Thanks both of you for joining in.

  4. On November 12, 2008 at 3:53 pm Tyler (Man of Depravity) responded with... #

    Thanks for putting these up…and of course, thanks for the link.

    Tyler (Man of Depravity)s last blog post..What I Like to Watch

  5. On November 12, 2008 at 10:13 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Tyler, my pleasure, and thanks again for adding your perspective into this conversation.

  6. On November 13, 2008 at 12:53 pm Bo responded with... #

    Interesting, the comments about the photography. Most photo-blogs only share photos and only a bit, if any, information. There are many times I wish I could know more about what I see, but I do get that the photographer wants the photo to stand on its own, and let the viewer derive his own interpretation.

    That said, I love to ramble on about the photos I post. (Maybe too much! :-) )

    Bos last blog post..What’s a Wupatki?

  7. On November 13, 2008 at 3:15 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Bo, I get that point too - I suppose what Ulla is saying that as photographer you need to take responsibility the choices you make - the frame, the caption, what you crop or highlight - because that will influence the way they ‘read it’.

    You don’t ramble on at all - I love the commentaries that go with your pictures. It helps me to see some of what you saw.


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