Blogger vs. Blogger

This is a true story.

Once upon a time there were two bloggers — Nilam and Sandy. Of course, these two were not the only bloggers in the world; just the protagonists of this story. Though Nilam and Sandy wrote about very different topics, they had the greatest regard for each others’ writing styles. They would visit and comment on each other’s blogs, and over time became good blog friends.

One day, Nilam asked Sandy to write a guest post. Sandy readily obliged and submitted a post to Nilam, who edited it before publishing it. The guest post was well received, which made both Nilam and Sandy very happy.

A year went by. It was a year which saw both blogs registering a substantial increase in appreciation from their readers. It was also a year where both Nilam and Sandy continued writing regularly as well as, reading and commenting on each others’ blog posts. Life went on.

Last month something happened to change all this.

One evening, as Nilam was working on a new post, the computer pinged the arrival of a new mail in the inbox. On checking, Nilam found that it was the notification of Sandy’s latest blog post. Happily abandoning the post being written in favour of reading the latest offering from Sandy, Nilam clicked on the link and settled down to read it.

Nilam read Sandy’s post. And then read it again. And after that, instead of commenting on the post, Nilam sent an email request to Sandy to which there was an immediate response. It was a response that hurt Nilam immensely. At this point, let us backtrack a bit to see why Nilam sent that email to Sandy in the first place.

Sandy’s latest post had sent Nilam into a state of confusion and some shock. It was because Sandy had posted the guest post written for Nilam in the first place with some modifications and without mentioning that an earlier version existed — there was no linkback or acknowledgement to the original guest post on Nilam’s blog. Thinking that Sandy might have inadvertently forgotten to provide the linkback or the acknowledgement, Nilam sent a mail with a request to provide that linkback. Sandy’s response was while the theme of both the posts was the same, they were different. It was to be inferred from the mail that no linkback or acknowledgement would be provided.

While Nilam was wondering as to what options were open for a dialogue with Sandy on this matter, something unexpected happened the next day: Sandy unfollowed / unfriended Nilam on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Already upset over what had happened, Nilam now felt sick and humiliated, and took the decision of deleting Sandy’s guest post from the blog.

After brooding for a couple of days, Nilam took the decision to share this incident informally with some fellow bloggers. The reactions, in my opinion, were an eye-opener and some of them are summarised below:

So what? It is Sandy’s post after all, even though it was originally written for Nilam. After all Sandy has the copyright.

The posts are same, same. But different.

Why is Nilam making such a fuss? It is not as if Sandy has plagiarised.

Linkbacks are not compulsory, it is entirely the blogger’s  wish whether it should be given or not.

This is between friends. Why should we get involved?

Nilam should write a post immediately and expose Sandy.

OMG, one can never really trust anyone can we?

When I first got to know about this incident from Nilam, I was confused and puzzled, which then turned to concern and finally disgust as the whole incident unfolded bit by bit. Though I’m not entirely sure who I’m more disgusted with — Sandy for not acknowledging the existence of a previously written guest post or the response of some fellow bloggers. Suffice it to say that I would like to respond to some of the reactions from fellow bloggers.

To the blogger who said Sandy has the copyright and was therefore free to re-use it:  You’re right. Sandy has the copyright as the writer/author of the guest post, and is technically free to use the post as it is or with modifications. But this comes with a caveat: acknowledging the original place of publication.

To the blogger who said Sandy has not plagiarised. You’re wrong. What Sandy has done would be treated as plagiarism in academic and research circles. This form of plagiarism is known as self-plagiarism, which happens when an author uses entire portions or part of a previously written work in a subsequent piece of writing without acknowledging the original place it was written/posted/published in.

To the blogger who said linkbacks are not compulsory: You’re right, they’re not compulsory. But if linkbacks to previous posts on one’s own blog can be provided, why can’t a linkback be given to your guest post in another blog? If not anything else, it is plain good manners.

To the blogger who said that one should not get involved as this is between friends:  You’re wrong. Sure, whether Sandy and Nilam make up or not is between the two of them,. But the larger issue of ethics, self-palgiarism and of non-acknowledgement concerns all of us and most of us have either faced or known some cases. As we are all part of the blogging community, don’t you think we have to get involved?

To the blogger who advised Nilam to write a post to expose Sandy. You’re right. And I wish that Nilam had listened to you. And I also wish that Nilam had not deleted Sandy’s guest post. While I understand and appreciate that Nilam did not want to create any unnecessary controversy or unpleasantness, deleting a blog post and keeping quiet is not the solution. There are times when silence is golden, but this was not one of those times. Also, by deleting the guest post, Nilam has destroyed proof of the existence of Sandy’s guest post.

This whole incident has revealed the dark side of blogging — the lack of ethics and manners at its most basic, the fragility of blog friendships, egos and miscommunication, indecision and impulsiveness of bloggers, bloggers as fence-sitters, and what not. Seeing the way Nilam has not gone public about Sandy, I wonder how many such incidents happen and are never spoken about or shared with others. Are blogger vs. blogger incidents a common occurrence or a rarity?

I am deeply saddened and disturbed by this whole Blogger Nilam vs. Blogger Sandy, and more so because I know both Nilam and Sandy. In my opinion, this whole incident was completely avoidable as Nilam’s request for a linkback was fair and justified and I am unable to comprehend why Sandy refused to give it. I have given permission to a guest blogger on my blog to use the photographs in the guest post in a post on his blog. I didn’t even have to ask for a linkback, it was automatically given! I don’t think it needs to be pointed out that this is simple blogging etiquette.

What do you think about the whole thing, dear reader? Do your thoughts on this matter as I feel it is important for such discussions to come out in the open. Please do not just read this post and go away; join in the discussion…

Notes:

1. All names have been changed to preserve anonymity. Thank you, AS, for suggesting the names Nilam and Sandy to my original unimaginative Blogger A and Blogger B.
2. For those interested in reading more about self-plagiarism, you could the White Paper on this topic.
3. Comment moderation has been deliberately turned on as I want to maintain the anonymity of Nilam and Sandy. For those of you who have guessed the identities of the bloggers in question, I request you to refrain from using their real names or giving links to their blogs while commenting. I will remove such references before publishing your comments.
Updated on November 10, 2012 at 2.00 pm:
4. The reactions of fellow bloggers quoted in this post have been written by me for this post based on the general feedback that Nilam received. This was done to base discussion the issues raised.
5. And to the those who have tweeted, mailed and texted me, no I am not Nilam. And I am also not Sandy.

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91 thoughts on “Blogger vs. Blogger

  1. I don’t think there is anything wrong in Nilam asking for an acknowledgement. If it had happened to me, I would ask the same to the person. Because we just don’t ask any other person to write a guest post. (We ask them only when we know the person well and are comfortable with. At least, that’s what I would do). one has the freedom and choice to ask for an acknowledgement. It’s a minimal act of courtesy. We are not blogging for creating number 1 ranks like film stars, we all blog for different reasons.
    I think Nilam should have kept the post, otherwise how would anyone believe that it was already published?
    And about exposing Sandy, that’s entirely Nilam’s personal decision. Nilam might not be the kind of person who likes to get into fights and arguments and could be wise to leave matters as they are. Even if Nilam did a post too, wouldn’t it create more ruckus?
    Well, it’s not compulsory to link back and no one has enacted it. But it makes the other person definitely feel good, recognized and appreciated.
    I don’t think anything can be done now, until unless Sandy realizes the hurt it has given to Nilam and apologize or try to settle the matter offline.
    I haven’t faced any such situations yet as I am new to blogging and don’t have a huge reader base like Nilam or Sandy.

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    • Thank you very much Latha for sharing your thoughts here.

      Yes, to “expose” Sandy is Nilam’s personal choice, one that I do not agree with but respect it nevertheless. However, there is a larger issue of ethics and integrity here. It is an issue that affects all of us – whether we are new bloggers or vetaran bloggers or have few readers or 1000s of readers. Or even whether we have been affected by something like this or not.

      It is akin to saying that a neighbour’s house being robbed does not bother us. Of course, it does as security is the issue here and one would immediately take measures to keep our house and its members and belongings safe. Similar is the case with a blog and it is important to be aware and realise the implications of unethical and underhand behaviour. Saying that it is between friends or it does not affect me is not the answer.

      Maybe Nilam does not want to face the unpleasantness of an expose, but silence is not always golden.

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      • I understand what you are saying, Sudha; and highly appreciate for writing this post and bringing into limelight. My last sentence meant, that I haven’t faced such a situation personally. It do affect us directly or indirectly. I agree with you.

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  2. My point of view is simple. Once a piece is published somewhere, the copyright rests with the original place of publication. Period. Whether the author of that content decides to send it for publication or puts it up on his/her blog post or on someone else’s, it has to attribute source to the original place of publication. There’s obligations, friendship, morales and there’s ethics. This one is pure ethics. Its the same everywhere, why change the rules for a blog post then? Of course, there’s always the argument of minor edits done before publishing both on the guest blog as well as the author’s modifying the content and hence it essentially becomes two different articles. But in my opinion, if the bulk of the content is the same, then the rule still applies. If my taking the contents of someone else’s blog and putting it on mine is considered plagiarism, then the author in this case, is still picking up content already published on someone’s blog. Its the same thing.

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    • Copyright trends are changing these days, Deepa. Till about 15 years back it used to lie with the publishers and these days the trend is for the authors to have the copyright. Let us, for the sake of argument think Sandy had the copyright. Let us also keep aside ethics, morals, values and everything aside for a minute and focus on the friendship between Sandy and Nilam. Why was it so difficult for Sandy to inform Nilam about the re-publishing the post with changes? Why was it so difficult to acknowledge the fact that an earlier version existed?
      That is what I am not able to comprehend.

      Sometimes I feel that what is unethical for one person may be a moral right for another !

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      • Accepted. Well, my answer to your question on why it was so difficult – There’s good ego – minimum levels which one should have – and there’s the big fat ego which can destroy friendships and end up creating a mess. Had Nilam not asked for a link back, I would have assumed it was a honest mistake on Sandy’s part considering that the posts were some time apart. But Nilam asking for a link back and Sandy refusing to do so, that stinks.

        This whole episode saddens me so much more because just like a lot of others, I used to enjoy Sandy’s posts too. But this incident and a bunch of others just leave a sour taste. Yes, it does make me feel disappointed and let down. I refuse to let one episode destroy my faith in the blogging community, I have made some really good virtual friends. It is so sad that blogging has become so competitive, there’s the whole nastiness and politics of the real world that has creeped in. Why do not people realize that there’s enough space for everyone! But I guess, egos are always destructive. Real or reel. That’s why staying grounded is so important!

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  3. Dear Sudha, I am well aware of this incident and proud of you for raising this incident in such a candid manner on your blog. As a matter of fact, I am already working on a post on the etiquette of Guest Blogging which will be published today. Well, the episode did not stay restricted to the meanness exhibited here. Even Nilam’s friends who supported the entire incident were targeted by Sandy. Sandy, of course, never breathed about the wrongdoing done himself/herself to his/her blog readers. As a person who took up for the wrongdoing done to Nilam, I was saddened both by the incident as well as with the whole bunch of responses that followed in that thread. I had faced something similar a few months back when I found that a highly acclaimed Guest Post done on my blog was published on another blog as well! I took up this issue with the Guest Poster in question who responded promptly admitting an oversight that resulted in my Guest Post appearing on someone else’s blog. This person, however, was a person of integrity, humility and great courage. Not only was a public apology put up on their own blog to me and the other blogger, but personal emails were sent regretting and apologizing the mistake. This is a blogger friend I am very proud of. Oh yes, I suffered the same string of responses when I put up a query about Guest Post appearing. The same people told me that I did not have copyright; what was I crying about, to take it up personally and so on and so forth. The only lesson I learnt is that very few will get into hot water for you. For most people, being a crusader is just an image they portray and an opinion freely given out, but try to elicit their help for something more, and you will find them chickening out. The worst part is that even in a closed group, there are people who will tip off the perpetrator who then comes dagger and swords out for you. Blogger world has become messy and political.

    In my eyes, this is absolutely wrong and unjust. If I was in Nilam’s place, I would have surely written a post on my own blog pointing out the injustice that was done to me since I had all proofs. In my opinion, keeping quiet only encourages more wrongdoing and allows the wrongdoer to get away and even emboldens them. I am deeply saddened that the esteemed blogger was so petty and mean. All it needed was a linkback or a mail in advance informing Nilam and perhaps taking permission. It also makes me ponder over “so-called” blogger friendships.

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    • Rachna, thank you so much for your comment and also for sharing your experiences here. I’m discovering that many people have no problems in expressing an opinion but when it comes to taking a stand, it is a different story altogether. One shouldn’t really expect people who do not respect the confidentiality of closed group discussions to understand or talk about ethics, should we?

      I’m proud of you too, Rachna for stating your opinion, taking a stand and sticking to it with conviction. I hope that there are more people like you, the world would definitely be a better place.

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      • Thank you Sudha! This has taught me some valuable lessons about forum privacy and blogger ethics too. I guess we are all learning every day. As someone who has hosted many Guest Posts, I’ve now drafted Guest Post guidelines and share them with every blogger friend that I ask for a Guest Post. I did a post about etiquette of guest posting too. If you look carefully, most people are in the dark about guest posting, republishing etc. That White Paper was a great link. I’ve shared that in my article as well.

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  4. I have been reading Nilam’s blog for a long time and the irony of it is that it was through this guest post that Nilam had put up that I first got to know of sandy’s blog. I have been a regular on Sandy’s blog since then but not anymore!
    In my opinion, link backs and acknowledgements were required and it was selfish and entirely unethical of Sandy not to provide any. I agree when you say blog relationships are fragile .. since most of us only know each other through the virtual world you can never really be sure of your fellow bloggers. I used to think it was easy to judge a person through the blog posts he/she writes but not anymore! All of us expect a certain amount of decency, ethics and integrity from fellow bloggers. It always comes as a shock others don’t display these basic traits. Somehow this has shaken my faith in the blogging community.
    Why must we put our egos first and basic decency last?

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    • Welcome here, Ruchira and thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      This irony has not been lost on me either, Ruchira, for like you I too got introduced to Sandy’s blog through Nilam. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this episode has shaken my faith in the blogging community, but it has definitely made me more more careful about expecting people to be like their blogs – open or humourous or intelligent or nerdy or honest even !

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  5. hats off to you Sudha. For me linkback is necessary. I put up a link even if I have been inspired by a post and I expect everyone to do the same.The copyright rests with Nilam. No arguments about that.
    On the other hand I have always been skeptical about virtual friends and now more so. And now on I suppose we all have to keep our comments on moderation. :(

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    • Welcome here, Bhagyashree, and thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your views on this topic here. Linkback or acknowledging the existence of an earlier version is important, but I feel that prior to that Sandy should have at least told Nilam about re-publishing the guest post.

      I have made some wonderful blogger friends, and one nasty episode is not going to turn me off. And you shouldn’t be so skeptical about virtual relationships either :-)

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  6. Shocking, to say the least. Blogs get famous for various reasons, in this case, it seems both the bloggers are educated,sensible and mature.
    I wonder what made Sandy to behave in such a unreasonable manner. Did Nilam offend him/her in some other context, or is he/she settling some score, by behaving without etiquette and integrity called for in such friendships, when they know each other (as indicated by Rachna). The extreme step of breaking off the friendship and behaving rudely, without discussing whatever was irking him/her is immature and unreasonable.
    The vary fact Sandy wrote a guest post shows he/she was comfortable with Nilam. If he/she is a reputed blogger, he/she too has a responsibility to follow the ethics. This is simply not done.
    Wish people will be decent in the blog-sphere.

    The lesson learnt is, blogging friendships need to be only that, as familiarity breeds contempt.

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    • Let us assume that Nilam had offended Sandy knowingly or unknowingly, and this incident is a way to settle scores. But has the action justified the cause? I don’t think so, as Sandy has come across as someone without integrity, irresponsible and immature. Blogging friendships are personal, but the professional side should never be forgotten.

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  7. What a mess!! We have all forgotten the rules of friendship we learnt as children. Be kind, be nice. if you hand something over to someone as a gift, do not take it back. The guest post, in effect, is like a gift or like a term paper. If you resubmit a term paper you wrote last year again this year, chances are you will get a failing grade. the same principle applies here. The blogging world and us bloggers rely on the goodwill of our fellow bloggers and readers. This kind of behavior leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Terrible behavior!!

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    • What a mess ! That was my reaction too when I got know about this incident. And it was painful as I know both Nilam and Sandy well. To this day, I cannot understand why Sandy behaved like this.

      Personally, I would not republish a post I had written (with or without modifications) for someone else on my blog. But even if I did, I would always say that acknowledge that fact. I have posted detailed versions of short posts written earlier and always acknowledged that.

      Thank you Meera for sharing your thoughts here.

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  8. The whole situation is rather sad. What Sandy doesn’t realize is that s/he is the loser in more ways than one. S/he’s lost Nilam and others readers in the process. S/he comes across as someone who is not creative enough to write unique material. And Google certainly doesn’t appreciate similar content, does it? Karma, is a great leveler even in the blogging world, Sudha.
    I find that the blogging world is just a reflection of the real world – you can pretend for a while and then your true self shows. :)

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    • Welcome here, Corinne, and thank you so much for stopping by to share your thoughts on this issue.

      The losses far outweigh what Sandy gained from this episode. And your point about, Karma as a great leveller and how one’s true self shows up in the blogging world is so true and apt here. :-)

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  9. It indeed is very sad. Like money often spoils f’ship, ambition (here, in the form of blogging) also spoilt f’ship. In this wide web, it is difficult to keep check on plagiarism but then, the world runs on trust. I wish there was most trust and honesty around..

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    • Welcome here NS, and thank you so much for stopping by to share your views on this topic. And you made a very pertinent observation of ambition, like money, ruining relationships and friendships as well.

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  10. The whole episode is a sad reminder that online relationships suffer the same ego hassles as those in real life. Some might say it is natural because after all it is the same human beings that are interacting in both worlds. However when people feel that the internet liberates them from certain inhibitions then it should liberate them from certain prejudices too. A lot of emotional baggage can be discarded when we interact on the net.
    The narrower issue in this episode is a communication gap and misunderstanding between two persons which can be remedied by good sense and/or mediation by close friends.
    However what concerns us is the wider issue of blogging etiquette. Copyright as defined by Law cannot be imposed on a guest blog which in itself is a new concept. Convention tells us that we should acknowledge a previous post if we think there are lots of similarities. However this is where we enter a very subjective domain where individual views vary and conflict arises. The two bloggers refused to see each other’s view point and should have left it at that and let the readers decide about plagiarism issues. The falling from grace of Fareed Zakaria is a good example of the fate that awaits people who do not follow norms or etiquette.
    As regards to the ‘friendly’ advice given so freely on the net, most of the time it is given without any knowledge of the circumstances and issues involved and therefore it has no value.
    The two bloggers should forget this mishap and carry on being good friends.

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    • Vivek sir.. Sorry to reply like this but I would like to say a couple of things.. LOVED it when you said “As regards to the ‘friendly’ advice given so freely on the net, most of the time it is given without any knowledge of the circumstances and issues involved and therefore it has no value.”

      I said that just recently :) on a blog something similar and oh boy, people would have caught me and Killed me for saying that .. Thats how I felt with the reaction.. But you are very right advice is given freely and without knowing both the sides, and People actually Have debated and given example trying to prove that advice given like this is AWESOME.. .. thank you

      Now One thing that I did not like .. was the last line .. two bloggers should become friends again, how is it possible, it could have been possible if Sandy had not un-friended Nilam or said something wrong about him/her to her/his friends .. But he/she took a couple of steps further, which don’t fall into the boundaries of friendship, I don’t think the two should be friends at all.. What about next time what will he/she do if this happens again …

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      • Bikramjit, as a student of History I have seen friends becoming enemies, going to war and then being friends again. Just consider our mental make up when we lose a friend vis a vis when we gain a friend. Thanks for taking the time to read my views.

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    • Thank you for your thoughts, Vivek. It is not surprising that the same ego hassles that one encounters in real life is also seen in the virtual world—after all the same set of people inhabit the two worlds. And while I agree with you that the relative anonymity of the virtual world does liberate you and help you shed some inhibitions, I do not think it liberates you from prejudices. At least not for some people. I think that same relative anonymity encourages prejudices, feeds the ego and also allows for bad behaviour, poor etiquette, etc. And if something goes wrong one can always block/unfriend/unfollow, right?

      Like Bikram has said, your observation of “‘friendly’ advice given so freely on the net, most of the time it is given without any knowledge of the circumstances and issues involved and therefore it has no value” is so true.

      And as for Sandy and Nilam making up, it is up to them entirely.

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  11. I’ve done a few guests posts and at times after a certain time has passed I do like to post the same post on my own blog. Yes, technically I do have the copyright and don’t really have to ask anyone to publish it, with or without modifications. But, I also feel that when someone asks me to do a blogpost about a topic they in some way are responsible for giving me the idea for which they deserve credit. So when the post is published I always promote it just like I would any post on my site. Most importantly, I’ve always asked the person I wrote the post for if the are okay with me republishing the post on my blog. So far no one has had any problem with that. As for links back to the original, I honestly don’t do that because I don’t feel that I should do a post with a link to the same post at another place. So, from my point of view, I’m totally okay with someone republishing their work at a different location, but there is no harm in asking/discussing your actions beforehand with the host of the original article.

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    • Thanks for sharing your views this topic, Raghav. I do see your point in not having the same post in two different places and if both the blog host and guest author are ok with it, then why not ? In Nilam and Sandy’s case, the republishing came as a complete surprise and without any prior warning or discussion to Nilam. And asking for an acknowledgement, which in my opinion was fine between two friends, led to so much . . .

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  12. Well I don’t know about the case but at first place I doubt whether there ever existed a friendship. If it did, then Sandy should definitely have asked for permission and and should mention the original source of publication.

    If someone did that to me, I would have probably gone ahead and write a blog post about the wrong doing. Of course I would have tried every other means before putting it out in public eye.

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    • Oh a friendship existed all right, Jas. A friendship of not just visiting and commenting on each others’ posts but emails, cards, phone calls and books being exchanged as well. I know this as I was one of the participants in an informal blog meet where both Nilam and Sandy were present. And it was through Nilam that I got to know of Sandy in the first place.

      Like you, if I were in Nilam’s place I would have written about it and after having tried other means. But then I also wonder which means I would have tried if I had been blocked or barred from every possible way to contact Sandy !

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  13. Blogging is more a fun writing and creative pasttime except for those who take this as a serious profession. I read a similar post on Blog Ettiquetes by Rachna today! The names Sandy and Nilam are an innovative approach!

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    • Thank you, Rahul. Blogging can be a creative for some, but serious for many others. For me, blogging is a stress buster and depending on the context it can be serious and funny at different times. Much like life itself. This is one occasion when it has become really serious !

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  14. I had to read the context twice as I was getting confused between who wrote the guest post and who published it. Nothing to do with your writing but my state of mind. :)

    Interesting post. And I thought blogging was a stressbuster!

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    • My apologies, Nona. It can’t entirely have been your state of mind; my writing must also have contributed to it.

      Blogging is a stress buster for me. Maybe even for those who wrote and hosted the post in question. But the aftermath? Not happening. :-(

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  15. Before even talking of the legalities – copyrights, plagiarism and all that – I need to say that it seems to me to be a lack of basic integrity in Sandy to have done what he did. I am old school in my attitude to morals and were I in his position I would have first sought Nilam’s permission before even putting up the post on my blog. Link-backs are, of course, a given! The very fact that Nilam had to find for herself that the Guest post had been repeated in Sandy’s blog is an indicator of a person lacking common morality and courtesy. And what followed, of course, shows a very depraved character. Even if there was cause for Sandy to feel any animosity towards Nilam prior to this episode, this would be an underhanded way of dealing with that animosity and I’d certainly feel ashamed to own up to such a character.

    As for the ethics and for all that argument about it being Sandy’s post after all – let me ask any of them whether they would willingly host a guest post by Sandy, given his behavior. A guest post is hosted in the belief that it shall be unique to that blog. If the blogger who wrote it finds any reason to host it elsewhere it is mandatory to seek permission from the person who originally hosted it. Otherwise it is cheating that blog-owner by belying her expectations. Do any of us want to host a guest post from someone who may be posting it in twenty different locations? Going by the arguments about it being Sandy’s post after all, what is to stop a guest post being so posted?

    I have always found that laws have a way of being bent. Morals are more rigid and as bloggers we need to see if a certain type of behavior is moral or not. The simplest test for the morality is to see if you would like it if it were done unto you :) And, if it is not moral, it is reprehensible – even if the laws have not caught up to the situation yet!

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    • Suresh, thank you very much. You have said all that I wanted to say in my post in a much better way than I could ever have written.

      And ethics, morals and integrity can never become old-fashioned. If they do, then I guess we are all dinosaurs !

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  16. Right :) I have been the king of controversary in the last week , I am sure you saw that too..

    About guest posts, I have by mistake done a terrible thing myself, I sent my post to TWO people without realising as they were months apart, Thankfully the two friends I had sent to, are very understanding and saw the mistake I had done, The post has been removed from both the blogs, regretfully that post was one of my good posts and got a lot of praise etc, but it was a mistake and it was taken off. Now I think it would be wrong of me to put it back up again on my blog, even if i own it and even if its not there anywhere at the moment..

    I can understand the authors right and all that pallava BUT if you have given something to someone you don’t ask for it back OR DO YOU.. or worse still use it as your own again ..

    And You are right it is wrong to use your own when it is published at a different place.

    I have sometimes used my own words that I have written in different posts but I have tried to say that this has been published earlier on the same blog..

    Linkbacks is just a courtsey I beleive and is good practise and I dont see anything wrong in that , I have no qualms in linking back to anyone if I need or use substance to be used. I am in middle of writing a post where I have copied a LINE written as a Comment by a blogger on a blog I visit, I have asked for permission for it to be used, and have linked back.

    Between friends:- well if the person has unfollowed Nilam from social places then Surely THEY ARE NOT FRIENDS.. and Nilam is surely better off from this character SANDY who seems to be a IDIOT I think. I mean what sort of a person does it make him/her for doing this stupid thing.

    I WISH YOU HAD USED ACTUAL NAMES, It would have shown the people in blogosphere what sort of people we are dealing with.. what we see or read is not the TRUTH..

    Now this makes me feel good that I am not one of those anonymous people, I am what I am .. and I am pretty much same everywhere and my reactions are same in REEL and REAL life .. and hopefully GOD will give me strength to be the same always..

    DARK side of blogging well I have seen a lot of it, People are MEAN, scheming and Devious I tell you..

    I have experienced something in the last week which I never experienced living in a foreign country , among foreign people.. It is always our own, the ones we think as friends who STAB you in your back.

    I saw my name dragged into a unnecessary controversy, and some people who i thought knew me , judged me and I Was not even a part of that controversy.

    I don’t mind being part of one, provided I know I am, So I can fight my space.

    I do wish SANDY comes up with a apology a sincere one to that, I would advice him/her, nothing wrong in saying sorry IF YOU MEAN IT from your heart. We make mistakes, I MAKE THEM EVERYDAY.. but I also know that If I am wrong there is nothing WRONG in accepting it.

    And I would also tell NILAM not to forget this episode, I know people will say and have said to forget about it and be friends WHY.. should he/she, I am sure he/she has much better friends than the one in question.. A person who can be so mean as to unfollow or remove from list .. NILAM doesn’t need such people..

    Good you brought this out.. I would have loved to know the REAL PEOPLE.

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    • I do remember that occasion when you had offered a public apology to both bloggers on your blog after it was brought to your notice. It requires a large hearted sardar to do something like that and I see that Rachna has also mentioned this in her comment.

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    • Dear Bikram, I did see the unnecessary controversy you got dragged into last week and was shaking my head in bemusement throughout. You are a good soul and an honest human being and that is why you took corrective action in such an honest and open way.

      The blogging world is inhabited by people who inhabit the real world and none of us should be under any illusion that it will be any different from the real world. So along with good things, bad things also find their way here.

      Yes, I could have used the actual names of the bloggers. But they are not mine to use as I am still hopeful that Nilam will write about it or share it at a forum one day. And I know that you will agree to this. :-)

      Thank you so much for such an honest comment straight from the heart.

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  17. I have just read your post, not other comments in this blogpost. I also read Rachna’s post. Sudha, since this is a post you have written, I will respond honestly to what I feel.
    If we were to go by professional ethics, then Nilam holds the copyright for Sandy’s article. If I were to write a chapter in a book that is published an edited collection by you, I cannot reproduce the chapter until and unless you give me explicit permission. Further, I will always have to refer back to the original article. This is how it is in academic research publishing. And I agree with you on plagiarism. When I cite my own research article published in China Media Research, I have to cite and refer it appropriately, although I have written it.
    Where I have an issue with is intellectual property rights. You see, I spent a long time analyzing the history of citation/referencing/copyright. It began with certain elite European scholars insisting on certain formats to ensure their rights over certain ideas and concepts were maintained–the notion behind literature review is more than mere review, it is ritual of paying homage ot lineage of knowledge–a lineage that has always marginalized those who could not speak or write or those who were not or those who were known but ignored. Missing in the entire body of knowledge were Asians and Africans–whose ways of aggregating and systematizing knowledge was not based on property rights, but sharing through generations. When I struggled to cite some of the folk stories and myths and shlokas and songs, I found very rarely did the author even put her/his name in the same. There was often no way to say this belonged to such and such person–it was more a popular attribution. What was worse was that the Euro-American method of citation did not have scope to cite these documents amd knowledge sources appropriately. It was then I began to see such copyright laws a way to not merely own and capitalize knowledge but also as a way to build evidence about their cultural superiority. I found it was impossible to break out of that stranglehold. This was a topic I talked about to fellow “Asiacentric” scholars, one of whom decided to at least start putting up a yearly bibliography of all the work that Asiacentric scholars did as a way to ensure we cited each other and created a lineage of knowledge. But you see, we knew that we were already always circumscribed by the existing dominant traditions. In a final fit of fury, I signed off my Ph.d. thesis to be available freely online for whosoever instead of restricting it to libraries or via payment. Folks warned me against it-as I would not be able to publish it into a book–it is 4years of hard field research. But here is my point–I cannot and will not own knowledge. For every moment I own, I have already enacted a privilege which says those who can write or speak can own and other knowledges because they could not expressed similarly will remain in dark. This then is what I would tell Nilam. I am glad you let it go. The knowledge was never yours alone in the first place. All knowledges come from lineage of unknown grandma and grandpas and those who served them. And to that vast body of unknowness, let this knowledge dissolve. Thanks

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    • In re this I can only say it is for the giver to give and not for the receiver to assume. And where you give away your right to claim knowledge that you have discovered, I am sure you will not find it palatable to have someone claim it as his own. Or, after having given been given the right to display someone else’s portrayal of extant knowledge, you would not find it palatable for him to still feel ownership of that portrayal and distribute the right over and over again.

      The issue here for me is not of ownership of the material at all. The issue here is betrayal of faith. When I write a guest post for someone -as I have – the other person has the right to expect that it has not already been put up elsewhere and that it will not be put up elsewhere – unless with her permission. That is the tacit faith based on which someone carries a guest post. It is that faith that is getting betrayed when the original author coolly chooses to put up that post on his own blog.

      Too often have I found philosophy covering up human baseness. I know it is not your intention, Bhavana, to cover up any baseness but free availability of knowledge as an ideal is one thing and having someone using that facade to cover up his own baseness is another.

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      • I agree with what Suresh says. And I pointed the same in my comment to you Bhavana on my post. Your magnanimity is commendable, but it is a right that is yours to give away. It is not right for another person to claim it and use it the way they like. And doing a Guest Post for a friend and then republishing it without acknowledging it even after it is pointed out to them can be only seen as being very shallow and unethical.

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        • I think we make a mistake by transforming issues of faith in personal relationships to issues of faith in professional relationships. If it is strictly professional, which means you are present in the blogosphere as a professional–then let us understand there is no real relationships and such issues must be handled in a professional way. Blackball the person, report to appropriate authorities etc. I do not get the sense that Nilam and Sandy had only a professional relationship, it was a deep friendship. It is betrayal of friendship. Such betrayals need to be handled at the level of the heart, not business and profession. One needs to be clear what one is doing in the blogosphere.

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          • That is exactly the point! Any relationship is based on certain elements of trust and a betrayal of friendship and trust makes a character detestable. I, certainly, lack the intellectual abilities to make these fine distinctions about how one deals with things from the heart and not from business or profession. If a person has proved to be not trustworthy in a personal relationship, how can I trust him in a professional relationship? I can see the validity in keeping a friendship going even if a person has disagreed with me professionally or keep a professional relationship going despite having had a personal argument with him – but someone who has shown a lack of character as a person is certainly not worth either relationship.

            As for being clear about what you are doing in Blogosphere, Bhavana, I must say that your ideas of knowledge being free etc. are ideals yet to be achieved and the real world – including the world of blogs – still works on the basis of Intellectual Property rights. You have conceded that it was a lack of professional ethics on the part of Sandy and so, on that count, there can be no dispute.

            Whether from the heart or from the mind, Sandy does not seem the sort of person that needs to be encouraged or liked – from what is said of his actions in this piece.

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    • Thank you, Bhavana, for your honest and heartfelt comment.

      Intellectual property rights or ownership of knowledge is a contentious issue, and there can be no better example than oral knowledge and history. It has often happened that even documenting them has led to copyright being registered and patents being applied for. The case of a patent being applied for turmeric’s antiseptic properties by an American company is an example. On a lighter vein, I do wonder what will happen if the Indian government applies for a patent to use ‘zero’. But jokes apart, working in the field of communication and teaching academic writing skills to M.Phil. and Ph.D. students, every class, every session with my students is challenging and draining at the same time. As we navigate documenting knowledge in prescribed formats, copyright and issues of plagiarism, there is something new to learn every time. And there is a new case that stumps, saddens me, disgusts me every year.

      The Nilam Sandy case is one where professional and personal boundaries have merged and whichever angle one were to look at it from, as Suresh has said, the outcome is wrong. On the professional fromt, Sandy has used it without prior permission and/or acknowledgement. And on the personal front, it has been a betrayal of friendship.

      This whole incident stinks, Bhavana. And saddens me tremendously as I know both Nilam and Sandy and admire their blogs so much. :-(

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  18. Hi Sudha,

    Tough one!

    Being a recent blogger and not having done any guest blogging or not have been host for a guest article I am yet to experience a lot of the intrigues that go on in the webuniverse.

    But courtesy demands that you offer a link-back – even if the content is yours the host graciously offered you the opportunity to reach a new audience / display your talent.

    What can one do but accept such falls as a learning experience and move on?

    Thoughtful of you to present the episode in a sensitive and sober manner.

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    • Thank you for your comment Jayadev, and your kind words.

      These kind of episodes are not restricted only to guest posts. About 6 months back, I came across a post where ABC, a veteran blogger was accused of plagiarism. What had happened was ABC had come across XYZ blogger’s post which she did not agree with. Instead of commenting on XYZ’s post, ABC took certain sections from XYZ’s post and reposted it on her blog to discuss it, and without referring to the original post. XYZ screamed plagiarism when this was discovered. And after that it was a circus with friends on both sides jumping in and accusing each other of “cheap publicity”. It was a circus.

      Every episode, every day is a day of new learning and experiences and the only way is forward with lessons learnt propelling you ahead.

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      • Hi Sudha

        As if we don’t have enough trouble already in our lives!!

        I see a lot of objectionable and poorly written material at so many blogs – let me state upfront that I don’t think I am Keats, Milton or Shakespeare. But still, I do a fair job and given my experience and observations there is a lot of stuff that doesn’t pass muster.

        I quietly chuckle and move on. My interactions on Indibloggers too is infrequent and lowprofile for the same reason. It just isn’t worth it.

        It is sad when things of the nature mentioned by you happens and flares into a FLAMEWAR between the parties concerned. It’s just a matter for one person to politely ask for reparation and for the other side to oblige.

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        • Well, Jayadev, it takes two to tango, two for a flare up and two for any reparation to happen.

          As for quality of writing, don’t even get me started. It is one of my pet peeves and once wound up, I just won’t stop. :-)

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  19. It is really very sad news for us bloggers. I think, when we talk about friendship there is always a mutual understanding between two people, which was shown by Nilam. If, Sandy was so insecure about his/her post, he/she must have cleared it earlier at first, that what & how it should be done. I don’t know, how this ‘share-my-post’ works really, but if I were there I would have surely asked politely & in an amiable way what the two were supposed to do. “Please give me a linkback, hey! I have shared it too, thank you for posting my guest post”……..& as I am not fully aware about these issues, my friend was supposed to tell me politely where I did mistake.

    I think, still no such harm was done to Sandy, if he/she is ready to apologize. After all, we are human beings & mistakes happen by us only. What shame to feel to say a ‘sorry’ to one of your dear friends? I really doubt, if it would work to rejoin them but more worse could be restrained to happen.
    C’mon, blogging writing) is all about fun, about sharing your inner caged feelings; don’t make it a filthy one, otherwise it would lose its charm. And, politics is everywhere so we must have accepted it here too, which I didn’t………but at last, it depends on protagonist (we-bloggers) that how does one react.

    Have a healthy blogging! :)

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    • Welcome here, Gayatri, and thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts on this topic.

      Yes, we are all humans and to err is human isn’t it? But as for any future relationship between Sandy and Nilam to happen, it depends entirely on the two of them.

      Here’s to a healthy, enriching and stress free blogging environment to you too. :-)

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    • Welcome here, Desi Traveler and thank you for stopping by and commenting. Yes, we do learn about so many things and that too when we are least unprepared for it, right? Hope it was useful :-)

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  20. Well, this is one case. You are right about bringing the matter to everyone’s awareness. I think, as bloggers, we need to follow some rules. We blog for happiness or for sheer passion for writing, if we behave this like, the purpose is diluted. Some sadly, bloggers are in a mad race.

    Original writer has the copywriter, twist the matter from any side, this is a fact and will remain. About backlink, it is necessary, if you want acknowledgement for your work, other would also. Most important, don’t try to be a popular blogger at the cost of being a bad human being.

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    • Saru Just one point! Original writer does not have the copyright, the site where it is published has it. It is true of the entire virtual world. I think most people know very little is known about Guest Posting, and that is why it makes sense these days to state specifically these guidelines before you ask someone for a Guest post.

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    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Saru. Blogging may be fun for some and a serious thing for others. But whatever the reason certain basic etiquette and manners should never be forgotten. As for popular blogger versus good human being, maybe the former choice is more attractive for some?

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  21. This is quite a mess, isn’t it? What I think is this: If I had submitted a guest post somewhere, I wouldn’t  submit the same piece anywhere else. All I would do is to put up a small preview or teaser on my blog and send my readers over to the other blog. If I am submitting something that is already on my blog as a guest post, I will check with the blog owner if they are comfortable with that (I have done this once before, as another blogger wanted to feature one of my posts on her blog).

    I think I would do a follow up post on my blog – if I have more information to share on the topic, for example – but would link back to the other blog so readers can see the first post if they wish to. Not doing so creates blog enemies and you end up losing both readers and credibility, which really isn’t what any of us want. 

    I think I’ve written an entire blog post as a comment, so I’ll shut up now! ;-)

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    • Yes, it is quite a mess, and an unnecessary one too, But there you have it.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. And you know, what you have described is exactly what I did for the only time I have written a guest post. I gave a small teaser and a screenshot of where it had appeared and that’s it. And no, I have no intentions of re-publishing it on my post. And like you, if I do get additional material, I will do a follow up post on my blog with a link to the earlier guest post.

      I mean, this process is so simple and uncomplicated. I don’t know why other can’t see it this way ;-)

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  22. Wow! Never thought there would be so much bitching about guest posts in blogging! Glad I do not do guest posts (maybe just once long ago and forgotten) nor do I have guest posts on my blog. Shall be reasoned in a post soon!
    My take on the situation given is simple. If they were good friends and exchanged posts as guests, I do not see any harm in Sandy giving linkbacks after Nilam asked. Not doing it smacks of ego issues. A friend lost in exchange for a link? Tragic! Not done!

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    • Yes, Sandy has lost a friend and much more in this whole avoidable and unnecessary incident.

      Thank you for your comments, Magiceye. I look forward to reading why you don’t do guest posts.

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  23. It keeps happening time to time and I have seen kind of air among bloggers when they start getting readerships. However, what’s really good about this post is that we learned something that we already knew but probably didn’t the importance of the whole thing – blogging ethics, blogger friendships and plagiarism. Thanks God I always linkback when I get an image, an inspiration or anything of that sort from anywhere otherwise I would have sunk in my own guilt. Thank you for this eye-opener!! With all respect – Jiya

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    • Welcome here, Jiya, and thank you so much for stopping by to share your thoughts. Glad you were able to find something positive in all this depressing episode. :-)

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  24. Sudhagee, I think you’ve done the best thing: talked about it without pointing fingers. A very commendable professional approach to quarrels that usually turn out, well, unprofessional.

    I’m sure it’s quite clear whose done wrong and what needs to be done in this particular case. But I for one would like to tackle the process that caused it and not the people. Are blogs too free-format? What about the Tumblr approach, reblogging (and giving due credit), or even retweeting?

    There’s a new startup called Medium (www.medium.com, duh!) that’s sort-of tackling this in an innovative approach. Check it out!

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    • Thanks Kartikay, for your thoughts and kind words too.

      I like your idea of approaching the process that caused it. I will check out Medium and would like to know what is the tumblr approach?

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  25. Nilam and Sandy.. the best names and suit aptly.. though both were very destroying in nature.. bloggers aren’t bad. Well the story conveys some very important etiquette of blogging. Thanx Sudhaji.. very nice post. Both are at fault and need to realize their mistakes and move ahead. Time to make up for sure.

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    • Thanks Manjulika for sharing your thoughts on this topic. No, bloggers are not bad at all and the number of friends that I have made through blogging is a testimony to this fact. :-)

      As for Sandy and Nilam making up, it is entirely up to them, isn’t it?

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  26. What a lot of discussion and suggestions! Perhaps if Sandy had asked Nilam to take down the original post since it was to be blogged as a new one on Sandy’s blog, Nilam might have done it. Given the friendship, Nilam might even have rejoiced in Sandy’s popularity. But first blogging without permission and then blocking from networks sounds very wrong.

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    • What to do, Zephyr. The topic is such that it will bring up a lot of discussion and suggestions. What you have suggested sounds good, but there are so many ifs and buts. And also “If only Sandy had…”

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  27. I do not know much about the technicalities of Guest Blogging. However having read this post all I can say is that you do not take a gift back once given. In dire situations, one may seek the permission to use it when needed. The very fact that Sandy didnot get in touch with Nilam, acknowledge the original source of the post or give a backlink even after being told to, reeks of selfish motives and betrayal. Bhavana, what you say is true- about knowledge being free and beyond anyone’s possessive ownership. But I see a post, as an outcome of one’s creative process and not simply putting together of information or knowledge. A post is like your baby. Surely we do not want others to claim rights over them, especially after having laboured to nurture them. And if we have given them up for adoption can we claim them back? Its not fair to the affected parties.
    As it is we live in a world of deceit. Battling with its various forms in everyday life is exhausting. Even if we cannot find Utopia, the least we can do is to maintain basic niceties in the virtual world.

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    • Ilakshee, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this topic. I don’t see why the virtual world should be any different from the real world—after all the same people inhabit both the worlds. Yes, in the virtual world the decption gets hidden for a little while more.

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  28. One thing to strike me positively in this post is how Nilam has played a very dignified role even after being subjected to some emotional disturbance. Blocking all mediums of communication or befriending from the social media besides being a very uncompassionate way of expressing your anger/displeasure or whatever towards the other person who has been your long time friend, is also a sure sign of weakness to run away from the situations of the present moment. It speaks of arrogance, to say the least.

    All this is so sad, whatever happened to the basic fundas that blogging world is meant to be one wonderful family with all of us finding delight in and encouraging each other’s work? sigh… but I sincerely hope, that time does some ironing on it’s part and a day comes when we get to read a sequel of this post – ‘Blogger Mends up with Blogger’, in your words only… Sudhajee, fingers crossed :)

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    • You’re right, Arti. the dignity with which Nilam has behaved in is commendable, though her silence is not !

      We are a wonderful blogging family allright, Arti. And just like any real family we have our our good and bad points, funny members, nice members, uncles and aunties to avoid, loving grandparents, etc. etc. And then we have the black sheep and the rotten eggs and so on. Yes, we are a family, a community.

      As for me writing a sequel to this, it’s entirely up to Sandy and Nilam, isn’t it? :-)

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  29. First of all Sudha,a big thank you for having taken enormous trouble for the sake of your friend &establishing blogging ethics in blogosphere!It has been a gigantic task.

    Now for my own views.I have not read any of the two posts in question but i have read another one which puzzled me a lot–in the context of it’s storm & fury.

    Today morning i read Rachna’s post which informed me that the copyright of a guest post rests with the host.I did not know this before-in fact i had never thought about it.We can give a benefit of doubt to Sandy that s/he erred inadvertently;but the aftermath was not called for.A simple redressal would have averted all this unpleasantness.

    Things are no different here than they are in the real world.As Confucious said-“No matter where you go,there you are”

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    • Indu, It is not I who is setting these guidelines; I am merely stating them. You may google about Guest Posting guidelines, and you will know that these are conventional guidelines. The reason I wrote that post is because I know for a fact that many are not aware of these standard rules and there might be ambiguity about the process.

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    • Thank you for taking the time to share your views here, Indu.

      Please don’t embarrass me by thanking me for doing a post like this. This is no trouble and I have written this more for the sake of discussing the issue at hand than for the sake of friendship. This post is also more a discussion on blogging integrity, ethics, manners and if it helps in setting some guidelines, then I guess that is good too.

      And I simply loved the Confucian words: No matter where you go, there you are.

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  30. Very sad turn of events. Blogging is not what it used to be… just like everything else… evolving and changing, but these misunderstandings and ego clashes, jealousy and sarcasm, pulling down slyly surely leaves a bad taste in mouth!

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    • Welcome here, Shilpa and thank you so much for stopping by here to share your thoughts on this topic.

      Yes, blogging is not what it used to be because the world is not what it used to be either. After all, the same set of people inhabit both worlds and are a reflection of the attitudes, values and thoughts there.

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  31. Sudha,

    I was wondering whether I should comment on this post, but finally decided to do so.

    I have heard this story, and Sandy seems to have behaved in a totally reprehensible manner. Since I have never written/ hosted a guest post, I have little personal experience of the procedure involved. However linking to the blog where the post originally appeared seems to be mandatory from a ethical perspective. No doubt about that. Furthermore, the subsequent unfollowing/ blocking drama was totally childish.

    I would like to mention one point though. You have quoted some suggestions which Neelam received. If these suggestion were posted on a private forum/ discussion group, it seems somewhat ‘iffy’ to post them here. Just my personal opinion, please believe that I’m not trying to make a big deal out of this.

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    • It’s only after reading your comment that I realised how the suggestions might read. Thank you for that.

      Manju, what happened was this. Nilam had called to tell me about this incident as Sandy is known to both of us. By then I had already commented on the post that Sandy had republished. I was shocked and told Nilam that this is plagiarism. Nilam said, of course not this is not plagiarism. People I have spoken to have said it is ok, the original author has the copyright, etc. etc. I was not aware of a thread on any forum, or the discussions thereof, till I read Rachna’s comment.

      As part of narrating the the incident here, I only turned the feedback into quotes and to be able to discuss the reactions in my post. I realise now that I should have specified that the words were all mine. And it is something that I will remedy immediately.

      Thank you Manju for sharing your views. I really appreciate it.

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  32. Well, everyone has sent almost everything I wanted to say….but its really weird for me because

    1. I always look at blogging at a stress buster..abhi usmein if people start getting politics and playing games I wonder if I am misunderstanding what blogging is all about :(

    2. I have never written a guest post or even hosted one…personally, I think its a big responsibility to write a guest post or even host one because it involved two parties (however close) on a personal forum…we need to be careful of whatever we write

    3. I loved the way you have put your point without being rude :)

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    • Welcome here, R’s Mom, and thank you for stopping by to share your views. Blogging is a stress buster for me to, but after all that has happened maybe I need to view it differently. :-(

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  33. I’d like to add- just read ‘Sandy’s’ latest post. It’s in very, very bad taste. Particularly the personal name-calling. Disgusting.

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    • Yes, Manju. I read it too and have nothing to add to the rant there or the misinformation and half truths given there. It is Sandy’s space to use as he sees it fit. I would have liked to add Sandy’s perspective to my post, but when I had been blocked, how could I have gotten him to speak to me?

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  34. I have read both the sides, it makes me very sad. I hope everything settles for good and the broken bridges are repaired again.

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    • PS: When I started taking Guest posts, I included the clause that all the Guest posts on my blog were exclusive property of the authors and they could use / resuse it anywhere else for personal/ commercial purpose. Now I think this single clause saved me from a lot of tension :)

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      • In retrospect, I realise that it is a very good idea to have guidelines for Guest Posts and especially clauses like yours. :-) You had the foresight to think about it. I am with you when you say that the posts are the authors and they are free to post it elsewhere as well. However, an acknowledgement (not necessarily a link back) is something that I would like to see as well.

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    • It makes me sad too, no sick that it had to come to this. It was a very difficult post to write, Puru, especially as I know both Sandy and Nilam and have the highest regard for their work. But this is an issue I could not keep quiet about and I had to write about it. I am fully aware that my this not the first time something like this has happened and unfortunately, this will not be the last time either in the blogosphere. Time is a great healer and, who knows what the future holds?

      Thank you, Puru, for taking time to read and comment, especially on a topic like this. I really appreciate it.

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