Every cloud has a silver lining

13 December 2014

Goodness me, 2014 has thrown up a fair number of challenges but the saying is true – you can derive some benefit from every ‘bad’ thing that happens to you. 

Sometimes, I read other people’s blogs – no, that’s not quite accurate – I often read other people’s blogs. Though sometimes I read them and think, ‘Where on earth did that come from?’ or ‘What were you thinking when you wrote that?’ There are a whole lot of people out here in the blogging world. Some are fabulous writers who entertain, educate and inform the wider population, whether that be in a genealogical or historical sense, or whatever else …. and  I have recently found some very humorous efforts based on the life and times of the writer!

I have questioned before whether some people think before they write emails and/or post online. This issue was raised again on Facebook this week by someone who I hold in high regard (Ms X) …. highlighting a rather ‘odd’ post on a blog (by Mr Y) about the difference between primary and secondary information. As Ms X said, ‘The terms primary and secondary information have had quite concrete meanings in our field for at least two decades now.’ This made me think…. When we write, our followers believe what we say, but what happens if what we say is a complete load of ****! The world is full of different opinions and that is healthy but when we are stating facts which aren’t facts, or our readers take our opinions as facts…. then we are in deep water.

Something else which has bugged me on a number of occasions this year is what I like to call ‘overly frank’ blog posts which are open for the world to read, and I question: When should you offer up your own personal opinion online? Is it sensible to ‘have a dig’ at someone in this medium? Would it be advisable to express your negative opinions about a ‘product or service’ on your blog? Will you advance your ‘professional career’ (whatever you do) if you act in this way?

I think the answers are quite clear: No and don’t. If you did this in a professional/business setting, you would be hung, drawn and quartered. So, why do people think it is OK to do it online? Be the bigger person. Take your cloudy feelings offline and deal with them offline. Every experience – both positive and negative – you can learn from (if you are prepared to)…. Take the silver linings and leave the clouds behind in 2015. 

[Don’t forget to keep an eye out over the course of December for the hidden message in the titles of FWL blogs…. When you think you know, email us so as not to spoil it for others!]

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