Hanselman on dicketry

Read Hanselman's post on what happens when you break social contracts.

I was part of a "panel" with someone at last year's IAAPA conference and trade show who is allegedly a "social media expert." I could barely get a word in, and he went out of his way to tell the audience they were stupid. (Perhaps this is part of the reason they haven't invited me back.) I love speaking gigs, but I was outright embarrassed to be on stage with the guy. I'm not going to dignify him with a link either. I could see the discomfort in the audience.

Regardless of the circumstances, whether it be a small party, a confrerence, a blog or whatever, there are social contracts in place that you likely had no part in negotiating. That's just the way it is. Depending on what your intentions are, you may or may not choose to adhere to these contracts, but you must understand that there are consequences to your decisions. As much as I'm known (or notorious) for saying what I think, I still have this understanding.

For example, I'm perfectly content dropping F-bombs on my personal blog, and I've been known to use them in casual conversation around close friends and my wife. The comfort level is right that I can do that with little consquence. But doing it on my technical blog would likely put off people and I'd have fewer readers, sell fewer books and perhaps turn off prospective employers. That's just the way it is.

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