Calling Dibs On Blogging

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DibsI love working with other developers who are really excited about technology and the work we are doing. As is characteristic of such an organization, there is a constant flurry of IM messages and emails with links to interesting new technologies and topics.

This is nothing new of course, except for a recent phenomena of calling dibs to blog these topics. Is this something that happens to you? Let me give you an example.

A little while back, Jon Galloway IMs me a link to this very cool tool to remove source control bindings from a VS.NET 2003 project.

Immediately I start firing up w.Bloggar when his next IM message comes through, Oh, by the way I am going to blog that. He called dibs on blogging it.

This doesn’t mean that he owns this information somehow. Certainly there are others who have blogged about it. But I do feel it is good form to defer, since we probably have a similar readership. To that end, I present the rules for calling blogging dibs, which have their roots in concurrent software development.

  • Dib Contention: In conversation, if the person (the originator) who mentions the interesting link or story (the content) does not call dibs, and another person does, dib rights are lost to the originator.
  • Dib Wait Condition The listener must give the originator a reasonable moment (a pause really) to call dibs. Afterwards all bets are off.
  • Dib Hijacking In IM conversation, the originator has exactly one message (or 30 seconds) after the content to call dibs. If the next IM message is off topic, the other party may call dibs at any time..
  • Dib Deadlock Resolution Tie goes to the originator.
  • Implicit Dib Call In the absense of a dib call, it is assumed the originator has dibs until some point it is taken away by an explicit dib call.
  • Dib Race Condition If the listener can write and post the entire blog post before the originator calls dibs, the originator loses dibs privileges for obvious reasons.
  • Dib Access Violation Violating another person’s dibs right loses the offending party’s dibs rights for a period no less than two weeks.
  • Dib Timeout Condition A dib has a shelf life of one week. If no blog post is forthcoming, dib rights are fair game.
  • Dib Finalization Once the originator has written a post. The listener may follow up. It is good form to link to the originator’s post.
  • Keep dibs in the freezer, or they melt.

So go out there and steal someone else’s thunder. But do it according to the rules.

I violated one of my own rules. Can you figure out which one?

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4 responses

  1. Avatar for Steve Harman
    Steve Harman April 12th, 2006

    Just yesterday I totally called Dibs on writing an article about calling Dibs on writing an article, and now you go and write the article about calling dibs one writing an article...
    Therefore, it is obvious that you broke rules #6 & #7!
    So, I now call dibs on calling first dibs on all Slashdot articles... Yessss.

  2. Avatar for Steve Harman
    Steve Harman April 12th, 2006

    And... I can't spell. This is what happens when you try to quickly post something so you can be the first one with a smart-ass comment -- you screw it up and just look dumb.
    In the above, that was supposed to be "...about calling dibs on writing an article..."
    ME == ID10T

  3. Avatar for Jim Holmes
    Jim Holmes April 13th, 2006

    >>I violated one of my own rules. Can you figure out which one?<<
    You left the dibs out of the freezer and they're all melted?

  4. Avatar for Steve Harman
    Steve Harman May 2nd, 2006

    If anyone out there wants to see an example of someone calling dibs on writing a blog post, Phil just demonstrated the practice in this thread on the subText Developer's Mailing List.
    You'll notice that he ever so delicately calls dibs on this topic

    Now WHY it was causing this, that's an interesting subject for discussion. I'll write a blog post on it tomorrow.

    Looking forward to reading it Phil.