Monday, November 09, 2009

Disclaimer: November 2009

I've been doing these disclaimers for a long time now, and the legalese is always a common element. If you've been skipping out on these monthly posts, you'll know that I outline the following bases each time. Now is no exception:

1. I conceptualized and wrote everything on this blog, with the sole exceptions given in #2.

2. Some of the items on this blog were acquired from external sources, either as the material with which I create my posts, or as the references with which I write. These items are always acknowledged, and provided with a link where possible.

3. Anyone who feels that I've used something that they own without acknowledgment is welcome to contact me for discussion. Assuming that the material is truly theirs, I'm prepared to accede to their demands as long as they are within reason.

4. I don't like plagiarists, who I define as people who take others' works with the intent of claiming these as their own. People who manipulate this work in a harmful or out-of-context manner fall under the same classification. I discourage this activity, particularly when it comes to my own stuff.

5. Apart from any monthly disclaimers that I have, this blog is part of the terms and conditions set forth by the Creative Commons license, which is at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar on my main blog site.

There's usually a threat of grievous physical, psychological or legal harm involved, but not always.

I've noticed that it's a little difficult to come up with a brand-new disclaimer post every month, and I think that that's because I like putting little spins on the silly things. I don't want to simply repeat a single post as the first item of every month, so I try to work them into short posts. The only things that should bore people, or turn them off from reading these like any other entry, are the titles — and I find myself wishing that I don't have to call them "Disclaimer" all the time.

Normally I have three different approaches with regards to creating disclaimer posts:

1. Graphics — If one picture is worth a thousand words, then my personal volume must be substantial. The primary benefit of using graphics is that they will immediately catch peoples' attention, despite the stodgy legalese. The fact that I have a few Photoshop skills means that I can put these together by myself... which is fortunate when you realize that these things usually take a couple of hours.

2. Text Styling — This covers the various text formats, layouts, genres and so forth. It's the most common approach that I use, simply because tapping away at a keyboard happens to be my forté. Sometimes I'll incorporate the legalese into a short story, sometimes I'll try a line or two of poetry, and sometimes I'll just try putting it up like one of Letterman's top ten lists.

3. Straight Play — And sometimes, if I don't have much time to come up with a post, I'll just play it straight. These are probably the most boring of the disclaimer posts that I write, but they do act as a bit of a refresher. I'll emphasize the fact that these don't necessarily mean that I don't have any idea for a post. Instead, they simply mean that I'm in a hurry at the time.

I don't think that I've really run out of ideas for a disclaimer post yet, so you're still likely to get these from me in the future. Whether that's good news or bad news depends on which side of the fence you're sitting on.

Then again, I'm assuming that we're all bloggers ourselves, and that we're capable of coming up with our own content. There are millions of words out there, after all... wouldn't you like to see what interesting combinations you can come up with? :)

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