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Are "they' your scapegoat?


A few scattered thoughts..

I often hear comments like this:

"They" are blocking access to YouTube.
"They" cut my budget.
"They" don't think we need a library.

Who the hell is "they"?

Can you name "them"? Or are "they" just a convenient scapegoat for poor policy decisions? Are you attempting to influence the "they" and working to change such decisions from being made by "they" to being made by "we"?

If not, you should be. It's your professional obligation.


Great conversation and fun in SecondLife rather early this morning with Chris (Shambles) Smith, Diane McKenzie from Hong Kong, Rob Rubis from the International School of Bangkok (his comments here) and others.

Chris's talk show format seems well-suited for Second Life - casual, conversational and informative. I like it!

Snapshots from Shamble's International School Island "Live" in SecondLife, November 18, 2008

I suspect that this could as well have been a conference call. The visuals didn't add all that much to the message.

But in some weird way, the avatars and setting made the experience feel much more like being there. Chris, beautiful design of your space.

Oh Rob, my avatar is a total klutz too.


SLJ Leadership Summit keynoter Scott Traylor, the CEO and Founder and Chief of KID 360KID, stated that World of Warcraft experience is now being included on professional resumes to demonstrate leadership and collaboration skills. Anybody else heard this?

He also mentioned that online games are available for cross-generational play. If he mentioned titles, I missed them. Any ideas? (Grandpa needs to know!)


Two new way-cool Google resources:

Google Ancient Rome

After seeing the Rome HBO mini-series (that makes I, Claudius look lame), I'm anxious to explore this site.

LIFE Photo Archives via Google Images. An amazing resource, but I looked and looked for the copyright/use permissions and could not find them for these photos nor a way to contact Google to ask. Anybody know?


If you will excuse me, I need to get back to the letter to Congress explaining why I need a bailout package... Just think of all the people who depend on my doing well: the banker, the grocer, the barber, the dry cleaners, and especially the liquor store owner.

We can't just let them all go down the tube, now can we???

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Reader Comments (4)

I'd like to know about about the Life image copyright too. The images I looked at had a "(c) Time Inc." note below the images -- even a 1775 image, which seems Unlikely.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Fitchett

I receive a lot of messages about who "they" are. They have names, titles, and power. They don't understand what's new and different and it makes them afraid. And the people who are under them on the org chart often are working very hard to persuade and influence them. But they don't listen (for whatever reason). "They" are the people who can't be named in public for fear of retribution, for fear of reprisal due to petty politics rather than doing what's best for kids. Who the hell are "they?" They're the people who should be doing better than they are now.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterScott McLeod

You mention your letter to Congress for a bailout...I'm beginning to wonder how fast the Treasury presses are having to run to "gin out" the amount of money they are handing out presently. I know we only have "one President at a time" but do you suppose this one might retire to the ranch early and let the new one give it a try?

November 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Rogde

@ HI Deborah,

The only thing I have seen on this so far is from David Warlick’s blog reporting on an AP story. He writes:

“According to the AP article, “The photos can be printed out for free as long as they aren’t being used as part of an attempt to make money.”



@ Scott,

A passionate response. Thank you.

As one of those “they” on some days, might I offer an explanation (excuse) for some lack of being educated and informed by those whom I supervise? As do many of us, I work in a bureaucracy where information tends to flow easily in one direction – down the org chart. (We are a small district so this is not as big a problem as many larger places have.) I am encouraged at what seems to be a trend to flatten organizational structures. This may well reduce the “they vs me” mentality.

All the best,


@ Linda,

I've heard "early retirement" for the Current Occupant suggested other places. I am not holding my breath that it will happen.


November 22, 2008 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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