My Friend Bob: A Brief Note on Attributing Ideas

I do most of my thinking out loud with other people, and almost all my ideas come from other people. I tend to be scrupulous about attributing ideas (thoughts, examples, fun stories, etc.). When I’m blogging though, I tend to think that people would prefer to be asked before named on the internet, even when the reference would be positive or innocuous. 

So far, the tension between wanting to cite people and wanting to get their permission to cite them has made writing blog posts feel (a little) harder. My new plan, when I feel the urge to attribute something, is just to attribute it to my friend “Bob”, who is fake.

I picked up the habit of citing Bob from my friend Bob.

I am happy to change Bob to a real name upon request.

If you are Bob, feel free to tell me to change it. If you know Bob and think Bob would want to be cited by name, feel free to ask Bob or ask me to ask Bob. If you have a blanket preference for being named instead of being Bob, feel free to tell me that too!