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Guest posts (either writing, hosting or both) has been around since long, but it seems to me that in recent times it has turned into a bally epidemic, sort of, The Thing To Do At All Costs. Not that I have anything against them, just that it is not my cup of tea. When I tell you that I am more of a my-blog-belongs-to-me and I-am-damned-if-I-share-space-with-anyone sort of person, you will get the idea. I won’t be writing for anyone and no one’s gonna be asked to write for me. Period. Of course, like all rules this one has an exception too. It takes the form of a guest post written for me by my friend, he being the only person I will not grudge sharing space with on my blog. But don’t let this lead you into thinking this post is about the pros and cons of guest-postings. Not at all.

Some time back I witnessed a blog-fight centered around a guest post. I was amazed at the way the community of bloggers quickly divided themselves into two camps, taking sides and airing views. What was amusing was how almost in the manner of small businesses springing up overnight wherever there is a gathering of humans in reasonably huge numbers, the tea-stalls around the recruitment ground comes to mind, posts of the for and against variety started sprouting. The ongoing endless arguments resulted in posts of a different nature mushrooming too, on the (dubious) Rules of Guest-Blogging. But, let me hasten to add, just in case you have started wondering, this post is not about them either.

What this IS about is the conversation between me and a close friend, who, bewildered by all the ill-will she noticed surrounding the matter of guest-posting, and the still hazy picture emerging about the rights and wrongs involved, wrote to me asking what MY thoughts were on the topic. And this is the gist of what I told her:

As far as I am concerned, the rights to the guest-post belongs to the person who wrote it. Come to think of it, the rights to my short story that got published in India’s first ever braille magazine, White Print (July edition), rests solely with ME. I really don’t think any blogger would want to write away the rights to their post just because they guest-posted it on another page. To me, the “Did you write it? Then it is yours to do as you please, UNLESS the small print says otherwise” rule holds true. But what if there is no small print, as obviously there isn’t when a blogger writes for fellow blogger and either of them may end up feeling wronged for whatever reason? Personally, my vote goes to the author. The rights of the one who hosts over the material hosted is merely illusory. My view.

The fact of the matter is, in my case, only my best friend has written a guest-post for me, and I know for certain that we definitely are not going to fight over the rights to it. I don’t presume ownership of his article on my page. If ever I were to write one for him in the future, he’d be the last person to stop me from sharing it wherever I’d want to. Having said that, though I don’t believe he needs my permission to post it elsewhere, as a friend he will certainly inform me if he intends to; unless it slips his mind altogether, chances of which happening are very high indeed. But he also knows that if he forgets, a virtual iron-brick could fall on his head (“THUNCCCK”), sent sailing by none other than yours truly, alerting him to the niceties of the matter. (Pssst. Nothing of the nature applies to me because I am, naturally so, always nice! No kidding!). Apart from being friends, we are both adults too. If at all grievances make their presence felt, the matter will be discussed between us, without it ever being laid open to the arbitration of the whole blogging community.

Oh. By the way, I hope this post also make things clear to those sending intimations desiring to do guest-posts on my blog, even offering me a fee to host them. You know what? This page here is the only thing ALL mine, and I am not about to jeopardize that, not even if you promise me all the gold from Fort Knox. I am fiercely territorial about Shail’s Nest, and unless it is Wodehouse returned from the grave, or the living Haruki Murakami himself, you stand no chance of being featured here. So there. 😉

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