Offended parties often become prisoners of their own angst. Forgiving and letting go can free them.

The act of forgiveness is often about clearing resentments from the past, perceived and real. That means wiping the ledger, and offering people a second chance.

My former colleague Andrea Weckerle is organizing a fundraiser to build a Civilination Academy for Online Conflict Management. She asked me to help, given my past history, and of course I am delighted, so welcome to the second Punish Geoff Fundraiser: Civilination! I have struggled with civility since I started blogging in 2006, and began openly discussing the matter over […]

Image by rebekaburgess A colleague has been struggling with some negative talk on the back channel and asked me how I deal with it. When someone slights me, I use that resentment to drive me further, finish hard projects, go the extra mile, and get up when I fail. This is the famous chalkboard moment. Sports teams often use slights […]

Image by Frank Tellez Freedom allows many things, good and bad. The rationalization of justified Internet vigilantes arguably falls in both camps, depending on your perspective. We love the archetype of the vigilante, the person who goes out and meters justice when authorities fail to do so. In a romantic sense, it makes sense. Consider our pop culture heros; Batman, […]

Last week we talked about antisemitism, hate and intolerance, and this week Boston suffered a brutal terrorist attack, an act of hate. Then we witnessed the fallout online with the autotweet debates, which took some pretty uncivil turns. Today, let’s focus on beauty and positive action. Every year I make the journey down to the tidal basin to visually record […]

Image by Rain So why do serial complainers lose credibility on and offline? We all know these people, the kvetch or worse, the troll, the person that always brings a storm cloud whenever they discuss an issue. Publicly everyone listens, privately they get dismissed on the back channel as a hater or worse. Eventually, people stop listening all together. The […]

Image by Blake Reed As someone who delivered more than his fair share of snarky, forceful contrarian opinion about people and brands in online conversations, I believe this behavior harms communities. Having alienated readers, friends and business interests alike with this behavior, I’ve made a concerted effort to change. But people don’t forget so easily, as a couple of commenters […]

Good free content attracts people. If successful, it builds an expectation of more free content and time. This creates problems for small businesses and individual content creators (bloggers, photographers, etc.). First, once people get free stuff, they want more. More content, more time, even services and goods for free. They ask for it, and voice dissatisfaction when told they must […]