Getting acknowledged

The previous chapters attempted to build a case for participating in The Delphi Method based approach to knowledge building on this website. It should generate both rich as well as credible information. This chapter will discuss how to protect one's own interests and get due credit where credit is due.

There are two kinds of people who build up knowledge: a) Those who want to get acknowledged and b) those who are not bothered whether they are recognized or not. The latter mostly does not exist. :-) . Now the approach we are taking for knowledge building on this website i.e. through pseodonymous submissions, can seemingly rattle those who are motivated to put up content and also seek credits (type "a" people). Let us put those fears to rest in this chapter.

We have to remember that pseudonymous content generation had been used in literature for centuries. Authors (O.Henry, George Orwell, Mark Twain …) who had written under pseudonyms eventually did get recognized. How did that happen? Identities of good authors eventually gets passed on by word of mouth and reached the general public one way or the other. Good work will always be acknowledged. On this website, authors can use one of several methods as explained below. Before that, we need to understand a simple method called "timestamping" which can be used to protect the intellectual property (i.e. content put up) on this website.

This is how it works: Suppose you have written a short story which you do not want anyone to usurp as their own. Create a PDF file out of that short story (or a file in any format, actually. PDF is best suited for this because it is not easily editable and access/security restrictions can further be put into that PDF file) and email that PDF file to ku.oc.tlusnocti.repmats|tsop#ku.oc.tlusnocti.repmats|tsop. An automated service (started by Matthew Richardson ) running at that particular email address will receive your email. It will find out the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) at which the email was received by the service, and a timestamp will be placed on your email as a proof of posting and the timestamped email would then be sent to any email address/addresses that you would have specified in your email. This timestamp is encrypted and it will encapsulate some key information about the contents of your initial posting, so that it is easy to detect if the content is tampered with.

Normally, you would be instructing that timestamping service to send the proof back to you. But you could ask it to post the timestamped proof of post emails to some of your close friends/relatives too. (Read more detailed instructions at Now, after having timestamped your intellectual property, it would be impossible for anyone to usurp it because if they do, you would have all the proof required to invalidate the other person's claim. This form of arguing should be acceptable in most courts (unless you have some close connection with Mr. Matthew Richardson yourself). (Disclaimer: We are not legal consultants. You would need to verify this information in your own country/locality). There are some commercial timestamping services also which you can use. Some of them are quite cheap.

Method 1:

  1. Aquire a pseudonym and register yourself on this website.
  2. Generate timestamped contents.
  3. Develop the contents till it matures.
  4. Do not reveal yourself but publish your contents under your pseudonym — either on this site or on some other site (where you should use the same pseudonym) or in print form.
  5. Go to step 2.

This method is similar to the one used by all those great authors who worked under pseudonyms. George Orwell, etc. This method can only be used for content which has been generated ONLY by you. This form of getting recognized is known as getting a "digital reputation". This is the simplest method among all.

Method 2:

  1. Aquire a pseudonym and register yourself.
  2. Generate timestamped contents.
  3. Develop the contents till it matures.
  4. Reveal yourself and publish your contents under your own name — either on this site itself or on some other site or in print form. At the same time, stop using the pseudonym here and register yourself again with another pseudonym.
  5. Start from Step 2 onwards.

This method is useful when the content is being generated ONLY by you. On this website that can only be the blogs that you created or the files that you had uploaded.

Method 3:

  1. Aquire a pseudonym and register yourself.
  2. Generate timestamped contents.
  3. Develop the contents till it matures.
  4. Find out all the persons who worked on one piece of work on this website and ask them to give permission to go "public".
  5. Publish the work either in print form or separately on another website after giving due acknowledgement to all the participating authors. (Remember each author may have time-stamped his/her submission to that body of work, so publishing without acknowledging other authors is not only impolite; it may invite litigation). It is not necessary that all participating authors have to reveal their identities to the world at large. Some can choose not to do so. However, it may be required for all authors to reveal their identities to one another if there is an issue of sharing of printing costs or profit sharing involved.
  6. All the authors who decided to reveal their true identities will have to stop using their respective pseudonyms on this website, and register themselves again with new pseudonyms.
  7. Each of the author will have to start from Step 2. of this method.

This method is a bit more complex than others, but it is the only one available when a group of authors wants to reveal themselves and get credit for their work in other media. Getting to know who all were participating in the development of some content would require examination of the website logs, etc. and that could take time.


  1. Commercial low cost timestamping available from
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