Did you know that the vast majority of speech therapy bloggers write them for free? Also did you know that presenters at the Asha convention do NOT get paid for it? We often take the work of SLP Asha convention presenters and bloggers for granted, and today I wanted to take the time to thank my fellow speech therapist bloggers and presenters for their work, time and effort. I am thankful to all these speech therapists who, despite their busy schedule take the time to provide my profession with free knowledge and information. They do all this free of charge for the benefit of many.
Bloggers are individuals who take their time to contribute to humanity’s knowledge mostly without any financial interest. Many can claim that nothing is done without the intent to gain something, be it gain popularity, establish your professional name, or just gain attention. I have been a blogger for a very long time now, and only knew of a couple other speech therapists bloggers back in 2010. Today, there are so many SLP blogs on the web that I can hardly keep up with them all. Most choose an area of interest to write about, but some write about the various things they like. Blogs allow us to gain specific insight on a subject that would never be published on a scientific magazine, learn about the usefulness of lack of thereof of products, or just read an interesting post on funny SLP facts.
Very few presenters in our professional get paid for their work. I have been paid many times to present around the country, but my contributions to the Asha conference have always been free of charge as probably all the other presenters. Presenters inquire expenses such as hotel, air travel, and spend a lot of time preparing for a presentation that enriches our knowledge on their particular area of interest. So, presenters not only do it for free, but also actually spend money to give you knowledge.
One particular thing triggered the need for me thank the bloggers and also make my readers aware of the fact that they do it for free. Many of you who have followed my posts, know that I have been a contributor to the Asha Blog since its conception. I had the pleasure to interact with Asha’s blog management and for the first time, I felt that my professional organization was in touch with the members who contribute to make this one great profession.
Unfortunately, that management changed this year, and when I sent them a post to be considered to the blog, I was told, “ We didn’t know you wrote for the blog, can you please re-apply and if you have good ideas we will consider your posts”. I would gladly re-apply and continue to submit posts, but the attitude of “ oh, we didn’t know who you are, and we don’t really care” is quite disappointing. My disappointment comes from knowing that the blog is built on the free work of Asha members and we are treated as dispensable, or we didn’t even know you “ existed” kind of attitude (I know I may be exaggerating it a bit).
If this was the kind of response I got from the management, considering I was a contributor from the start and was featured as an author last year due to the popularity of my posts, I cannot imagine the responses given to contributors who had a slightly less active role. I have written MANY posts for the AshaSphere, some with over 180 likes! - you can see the list here: http://blog.asha.org/author/bfernandes/
This post comes out of frustration, not only as a blogger but also as a presenter and contributor to Asha conferences. The total lack of respect and gratitude for the work presenters put on their presentations was a behavior I got to observe last year too. A friend, whose session was full, was asked by a “ virtual manager” (not a real person) if he would present again, without any real contact to ask questions, just a room number and time for consideration for the person to present again free of charge. There was no – thank you notes or just a simple “ thank you”.
This made me wonder if it is the monopoly of a professional organization that gives them this “take contributors for granted” attitude. We all have learned the power of a simple “ thank you”, and many professional organizations should be reminded that without contributors they would have to pay for every word and work done. Without contributors there is no blog or conventions
This is a virtual thank you for all the speech pathologists who have taken the time and even spent money to contribute to my knowledge for the last ten years and have helped my profession move forward.