Blogging Etiquette

Tim O'Reilly has posted a draft Blogger's Code of Conduct on the O'Reilly Radar.

What do you think...is it a waste of time--or about time?

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Bullshit

We take responsibility for our own words and for the comments we allow on our blog.That's like saying that a pub owner is responsible for what his customers say in his pub. Or that you're responsible for what patrons say in your library.We won't say anything online that we wouldn't say in person.I'll say what I like, when I like, and where I like. Thanks. If I want to be an ass online, I can. Turns out, I'm just as big an ass offline as I am online.We connect privately before we respond publicly.I don't have to have a mediator for anything. If someone slams me in their blog I reserve the right to a) not care b) do the same or c) talk it over with them publicly or privately. I can be just as childish as the next person.When we believe someone is unfairly attacking another, we take action.But what if it's not really an unfair attack? What if you see the attack, but don't know that it's actually an act of self defense? As above, when I see someone slam someone else in the blogworld, I reserve the right to do whatever the hell I want to do.We do not allow anonymous comments.Yeah, because screw free speech. Next up, no more anonymous voting either. Anonymous comments allow for the minority to speak, especially if they're feeling oppressed in some way. But hey, we're being civil here, remember? We ignore the trolls.Yet you take responsibility for comments on your site. How can you ignore something and take responsibility for it?We need a code of conduct for blogs, and we need O'Reilly stamping badges on our blogs about as much as we need new forms of cancer and AIDS. If you want to have a code of conduct for your blog, fine. But don't expect the rest of the world to join your party.

Re:Bullshit

I'll have an extended commentary on the Code (and the morality play that preceded it) in the next Cites & Insights (the June issue). It's fair to say that it will not be a rave review--and actually Great Western's quick analysis is right on the money, as far as I'm concerned. The code is not only pointless, it's almost certainly dangerous, based on the history of other "voluntary" codes...

Re:Bullshit

dangerous?

As to Dragon's comments:

We take responsibility for our own words and for the comments we allow on our blog.

That's like saying that a pub owner is responsible for what his customers say in his pub. Or that you're responsible for what patrons say in your library.

In fact we are. If some loon goes off in the middle of the library shouting threats and vulgarities and we do nothing then we are in fact responsible.

We won't say anything online that we wouldn't say in person.

I'll say what I like, when I like, and where I like. Thanks. If I want to be an ass online, I can. Turns out, I'm just as big an ass offline as I am online.

Well no you won't. There might be a lot places where you can act like an idiot but not everywhere. And if someone wants to make an effort to be fair on their own blog and to enforce said fairness on their blog that's their right

We connect privately before we respond publicly.

I don't have to have a mediator for anything. If someone slams me in their blog I reserve the right to a) not care b) do the same or c) talk it over with them publicly or privately. I can be just as childish as the next person.

No mediator is mentioned. It does hurt to get some claraification before spouting off.

When we believe someone is unfairly attacking another, we take action.

But what if it's not really an unfair attack? What if you see the attack, but don't know that it's actually an act of self defense? As above, when I see someone slam someone else in the blogworld, I reserve the right to do whatever the hell I want to do.

If its your site you probably have some idea of who the players are.

We do not allow anonymous comments.

Yeah, because screw free speech. Next up, no more anonymous voting either. Anonymous comments allow for the minority to speak, especially if they're feeling oppressed in some way. But hey, we're being civil here, remember?

I don't and won't ban anonymous comments but that's just because I delete the offensive ones. If I had a larger site and wasn't able to keep track of all the comments then I probably would.

We ignore the trolls.

Yet you take responsibility for comments on your site. How can you ignore something and take responsibility for it?

By ignoring it.

We need a code of conduct for blogs, and we need O'Reilly stamping badges on our blogs about as much as we need new forms of cancer and AIDS. If you want to have a code of conduct for your blog, fine. But don't expect the rest of the world to join your party.

Are they forcing it down your throat? No. I don't think the rules are perfect and I wouldn't sign as is but there's nothing wrong with nudging people towards civility.

Re:Bullshit

It's needed if you're running a publicly funded blog. Being "respectful" needn't be the same as being polyanna polite ... but it'd be nice for readers to know that someone's racist rant won't show up in their book review discussion.

Check your six-shooter at the door, pard, if you want to step into this saloon.

Yes, dangerous.

What we have here are very high-profile bloggers proposing a Voluntary Code. With badges or logos. With lots of prestige behind it.

Any librarian should know enough about the history of Voluntary Codes to spot the problems with this.

The Comics Code was a Voluntary Code: It had no legal force.

The Hays Code was a Voluntary Code: It had no legal force.

The MPAA Ratings System is a Voluntary Code. It has no legal force.

Now, tell me about how none of those had or has a coercive effect on free expression?

And tell me that, when Congress gets nervous about all that badspeech on the Intertubes, they won't find a way to use that Voluntary Code and its Voluntary Logo as an enforceable filtering mechanism--and that filtering companies won't find it convenient to say "Well, if it doesn't have the machine-readable Voluntary Log, it's probably nasty stuff we should block."

Yes, dangerous.

Re:Bullshit

I'm not going to respond to the whole posting, but I do have some things to address there.Here's the quote from GregS:No mediator is mentioned. It does hurt to get some claraification before spouting off.Here's a quote from the article with my own emphasis:When we encounter conflicts and misrepresentation in the blogosphere, we make every effort to talk privately and directly to the person(s) involved--or find an intermediary who can do so--before we publish any posts or comments about the issue.A mediator is thus mentioned. Clear enough?Now then, one more thing. The article claims you need to take responsibility for the comments on your site (Hey, Blake? How do you feel about that?). I say that's crap and that it's like taking responsibility for things patrons say in our libraries. You claim we do have that responsibility. While I disagree, I think your logic is fatally flawed by the last comment you made:Article: We ignore the trolls.Me: Yet you take responsibility for comments on your site. How can you ignore something and take responsibility for it?GregS: By ignoring it.But then you say "If some loon goes off in the middle of the library shouting threats and vulgarities and we do nothing then we are in fact responsible." So I'll use your logic as written and say that I will take responsibility for that patron... by ignoring him. After all, he's just an unplugged troll doing his thing in the real world.

Re:Yes, dangerous.

I am very familiar with the Comics Code and while its not perfect either it was created for good reason. Same for the MPAA Ratings System. I don't have a problem with either. I don't see this as easily enforced however.

Everything is dangerous, the fact governments exist is dangerous. But you can't have a civil society without enforcing a certain about civility on those who don't want it. And if people won't do it on their own terms then sometimes government forces the issue.

Re:Bullshit

“This is G o o g l e's cache of http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/04/draft_bl oggers_1.html as retrieved on 23 Apr 2007 13:11:52 GMT.G o o g l e's cache is the snapshot that we took of the page as we crawled the web. Google is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its contentâ€. End QuoteGoogle owns Blogger.com. Has Tim O’Reilly contacted Google with the section of his proposed code that must (by ipso facto) also apply to the platform as well as the blog administrator?The O’Reilly Saga continues in his comments section. O’Reilly says he knows the person who attacked Kathy Sierra. He gets the victim and the perpetrator together on CNN – then somebody pumps up the NY Times publicity machinery for both the victim and the perpetrator. It doesn’t take a genius to see who may be benefiting from this little fracas.Then O’Reilly starts blaming a random responder as being one of the attackers.And when bloggers respond, most of the track backs lead to O’Reilly’s Radar Website – and (duh – as an Internet expert!) he is unaware that there are persistent error messages generated in his responders’ posts, so that it becomes a hit and miss game whether the post actually gets published or not.Perhaps Tim’s involvement relates to this little gem.Sierra’s current gig, along with her partner Bert Bates, isdeveloping and producing the bizarre new Head First series of booksfor O'Reilly.P T B Anonymous

Re:Bullshit

"But then you say "If some loon goes off in the middle of the library shouting threats and vulgarities and we do nothing then we are in fact responsible." So I'll use your logic as written and say that I will take responsibility for that patron... by ignoring him. After all, he's just an unplugged troll doing his thing in the real world."

Ignoring by deleting or removing the offender. Don't waste time responding.

Re:Yes, dangerous.

One more thing and then I'm giving this one up.I am very familiar with the Comics Code and while its not perfect either it was created for good reason.Good reasons = good intentions = "Things the road to hell is paved with."

Re:Bullshit

Ignoring by deleting or removing the offender. Don't waste time responding.A response is an effect. Ignoring and deleting are both responses.

Re:Bullshit

Then suggest to them to change the word to 'engage' or whatever word you feels works best. Finding loopholes in the English language is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Re:Yes, dangerous.

Yes and the road to gridlock is paved with tinfoil hats.

Re:Bullshit

We take responsibility for our own words and for the comments we allow on our blog.
That's like saying that a pub owner is responsible for what his customers say in his pub. Or that you're responsible for what patrons say in your library.

In fact we are. If some loon goes off in the middle of the library shouting threats and vulgarities and we do nothing then we are in fact responsible.

"Wot a load of phetted dingoe's kidneys." If you were in fact responsible for the actions of your patrons, you would be jailed in their place and they would be set free. Or, perhaps, you would be required to put them down like a mad dog the way pet owners sometimes are.

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