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The O'Reilly Code

Most of Tim O'Reilly's proposed blogger's code of ethics is common sense stuff, but some of it seems to conflict with the informal, conversational and public nature of blogs. It's flawed and besides that, it's unnecessary.

It's not always important to "connect privately before we respond publicly" to "misrepresentations or conflicts"  as the code states. Blogging is supposed to be a public conversation, not a bunch of back-channel emails and phone calls. If you think somebody misspoke you might want to check with them before you totally lay into them, but you can do that gently on your blog e.g. "I was reading Bob's post and wondering if he really meant to say 'all foo is bar' because that just doesn't seem right."

It's not necessary for every blogger to take action "when we believe someone is unfairly attacking another;" especially if others are already responding well and being heard. It's OK to lurk.

And I definitely do not believe that anonymous comments should be banned. So I'm glad to see that O'Reilly now says (in the comments to his own post) that part should be optional.

For me the bottom line is that bloggers should follow the same rules as everybody else. We don't need special blogger's code of ethics, a sheriff badge or the blog police. The fundamental things apply: common sense, decency and the laws of the land.


Amen to that! Well stated.

Posted by Skrocki on April 09, 2007 at 08:37 PM EDT #

I agree with Dave. I personally subscribe to most of the guidelines that Tim is describing, but not to all of them (anonymous posts and private contact first, for example), and I don't expect everybody to do the same (for example Hani's bile blog persona). And I find badges out of place in a blog. - eduard/o

Posted by eduardo pelegri-llopart on April 09, 2007 at 11:22 PM EDT #

[Trackback] The volume of debate over Tim O'Reilly's Code of Conduct is overwhelming. It's nice that Tim has stepped up to try to contribute a solution, but I don't think any code of conduct is going to drive people to be more or less civil on the internet or el...

Posted by Skrocki's Weblog on April 11, 2007 at 03:57 PM EDT #

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