Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Are blogs just tools, without rules?

Are blogs just tools, without rules?

Is no blog practice or attribute,

in itself, "good" or "bad"?

"benevolent" or "malicious"?

"productive" or "counter-productive"?

"sleazy" or "professional"?

Are guidelines, definitions, and best practices entirely arbitrary, and thus, irrelevant?

I think we're truncating and abbreviating when we say "blogs should..." or "a blogger is..."

What we mean is "an effective blog tends to be...", "ethical blogs generally are...", "benevolent bloggers typically...", "high quality blog writing consists of..."common attributes of a successful business blog include..."

The value distinction is omitted, implied, privately construed by the discerning blogger and the experienced blog visitor. It's assumed that everyone knows we refer to "good" blogs, in both the pragmatic and the moral significations of the word.

We aren't meaning to include all blogs or merely the most popular blogs, many of which may violate best practices, and may have high traffic stats due to reasons other than adherence to blogological ideals.

Yet, the truth is not diminished one iota, is it?

Every public communications medium must eventually self-regulate through consensus policies arrived at by the thought leaders.

The blogosphere is no different, and ought to evolve a methodology to police itself regarding quality standards and best practices.

I've taken the three primary blog qualities, added six more, and thereby formulated the infamous 9 Core Values of Blogging, with a separate blog to explain and support them.

Perhaps others, with greater wisdom and wider experience, will formulate even better guidelines.

This should not be done for enforced conformity to arbitrary whims, but to support and propagate proven principles and legitimate ethical concerns.

Ghost blogs, link farm blogs, traffic-driver pseudo-blogs, or personal-drivelized business blogs for example, violate many guidelines for authenticity, credibility, transparency, integrity, and those who try to weasel out of it are suspect.

We take basic business ethics, taught and debated in your philosophy courses, and apply these fundamentals to blogs.

All communications have statistics and insights attached to them by the industry. There are guidelines, federal laws, and professional standards attached to direct mail, television, radio, telemarketing, video games, music recordings, book publishing, etc., and so a set of rules of thumb and even government legislation will form for blogs.

"Who should not blog?" remains answered:

deceptive businesses

unethical/immoral individuals

spyware, Trojan, virus, etc. attachers

site traffic-drivers

con artists

greedy money-grubbers



malicious hate-speechers



insincere businesses
who despise consumers
and have no desire to
engage in candid, helpful
two-way conversations.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


No comments: