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    Ethical Blogging

    As the saying going, the best defence is a good offence.  As Bloggers, we should all think about what it is we write before we publish, as well as afterwards.  What I'm about to say will shock some corners of the internet, so sit down:  Bloggers have a Code of Ethics.

    /READ MORE// Creating a Successful Blog

    Okay, so what I really mean is that some bloggers have a code of ethics.  As Blogs began to emerge online as a new medium, they became associate with certain styles of writing and types of content, and eventually a loose set of ethics and/or standards began to emerge that bloggers ideally adhere to.

    For most old-school web bloggers, the main idea is transparency.  This was used as a sort of code for a wide range of ideas:

    Honesty and the Truth:
    Back in our example of the Blog as a diary, being transparent meant telling the truth about who we are, why you are blogging, and what your goals with the blog are.  The whole point behind a diary-style blog is to communicate open and honestly, dealing with topics and ideas as straightforwardly as possible.  It is about being honest to yourself and to your readers.  The original blogging 'traditionalist' feel that blogs shouldn't be used for marketing, or by corporations to get the word out.

    A great blogger is aware and responsive to the readers through the comments they leave on a post.  A blog isn't about the writer.  Many bloggers will still insist a blog is a tool for building real relationships with real people.

    No matter how carefully you edit a post, eventually you will make a mistake.  It could be you posted something that later turned out to be entirely untrue.  The real challenge, much like in a newspaper, is in how to respond to making that mistake.  In the Blogosphere, it's really about owning up to what you have written, apologizing when needed, and making corrections.

    The idea that you can use a blog for real, serious, meaningful interactions with people is more or less revolutionary. 

     At it's core, Blogging is about real people writing and reading and responding to each other and sharing information or knowledge and experiences.

    All this isn't to say a blog is going to be a great piece of American literature.  And that's okay.  However, the ideas being being transparent, honest and ethical are pretty good ones, especially if you plan to blog about personal or controversial topics.

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