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    Blogging The Truth

    Being totally honest on your blog is an interesting idea, especially when you consider how easy it is to blog anonymously.  For many bloggers, telling the truth is primarily about honestly, and not necessarily transparency.

    /READ MORE// Ethical Blogging

    The bottom line is this:  The Internet isn't a fan of poseurs.  

    If you choose to blog about your personal life and do so anonymously, don't be surprised if someone challenges you about being an actual person, instead of, say a bot.  If you are the CEO of a company and writing a post on the company blog, be prepared to defend or retract.

    Sometimes, blog hoaxes do happen.  Most famously, a recently blog was revealed to be hoax in 2001, when the writer of a blog revealed the blog about a young teenager dying of leukaemia was infant, fictional.  In reality, the life and times of Kaycee Nicole was, in fact, a hoax, even thought bloggers all over the world followed her, interacted with her, and even spoke to her on the phone during the course of her illness.  Bloggers began to track down evidence suggesting she not only hadn't died, but had never existed at all.

    That's an extreme example, however.  Many bloggers are slammed for other practices, such as blogging or vlogging about products or services and being paid to do so.  

    In 2003, soft drink giant Dr. Pepper got into some hot water for soliciting blog posts from teenagers about a drink called 'Raging Cow'.  The teenagers were given paid trips, samples, gift cards, and more to promote the beverage on their personal blogs.  Many did, without revealing that these posts were essentially paid advertising.  When the arrangement was discovered, it prompted a call to boycott Dr Pepper and cause a wave of backlash against the bloggers.

    Dr Pepper went on to start a blog for their product, written ostensibly by the Raging Cow herself.  It documented her travels across the country, and was, unsurprisingly, dragged a fair bit at the time.  The idea of a fictional character helming a blog, however, has since flourished and has become an art from inofitself, especially on Twitter.  The format remains controversial when not used as humour, however, but has also become highly effective in marketing.

    In general, there are some simple rules you can follow to keep your blog honest.

    1. Explain who you are and why you are blogging
    2. If you need to hide your identity or use a pen name, indicate why you are doing so and why.
    3. If you start a fake blog, make sure you disclose somewhere on your blog that it is, in fact, fake. It might be easy to assume a Raging Cow-written blog is fake, but it never hurts to say so.
    4. If you are making money from your blog, explain the arrangement and how you're allowing the product, service, or company to influence - or not influence - your content.
    5. If you get a fact or story from another person, be sure to explain where you got it from.  Be practice would be to link to the original source.
    6. Take responsibility.  Simple as that.

    For more writing tips and tutorials, follow us on 
    Twitter @TAOBlogging,  and on Facebook

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