After reading Uncletypewriter’s article on personal boundaries on the internet, especially for bloggers, and the ensuing and wonderful conversation that took place, it made me think about how there is no clear cut rules for these things. Sure, there exists a fairly recognized Code of Ethics, which is a great list of things that we should all remember. Really, though, it’s more of a legal guideline, than a moral code, and is directly drawn from the Journalists Code of Ethics, almost verbatim in places. That is incredibly helpful for news bloggers, who are by nature amateur journalists, but what about those of us that write about things more personal?
Back in 2007, Tim O’Reilly wrote about the need for a Blogger’s Code of Conduct in response to the death threats against Kathy Sierra. He posted 7 things that he thinks are universal obligations for all bloggers, but really its just a common
sense guide for d-bags that don’t have their own common sense. Really, what we’re all looking for is a way to measure what we shouldn’t write about. I think it’s that’s razor’s edge between transparency and discretion that defines responsible blogging. It is a balance that each of us must find on our own. For me, these moral decisions need to have a pretty well defined line. I’m not particularly good with gray area. I generally like the “if you don’t have rules saying you can’t do it, than you can,” philosophy.
Blogging with Honor
I strive to live my life with honor. I think it is a concept that has really started to loose its value and meaning in the modern world and that saddens me. Honor is a very personal thing, and can be hard to understand. For me, I generally try to follow the concept of bushido. It applies equally to everything you do.
There are things that I wish to talk about, and there are reasons that I should probably avoid some of them. It’s easy to know how to make those decisions when you can look at the code of honor. The hardest part of it, of course, will be actually following through. It’s easy to know what is right. It is not easy to always do it.