Sunday, 21 October 2007

Blogging Manners

In College, students who leave derogatory comments can be processed through breaking the Student's Code of Conduct. Out in the Real World, it is more serious, and sometimes the police have to get involved. The New York Times wrote:
Tim O’Reilly, a conference promoter and book publisher who is credited with coining the term Web 2.0, began working with Jimmy Wales, creator of the communal online encyclopedia Wikipedia, to create a set of guidelines to shape online discussion and debate. (source)
The article concluded that:

Robert Scoble, a popular technology blogger who stopped blogging for a week in solidarity with Kathy Sierra after her ordeal became public, says the proposed rules “make me feel uncomfortable.” He adds, “As a writer, it makes me feel like I live in Iran.”

Mr. O’Reilly said the guidelines were not about censorship. “That is one of the mistakes a lot of people make — believing that uncensored speech is the most free, when in fact, managed civil dialogue is actually the freer speech,” he said. “Free speech is enhanced by civility.”


I have to agree with O'Reilly, and say that there is nothing wrong with being civil. If I don't like something, I can describe what I don't like about it without leaving a comment like the one left on YouTube in response to the WebProNews article.


The Blogger's Code of Conduct wiki, where you can read about the suggestions: link.

Tim O'Reilly's articles: Call for a Blogger's Code of Conduct, Draft Blogger's Code of Conduct, or the more recent: Code of Conduct: Lessons Learned So Far

There are some interesting discussions on freedom of speech, and issues like Constructive Anonymity vs. Drive-by Anonymity.

From my point of view, swearing in public (e.g. blogs) shows a lack of community spirit. I can swear like the trooper I once, but not in front of students, management or members of the public. Not because I can't but because it reflects badly on me. Swearing has its place in society (i.e. when expression extremes of emotion), but the everyday use of swearing shows what little people think of each other (i.e. society) and what poor communicators they are. We are all better than that, or can strive to be better than that.

Read this, and see how few times Mr Douglass swears. Do you think that your life is harder than his was? Thankfully, very few people reading this can truthfully answer "yes". If you do answer "yes", please make sure that you have all the support that pastoral guidance can offer you.

No comments: