Friday, April 13, 2007

Blogging Etiquette: Code of Conduct Proposals

There is a lot of buzz about online etiquette and maintaining civility in the blogoshpere. We had a little flare up a few posts ago here at Enter the Rainbow, in fact.

Today, Bill Tammaeus led me to an article (login required) about Tim O'Reilly that proposes a blogging code of conduct. (Aside: His blog is called O'Reilly Radar - love it!) Here is the checklist version:

1) Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.
2) Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.
3) Consider eliminating anonymous comments.
4) Ignore the trolls.
5) Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.
6) If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.
7) Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.

Here's the full post. has a code of conduct that is worth checking out, too.

And Jimmy Wales at is soliciting bloggers' comments to see about coming to some kind of consensus.

Interesting ideas, huh? This could be a really good moment for blogging, or it could be the "jump the shark" episode. I hope the blogosphere doesn't get institutionalized; I am drawn to the wide-open, emerging, rough-and-tumble feeling of it. But on the other hand, it does tick me off when comments get nasty, and I try to be civil as much as possible.

I'm interested to hear your perspectives. Is blog etiquette something that is unspoken and assumed, or should we make a list? Should the Methoblog community endorse these guidelines? Should we come up with our own "official" list?


Kansas Bob said...

Sorry that I didn't get to input on the other post because I think that blog-commenting civility is something that needs to be discussed. I have been called names when someone doesn't agree with something that I have commented on. I object to it because:

1) It is not civil,
2) It is cowardly,
3) It is dishonest and
4) It is a diversional tactic.

That said I have to say that I think that the golden rule (Matt 7:12) seems to be all that is necessary to maintain civil discourse in blogdom.

I guess that I am okay with anonymity ... kind of comes with the territory.

Blessings, Bob

DannyG said...

Bob beat me to the Golden Rule thought. Really, debate ideas, not people.