Every manager will one day soon need to give direction to his staff on the Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling of … Web Logs. Every supervisor in any business from pipefitter to preacher needs Blog Management.
The self-policing of “a virtuous people” is necessary to avoid government oversight and intrusion. Or a visit by a camera crew from 60 Minutes.
Your Humble Blogger wrote on this virtue for The Scripps Howard News Service some years ago:
Nobel laureate Milton Friedman has said that a cultural prerequisite of capitalism is the holding of truthfulness as a common virtue. When you can trust a merchant’s word, says Friedman, “it cut[s] down transaction costs.” Without adherence to common moral principles we must substitute external controls to govern business behavior; efficiency demands a framework of standards and accountability.
Substitute “blogger” for “merchant.”
Informal policy guidelines have already been published as many alert readers already know. Guidelines should be added to a manager’s skill set.
Sample Corporate Blogging policy
1. Make it clear that the views expressed in the blog are yours alone and do not necessarily represent the views of your employer.
2. Respect the company’s confidentiality and proprietary information.
3. Ask your manager if you have any questions about what is appropriate to include in your blog.
4. Be respectful to the company, employees, customers, partners, and competitors.
5. Understand when the company asks that topics not be discussed for confidentiality or legal compliance reasons.
6. Ensure that your blogging activity does not interfere with your work commitments.
She also outlines personal blog standards.
Sample Blogger Code Of Ethics
1. I will tell the truth.
2. I will write deliberately and with accuracy.
3. I will acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly.
4. I will preserve the original post, using notations to show where I have made changes so as to maintain the integrity of my publishing.
5. I will never delete a post.
6. I will not delete comments unless they are spam or off-topic.
7. I will reply to emails and comments when appropriate, and do so promptly.
8. I will strive for high quality with every post — including basic spellchecking.
9. I will stay on topic.
10. I will disagree with other opinions respectfully.
11. I will link to online references and original source materials directly.
12. I will disclose conflicts of interest.
13. I will keep private issues and topics private, since discussing private issues would jeopardize my personal and work relationships.
The more we bloggers can maintain our own ethical standards, the less the public will need the heavy hand of the law, except, maybe for spell checking.
daniweb has firing offense.
Tim Worstall has Blog Ethics from the NYT.
Cynthia Webb writes for Washington Post, The Great Blogging Ethics Debate.
…the limited support from bloggers for a blogging code of ethics poses a serious problem for advocates of on-line social responsibility. If any inroads are to be made in terms of bloggers regulating themselves, consensus in the community must be developed.
The Survey has interesting data and graphs. Thank you to Dean’s World.
Martin Kuhn from UNC presented a paper at Harvard on blog ethics,
…it is shown that many bloggers have ranked “factual truth” and “free expression” as the two highest duties of the “good” blogger.