Blog Management



Integrity is still important

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.


Milton Friedman

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.

Charlene Li at Forrester Research (a consulting firm with a blog) wrote on this last year.

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.

A thank you note to Le Pen through Christian Connett at ReciprocityBlog.

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.


WizBang was studying blogging ethics a year ago.

CyberJournalist wrote in 2003 on Blogger’s Code of Ethics.

USC Annenberg has Influence peddling, “Just don’t call yourself a journalist when you’re cashing that check.” And points us to WOMMA.

BL Ochman has whatsnextblog writing on full disclosure.

See Blog Ethics who links to Rebecca Pocket posting weblog ethics.

daniweb has firing offense.

Tim Worstall has Blog Ethics from the NYT.

Cynthia Webb writes for Washington Post, The Great Blogging Ethics Debate.

The Jewish Ethicist posts, Is the blogger responsible for defamatory posts?

From Web Log Ethics Survey Results,

…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.

Imprint has be honest and fair.

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.

BuzzMachine has a review.

Analysis by Christine Hurt at Conglomerate. Thanks to Instapundit. And more. And links to Bill Hobbs.

Update 23 Sept 05: BuzzMarketingWithBlogs has powerpoints. Short and compelling.


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3 Responses

  1. With the Beta of Google’s Blog Search, and the advent of similar services, readers will soon be flocking to the masses of Blogs more so that they are doing today.

    By doing so, businesses, schools, and even law enforcement agencies will soon turn to blogging to deliver their message. I feel that it is vital to have a certain level of ethics to post to your blog (unless of course your intentions are to be the opposite).

    I also believe that when you create a business or more complex blog (other than personal), you could benefit by creating a ‘Blog Plan’. A sort of Business Plan or Process for the Blog. This would aid creation, architecture and purpose of the Blog. Employing the Sample Policy from Charlene Li, and the Code of Ethics would be great additions to the Plan.

    A nod to those that have been blogging for the past few years that have actually stayed with it. I think that most ‘veteran’ bloggers have their eye on the ball, while some of the neophytes are struggling with the difference between a Blog, and a forum.

    To forward thinking…

  2. Jack Yoest says:

    To the Forward Thinking of Christian Connett,

    Yes, I believe that blogs should have a statement of ethics and voluntary self monitoring, if not self control(!) — especially where you highlite the difference between blog and forum.

    There are advocates of “we need no ethics” untamed wilderness Jean-Jacques Rousseau noble savage bloggers. Which may have worked in years months past.

    But not, as you suggest, today.

    Civilization is moving into the wild west.

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