How to Blog with Blogging Ethics in Mind

You can write about anything on your blog, but it’s important to blog ethically. Bloggers do have a code of ethics. As a blogger, you should think about what you write before you publish it, as well as afterwards.

As blogs emerged as a new Web medium, they became associated with some styles of writing and types of content and then a loose set of ethics and standards.

For most old-school bloggers, the word associated with ethical standards and behavior is transparency. This term is used as shorthand for a whole range of ideas:

  • Truth-telling and honesty: In keeping with the diary format of a blog, being transparent on your blog has a lot to do with telling the truth about who you are, why you’re blogging, and what you want to accomplish with your blog.

    The communication on a blog is about being open and honest, dealing straightforwardly with your topics, ideas, and readers. Blogging traditionalists think blogs shouldn’t be used as corporate marketing mechanisms, at least not in the usual sense.

  • Admit mistakes: No one is perfect, and you’ll eventually make a mistake. Whether you post something you heard that turns out not to be true or you blog angry, the real test is how you respond to making a mistake. In the blogosphere, it’s all about owning up to your words, apologizing if you need to, and making corrections when they’re needed.

  • Dialogue: A good blogger is aware of, and responsive to, his readers via the comments that they leave on blog posts. A blog isn’t created in a vacuum. In fact, many bloggers will tell you that a blog is a great tool for building real relationships with people.

The idea that you can use a blog for meaningful interaction is revolutionary for this format. At the core, blogging is about real people talking with each other and sharing real knowledge and experiences.

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