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Blogging Policy and Ethics

Posted on May 2nd, 2006
Written by Lee Odden
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    Over the past 2 1/2 years the readership of this blog has grown tremendously though networking within the industry, great search rankings, RSS and email subscribers and syndication. But in that time I’ve never established a blogging policy or standard per se. Now is as good as ever.

    A while back Barry from Search Engine Roundtable posted his code of ethics and I’d like to use that as a basis for mine. Why re-invent the wheel, right?

    The major item I want to clarify is about is privacy in communications I have with people in person, via email or IM. In the past year I’ve been able to meet some amazing people at conferences and industry events. What really got me thinking about this was when I blogged some comments from a conversation I had with Matt Cutts at the Boston WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference. In that conversation I had not mentioned to Matt that I might mention his comments in a blog post. He later asked to clarify, which I did via a mini-interview.

    I don’t think Matt had a problem with me blogging it, as he’s a very public figure and a big part of his job is to distribute information at conferences. However, I would prefer to be more considerate and consistent about what is “bloggable”.
    On a go forward as a default, I will not blog any comments or conversations I have with others via email, phone, in person or IM without permission. Since I’ll be attending/speaking/blogging at least 9 conferences this year, I may blog the fact that I talked to someone, but not the content of that conversation without permission.

    In fact, you can count on that I will blog any publicly posted and available content from other blogs, web sites, press releases or pitches, forums and anything said during a public presentation at a conference. However, private conversations in those venues are kept private.

    This will most likely not affect what I cover a whole lot, but putting it out here in text is a commitment. I agree with Barry, that respect is at the core of what makes an industry blog a credible and reliable resource.