Code of conduct or not?

Tim O’Reilly just posted the draft of a Blogger’s Code of Conduct that he’s hoping we all adopt. I instantly asked the mob hanging out on Twitter what they thought. Brett Nordquist had this funny thought:

“Something tells me the sites with the ‘Anything Goes’ logo will be more interesting.”

I’m not able to currently sign this, either. First I allow anonymous comments. I do watch for hate speech, though, and delete that when it’s found (pretty rare, actually).

Second, I engage with my trolls. Why? Cause if they show up here I think they deserve an answer and I find they often get me to think deeper about the topic that I’m writing about than if we didn’t engage in a little gutter wrestling.

Third, I’ve broken the “talk privately” plank several times before and I’m not sure I would be able to stay true to that one, either. I blog. I don’t back channel. I don’t beg for links behind your back the way many other sites do (and sometimes even require). If I have a problem with something you wrote on your blog I think we should play it out in public. If I’m wrong, that’ll be part of the public record. I don’t like back room “deals” between bloggers. Makes me wonder what else they are doing in the back room. But I do understand the principle here, and, truth be told, I do value opinions of people who do their homework first. When I haven’t done my homework first it’s hurt me.

So, for now, I guess I’d have to wear the “anything goes” badge.

I do find disquieting the social pressure to get on board with this program. Tim O’Reilly is a guy who really can affect one’s career online (and off, too). I do have to admit that I feel some pressure just to get on board here and that makes me feel very uneasy.

How about you?

UPDATE: this is at the top of TechMeme right now too, with tons of comments coming in.

Comments

  1. The one that jumped out at me was “- infringes upon a copyright or trademark” for the reason of, determined by who? It seems like overkill and too litigious minded.

    Overall I think the code goes to far, it needs to broaden a bit

  2. The one that jumped out at me was “- infringes upon a copyright or trademark” for the reason of, determined by who? It seems like overkill and too litigious minded.

    Overall I think the code goes to far, it needs to broaden a bit

  3. Codes of practise fall over in tightly-joined organisations like Public Relations institutes so I’ve got little faith in a community effort like blog labelling ever getting meaningful traction.

    I run blogs that teach Chinese students how to burrow out of censorware proxies and show them how to connect to social media that does not meet with approval of The Great Firewall. If another avenue through the censors is to use the logo of the blogging code, I’ll do it. I’ll hang the logo to help people through the censors but I won’t abide by the anonymous posting restrictions because I need my Irish trolls to stir up discussion. And when I violate the code of conduct, what happens? I doubt that Mena Trott will pull down my blog because she didn’t censor herself when baited by the back channel on stage.

    Visit http://www.sluggerotoole.com and witness the cross-talk and jabbering so essential to across-the-pub discussion about community issues. What appears to be rude and unhelpful to one set of eyes appears authentic and engaging to another.

    If you don’t like the tone, don’t listen.

  4. I agree with you on the “no anonymous posting” bit. I read your blog regularly, but I rarely comment (this post being one of those rare exceptions). If I had to register or go through some sort of e-mail verification procedure each time, quite frankly I wouldn’t bother. Now, given the relative sparseness of my comments, individually I probably wouldn’t be all that great a loss. However, I think that the overall level of conversation benefits from people who see a post they’re interested in being able to easily dash off a quick comment. The more obstacles that are put in the way of casual or one-time posters, the more insular a community will become (I see this phenomena alot on various forums or message boards that require registration). In contrast, a blog that allows quick and easy comments is going to have a lot more fresh blood and encourage people to speak up, rather than just having the same old folks rehashing things again and again. Enabling anonymous comments encourages readers to become part of the conversation.

  5. Codes of practise fall over in tightly-joined organisations like Public Relations institutes so I’ve got little faith in a community effort like blog labelling ever getting meaningful traction.

    I run blogs that teach Chinese students how to burrow out of censorware proxies and show them how to connect to social media that does not meet with approval of The Great Firewall. If another avenue through the censors is to use the logo of the blogging code, I’ll do it. I’ll hang the logo to help people through the censors but I won’t abide by the anonymous posting restrictions because I need my Irish trolls to stir up discussion. And when I violate the code of conduct, what happens? I doubt that Mena Trott will pull down my blog because she didn’t censor herself when baited by the back channel on stage.

    Visit http://www.sluggerotoole.com and witness the cross-talk and jabbering so essential to across-the-pub discussion about community issues. What appears to be rude and unhelpful to one set of eyes appears authentic and engaging to another.

    If you don’t like the tone, don’t listen.

  6. I agree with you on the “no anonymous posting” bit. I read your blog regularly, but I rarely comment (this post being one of those rare exceptions). If I had to register or go through some sort of e-mail verification procedure each time, quite frankly I wouldn’t bother. Now, given the relative sparseness of my comments, individually I probably wouldn’t be all that great a loss. However, I think that the overall level of conversation benefits from people who see a post they’re interested in being able to easily dash off a quick comment. The more obstacles that are put in the way of casual or one-time posters, the more insular a community will become (I see this phenomena alot on various forums or message boards that require registration). In contrast, a blog that allows quick and easy comments is going to have a lot more fresh blood and encourage people to speak up, rather than just having the same old folks rehashing things again and again. Enabling anonymous comments encourages readers to become part of the conversation.

  7. Tim’s “code” is largely common sense and politeness, neither of which may be appropriate for all blog sites.

    I think I’ll have to wear the “anything goes” badge as well… In fact, I think I’ll create a T-Shirt..:-)

    Jon

    P.S. Check out the website – do you think I’ll get a CnD from Apple ?

  8. Tim’s “code” is largely common sense and politeness, neither of which may be appropriate for all blog sites.

    I think I’ll have to wear the “anything goes” badge as well… In fact, I think I’ll create a T-Shirt..:-)

    Jon

    P.S. Check out the website – do you think I’ll get a CnD from Apple ?

  9. We all have to self regulate our good and bad everyday. isn’t a blog a kind of projection of that? I like your blog because it’s honest (except on April 1st)
    If blogs are like the old west, a code may create a group of vigilante enforcers. I would much rather find my own hero than trust a badge.

  10. We all have to self regulate our good and bad everyday. isn’t a blog a kind of projection of that? I like your blog because it’s honest (except on April 1st)
    If blogs are like the old west, a code may create a group of vigilante enforcers. I would much rather find my own hero than trust a badge.

  11. This is the part that I don’t like:

    I do find disquieting the social pressure to get on board with this program. Tim O’Reilly is a guy who really can affect one’s career online (and off, too). I do have to admit that I feel some pressure just to get on board here and that makes me feel very uneasy.

    I allow anonymous comments, partially because I have students that come and comment and don’t really know these supposed rules of blogging. If someone attacks me, I ignore or delete (per my sidebar on comments).

    If Tim does use his power to force others into it, well, that will just suck and ruin a lot of what blogging is supposed to be about. And, well, I’m ignoring the whole Western / US-centric mindset to the argument.

  12. This is the part that I don’t like:

    I do find disquieting the social pressure to get on board with this program. Tim O’Reilly is a guy who really can affect one’s career online (and off, too). I do have to admit that I feel some pressure just to get on board here and that makes me feel very uneasy.

    I allow anonymous comments, partially because I have students that come and comment and don’t really know these supposed rules of blogging. If someone attacks me, I ignore or delete (per my sidebar on comments).

    If Tim does use his power to force others into it, well, that will just suck and ruin a lot of what blogging is supposed to be about. And, well, I’m ignoring the whole Western / US-centric mindset to the argument.

  13. Jeremy: I think Tim is coming from a good place here, it’s just that he might be a bit tone deaf to his role in the industry and how much pressure that can bring to bear.

    Will I stop getting invited to events of his, for instance, if I don’t sign the agreement? I don’t know, but the fact that he put this code out there makes me uneasy because it raises just those kinds of issues and I hope that Tim didn’t mean for them to be raised.

  14. Jeremy: I think Tim is coming from a good place here, it’s just that he might be a bit tone deaf to his role in the industry and how much pressure that can bring to bear.

    Will I stop getting invited to events of his, for instance, if I don’t sign the agreement? I don’t know, but the fact that he put this code out there makes me uneasy because it raises just those kinds of issues and I hope that Tim didn’t mean for them to be raised.

  15. I wouldn’t use that badge or code in its current form, because I disagree with a few minor points, and because the “Civility Enforced” badge has an unpleasant vibe to me.

    Also, this whole thing seems to me a solution in search of a problem. I think most weblogs and forums are perfectly able to establish their own codes of conduct, either formally or informally, badges or not.

    Would the whole Kathy Sierra incident have been different if the site in question had an “Anything Goes” badge? I don’t think so.

    I’m posting this anonymously because I have worked with O’Reilly and probably will again, and I too feel pressure. How would taking away this anonymity help?

  16. I wouldn’t use that badge or code in its current form, because I disagree with a few minor points, and because the “Civility Enforced” badge has an unpleasant vibe to me.

    Also, this whole thing seems to me a solution in search of a problem. I think most weblogs and forums are perfectly able to establish their own codes of conduct, either formally or informally, badges or not.

    Would the whole Kathy Sierra incident have been different if the site in question had an “Anything Goes” badge? I don’t think so.

    I’m posting this anonymously because I have worked with O’Reilly and probably will again, and I too feel pressure. How would taking away this anonymity help?

  17. Man, sometimes I think of you as the Nascar Dad of blogging, and I’m in a different demographic.

    But this post was great — yes, civil liberties have a social cost and we should be (and feel) free to pay them. The alternatives are worse. And bonus points for the pithy lines about gutter-wrestling trolls.

    Assuming that the internet otherwise stays free from government and monopolistic interference, I suppose that social self-regulation is the most likely form of censorship that we can look forward to. Inevitable? Dunno, but somehow reminds me of the EU (must be my international relations degree bouncing around in my head).

  18. Man, sometimes I think of you as the Nascar Dad of blogging, and I’m in a different demographic.

    But this post was great — yes, civil liberties have a social cost and we should be (and feel) free to pay them. The alternatives are worse. And bonus points for the pithy lines about gutter-wrestling trolls.

    Assuming that the internet otherwise stays free from government and monopolistic interference, I suppose that social self-regulation is the most likely form of censorship that we can look forward to. Inevitable? Dunno, but somehow reminds me of the EU (must be my international relations degree bouncing around in my head).

  19. I’m glad to hear that you’ve got some trepidation about signing on as well. I read the first part of the code and got excited that I’d be able to sign on and champion its use, but was disappointed by the end.

    In my opinion, this code should be clear and concise about exactly what we won’t tolerate on our blogs.

    The initial list is great:
    “We define unacceptable content as anything included or linked to that:
    - is being used to abuse, harass, stalk, or threaten others
    - is libelous, knowingly false, ad-hominem, or misrepresents another person,
    - infringes upon a copyright or trademark
    - violates an obligation of confidentiality
    - violates the privacy of others”

    Beyond that, the code moves into grey areas and blogging behavior (such as feeding trolls) that are harder to get on board with.

    We’re thinking hard about this same issue at clipmarks, and it’s a fine line to draw.

    Making the call about what is acceptable and what’s not, specifically discerning between passionate debate and disrespectful flamewars, is hard.

    At PodCampNYC Andrea Madho suggested using a Supreme Court style odd-numbered group of arbiters from the community to vet comments. When a comment or post is flagged as objectionable, it goes to the council who votes on its appropriateness. For a larger community site like Clipmarks, turning those decisions back out to the community could help us avoid the temptation to impose our own views on the site’s conversation.

    It’s important to recognize that as we talk about shaping the conversation to be respectful and civil, our biases can have a tendency to unintentionally creep while you’re actually moderating the conversation. I’ve done a few turns as a slashdot meta-moderator, and I’ve had to actively prevent myself from dismissing a comment simply because it was passionately argued viewpoint that I disagreed with.

    Everyone speaks and argues differently, but I believe many of us can agree to a code that defines clearly unacceptable behavior . Beyond that, it gets very sticky.

  20. I’m glad to hear that you’ve got some trepidation about signing on as well. I read the first part of the code and got excited that I’d be able to sign on and champion its use, but was disappointed by the end.

    In my opinion, this code should be clear and concise about exactly what we won’t tolerate on our blogs.

    The initial list is great:
    “We define unacceptable content as anything included or linked to that:
    - is being used to abuse, harass, stalk, or threaten others
    - is libelous, knowingly false, ad-hominem, or misrepresents another person,
    - infringes upon a copyright or trademark
    - violates an obligation of confidentiality
    - violates the privacy of others”

    Beyond that, the code moves into grey areas and blogging behavior (such as feeding trolls) that are harder to get on board with.

    We’re thinking hard about this same issue at clipmarks, and it’s a fine line to draw.

    Making the call about what is acceptable and what’s not, specifically discerning between passionate debate and disrespectful flamewars, is hard.

    At PodCampNYC Andrea Madho suggested using a Supreme Court style odd-numbered group of arbiters from the community to vet comments. When a comment or post is flagged as objectionable, it goes to the council who votes on its appropriateness. For a larger community site like Clipmarks, turning those decisions back out to the community could help us avoid the temptation to impose our own views on the site’s conversation.

    It’s important to recognize that as we talk about shaping the conversation to be respectful and civil, our biases can have a tendency to unintentionally creep while you’re actually moderating the conversation. I’ve done a few turns as a slashdot meta-moderator, and I’ve had to actively prevent myself from dismissing a comment simply because it was passionately argued viewpoint that I disagreed with.

    Everyone speaks and argues differently, but I believe many of us can agree to a code that defines clearly unacceptable behavior . Beyond that, it gets very sticky.

  21. Oh, and I didn’t call Tim to ask him about these issues before posting this. If I had to call everyone I blog about to check what they intended behind their writing I’d just stop writing a blog. Which is just one of the reasons I don’t like this code of conduct FOR ME. It might be fine for you, though.

    Also, I was quoted in the New York Times today saying I’m against increasing the rules on my speech. Makes me feel like I live in Iran, I told the NYT. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/09/technology/09blog.html?ex=1333771200&en=0ac52f05a37e88fd&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

  22. Oh, and I didn’t call Tim to ask him about these issues before posting this. If I had to call everyone I blog about to check what they intended behind their writing I’d just stop writing a blog. Which is just one of the reasons I don’t like this code of conduct FOR ME. It might be fine for you, though.

    Also, I was quoted in the New York Times today saying I’m against increasing the rules on my speech. Makes me feel like I live in Iran, I told the NYT. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/09/technology/09blog.html?ex=1333771200&en=0ac52f05a37e88fd&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

  23. The concept of a code of conduct for bloggers is not a new one. As I pointed out in the comments on Tim’s post, the UK company, Segala, has been going on about a code of conduct for bloggers for a little while now. This would really have to develop into a more formal structure that accredits bloggers if this is going to be of any use. There will be far more bloggers not party to the code than will be so there has to be a reason to listen to the smaller number of bloggers.

  24. The concept of a code of conduct for bloggers is not a new one. As I pointed out in the comments on Tim’s post, the UK company, Segala, has been going on about a code of conduct for bloggers for a little while now. This would really have to develop into a more formal structure that accredits bloggers if this is going to be of any use. There will be far more bloggers not party to the code than will be so there has to be a reason to listen to the smaller number of bloggers.

  25. Sigh. My question on these is always: Who Enforces The Code Of Conduct?

    Any hand-wave like “self-regulating” or “the community” means in practice, the A-list does whatever they want, due to the power imbalance.

  26. Sigh. My question on these is always: Who Enforces The Code Of Conduct?

    Any hand-wave like “self-regulating” or “the community” means in practice, the A-list does whatever they want, due to the power imbalance.

  27. Seth: someday I’d love for you to be an A-lister. It’s not as much fun as you might expect. The closer you get to real celebrity the more some people want to rip you down. And, when you have a career on the line rather than just a blog that 18 people are reading you tend to be more careful about how you behave. Of course there are exceptions! But I don’t have enough money to ride out any storm.

  28. Seth: someday I’d love for you to be an A-lister. It’s not as much fun as you might expect. The closer you get to real celebrity the more some people want to rip you down. And, when you have a career on the line rather than just a blog that 18 people are reading you tend to be more careful about how you behave. Of course there are exceptions! But I don’t have enough money to ride out any storm.

  29. Robert, I understand that it’s not all quotes and conferences. That celebrity has a downside. However, that doesn’t address my point, that there’s no way for the powerless to hold the powerful to account in the proposed code of conduct. Saying it’s a tough job to be a dictator (and it is – number 2 means being dead!) doesn’t adress the problem with having no judicial system except friends in the junta.

  30. Robert, I understand that it’s not all quotes and conferences. That celebrity has a downside. However, that doesn’t address my point, that there’s no way for the powerless to hold the powerful to account in the proposed code of conduct. Saying it’s a tough job to be a dictator (and it is – number 2 means being dead!) doesn’t adress the problem with having no judicial system except friends in the junta.

  31. Seth: well, at least in my case, I disagree. I read everything people write about me and take it all seriously. Even someone with only two readers gets heard by me and, if I do something that pisses off even a small group of people it DOES get heard (and sometimes very loudly).

    Just watch Twitter. I’m listening to 2500 people there. Any one of them could get heard.

  32. First off a blogger code of conduct is certainly a LOT better than any form of accreditation but I think the Tim O’Reilly code is a bit too detailed.

    A better code would be one that kept to a few basic bullet points – a sort of ‘this is what we’re not’ for bloggers.

    The Beeb recently went through a long winded staff consultation process to come up with a code of conduct for staff bloggers and in the end the best approach was the simplest one.

    I think that approach would work well across the blogosphere – and as has already been mentioned the first part of the code would be enough.

  33. Seth: well, at least in my case, I disagree. I read everything people write about me and take it all seriously. Even someone with only two readers gets heard by me and, if I do something that pisses off even a small group of people it DOES get heard (and sometimes very loudly).

    Just watch Twitter. I’m listening to 2500 people there. Any one of them could get heard.

  34. First off a blogger code of conduct is certainly a LOT better than any form of accreditation but I think the Tim O’Reilly code is a bit too detailed.

    A better code would be one that kept to a few basic bullet points – a sort of ‘this is what we’re not’ for bloggers.

    The Beeb recently went through a long winded staff consultation process to come up with a code of conduct for staff bloggers and in the end the best approach was the simplest one.

    I think that approach would work well across the blogosphere – and as has already been mentioned the first part of the code would be enough.

  35. Code of conduct? Those that would follow it already do follow a sensible approach to online interaction that mirrors their offline approach. Those that will not, will still not. I do not want to be negative but laws apply whether online or offline, but the degree of evidence left by online nastiness allows the law to be more effective. The only deficiency I see with standard law online is one of which law? which legal definition?

  36. Code of conduct? Those that would follow it already do follow a sensible approach to online interaction that mirrors their offline approach. Those that will not, will still not. I do not want to be negative but laws apply whether online or offline, but the degree of evidence left by online nastiness allows the law to be more effective. The only deficiency I see with standard law online is one of which law? which legal definition?

  37. Any lottery ticket COULD win. Virtually none of them will. This is basic mathematics.

    Again, you are confusing a statement that the life of a junta member may be filled with rivalry and intrigue – quite likely true, and not disputed – with the issue that such an insider can in general attack anyone below with no consequences.

    Even literal dictators can be overthrown by their enemies or by a popular rebellion. But a dictatorship is still rife with abuse of power and lack of accountability.

  38. Any lottery ticket COULD win. Virtually none of them will. This is basic mathematics.

    Again, you are confusing a statement that the life of a junta member may be filled with rivalry and intrigue – quite likely true, and not disputed – with the issue that such an insider can in general attack anyone below with no consequences.

    Even literal dictators can be overthrown by their enemies or by a popular rebellion. But a dictatorship is still rife with abuse of power and lack of accountability.

  39. I think it is generally a good thing for social media websites, including blogs, to clearly state the behavior that they expect from participants so that there are no surprises. The problem I see is that there is a whole lot of room between Tim O’Reilly’s code of “Civility Enforced” and “Anything Goes”.

    A better approach that would better reflect the spirit of Web 2.0 would be for bloggingcode.org to enable bloggers and other social sites the capability to roll their own Code of Conduct that suits them, yet have it badged in a clear symbolic fashion. Something akin to Creative Commons licenses.

    I prefer civility in the blogs I frequent and am troubled by the recent events that have brought this on but a one-size fits all solution and a sheriff’s badge is not the answer.

    One side question: Any lawyers out there know what kind of potential additional liability for blog comments a blog owner may face by implementing the code?

  40. I think it is generally a good thing for social media websites, including blogs, to clearly state the behavior that they expect from participants so that there are no surprises. The problem I see is that there is a whole lot of room between Tim O’Reilly’s code of “Civility Enforced” and “Anything Goes”.

    A better approach that would better reflect the spirit of Web 2.0 would be for bloggingcode.org to enable bloggers and other social sites the capability to roll their own Code of Conduct that suits them, yet have it badged in a clear symbolic fashion. Something akin to Creative Commons licenses.

    I prefer civility in the blogs I frequent and am troubled by the recent events that have brought this on but a one-size fits all solution and a sheriff’s badge is not the answer.

    One side question: Any lawyers out there know what kind of potential additional liability for blog comments a blog owner may face by implementing the code?

  41. Seth: that’s laughable.

    I dare you to get A list status and then start attacking those with lower status, whether real or just perceived.

    You’ll get called every name in the book, starting with arrogant egotistical etc.

    You’ll also see your best readers unsubscribe.

    Why do I know this? I’m going to take the fifth now. :-)

  42. Seth: that’s laughable.

    I dare you to get A list status and then start attacking those with lower status, whether real or just perceived.

    You’ll get called every name in the book, starting with arrogant egotistical etc.

    You’ll also see your best readers unsubscribe.

    Why do I know this? I’m going to take the fifth now. :-)

  43. I can’t give examples because of the implications. But they are not difficult to find.

    But that’s a bit like saying “I dare you to become dictator and start killing people – you’ll get called names and the best people will flee the country”. None of which prevents dictatorships from existing.

  44. I can’t give examples because of the implications. But they are not difficult to find.

    But that’s a bit like saying “I dare you to become dictator and start killing people – you’ll get called names and the best people will flee the country”. None of which prevents dictatorships from existing.

  45. I find no pressure at all to get on board. I don’t think the idea is a bad one but I think a framework would be better than a completed policy.

    Perhaps a blogger code microformat? that way each blogs own code would be easily available to visitors, and each could be different.

    As you have quickly found Robert, it is easy to find on e or two points that you just can’t sign up to.

  46. I find no pressure at all to get on board. I don’t think the idea is a bad one but I think a framework would be better than a completed policy.

    Perhaps a blogger code microformat? that way each blogs own code would be easily available to visitors, and each could be different.

    As you have quickly found Robert, it is easy to find on e or two points that you just can’t sign up to.

  47. Tim O’Reilly notoriously stated silent on the fact that folks shouldn’t be convicted in the court of public opinion. Likewise, if he were to take the high road, he might have put money where his mouth is by contributing to charities that prevent abuse against women. However, you won’t see this happen as his sole goal is press…

  48. Tim O’Reilly notoriously stated silent on the fact that folks shouldn’t be convicted in the court of public opinion. Likewise, if he were to take the high road, he might have put money where his mouth is by contributing to charities that prevent abuse against women. However, you won’t see this happen as his sole goal is press…

  49. I’m not interested in this particular code of conduct. It becomes yet another tool where the upstanding have to shoulder the burden for all the infarctions of the wrongdoers. As someone who takes off his shoes once a week to board a plane, and as someone who has to repeatedly re-type capcha I get wrong, I’m not in the mood to add more requirements to my life, especially my blogging.

  50. I’m not interested in this particular code of conduct. It becomes yet another tool where the upstanding have to shoulder the burden for all the infarctions of the wrongdoers. As someone who takes off his shoes once a week to board a plane, and as someone who has to repeatedly re-type capcha I get wrong, I’m not in the mood to add more requirements to my life, especially my blogging.

  51. Remember this is only a first draft and will change. If you don’t like this but think the idea has promise, go to wikia and engage with editing it!

    Personally though on the whole I like it.

  52. Remember this is only a first draft and will change. If you don’t like this but think the idea has promise, go to wikia and engage with editing it!

    Personally though on the whole I like it.

  53. This one:

    5. We do not allow anonymous comments.
    We require commenters to supply a valid email address before they can post, though we allow commenters to identify themselves with an alias, rather than their real name.

    Is just fucking inane. First, tell me how you’re going to prove it’s a “valid” email address. Right, so that’s crap. Secondly, if you allow them to use an alias?

    THAT’S AN ANONYMOUS COMMENT.

  54. This one:

    5. We do not allow anonymous comments.
    We require commenters to supply a valid email address before they can post, though we allow commenters to identify themselves with an alias, rather than their real name.

    Is just fucking inane. First, tell me how you’re going to prove it’s a “valid” email address. Right, so that’s crap. Secondly, if you allow them to use an alias?

    THAT’S AN ANONYMOUS COMMENT.

  55. As a suggested or recommended roster of professional ethics, a code of conduct is a mark of a maturing industry. But, an intent to police this in some fashion smacks of vigilantism. This kind of thing only works in professions like medicine and law where the professional associations can remove the license that’s needed to practice.

    What this flap ought to do is remind us all that putting content — a comment — on someone else’s publication is a privilege, not a right. A blog is not a public bulletin board unless the person running the blog says it is. Even then you can’t escape responsibility for everything that’s published on your blog. The software allows us to authenticate comments, moderate them, etc. It’s our decision and the results are our responsibility.

  56. As a suggested or recommended roster of professional ethics, a code of conduct is a mark of a maturing industry. But, an intent to police this in some fashion smacks of vigilantism. This kind of thing only works in professions like medicine and law where the professional associations can remove the license that’s needed to practice.

    What this flap ought to do is remind us all that putting content — a comment — on someone else’s publication is a privilege, not a right. A blog is not a public bulletin board unless the person running the blog says it is. Even then you can’t escape responsibility for everything that’s published on your blog. The software allows us to authenticate comments, moderate them, etc. It’s our decision and the results are our responsibility.

  57. Dan, I don’t want to “engage with editing it”. First of all, stop using engage that way, it’s inane. Secondly, I don’t want my name to be directly tied to something that astoundingly stupid. You want to try to legislate civility, that’s your windmill. Me? Not my farm, not my pig, and I’ll thank you and the rest of the politeness patrol to stay the hell away from both my farm and my pig.

    Especially since you’re so eager to hound people you don’t like off the internet. In fact, reading more of your blog, you’re all about “guilty until proven innocent” with a nice side helping of “if you’re accused by someone I like, you’re obviously guilty.” Great job there, by the way. I know some folks in the Southern U.S. who’d like your style. Of course you like the idea, it would give you a badge to wear in your campaign to cleanse the Internet.

    I’ll say this though. If you think you’re gonna hound people like me off of anywhere, you better pack a lunch and bring a sleeping bag, ’cause you’re going to be in for a loooot of work, and it ain’t going to be fun.

    Robert…don’t get on board with this. It’s just giving lynch mobs a veneer of legitimacy.

  58. Dan, I don’t want to “engage with editing it”. First of all, stop using engage that way, it’s inane. Secondly, I don’t want my name to be directly tied to something that astoundingly stupid. You want to try to legislate civility, that’s your windmill. Me? Not my farm, not my pig, and I’ll thank you and the rest of the politeness patrol to stay the hell away from both my farm and my pig.

    Especially since you’re so eager to hound people you don’t like off the internet. In fact, reading more of your blog, you’re all about “guilty until proven innocent” with a nice side helping of “if you’re accused by someone I like, you’re obviously guilty.” Great job there, by the way. I know some folks in the Southern U.S. who’d like your style. Of course you like the idea, it would give you a badge to wear in your campaign to cleanse the Internet.

    I’ll say this though. If you think you’re gonna hound people like me off of anywhere, you better pack a lunch and bring a sleeping bag, ’cause you’re going to be in for a loooot of work, and it ain’t going to be fun.

    Robert…don’t get on board with this. It’s just giving lynch mobs a veneer of legitimacy.

  59. When there is a code in place – the most interesting blogs will become the ones that tread closest to the edges. :)
    Rules are for a reason – they are meant to be broken and its a lot of fun when they are.

  60. When there is a code in place – the most interesting blogs will become the ones that tread closest to the edges. :)
    Rules are for a reason – they are meant to be broken and its a lot of fun when they are.

  61. I have been critical, sometimes strongly, of Tim O’Reilly in my space for years and I’m still writing books for him. More, I’ve been critical of his friends.

    Tim would no more retaliate against a person who disagrees with him then he would invite a person to foocamp just because they whine about it.

  62. I have been critical, sometimes strongly, of Tim O’Reilly in my space for years and I’m still writing books for him. More, I’ve been critical of his friends.

    Tim would no more retaliate against a person who disagrees with him then he would invite a person to foocamp just because they whine about it.

  63. Eh. An arbitrary code written by anyone other than a blog’s writer (or writers) is irrelevant.

    I’m nowhere near popular enough to feel pressured to buy into any such agreement, but, legislating the blogosphere isn’t going to change anything.

    I write a blog, I make and enforce my rules. It’s a personal responsibility type of thing to me.

  64. Eh. An arbitrary code written by anyone other than a blog’s writer (or writers) is irrelevant.

    I’m nowhere near popular enough to feel pressured to buy into any such agreement, but, legislating the blogosphere isn’t going to change anything.

    I write a blog, I make and enforce my rules. It’s a personal responsibility type of thing to me.

  65. Robert,

    Just read the NYT piece from a link off Drudge and wow – you “feel like you live in Iran” …?

    What a load of BS. Why don’t you go live there for a while with the jihadi’s and come back and tell us how awful America is again. As a constantly self annointed “A Lister” you are just …… laughable.

  66. Robert,

    Just read the NYT piece from a link off Drudge and wow – you “feel like you live in Iran” …?

    What a load of BS. Why don’t you go live there for a while with the jihadi’s and come back and tell us how awful America is again. As a constantly self annointed “A Lister” you are just …… laughable.

  67. Don’t change the way you do things. Your openness and policies are the best and should be adopted by others. Anonymity and privacy are important principles and lead to a freer exchange of ideas and opinions. Of course, there are some downsides, but they are easily outweighed by the benefits (even though it might not seem like that sometimes). This code of conduct is a bad reaction to a bad situation.

    I hope you don’t cave into the pressure. Keep up the good work!

  68. Don’t change the way you do things. Your openness and policies are the best and should be adopted by others. Anonymity and privacy are important principles and lead to a freer exchange of ideas and opinions. Of course, there are some downsides, but they are easily outweighed by the benefits (even though it might not seem like that sometimes). This code of conduct is a bad reaction to a bad situation.

    I hope you don’t cave into the pressure. Keep up the good work!

  69. I want to know how the Web 2.0 conference got prominently mentioned in the NYTimes again just days before it begins, that’s a PR coup.

  70. I want to know how the Web 2.0 conference got prominently mentioned in the NYTimes again just days before it begins, that’s a PR coup.

  71. Bloggers’ Code of Conduct vs. Free Market

    It never ceases to amaze me how the knee-jerk reaction to  deal with problems is to create regulations: Governments, Municipalities, Homeowners’ Associations..etc – they all think the best way to reach harmony is by regulating everything.&nb…

  72. I don’t like^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H disagree with all six points.

    http://www.bytehead.org/blog/2007_04_01_archive.php#113475080167610481

    And I almost choked to death when Dave Winer said over the first Twitter conference call about how everybody wants to be an A-lister. Not me! Before I could get a word out, we were already on a different subject! Sigh. Oh well. We introverts have to suffer with you extroverts.

    Me? As somebody blogged in Gruntled Employees, the best blogging rule is the shortest: Be professional.

  73. I don’t like^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H disagree with all six points.

    http://www.bytehead.org/blog/2007_04_01_archive.php#113475080167610481

    And I almost choked to death when Dave Winer said over the first Twitter conference call about how everybody wants to be an A-lister. Not me! Before I could get a word out, we were already on a different subject! Sigh. Oh well. We introverts have to suffer with you extroverts.

    Me? As somebody blogged in Gruntled Employees, the best blogging rule is the shortest: Be professional.

  74. Scoble you feisty wildcat, I have such STROOOONGGG feelings for you. I will do unspeakably kind things to you and your family. I will give your grandmother a birthday card containing only my deepest wishes. You’d better watch your back. I’m searching for your house on Google Maps and when I find it I’m going to break inside with all my friends and throw you a shockingly exciting surprise party.

  75. Scoble you feisty wildcat, I have such STROOOONGGG feelings for you. I will do unspeakably kind things to you and your family. I will give your grandmother a birthday card containing only my deepest wishes. You’d better watch your back. I’m searching for your house on Google Maps and when I find it I’m going to break inside with all my friends and throw you a shockingly exciting surprise party.

  76. It may not have been Tim’s original intent, but people are already starting to use this to draw a black-and-white line between “follows the ‘Civility Enforced’ rules and ‘Anything Goes’.” Which is nonsense. There is a lot of room for bloggers of good faith who don’t agree with with one or more of the (in my opinion overbearing) O’Reilly-backed rules to run civil upstanding blogs, but they’re going to get lumped in with the freefire zones as this debate degenerates to namecalling.

  77. It may not have been Tim’s original intent, but people are already starting to use this to draw a black-and-white line between “follows the ‘Civility Enforced’ rules and ‘Anything Goes’.” Which is nonsense. There is a lot of room for bloggers of good faith who don’t agree with with one or more of the (in my opinion overbearing) O’Reilly-backed rules to run civil upstanding blogs, but they’re going to get lumped in with the freefire zones as this debate degenerates to namecalling.

  78. Tim would no more retaliate against a person who disagrees with him then he would invite a person to foocamp just because they whine about it.

    Tim may not, but the people jumping on this thing with nigh-religious fervor? Like someone once said, “Jesus? Jesus I like. His followers however scare the shit out of me.” Tim may be full of nothing but good intentions, but there is no way he can own this, and keep it from becoming a morality play. Luckily, silliness like this usually dies out on its own, because people start realizing that it’s simply not going to work.

  79. Tim would no more retaliate against a person who disagrees with him then he would invite a person to foocamp just because they whine about it.

    Tim may not, but the people jumping on this thing with nigh-religious fervor? Like someone once said, “Jesus? Jesus I like. His followers however scare the shit out of me.” Tim may be full of nothing but good intentions, but there is no way he can own this, and keep it from becoming a morality play. Luckily, silliness like this usually dies out on its own, because people start realizing that it’s simply not going to work.

  80. For once, I agree…

    And enforceable by whom? Tim and his Merry Men gang? There are other publishers, free market you know. But a good biz person learns to divide the lines between political issues, and even on such, enemies on one issue, friends on another…Wash DC style.

  81. For once, I agree…

    And enforceable by whom? Tim and his Merry Men gang? There are other publishers, free market you know. But a good biz person learns to divide the lines between political issues, and even on such, enemies on one issue, friends on another…Wash DC style.

  82. Nope, not gonna wear that badge either.

    Just roll your own code. Keep it to three lines or less. Post it right above your comment box. Stick to it. How simple is that?

  83. Nope, not gonna wear that badge either.

    Just roll your own code. Keep it to three lines or less. Post it right above your comment box. Stick to it. How simple is that?

  84. For the record, I had nothing to do with this Code of Conduct, was not involved in any discussion, and I can’t see how it would have made any difference at all in my situation. I understand that my post was the spark that started these conversations, but I don’t see how this is different from a comment policy. If people are determined to threaten and intimidate you, they can do it on other blogs, and when challenged–one can claim they were hacked and impersonated, so… there’s nothing you can do.

    The ONLY thing I wish would happen is that group blogs take responsibility for what their co-authors write, or at least once those co-authors are made aware of it that they stop promoting the sites. As for the notion of writing to the people publicly first, I tried that — I wrote to the ones whose emails I knew– Frank and Jeneane–more than a week before I went public…

    No, I can’t see how this Code of Conduct will change anything, because the blogosphere is not a community. I had mistakenly thought there were *sub* communities, like “tech blogging community” or “women tech blogging community”, but that was a figment. I actually no longer think anything can be done other than growing a much thicker skin, a much stronger stomach, and a willingness to have your kids exposed to the kinds of content my daughters got to see and read about me. That’s why I am NOT coming back… at least not as a sole blogger, or under my own name. Whatever causes people to want to hate and intimidate people with visibility–regardless of their topic and writing– will be unaffected by this Code of Conduct.

    I support Tim in trying to do *something*, and again– I had nothing to do with (and knew nothing about) this. But I don’t think anything–can be done. This isn’t about the dark side of the interent or blogs– it’s about people who prefer to be cruel and threatening. The internet just makes it much easier to do it from a distance.

    I spent the last two years writing about my optimism about blogs and the wonderful opportunity it gave us. I was so wrong. The threatening emails, photos, outright lying posts, and having all my personal data (ss, home address, etc.) posted all over the net SINCE I went public have proved that to me once and for all.

  85. For the record, I had nothing to do with this Code of Conduct, was not involved in any discussion, and I can’t see how it would have made any difference at all in my situation. I understand that my post was the spark that started these conversations, but I don’t see how this is different from a comment policy. If people are determined to threaten and intimidate you, they can do it on other blogs, and when challenged–one can claim they were hacked and impersonated, so… there’s nothing you can do.

    The ONLY thing I wish would happen is that group blogs take responsibility for what their co-authors write, or at least once those co-authors are made aware of it that they stop promoting the sites. As for the notion of writing to the people publicly first, I tried that — I wrote to the ones whose emails I knew– Frank and Jeneane–more than a week before I went public…

    No, I can’t see how this Code of Conduct will change anything, because the blogosphere is not a community. I had mistakenly thought there were *sub* communities, like “tech blogging community” or “women tech blogging community”, but that was a figment. I actually no longer think anything can be done other than growing a much thicker skin, a much stronger stomach, and a willingness to have your kids exposed to the kinds of content my daughters got to see and read about me. That’s why I am NOT coming back… at least not as a sole blogger, or under my own name. Whatever causes people to want to hate and intimidate people with visibility–regardless of their topic and writing– will be unaffected by this Code of Conduct.

    I support Tim in trying to do *something*, and again– I had nothing to do with (and knew nothing about) this. But I don’t think anything–can be done. This isn’t about the dark side of the interent or blogs– it’s about people who prefer to be cruel and threatening. The internet just makes it much easier to do it from a distance.

    I spent the last two years writing about my optimism about blogs and the wonderful opportunity it gave us. I was so wrong. The threatening emails, photos, outright lying posts, and having all my personal data (ss, home address, etc.) posted all over the net SINCE I went public have proved that to me once and for all.

  86. John C, I haven’t seen *anyone* jumping on this thing with nigh-religious fervor – can you point to some examples? There were a few who expressed vague support, a few who expressed support in principle so long as there was a big edit job first and perferrably several versions/variants available (I fall into that category), and then there was an enormous mob screaming blue murder about censorship, which I think is an *excellent* refutation of SethF’s claims that the “Pilot Fish” tend to fall in behind the “A listers”…I blogged about that, just seems wrong to me.

  87. John C, I haven’t seen *anyone* jumping on this thing with nigh-religious fervor – can you point to some examples? There were a few who expressed vague support, a few who expressed support in principle so long as there was a big edit job first and perferrably several versions/variants available (I fall into that category), and then there was an enormous mob screaming blue murder about censorship, which I think is an *excellent* refutation of SethF’s claims that the “Pilot Fish” tend to fall in behind the “A listers”…I blogged about that, just seems wrong to me.

  88. “Tim O’Reilly is a guy who really can affect one’s career online”

    Tim is being a dork. :-) Tell him to bugger off and you do whatever you want.

    He’s doing nothing but turning blogging into a members only club where all the “cool kids” have badges and “enforce civility”….give me a break. There is enough “back scratching” going on in blogging, it needs to be shaken up a bit.

  89. “Tim O’Reilly is a guy who really can affect one’s career online”

    Tim is being a dork. :-) Tell him to bugger off and you do whatever you want.

    He’s doing nothing but turning blogging into a members only club where all the “cool kids” have badges and “enforce civility”….give me a break. There is enough “back scratching” going on in blogging, it needs to be shaken up a bit.

  90. Kathy’s comment concerns me. Kathy is a fabulous blogger, my favourite of all time, and she’s decided that blogging just isn’t safe any more for her and and her family, and she can’t see any way that things might improve. Now, that’s a tragedy if ever I saw one.

    No doubt, her mood has not helped by the scorn heaped upon her by the cynical masses who can’t imagine why a popular and friendly blogger who is also a mother would want to live free from sporadic death threats and crazy misogynist photoshop work.

    At the moment you really do need a tough skin to survive any sort of popularity online, but I haven’t given up hope and I think things can improve a smidgen, and I think Tim’s a brave man for suggesting that might be the case. BTW he’s got out of bed and made some comments over on his original blog post that improve his case (to my mind, anyway).

    More commentary on my blog. But now I really must sleep.

  91. Kathy’s comment concerns me. Kathy is a fabulous blogger, my favourite of all time, and she’s decided that blogging just isn’t safe any more for her and and her family, and she can’t see any way that things might improve. Now, that’s a tragedy if ever I saw one.

    No doubt, her mood has not helped by the scorn heaped upon her by the cynical masses who can’t imagine why a popular and friendly blogger who is also a mother would want to live free from sporadic death threats and crazy misogynist photoshop work.

    At the moment you really do need a tough skin to survive any sort of popularity online, but I haven’t given up hope and I think things can improve a smidgen, and I think Tim’s a brave man for suggesting that might be the case. BTW he’s got out of bed and made some comments over on his original blog post that improve his case (to my mind, anyway).

    More commentary on my blog. But now I really must sleep.

  92. This code of conduct is going to be as successful as the attentiontrust gibberish that very few people paid attention to.

  93. Thoughts:

    1. The blogs who are more apt to sign up for this are those that are already following the code anyhow – meaning it’s not going to solve anything.

    2. As Tony Hung asked earlier – whose going to enforce this? Is a blog police going to be randomly checking blogs with the badge and testing compliance?

    3. This sounds like yet another barrier towards encouraging open debate on blogs. Blogging is challenging enough already and now it’s like, oh you want to start a blog? By the way, here’s a code of conduct you need to follow.

    I’m thinking I”m just going to add a comments policy on my about page and be done with it. I already moderate my comments personally, anyhow…

  94. Thoughts:

    1. The blogs who are more apt to sign up for this are those that are already following the code anyhow – meaning it’s not going to solve anything.

    2. As Tony Hung asked earlier – whose going to enforce this? Is a blog police going to be randomly checking blogs with the badge and testing compliance?

    3. This sounds like yet another barrier towards encouraging open debate on blogs. Blogging is challenging enough already and now it’s like, oh you want to start a blog? By the way, here’s a code of conduct you need to follow.

    I’m thinking I”m just going to add a comments policy on my about page and be done with it. I already moderate my comments personally, anyhow…

  95. Not really getting into this whole eternal sideshow, but you know, this just loads everyone up for a NYT divebomb of blogs and social media as untamed “wild west zones” and that can’t be good for the (halfway real almond-tree stuff) from Jeremiah. Expect tons of further attention, as this plays directly into journalistic agendas.

  96. Not really getting into this whole eternal sideshow, but you know, this just loads everyone up for a NYT divebomb of blogs and social media as untamed “wild west zones” and that can’t be good for the (halfway real almond-tree stuff) from Jeremiah. Expect tons of further attention, as this plays directly into journalistic agendas.

  97. sometimes, the reason why a code exist, is simply because:
    someone created it, just so another can break it.
    when another breaks it, the someone takes pleasure in punishing them…

    twisted, but true.

  98. sometimes, the reason why a code exist, is simply because:
    someone created it, just so another can break it.
    when another breaks it, the someone takes pleasure in punishing them…

    twisted, but true.

  99. I didn’t have time to read all the comments but it seems that a lot of folks are content to just “agree” that bad behavior, like what happened to Kathy Sierra, should be stopped but aren’t willing to help stop it.

    Robert, on this very blog you said:
    “The Internet culture is really disgusting. Today when I was on Justin.TV the kinds of things that people were discussing in the chat room there were just totally disgusting and over the top.

    We have to fix this culture. For the next week, let’s discuss how.”

    Today you’re saying you’ll stick to anything goes… how exactly are you helping out? What is that you’re actually willing to do? Anything goes is a far cry from fixing the internet culture and is actually just enabling those that perpetuate the disgusting part.

    I’m not saying you’re the disgusting one… I’m saying that it’s time to put up or shut up. Anyone really interested in shutting off the crap should do it instead of just talking about it when something bad happens.

    You and others raised hell a week ago and said it was time to do something. Now Tim has done something, or at least started, and I see folks not saying “yeah, thats fine, but it restricts me too much so count me out. I’m not willing to make any sacrifices.”

    You’re a smart guy and you know blogging as well as anyone so where’s your code of conduct? If you don’t like his version then write your own draft… make good on your words and contribute.

  100. I didn’t have time to read all the comments but it seems that a lot of folks are content to just “agree” that bad behavior, like what happened to Kathy Sierra, should be stopped but aren’t willing to help stop it.

    Robert, on this very blog you said:
    “The Internet culture is really disgusting. Today when I was on Justin.TV the kinds of things that people were discussing in the chat room there were just totally disgusting and over the top.

    We have to fix this culture. For the next week, let’s discuss how.”

    Today you’re saying you’ll stick to anything goes… how exactly are you helping out? What is that you’re actually willing to do? Anything goes is a far cry from fixing the internet culture and is actually just enabling those that perpetuate the disgusting part.

    I’m not saying you’re the disgusting one… I’m saying that it’s time to put up or shut up. Anyone really interested in shutting off the crap should do it instead of just talking about it when something bad happens.

    You and others raised hell a week ago and said it was time to do something. Now Tim has done something, or at least started, and I see folks not saying “yeah, thats fine, but it restricts me too much so count me out. I’m not willing to make any sacrifices.”

    You’re a smart guy and you know blogging as well as anyone so where’s your code of conduct? If you don’t like his version then write your own draft… make good on your words and contribute.

  101. I agree with some of what Tim O. says, mainly because I’ve been blogging with my own personal ‘code of conduct’ in mind since the beginning — because I know the difference between right and wrong.

    What irks me, is the fact that O and his supporters think I should spell it all out rather than let my own reputation (good or bad) speak for itself.

    Trolls?? If they encourage lively and somewhat intelligent debate, that’s cool. Let them feel important.

    As for dealing with things privately, that’s so subjective it’s something that needs to be done on a case by case basis. Besides, whatever happened to the blogosphere being an open discussion? Why even have a blog if you can’t discuss things openly?

    Oh yeah, a few idiots threatened someone. Not to downplay how unnerving and slimey that is/was, but now we all have to feel the weight of a heavy hand if we don’t prove we’re not the type of person to utter death threats by subscribing to someone elses ideology?

    Scoble, if you take one of those badges and put it on your site, this blog is no longer yours where you get to speak your own mind, regardless of whether you write your own code of conduct or ust O’Riley’s.

    BTW, the above paragraph is just my own opinion. Take it for what it’s worth. Just don’t govern yourself and your actions by it.

  102. I agree with some of what Tim O. says, mainly because I’ve been blogging with my own personal ‘code of conduct’ in mind since the beginning — because I know the difference between right and wrong.

    What irks me, is the fact that O and his supporters think I should spell it all out rather than let my own reputation (good or bad) speak for itself.

    Trolls?? If they encourage lively and somewhat intelligent debate, that’s cool. Let them feel important.

    As for dealing with things privately, that’s so subjective it’s something that needs to be done on a case by case basis. Besides, whatever happened to the blogosphere being an open discussion? Why even have a blog if you can’t discuss things openly?

    Oh yeah, a few idiots threatened someone. Not to downplay how unnerving and slimey that is/was, but now we all have to feel the weight of a heavy hand if we don’t prove we’re not the type of person to utter death threats by subscribing to someone elses ideology?

    Scoble, if you take one of those badges and put it on your site, this blog is no longer yours where you get to speak your own mind, regardless of whether you write your own code of conduct or ust O’Riley’s.

    BTW, the above paragraph is just my own opinion. Take it for what it’s worth. Just don’t govern yourself and your actions by it.

  103. I noticed O’Reilly has two intersting “standards” in his “code of conduct:

    - infringes upon a copyright or trademark
    - violates an obligation of confidentiality

    If those are implemented, won’t that pretty much shut down the majority of “A List” blogs?

  104. I noticed O’Reilly has two intersting “standards” in his “code of conduct:

    - infringes upon a copyright or trademark
    - violates an obligation of confidentiality

    If those are implemented, won’t that pretty much shut down the majority of “A List” blogs?

  105. @72. What more do you want Scoble to do? He’s pretty much posted his “code of conduct” for is blog. He said he allows anonymous comments, but will filter out those that he deems to be “hate speech”–whatever he defines that as. And he’s perfectly within his rights to do so. It’s his blog. If he wants to rachet it up and only allow comments that agree with him, and only “non-anonymous” comments, he’s can do that, too. Why should he implement someone else’s “policy”? It seems the majority of bloggers do have a “code of conduct”. Some allow any and all comments, some allow commenters that register, some allow no comments. Why should one blogger be “encouraged” to follow the policies of another? If you don’t like how they manage their comments, don’t read their blogs. The “free market” will then determine the which “policy” they want.

  106. @72. What more do you want Scoble to do? He’s pretty much posted his “code of conduct” for is blog. He said he allows anonymous comments, but will filter out those that he deems to be “hate speech”–whatever he defines that as. And he’s perfectly within his rights to do so. It’s his blog. If he wants to rachet it up and only allow comments that agree with him, and only “non-anonymous” comments, he’s can do that, too. Why should he implement someone else’s “policy”? It seems the majority of bloggers do have a “code of conduct”. Some allow any and all comments, some allow commenters that register, some allow no comments. Why should one blogger be “encouraged” to follow the policies of another? If you don’t like how they manage their comments, don’t read their blogs. The “free market” will then determine the which “policy” they want.

  107. TomH >Today you’re saying you’ll stick to anything goes… how exactly are you helping out?

    I said I’ll stick to “anything goes” if the only other choice is the guidelines put forward by Tim O’Reilly.

    That doesn’t mean I’m not making changes to my own blog space (For instance I turned on some moderation — new posters don’t get right through without being approved first) and if any hate speech of the type that Kathy Sierra gets posted here I’ll remove it as quickly as humanly possible.

    The “are you with us, or against us” attitude is one I was hoping not to see. Glad to see that you want to control my thoughts and/or speech.

  108. TomH >Today you’re saying you’ll stick to anything goes… how exactly are you helping out?

    I said I’ll stick to “anything goes” if the only other choice is the guidelines put forward by Tim O’Reilly.

    That doesn’t mean I’m not making changes to my own blog space (For instance I turned on some moderation — new posters don’t get right through without being approved first) and if any hate speech of the type that Kathy Sierra gets posted here I’ll remove it as quickly as humanly possible.

    The “are you with us, or against us” attitude is one I was hoping not to see. Glad to see that you want to control my thoughts and/or speech.

  109. Code of conduct strikes again

    Tim O’Reilly comes out with a draft of code of conduct, named Civility Enforced. I am with Scoble on this one.So, for now, I guess I’d have to wear the “anything goes” badge. I do find disquieting the social pressure

  110. I know you all think this is vitally important, but it’s not. A huge majority of the world’s population go right on living their lives blissfully unaware of 99.9% of all blogs.

    Enforce civility, don’t enforce civility. No one but the monitor-tanned even care.

  111. I know you all think this is vitally important, but it’s not. A huge majority of the world’s population go right on living their lives blissfully unaware of 99.9% of all blogs.

    Enforce civility, don’t enforce civility. No one but the monitor-tanned even care.

  112. Do You Think the Bloggers Code Of Conduct Will Be Useful?

    Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, has published a draft proposal for a Blogging Code Of Conduct based on the BlogHer Community Guidelines. This has come about after the Kathy Sierra episode. Full draft below:

    We celebrate the blogosphere…

  113. Robert: “glad you want to control my thoughts and/or speech”

    ?… are you kidding me?

    If I wanted to control your thoughts, well, thats not possible so lets move onto speech. I wouldn’t try to engage you into a dialogue IF I wanted to control you. I would go to another outlet and try to force you to adhere to a code of conduct. There’s a huge difference, but you know that.

    I suspect you took a cheap “look! here come the censors!” approach because you didn’t have much more to offer. That’s my point.

    This whole conduct thing and “fixing the culture” as you proclaimed you wanted to do, is going to take a lot more than you acknowledging it and turning on some comment moderation. Way to go… Scoble moderates a little more… that’ll show ‘em. Oh yeah, he cares too… he said so on his blog.

    You’re the one that started a fuss and said you were starting a dialogue about how to clean it up. Is more moderation on your blog gonna do much? No, but it’ll make you feel better, almost like you did something worthwhile.

    Before you run off and take shots at Tim’s work you should produce something yourself. At least he’s started a dialogue and getting involved beyond his own little space on the net.

    Next time you pop off about changing things you might want to be prepared to carry through.

    BTW, I never said “with us or against us”… you did. I only asked you to follow through on your previously declared intent to clean it up. I wouldn’t have said one word about it had you not jumped on horn and acted like you were going to get involved.

  114. Robert: “glad you want to control my thoughts and/or speech”

    ?… are you kidding me?

    If I wanted to control your thoughts, well, thats not possible so lets move onto speech. I wouldn’t try to engage you into a dialogue IF I wanted to control you. I would go to another outlet and try to force you to adhere to a code of conduct. There’s a huge difference, but you know that.

    I suspect you took a cheap “look! here come the censors!” approach because you didn’t have much more to offer. That’s my point.

    This whole conduct thing and “fixing the culture” as you proclaimed you wanted to do, is going to take a lot more than you acknowledging it and turning on some comment moderation. Way to go… Scoble moderates a little more… that’ll show ‘em. Oh yeah, he cares too… he said so on his blog.

    You’re the one that started a fuss and said you were starting a dialogue about how to clean it up. Is more moderation on your blog gonna do much? No, but it’ll make you feel better, almost like you did something worthwhile.

    Before you run off and take shots at Tim’s work you should produce something yourself. At least he’s started a dialogue and getting involved beyond his own little space on the net.

    Next time you pop off about changing things you might want to be prepared to carry through.

    BTW, I never said “with us or against us”… you did. I only asked you to follow through on your previously declared intent to clean it up. I wouldn’t have said one word about it had you not jumped on horn and acted like you were going to get involved.

  115. >At least he’s started a dialogue and getting involved beyond his own little space on the net.

    That he has, I agree there, and said I believe he’s coming from a good place here. Just that by only giving us two choices he’s made it impossible to agree.

    YOU came in here with an attitude of “gotcha.” That didn’t send gestures to me that you’re looking for a dialog, just wanted to smear my nose in some inconsistency.

    If you want real dialog, let’s talk about ways we can make the Internet nicer that actually have a chance of being implemented.

    I didn’t say HOW I would be involved but I never called for a code of conduct.

    So, let’s back up. Why do you think this code of conduct would help in Kathy Sierra’s case (or in the case of Maryam, my wife, who was one of those attacked?)

    I don’t see that it would have kept either thing from happening and I also don’t see enough people signing onto such a code to make it anything more than a club. There’s already enough clubs and tribes on the Internet. That’s part of the problem that caused this all to uproar in the first place.

  116. >At least he’s started a dialogue and getting involved beyond his own little space on the net.

    That he has, I agree there, and said I believe he’s coming from a good place here. Just that by only giving us two choices he’s made it impossible to agree.

    YOU came in here with an attitude of “gotcha.” That didn’t send gestures to me that you’re looking for a dialog, just wanted to smear my nose in some inconsistency.

    If you want real dialog, let’s talk about ways we can make the Internet nicer that actually have a chance of being implemented.

    I didn’t say HOW I would be involved but I never called for a code of conduct.

    So, let’s back up. Why do you think this code of conduct would help in Kathy Sierra’s case (or in the case of Maryam, my wife, who was one of those attacked?)

    I don’t see that it would have kept either thing from happening and I also don’t see enough people signing onto such a code to make it anything more than a club. There’s already enough clubs and tribes on the Internet. That’s part of the problem that caused this all to uproar in the first place.

  117. @86. Exactly, Robert. The “code of conduct” is the proverbial lipsitck on a pig. Every blogger has the ability to control the tone of conversation on their blog and they don’t need a “code of conduct” to do so. No one forces a person to read their blog, just like no one forces one to watch something in the movies or TV that they find objectionable. Just like changing the channel, don’t read or subscribe to a blog if you don’t like the “conversation”. The market will decide which ones “win”

  118. @86. Exactly, Robert. The “code of conduct” is the proverbial lipsitck on a pig. Every blogger has the ability to control the tone of conversation on their blog and they don’t need a “code of conduct” to do so. No one forces a person to read their blog, just like no one forces one to watch something in the movies or TV that they find objectionable. Just like changing the channel, don’t read or subscribe to a blog if you don’t like the “conversation”. The market will decide which ones “win”

  119. See, posts like this are why I read you even though I’m a non-techy.

    I won’t be joining the Code Signees. I do have my own code, and abide by it thoroughly, and don’t think I need anyone else to tell me how to behave on my own blog.

    We all know that the people who inspired this code would never obey it anyway: they INTENDED to be outrageous and offensive.

  120. See, posts like this are why I read you even though I’m a non-techy.

    I won’t be joining the Code Signees. I do have my own code, and abide by it thoroughly, and don’t think I need anyone else to tell me how to behave on my own blog.

    We all know that the people who inspired this code would never obey it anyway: they INTENDED to be outrageous and offensive.

  121. I agree that “code of Conduct” is not a quick fix solution to help prevent abuses/threats online. But in the long run, I guess it will help create a better ecosystem. (not the either-white-or-black CoC as suggested by TO. I guess he’ll modify it to be more flexible and is taking the initial feedback seriously.) Comment moderation is one thing that helps. But that’s one sided effort. When a CoC is published or subscribed to, it lets the reader know/get-educated as to what contents you and your blog entertains. When many top bloggers subscribe to some CoC as guidelines (and not rule), others follow and it helps create a better blogger ecosystem where respectful conversations can take place, as people know what kind of a dialog you expect and what they can expect from you. The idea of having a badge that represents some value-system we subscribe to and showing it at the comments space sounds like an incredible and simple first(though not the only) step to me. Why is it that we are ok/put up with anything online but not so in real world? When meankids site owner _later_ says that “what it later became was not the initial intent of the site”, then why not publish it’s intent? [And it's not just the comments but even the posts on it crossed the line of civility.] Publishing a CoC not only helps stop unwanted content on your blog but also to protect yourself/your blog against being abused as was the case with meadkids site. If all the bloggers of the meankids site had subscribed to that _original-intent_ would it have all those nasty posts? If that _original_intent_ was published, would it have all of those comments?

  122. I agree that “code of Conduct” is not a quick fix solution to help prevent abuses/threats online. But in the long run, I guess it will help create a better ecosystem. (not the either-white-or-black CoC as suggested by TO. I guess he’ll modify it to be more flexible and is taking the initial feedback seriously.) Comment moderation is one thing that helps. But that’s one sided effort. When a CoC is published or subscribed to, it lets the reader know/get-educated as to what contents you and your blog entertains. When many top bloggers subscribe to some CoC as guidelines (and not rule), others follow and it helps create a better blogger ecosystem where respectful conversations can take place, as people know what kind of a dialog you expect and what they can expect from you. The idea of having a badge that represents some value-system we subscribe to and showing it at the comments space sounds like an incredible and simple first(though not the only) step to me. Why is it that we are ok/put up with anything online but not so in real world? When meankids site owner _later_ says that “what it later became was not the initial intent of the site”, then why not publish it’s intent? [And it's not just the comments but even the posts on it crossed the line of civility.] Publishing a CoC not only helps stop unwanted content on your blog but also to protect yourself/your blog against being abused as was the case with meadkids site. If all the bloggers of the meankids site had subscribed to that _original-intent_ would it have all those nasty posts? If that _original_intent_ was published, would it have all of those comments?

  123. Agreed that CoC isn’t the solution, but then how will “Anything goes” with comment moderation help?

  124. Agreed that CoC isn’t the solution, but then how will “Anything goes” with comment moderation help?

  125. Hey, Tim O’Reilly: We don’t need no Stinkin’ Badges!

    What kind of Blogger are you: Tim O’Reilly has developed a preliminary Code of Conduct for Bloggers wherein he shares his thoughts on how to make Blogging a non-contact sport and seeks feedback . The esteemed Robert Scoble weighs in

  126. One of the nice things about being a beta blogger, a beta geek and not talking at conferences is that I can blithely ignore what anybody thinks up to and including Tim O’Reilly.

  127. One of the nice things about being a beta blogger, a beta geek and not talking at conferences is that I can blithely ignore what anybody thinks up to and including Tim O’Reilly.

  128. At the end of the day this code of conduct thing is just a way for people with an overly high opinion of their own importance to try and impress everyone with how important they are.

    Those who would take notice of such a code (lets leave the other obvious flaws aside because they’ve been done to death) don’t need such a code. Those who you would most want to abide by it will either remain unaware that it exists or take great delight in playing with its limits. I’m sure you remember how things were in a certain CoffeeHouse, Robert.

    And the badges… maybe they’re an American thing but they seem awfully trite and childish to me. (I mean the concept of badges at all, not the obvious cultural bias in the designs offered)

  129. At the end of the day this code of conduct thing is just a way for people with an overly high opinion of their own importance to try and impress everyone with how important they are.

    Those who would take notice of such a code (lets leave the other obvious flaws aside because they’ve been done to death) don’t need such a code. Those who you would most want to abide by it will either remain unaware that it exists or take great delight in playing with its limits. I’m sure you remember how things were in a certain CoffeeHouse, Robert.

    And the badges… maybe they’re an American thing but they seem awfully trite and childish to me. (I mean the concept of badges at all, not the obvious cultural bias in the designs offered)

  130. Any code has to be voluntary, just as it is voluntary to say thank you.

    The culture of the internet will change if large groups of people change their expectations of peoples behaviour. If people do not meet our expectations we treat them the say way we treat a person who is rude in a social setting.

    I think the fundamental problem is that a whole chunk of the community does not think that anything on the internet is serious. Therefore anything goes.

    This is serious, this culture must gain some real credibility to make any ground on these sorts of issues.

  131. Any code has to be voluntary, just as it is voluntary to say thank you.

    The culture of the internet will change if large groups of people change their expectations of peoples behaviour. If people do not meet our expectations we treat them the say way we treat a person who is rude in a social setting.

    I think the fundamental problem is that a whole chunk of the community does not think that anything on the internet is serious. Therefore anything goes.

    This is serious, this culture must gain some real credibility to make any ground on these sorts of issues.

  132. ‘Code of Conduct’ – no way

    Many – dare I say almost all – bloggers were outraged at the recent threats made to a female blogger. Many suggested that it was time for an ethical code by which bloggers would voluntarily abide. Unfortunately Tim O’Reilly has come up with sanct…

  133. If Tim has that much power to affect the career of bloggers, then something has gone wrong with the promise of the blogosphere.

    I guess I would be more interested in open discussions about intimidation and coercion, than in a code of conduct. Nothing in the proposed code would protect Kathy as far as I can tell, and I think theres more chance of helping humans build psychological defenses against intimidation & coercion, than trying to silence every troll.

    ‘stick and stones’ badge anyone?

  134. If Tim has that much power to affect the career of bloggers, then something has gone wrong with the promise of the blogosphere.

    I guess I would be more interested in open discussions about intimidation and coercion, than in a code of conduct. Nothing in the proposed code would protect Kathy as far as I can tell, and I think theres more chance of helping humans build psychological defenses against intimidation & coercion, than trying to silence every troll.

    ‘stick and stones’ badge anyone?

  135. As someone who gets the most virulent comments imaginable with the occasional death threat to boot, in a country in which a culture of impunity has overwhelmed the Rule of Law and where human rights are now just a good idea, I can assure you that I am partial to the idea of some sort of framework of civility for comments in blogs.

    However, this has to be determined by the owner / group that runs each blog – not by a higher uber-blogger who determines what civility is for the rest of us.

    See http://ict4peace.wordpress.com/2007/04/10/blogging-code-of-conduct-does-one-size-fit-all

  136. As someone who gets the most virulent comments imaginable with the occasional death threat to boot, in a country in which a culture of impunity has overwhelmed the Rule of Law and where human rights are now just a good idea, I can assure you that I am partial to the idea of some sort of framework of civility for comments in blogs.

    However, this has to be determined by the owner / group that runs each blog – not by a higher uber-blogger who determines what civility is for the rest of us.

    See http://ict4peace.wordpress.com/2007/04/10/blogging-code-of-conduct-does-one-size-fit-all

  137. Kfir:

    I totally agree with you. Who cares?
    Take it offline!
    Or better yet, perhaps we should write up a “cell owners code of conduct?”

    Blonde 2.0

  138. Kfir:

    I totally agree with you. Who cares?
    Take it offline!
    Or better yet, perhaps we should write up a “cell owners code of conduct?”

    Blonde 2.0

  139. Sorry Robert:
    I accidently posted the comment above while it was intended for a completely different discussion on another blog regarding Kevin Burton’s latest “cell phone scandal”:
    http://www.feedblog.org/2007/04/the_ethics_of_v.html

    Anyways, I thought that since it was my error, I at least should fill you in on the story. That way you could figure out if you wanted to take responsibility for my comment. I mean, isn’t that part of the new code of bloggers ethics? :-)

  140. Sorry Robert:
    I accidently posted the comment above while it was intended for a completely different discussion on another blog regarding Kevin Burton’s latest “cell phone scandal”:
    http://www.feedblog.org/2007/04/the_ethics_of_v.html

    Anyways, I thought that since it was my error, I at least should fill you in on the story. That way you could figure out if you wanted to take responsibility for my comment. I mean, isn’t that part of the new code of bloggers ethics? :-)

  141. [...] Calling for a bloggers’ code of conduct, on the other hand is pretty much a wasted effort. Several of the elite have pretty much shouted the idea down for various reasons. Indeed, scary though it may be, I actually agree with Scoble for a change: I’m not able to currently sign this, either. First I allow anonymous comments. I do watch for hate speech, though, and delete that when it’s found (pretty rare, actually). Source: Scobleizer [...]

  142. TrackBack clients need a method of determining the TrackBack Ping URL for a particular URL. If a resource is courteous, they will have embedded the information necessary to make a TrackBack ping. (This is the same information that the MTEntryTrackBackData will insert into a template.) This information allows the TrackBack client to auto- discover the TrackBack Ping URL and send the ping without further data entry or intervention from the user.

  143. TrackBack clients need a method of determining the TrackBack Ping URL for a particular URL. If a resource is courteous, they will have embedded the information necessary to make a TrackBack ping. (This is the same information that the MTEntryTrackBackData will insert into a template.) This information allows the TrackBack client to auto- discover the TrackBack Ping URL and send the ping without further data entry or intervention from the user.

  144. This morning I came across Seeking Media. This is an online press release platform that enables you to send your news directly to press, broadcast and online media at the click of a button, quickly, easily and cost- effectively, from anywhere at any time. Google has listed this site as an important source of news items. Sounds like it is worth a look next time you’ re doing a media release.

  145. This morning I came across Seeking Media. This is an online press release platform that enables you to send your news directly to press, broadcast and online media at the click of a button, quickly, easily and cost- effectively, from anywhere at any time. Google has listed this site as an important source of news items. Sounds like it is worth a look next time you’ re doing a media release.

  146. This morning I came across Seeking Media. This is an online press release platform that enables you to send your news directly to press, broadcast and online media at the click of a button, quickly, easily and cost- effectively, from anywhere at any time. Google has listed this site as an important source of news items. Sounds like it is worth a look next time you’ re doing a media releas

  147. This morning I came across Seeking Media. This is an online press release platform that enables you to send your news directly to press, broadcast and online media at the click of a button, quickly, easily and cost- effectively, from anywhere at any time. Google has listed this site as an important source of news items. Sounds like it is worth a look next time you’ re doing a media releas

  148. When there is a code in place – the most interesting blogs will become the ones that tread closest to the edges. :)
    Rules are for a reason – they are meant to be broken and its a lot of fun when they are.

    thanks

  149. When there is a code in place – the most interesting blogs will become the ones that tread closest to the edges. :)
    Rules are for a reason – they are meant to be broken and its a lot of fun when they are.

    thanks

  150. I spent the last two years writing about my optimism about blogs and the wonderful opportunity it gave us. I was so wrong. The threatening emails, photos, outright lying posts, and having all my personal data (ss, home address, etc.) posted all over the net SINCE I went public have proved that to me once and for all.

    very nice

  151. I spent the last two years writing about my optimism about blogs and the wonderful opportunity it gave us. I was so wrong. The threatening emails, photos, outright lying posts, and having all my personal data (ss, home address, etc.) posted all over the net SINCE I went public have proved that to me once and for all.

    very nice

  152. It may not have been Tim’s original intent, but people are already starting to use this to draw a black-and-white line between “follows the ‘Civility Enforced’ rules and ‘Anything Goes’.” Which is nonsense. There is a lot of room for bloggers of good faith who don’t agree with with one or more of the (in my opinion overbearing) O’Reilly-backed rules to run civil upstanding blogs, but they’re going to get lumped in with the freefire zones as this debate degenerates to namecalling.

  153. It may not have been Tim’s original intent, but people are already starting to use this to draw a black-and-white line between “follows the ‘Civility Enforced’ rules and ‘Anything Goes’.” Which is nonsense. There is a lot of room for bloggers of good faith who don’t agree with with one or more of the (in my opinion overbearing) O’Reilly-backed rules to run civil upstanding blogs, but they’re going to get lumped in with the freefire zones as this debate degenerates to namecalling.

  154. When meankids site owner _later_ says that “what it later became was not the initial intent of the site”, then why not publish it’s intent? [And it's not just the comments but even the posts on it crossed the line of civility.] Publishing a CoC not only helps stop unwanted content on your blog but also to protect yourself/your blog against being abused as was the case with meadkids site. If all the bloggers of the meankids site had subscribed to that _original-intent_ would it have all those nasty posts?

  155. When meankids site owner _later_ says that “what it later became was not the initial intent of the site”, then why not publish it’s intent? [And it's not just the comments but even the posts on it crossed the line of civility.] Publishing a CoC not only helps stop unwanted content on your blog but also to protect yourself/your blog against being abused as was the case with meadkids site. If all the bloggers of the meankids site had subscribed to that _original-intent_ would it have all those nasty posts?

  156. [...] In 2007, one of the most brilliant people I have ever heard speak, and whose blog I followed avidly was subjected to death threats and a lot of abuse on the internet. Her name is Kathy Sierra and while she still does things, the personal connection I had is long over with. The death threats and harassment were deemed to be out of line, which is good, most of us do not want to participate in that kind of environment anyways. What came out of that incident though was the idea of a bloggers code of conduct that caused its own blog storm of controversy when it was proposed by Tim O’Reilly and talked about by Robert Scoble. [...]

  157. avidly was subjected to death threats and a lot of abuse on the internet. Her name is Kathy Sierra and while she still does things, the personal connection I had is long over with. The death threats and harassment were deemed to be out of line, which is good, most of us do not want to participate in that kind of environment anyways. What came out of that incident though was the

  158. The death threats and harassment were deemed to be out of line, which is good, most of us do not want to participate in that kind of environment anyways. What came out of that incident though was the

  159. The death threats and harassment were deemed to be out of line, which is good, most of us do not want to participate in that kind of environment anyways. What came out of that incident though was the

  160. Is just fucking inane. First, tell me how you're going to prove it's a “valid” email address. Right, so that's crap. Secondly, if you allow them to use an alias?

  161. avidly was subjected to death threats and a lot of abuse on the internet. Her name is Kathy Sierra and while she still does things, the personal connection I had is long over with. The death threats and harassment were deemed to be out of line, which is good, most of us do not want to participate in that kind of environment anyways. What came out of that incident though was the

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