Write And Wrong Wcbhm09


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Write and Wrong: A Framework for Ethical Blogging

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Write And Wrong Wcbhm09

  1. 1. Write and Wrong: A Framework for Ethical Blogging By Wade Kwon Sept. 26, 2009 WordCamp Birmingham
  2. 2. How can bad ethical decisions harm your blogging? <ul><ul><li>Hurt your credibility. (90% of your value.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Being liable, legal ramifications. (Libel, slander, invasion of privacy.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can hurt your access -- behind the scenes, products not on the market -- they won't trust you again. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Conversely, how can good ethical decisions help your blogging? <ul><ul><li>Readership trusts you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referrals. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can influence the conversation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good karma. :) (More likely that people will credit and treat you well in the future.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive impact -- makes the web a better place. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What about Perez Hilton? Why is he so popular? <ul><ul><li>Will.i.am smacked him. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad hair. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hasn't built up much trust currency, people aren't rooting for him. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sensationalism vs. quality -- bad stuff can be popular, it's human nature. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It's possible to be controversial and credible at the same time. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Have you considered consequences of your blog posts? <ul><ul><li>All the time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Mike Evans) I'm a lawyer, I don't put anything that's not factual out there. Can still have edgy headlines -- Chinese drywall that smelled like rotten eggs had title &quot;Who farted in my house?&quot; Violated Mother's rule against using word &quot;fart.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If I'm writing about someone, I generally give them a chance to respond or comment. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Have you considered consequences of your blog posts? <ul><ul><li>Punking of Techcrunch by Facebook. FB pushed out feature that every photo had a &quot;eFax this photo&quot; but only enabled it for Techcrunch employees to bait them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Techcrunch published internal Twitter documents. Who are the stakeholders? What are the ramifications? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Have you considered consequences of your blog posts? <ul><ul><li>Controversy around &quot;deep linking,&quot; what's the best way to credit sources? It was silly, they didn't understand the web, linking is fine. The more links the better, cite original sources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We all find out about news from RSS readers, Twitter, Facebook, Google News, Digg, del.icio.us, emails from friends. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Have you considered consequences of your blog posts? <ul><ul><li>Some sites put information behind a login form so they can track their users, maybe encourage them to subscribe. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Analytics is free stats software. See also: Woopra, WordPress.com Stats plugin (both .com and .org). </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What are good practices in social media? <ul><ul><li>Be authentic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give credit. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate facts and opinions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be transparent. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. What are good practices in social media? <ul><ul><li>Full disclosure -- no one really expects you to have a neutral point of view. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responding, being part of the conversation. Not talking to people, talking with people. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apologize! Humility. No one is perfect. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put in corrections. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you're getting paid for anything, put that at the top of the post. (Disclosure, transparency.) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. These overlap a lot with the &quot;ethics walk.&quot; <ul><li>First level: gut reaction. That's a terrible place to make ethical decisions, it's hard to think of all the ramifications. </li></ul><ul><li>Second level: rule obedience. </li></ul><ul><li>Third level: reflection and reasoning. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The &quot;ethics walk.&quot; <ul><li>Gather people and talk to them, don't do it by yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Name the stakeholders, anyone who has a vested interest in the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions, like how you got the documents, why are you hesitating, what kind of harm could be caused, do other folks have the docs. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The &quot;ethics walk.&quot; <ul><li>Brainstorm options. </li></ul><ul><li>Be accountable. </li></ul><ul><li>Be transparent. </li></ul>
  14. 14. How to post corrections? <ul><ul><li><del> element is an HTML tag for corrections. (Conversely, <ins>.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;New video post, with a note from the old one linking to the correction. People really appreciated it and I got a lot more traffic.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If BIG mistake, change title, put &quot;Updated:&quot; at top. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog posts with revision history, wiki-like. (After the Deadline plugin.) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. How to post corrections? <ul><ul><li>&quot;We err on putting the correction up top.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If there's a privacy concern, you've named someone who should not be named, take it out, don't strike it out. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. How to post corrections? <ul><ul><li>GigaOM strikes out, NY Times puts corrections at bottom of articles. When you write the correction you don't repeat erroneous information, also triple-check because you don't want to correct the correction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alabama law says if you correct it within 5 days of a demand there are no punitive damages. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. How to disclose affiliate links like Amazon? <ul><ul><li>Say something about the links. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put it somewhere on the site. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whether it touches the editorial side -- would you have written about this normally? </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Today’s slides http://snurl.com/ethicstalk
  19. 19. Thank you!