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Running my own IT consulting organization, HicksNewMedia, and writing for a handful of well-known and respected blogs has got me thinking about something – proper etiquette on the web for content creators.

I decided to draft the Bloggers Code of Conduct and publish it for all of you readers to dissect and provide commentary on.

I know that Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly) made a similar call for action from the blogger community back in 2007, but it doesn’t look like the initiative has gained much momentum since. So I’m picking up the torch.

Here are the 10 Guidelines that I have crafted. The order of importance is open to discussion, but frankly they all carry an equal weight in my opinion.

  1. Plagiarism is bad. Proper attribution is good
  2. Focus on the Reader’s Experience
  3. Strive to only use properly targeted advertising within pages and posts
  4. Many times LESS is MORE and BETTER
  5. It’s great to share, but avoid becoming a social media spammer
  6. Interact with subject matter experts and accept constructive feedback
  7. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Remain focused on your core goals/niche
  8. Test it. Back it up. Secure it
  9. Mix your media
  10. Buy what you need, but remain fiscally conservative

Now many of the above guidelines are self-explanatory while others could have multiple meanings, depending on whom you talk to.

For now, I’m going to leave the guidelines wide open like they are and see what feedback comes from you, the readers.

  • http://www.macgasm.net Joshua Schnell

    Interesting idea, but you might find you have a hard time gaining traction with it. In my opinion, the irresponsible people who break these rules do it because it's financially advantageous for them to do so. There's always going to be people who look out for themselves first and others later. Sadly, it's become more of the norm on the internet to look out for number one.

    I pretty much agree with most of what you're saying. It drives me batshit crazy when I see someone paraphrasing our posts without proper attribution. I know that may come off sounding delusional, but it happens a lot. It's one of the reasons I make sure everyone properly sites their sources on Macgasm.

    My recent post Netflix coming to Canada- finally

    • Erin Blaskie

      I have to agree with Josh 100%. It's something that, while a noble idea, will be hard to enforce and hard to get people to sign up for. I think that we can only attempt to do our individual best on our individual blogs and hope that it makes for a well thought out collective. I won't hold my breath though… :)

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