Eric Schie revisits a constant debate in the blogosphere:
I often speak of my own low standards, and I am not about to adopt a “code” which might interfere with my ability to speak freely. I try to post what I think, when I think it, and I try to be fair and logical. I don’t know what else I can really do.
I’ve often thought of blogging as analogous to ebay in the sense that if you get known for being unreliable, people won’t buy from you. Beyond reputation, there’s no enforceable code, nor could there or should there be one.
I’m glad to see that the meme of “Blogospheric Rumblings” about a code of ethics has been discredited.
I don’t think we need a code of ethics for a hobby, but I think there are some pretty clear standards I and many others adhere to out of respect for readers and fellow bloggers:
1.) Try to get it right and if you goof, admit it publicly.
2.) Always try to remember to link where you got something and to credit other bloggers.
3.) Make your sitemeter and stats publicly available.
4.) Don’t take yourself too damn seriously.
Most of the people I know do this, and I try to as well.
I know that I don’t need any ethical codes for my hobby, bloctoring, as an alternative to main stream medicine. I am a bloctor because main stream medicine and its elite doctors “just don’t get it!” I do, however, apologize when my surgery patients die (OK, I don’t have anyone with an anesthesia hobby to help me, cutting way down on my success rate). I will not be satisfied until the AMA is destroyed, but I don’t take myself seriously AT ALL – wink, wink, nudge nudge.
My stats come built-in with my hosting plan, and I have no idea how to make them publicly available. Stats really aren’t all that important to me, and I hope not to most of my readers, as well.
Other than that, I agree with what you’ve got here.
What’s so important about making stats?
I could care less how many other people access a site, as long as I find it enjoyable.
If the stats are for generating banner revenue or attracting advertisers, I can understand. Though am getting tired of the numbe of banners on most blogs these days.
Otherwise I think, in terms of priorities, the ethical standards of blogs are way down on the list. How about the etical standards of the media? I think that something all bloggers of all political persuasions could get behind.
I don’t think I could have more typos if I tried! ooops….
Well before I go back to work, rule #4 of yours would put Andrew Sullivan, InstaPundit, Josh Marshall, Atrios, and Kos out of business.
I like stats because I use the referrer pages to track down who is saying what, and a lot of times I find good blogs that way.
I couldn’t really care less how much traffic people get- there are a lot of people out there who should be getting a helluva lot more, though.
John, it is precisely because you so obviously *do* try to adhere to your self-described standards that you have garnered an increasing share of readers and the attendant respect. Heck, even when you fall short of those standards, you’ve earned the right to be given the benefit of the doubt.
This is as directly opposed to the infallibles, such as dKos or Powerline, who get read, but not listened to and most certainly not respected by people from across the spectrum.
Thus endeth the suckup, even though the suckup is heartfelt.
Which stats? I can show you some that say I’m getting an average of 600-700 per day, another site that claims I get next to no traffic at all, and my server stats that say I’m closer to what your stats say are a seven day average of 2,864 unique visitors per day. Though I’m betting the real number is considerably higher for you, as most of the free stat offerings are notoriously unreliable … and there’s just no way I’m getting as much traffic as someone who’s being villified like you are. You’re getting the red *and* the blue. I’m just … grey.
I understand what you’re saying about referring URL’s, though. Lots of people used to keep referrer lists live on their site … until the bastard spammers filled them up with links to their sites. My referrer stats merely reveal that Google loves me a whole lot (perhaps too much), and nobody else does.
Well, other than that link you gave me last week.
Those are pretty darn easy standards to live by; I say everyone should also have to demonstrate the ability to rub their stomach and pat their head at the same time.
This would also, if readers largely only read bloggers who adhered to this standard, serve usefully to cut down on the number of blogs one should follow. (While fulfilling the most important goal, preserving me.)