For something that’s existed for several years now, it’s only now that I realize there really isn’t a stratified blog ethics. I mean us mobile phone users in the Philippine have something called phone ethics, and chat rooms and mailing list have certain ethic conventions. For bloggers, there’s still much to be desired, and while I did find this blog ethics site, it targets more of the “professional” blogger rather than something more mundane, such as daily life.
Blogging, of course, has gotten me in trouble a couple of times. Of course whether I’m guilty or not depends on your sense of blog ethics, which currently has no real “standard”. I mean an instance someone flamed me is because I was narrating the day’s events which involved that person. Except I was using real names, and we weren’t really doing anything wrong or inappropriate. The other person probably felt it was an invasion of privacy, mentioning real people’s names in blogs. My view on the matter is that it’s a personal blog, and people do link up together from blog to blog because of the names they see and the people mentioned. Why bother with assuming an alias? But of course, that’s my perspective, and in such a big community, there are other differing, and even conflicting views on the matter.
Of course there are other debatable topics on what to blog and what not to blog. Should your deepest darkest secret be posted on your blog? Or photos you’ve taken of yourself (in whatever states of dress or undress you’re comfortable with), or of other people? How about airing a “private” matter, whether it concerns your family, a friend, or a fellow blogger? Should blogs be written as formally as newspaper columns, or could it simply be a receptacle for cursing and airing rants?
In a mailing list, the moderator would usually set down rules when a member joins the group. Same goes for chat room channels (frequently by typing !rules), and there are standards that need not even be written (such as insulting someone without due reason, ALL CAPS TYPING, spamming, etc.). With blogs, there aren’t any such convention, at least one that I know about. Which leaves room for all sorts of conflict, even if both parties are truly innocent.