Blogger’s Code of Conduct

In response to the current nightmare Kathy Sierra is experiencing, Tim O’Reilly has talked to Kathy and Chris Locke and written a posting entitled, “Call for a Blogger’s Code of Conduct” to put some of his work-in-progress thoughts into words. I have read through the long post and I will list Tim’s 7 points here with my brief comments on some of them.

1 Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.

I am doing this already and I try to bring comments into a more civil and polite discussion if I see personal acttacks.

2 Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.

I like the idea of a Creative Commons style badges.

3 Consider eliminating anonymous comments.

I agree with Tim’s points but I also don’t want to make it too difficult for people to leave comments.

4 Ignore the trolls.

This is certainly one option and can be effective.

5 Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.
Make total senses and I have been taking this to heart since a really bad personal experiences I had years ago. By the way, I also understand why Kathy might not want direct contact with people her got the threats from. But going through an intermediary or someone volunteered (like Tim here) is a great way to take steps to better understanding of the problem.

6 If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.

It is important for us to take a stand to create a better community. Do whatever small things that we can.

7 Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.

This is an important point but also difficult to achieve. I had my online share of outburst of frustration and anger (about a TV show I love).


I think this is an important dialogue to have and we are learning and evolving openly. Will see how things go. And Robert Scoble will be on CNN with Kathy Sierra and Chris Locke talking about last week’s events. I hope CNN (or someone) will put that conversation online for all to see.

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