O’Reilly Proposes Blogging Code of Conduct

I missed the original announcement and picked this up when Ars Technica commented on it. I agree with the technical criticisms, mostly that it is too vague to practically enforce and that a one size fits all approach just doesn’t make sense in a space as large as the Internet.

Beyond that, I am skeptical about such statements that seem to abdicate the responsibility of an individual to behave as an adult. Many blogs are all about personality and individual perspective, not on their own about open debate or public fora. I would rather read a a blog or forum that had occasional material the required me to behave as an adult and ignore that the things not worth crediting if the editorial character is strong enough to make the rest of the content worthwhile.

Do the folks proselytizing this code really think it is going to stand in for building a solid reputation as a writer and an editor? I think that is just as disingenuous. Those that get the point about acting with civility don’t need a code to do so. Those that often do need such a code, well, just aren’t going to be inclined to accept it. There may be a thin middle margin of folks who are encouraged to clean up and focus their online presence but I am not sure that makes the whole thing worthwhile.

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