I have just deleted Jan’s last name from my posts regarding her.  I was neither advised nor forced to do this.  But I felt that revealing her last name was going too far–she’s not a celebrity.

I also hope I have not done a fellow blogger wrong–not by using the title of one of his posts as the title of a hard-copy essay–but by  including the title, in publishing my essay on the Internet (see “Long Overdue”).  In fairness to myself, I wrote that essay before I began blogging.  And it was not written for the Internet, but for the monthly newsletter of my writers’ group. 

Still, I thought alot about that one, even as I posted it.  But I couldn’t find a way to change or withhold the title (“Obama, Save Us!”) without deleting the first paragraph.  And the first paragraph is essential to my essay, because it sets up its direction (i.e. what I’m writing about, where I’m going with this).  And I still can’t.  So I hope this now-fellow blogger understands that I mean no harm–and that, in using his post title for my essay title, I am actually validating it.

I know only one other person, personally, who reads blogs at all. Apparently, from what I hear, most people think negatively of blogs.  They seem to consider blogs frivolous, non-literary ramblings of lonely people who have “nothing better to do.”  It is obvious they have never read any blogs!  I find the majority of bloggers to be very intelligent, creative writers whose only “offense” is publishing their writings on the Internet, in addition to, or instead of, in literary journals or books.

Yet, perhaps because of the general public’s attitude, there are no manuals on blogging ethics, to my knowledge.  It seems we bloggers have to learn blogging ethics through our own experience.

I once saw a placard for sale, at Cracker Barrel, which read:  GOOD JUDGEMENT COMES FROM EXPERIENCE.  EXPERIENCE COMES FROM POOR JUDGEMENT.  There were no quotation marks enclosing this, and no author was mentioned–indicating that it was meant as a quaint joke.  Though humorous, it is no joke.  It is a profound statement by which we can live.  “Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from poor judgement.”  We learn far more from what we’ve done wrong than what we’ve done right!


  1. 1 maddyejames February 9, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Most “writers” who think badly of bloggers are writers who attempted blogging but were too pretentious to get any readers.

    Ethics, unfortunately, are personal in the blogging world. The one absolute taboo is to NEVER copy and paste another blogger’s content. If you read something you like, and want to mention it, then do so with a linkback to the person’s original post. But don’t paste it into your blog. It’s the one thing all bloggers (the decent ones anyway), respect.

    • 2 solosocial February 10, 2009 at 2:22 am

      That’s a good point! And thanks for the tip! Actually, I don’t know how to copy and paste–but I’ll keep that in mind if I ever learn!

  2. 3 Mistress B February 27, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Many people from all walks of life blog for many different reasons.

    For me, the biggest difference between ‘writing’ and ‘blogging’ is that blogging involves a sense of community that builds around your writing. It involves a lot more give and take.

    Bloggers like to have their ownership of content acknowledged. If you use something, use an excerpt and always give a link back. Links are the currency of the blogosphere!

    There is a sense of ethics, I think it’s something that you pick up as you become involved and get around more.

    • 4 solosocial February 27, 2009 at 6:38 pm

      I’d never thought of that before–blogging does involve a sense of community, and alot more give and take! Thank you!

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