Monday, April 09, 2007

I guess I should clarify...

I'm reading the blogger reaction to the NY Times article, and I think it would be appropriate for me to clarify something. It's not that reporter Brad Stone (no relation to Lisa) misquoted her or got things really wrong, exactly, but I do think it's quite easy to be confused about BlogHer, its role in this code of conduct idea and our thoughts on same.

-We are not working with Tim, Jimmy or anyone on any sweeping code of conduct for the blogosphere or Internet. While we're flattered that some people have considered the BlogHer Community Guidelines a good model for such a code, it was never devised or intended to be a set of guidelines that were universally applied. They apply to BlogHer, that's it. Will we occasionally review them and see if they still apply and still cover what we need them to? Absolutely. They are not rigid and eternal. They were created based on community input and feedback, and may eventually change based on the same.

-We actually do not advocate for a sweeping code of conduct that applies across the blogosphere or Internet. We do think that every blogger/site owner has the right to set their own policies...and we recommend that they make those policies public. Because then they are accountable, and readers can make an informed decision about which sites they frequent.

-We see a difference between setting transparent guidelines for community participation within our own community vs. trying to come up with a code for the entire blogosphere to theoretically follow or not. That distinction was not drawn very clearly in the article, but you can see more of our thoughts on that distinction here at Worker Bees, and from Lisa on a BlogHer post (in the comments.)

-If you read our guidelines you'll see that there are plenty of places where the proposed Code diverges from our guidelines, most prominently with the concept of badges and I think also significantly in that while one must be a member to comment or start forum topics on BlogHer, one can become a member with any username and a working perhaps that pseudonymity, not anonymity, but we see a tremendous value for people to be able to participate without giving up their offline identities. (I actually allow anonymous comments on my personal blogs, but I don't get nearly the traffic or attention that a community of over 10K women gets!)

OK, I think that covers it. It was really quite a brief mention of BlogHer in the piece, but I can see from lots of blog posts that it was not quite clear where we and some of the other folks in the article diverge.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks Jon. Your posts are always so substantive! I'm working my way through it today :)
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