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Blog better every day: My daily blog tips from June 2011

July 5, 2011

Daily Blog TipThroughout 2011, I share a daily blog tip via my Twitter account, @WadeOnTweets, at 7 a.m. CDT.

You can …

  • Ask follow-up questions in the comments.
  • Tweet out your favorites.
  • Follow #DailyBlogTip on Twitter.
  • And follow me on Twitter at @WadeOnTweets.


The tips for June, all on blogging ethics …

  1. Ethics: It’s not about rules. It’s about weighing stakeholders and outcomes, defining options.
  2. Ethics: Define your policy, then post it prominently on your site.
  3. Ethics: Rules limit discussion, options. Have guidelines, and explain when you choose not to follow them.
  4. Ethics: Disclose your conflicts of interest prominently. Even appearance of bias can hurt credibility.
  5. Ethics: Don’t just edit or remove comments — explain why you’re moderating them.
  6. Ethics: Never steal another person’s work (photos, posts) again. Attribution isn’t usually sufficient.
  7. Ethics: Guidelines apply whether you have one reader or 1 million readers.
  8. Ethics: Do you support blogs with questionable actions by reading them, clicking their ads?
  9. Ethics: Site policies to consider: privacy, commenting, advertising, correction, reviews, plus ethics.
  10. Ethics: Build credibility by crediting sources, fixing errors openly, disclosing conflicts of interest.
  11. Ethics: Many problems stem from failing to discuss consequences before publication. Ask peers first.
  12. Ethics: One way to bypass a guideline: “Although we normally don’t allow anonymous sources, we felt …”
  13. Ethics: Much of what I’ve learned came from @Poynter, summed up here: http://itswa.de/ethicswalk
  14. Ethics: Figuring out who the stakeholders are affected by your post helps determine consequences for all.
  15. Ethics: It’s not set of questions to ask occasionally, but a process that informs how you run your site.
  16. Ethics: Every blogger has different ways to solve an ethical dilemma. More info yields better options.
  17. Ethics: With transparency, readers understand decision-making process, even if they don’t like solution.
  18. Ethics: Stakeholders can include blogger, readers, sources, colleagues, advertisers and more.
  19. Ethics: Credibility takes a long time to establish and only a few seconds to destroy.
  20. Ethics: Be aware that product and service reviews can open all kinds of ethical issues to consider.
  21. Ethics: “What if” exercises can help you work on ethical outcomes without deadline and other pressures.
  22. Ethics: Is it ethical to publish only positive reviews and skip negative reviews? Alternative solutions?
  23. Ethics: Is it ethical to accept freebies from a business? To solicit them? Under what circumstances?
  24. Ethics: Is it ethical to have “comment clubs” and Digg/StumbleUpon groups? Under what circumstances?
  25. Ethics: What are the considerations for affiliate marketing, links and ads? Sponsored posts?
  26. Ethics: Is it ethical to allow sources to review posts before publication? To make suggestions?
  27. Ethics: What are the considerations of blogging anonymously vs. identifying with name and photo?
  28. Ethics: Is it ethical to sell user data to advertisers? All user info, or specific categories?
  29. Ethics: Best outcomes reveal process, inform readers, minimize harm and maintain credibility.
  30. Ethics: Worst outcomes leave doubt, adhere blindly to rules, harm others unnecessarily, ruin credibility.

See more Daily Blog Tips.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 12, 2011 3:40 pm

    Great tips, Wade! It’s also nice to read them all in one place. It gives me a lot to think about!

    • July 12, 2011 4:45 pm

      Thanks, Rachel. Hope you’ll find them a good starting point when considering ethical questions.

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