Ooh, Harsh, Scoble, Harsh! (Blog Ethics)

September 20, 2004 at 4:17 pm 1 comment

   There is a very blurry line between journalism and bogging. In my opinion it is your decision as to how close to serious news your blog falls. This isn’t to say that blog’s of different journalistic quality can’t mix; it is just that if you want to post something you saw somewhere else and be a very reliable source, you have to double check. Not because that other blog is lying purposefully (although, this is the internet, so you never know), but because people make mistakes. Now, if you make a mistake or post someone else’s mistake, it’s just that: a mistake. All you have to do is make a note later saying that it is a mistake. More than that is unnecessary.
   Here’s why I’m talking about this:
   Scoble posted something that he found on Rich Manalang’s blog. His readers pointed out that it was a hoax, so he added the following note to his post: “Update: this photo is a hoax, my readers have pointed out. Proves you can fool me, but you can’t fool everyone.” All fine and dandy so far. But then, he posted the following:

I have unsubscribed from Rich Manalang’s feed. Why? Because I can’t trust what goes on his blog anymore. The photo I pointed to yesterday wasn’t attributed. Turned out to be a hoax. I bit on it, and bit on it hard. Shame on me. I should have known not to because he didn’t explain where the image came from.

You only get one shot to ruin your credibility. I ruined some of mine by putting that on my blog. It’s a cautionary tale. Know where stuff comes from.

Thankfully my readers pointed out this was a hoax.

   In my opinion, this is taking it way too far. Rich (whose blog I didn’t know about, but will check out) simply posted a picture of what was reported to be a prediction of what home computers will look like in 2004, without adding where he found it at first. Not saying where you got something is not a great thing to do in the blogging world, but we don’t know why he didn’t. Maybe he was in a rush? Maybe he was momentarily lazy? Who knows? But regardless, Scoble’s assumption that Rich purposefully roped him in, sacrificing some of his credibility to take away some of Scoble’s is, in my humble oppinion, silly. Even more so is the idea that a simple mistake over an amusing picture which is not even offensive can take away someone’s credibility. This is the internet. We gain whuffie and we lose whuffie.

   Also, Jeremy Wright of Ensight is of the same oppinion. What do you think?

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

How often do you think of the Clipboard? Woowoo!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  September 20, 2004 at 11:20 pm

    Here Here!

    Reply

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