Why I write and or blog is one question I’ve answered many times in different ways. However, as I think about it, there are more answers everytime I contemplate this. Almost everytime I have a go at answering this questions different expressions and nuances ensure.
Integrity, or the need for it, extends to many areas of life. Blogging is as much a normal part of life in our time. We encounter blogs often. (At least, I’m one of those people who blogs, follows and reads other blogs).
We’re alive in an amazing time. I guess that was the line in Gutenberg’s time when the press changed the world. Blogging has changed our world, by placing the power to publish in the hands of ordinary people.
Just about anyone with access to a computer and the Internet can influence people beyond the geographic divides at a speed never imagined in Gutenberg’s time.
One of the most powerful features of blogs is the comment option. Bloggers can decide if they want people to engage with their posts by either allowing or denying commenting.
It is a great way to say to the world, “this is what I think, let’s talk about it.” One of the reasons I blog is to start conversations that enrich. Conversations that add value. Having a different perspective or opinion doesn’t bother me at all.
We miss out on great thinking and greater awareness when we want everyone to agree with us. If you’re blogger and allow commenting on your posts, be prepared for people to disagree with you. Allowing comments is asking for it.
At the same time, it is a great way to engage others and be a part of conversation. It is the part of the blog that allows you to talk to and not at people. Commenting is a significant part of enabling community.
Like I’ve already said, because it is your blog, you can decide whether what people can do in your house. Unlike what some social media platforms like Facebook, that calls the shots on your data.
This being said, I think every blogger needs to have some sort of commenting policy if they allow comments on their posts. I have one. I reserve the right to delete or edit comments that violate my commenting rules on my blog.
However, when I, or any blogger edit comments the integrity of comments must be maintained. By this I mean as bloggers, we must never edit any comment to mean what it does not mean. Edit things that violate your policy without violating the message of comments. If this is impossible then delete the comment completely.
I’ve been thinking about integrity in blogging and this aspect came because of an experience I had recently. I wrote a comment, which wasn’t published immediately because it had to be moderated first. Some bloggers want to approve comments before they can see them. Their blog, their rules.
So, my comment was held for moderation and then published with my name and face attached, distorting the message I had written. Crazy.
Dear blogger, don’t distort the message of the people who comment on your blog. Either use it to enrich conversation and critical thinking or delete it. Don’t make people say what they never said.
Blog with integrity. Peace. I’m out. <microphone drop>Doof</microphone drop>.
[Photo Credit: geishaboy500]
I read and follow blogs to sharpen my thinking, learn and grow. Check out the other reasons I read and follow blogs here. There are some things that I find annoying and try not to do for you, the community that reads my posts.
There is no one best way to blog. Different things work for different bloggers in different contexts. Never make the mistake of thinking there is one best way.
However, there are some things I feel must never be compromised when it comes to blogging (and perhaps other social media platforms). Every blog post must have integrity. This must stem from the values every blogger must embrace. By blog post integrity I mean:
As part of search engine optimization (SEO), which is a means helping you organically rank higher in search engines, internal and external links are encouraged. (You can read more about SEO here).
Internal links are links to other posts etc. on your blog. And, external are other websites and blogs you link to outside of your blog. Every blogger must ensure that every link in every post works.
This is a difficult gig for old posts, especially where you link to websites or blogs that do not exist any more. However, the least you could to as a blogger is ensure that links within your blog are functional. (I might be guilty of that on my blog and I correct it as soon as I find faults)
Sending people to a link that does not work is like giving a guest in your house directions to a bathroom that doesn’t exist.
Credit sources for your illustrations and other media that you use that you did not create. I use a lot of creative commons media and do my best to credit my sources.
Most of the creative commons media I use is open for adaptation and commercial use on condition that the source is acknowledged. I even go as far as acknowledging the sources for some of the ideas I build on from other people.
Out of wanting to seem smart, some people go on to present other people’s work as their own. I find it despicable.
You do not lose credibility by acknowledging that you are not the originator, you actually gain credibility.
What must be included in blog posts for their integrity’s sake?