Blogging is fantastic for a number of reasons. It provides anyone, regardless of affiliation, with the ability to voice what they feel, observe and believe. The growth of blogs or citizen journalism has provided writers with the ability to disseminate their work without the need for a vehicle like traditional newspapers and magazines. At the same time that it has leveled the playing field, it has also made it easy for people without good intentions to disseminate hatred and misinformation with the express purpose of hurting rivals or anyone who does not agree.
It is the shady side that hurts the legitimacy of all bloggers. With traditional journalists, there is a code of ethics and standards and anyone who does not abide by those standards is black-balled and fired. In the blogging world, the journalistic standards are not enforced and the sensational, tabloid world, where dirt and all-out lies sell issues, has made it over into the blogosphere. Even worse, people pose as someone they are not in order to persuade and influence decisions of readers.
As most readers may know, I come from a journalism background – all through my school years but not professionally. I take the standards of the print world very seriously when I write. I try my very best to be upfront and divulge any conflict of interest that may exist or any sponsorship for my blogging activities. I try also to stay impartial and independent in my views — even as my About page says, my views are my views and not even those of my employer. I write about the things I know and while those perspectives may not be as well-rounded as other analysts who blog, I write based on my experiences and don’t speculate about competitors if I have no experience with their products.
As of today, you see a new Blog with Integrity logo in my sidebar as a visible commitment to disclose and represent integrity when I write. Blog with Integrity is a program to bring the same standards that apply to the journalistic world to the blogosphere. To find out more, to join, or to see the code of conduct that I and many others have agreed to, visit www.blogwithintegrity.com.