Code of Conduct

I think that the quotes from Jeff Jarvis are the best part of the BBC article on the blogger code of conduct:

“This effort misses the point of the internet, blogs, and even of civilized behavior. They treat the blogosphere as if it were a school library where someone… can maintain order and control. They treat it as a medium for media.”

“It’s a place. And when I moved into the place that is my town, I didn’t put up a badge on my fence saying that I’d be a good neighbor.”

He added: “I don’t need anyone lecturing me and telling me not to be disagreeable.”

Amen. I like the First Amendment because it lets you see who the morons of the world are and subsequently avoid them. Without free speech how would you know who is racist, sexist, or just a plain old asshole?

I don’t like what happened to Kathy Sierra.[0] However, there are already criminal laws against threats, which she is using to deal with this situation. There are also known, proven ways of handling libel and slander, too. How much more does the blog “community” have to do? Do we really need a code of conduct, or should we spend our time urging law enforcement to do their jobs in these cases?

As far as my blog goes, my code of conduct is: I don’t have one for this blog. I’ll try to not be a jerk since I want people to actually read my stuff, and I don’t plan on threatening anyone or running afoul of any laws. I will occasionally use harsh language. I will occasionally be moody or disagreeable. I may call somebody out for being a moron, or point fingers at a vendor for sucking. I might link to things that are NSFW, sites like, which makes me laugh. If you don’t like what I’m saying, well, you know what to do. Unsubscribe! 🙂

But if you do like what I am saying, hey, that’s cool, too. 🙂

[0] I totally know what it feels like to try putting the genie back in the bottle. You say something and then suddenly you have all these people minding your business for you (like Tim O’Reilly), and you can’t get them to stop.