Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What about the political blogosphere? Part II

Regarding the Commonwealth SOBs idea that is being discussed at South of the James, here and here, I have some thoughts to toss into the soup.

One of the things I saw from the Weekend Without Echoes experiment in July was that if something has an air of coolness about it, then it will attract people who just want their name/blog associated with it. Anyway, at least half of the bloggers who signed on actually did nothing, or changed nothing about how they blogged that weekend. And, a handful of bloggers took the challenge to heart and did their best to contribute and play fair.

My point is that while I got more bloggers to sign on than I had expected, I was probably too impressed with the numbers. If I were to do it again, or something like it, I would deliberately narrow the field by having some stated principals or guidelines that would exclude folks who mostly want their blog's name on a list, with what they see as high profile bloggers.

If the SOBs are to be a group that will agree to some real standards and adhere to them, then I’m interested. If it is just to be another blogroll, I may not be. However, regarding transparency -- if anonymous bloggers are allowed to sign on, the high-minded notion of a code of ethics/blogging standards seems like window dressing.

Although I understand that some must hide their identity for good reasons, the level playing field is too important to the concept of fairness for the SOBs to give it up. So, well-meaning bloggers who must use a pseudonym should just form their own group of masked good guys who say they have standards. The we'll see what they do.

Thus, one of the cornerstones of the SOBs should be this pledge -- I stand behind what I post with my real name and my reputation. Without that, or something like it, the idea of a code of ethics evaporates.

1 comment:

The Richmond Democrat said...

Just what we need, a bunch of SOBs on the internet all the time.