Thursday, April 28, 2005

Blog Core Values: defined

explanation of the essential qualities Posted by Hello

1. Authenticity:

You're really writing your own blog.

You may be a corporate spokesperson who receives help from a professional writer, but you didn't hire a "ghost writer" to do all the writing, while you merely stamp your approval on it.

You're a real human person.

You're not a team or a committee that is pretending to have a single voice.

You actually have the credentials, experience, education, clients, accomplishments, alliances, and affiliations that you claim you have.

You don't lie. You keep your promises, stand by your word.

You say what you feel you need to communicate to others, with no undue influence, no bribery, no fear, no ulterior motive, no hidden agenda.

2. Passion

Since you are who you say you are...

...and you are personally writing your blog...

...the enthusiasm expressed in it is your personal enthusiasm.

You really love your company, business, products, services, industry, academic field, area of research, hobby, club, or whatever it is you blog about.

You don't pretend to have enthusiasm, you don't fake it just to sell something.

You live, breathe, and sleep within the glorious radiance of the object of your blogging.

Your zeal, seriousness, and devotion is charming and contagious.

You may even work 15 to 20 days, like I do, on your blog and related projects.

You are so deeply and intensely involved in your blogging, consulting, manufacturing, marketing, research, or whatever you blog about...

...that you almost frighten other, less devoted people.

You don't need payment, praise, conference keynote speaker invitations, mass media attention, tons of post comments, or other bloggers blogrolling or otherwise publicizing you and your blog.

You will blog until you drop dead, and love every obscure, poverty stricken minute of it.

Money is nice and so is appreciation, and the support of other bloggers...

...but you blog for your own inner reasons, that just become more crystallized as you keep at it, day after day, not caring about results, awards, flames, or accolades.

3. Transparency.

You're not hiding anything of importance to your audience.

This doesn't mean you reveal sensitive information about your family, children, employer, religion, medical history, or financial status.

It means you're not deceptive.

You're a straight shooter, you tell it like it is, even if some are not going to like what you say. You say it anyway.

You're not acting one way, but thinking another.

You're genuine and your positions are crystal clear, not fuzzy, cloudy, or obscure.

4. Credibility.

You're trustworthy...and your blog reflects this aspect of your personality.

People believe you, and therefore, they are willing to follow you.

They feel comfortable at your blog, knowing you won't deceive or manipulate them.

You project truthfulness, because you're a consistently honest and straight-forward person.

You have cultivated a good reputation.

You document facts and figures with references to authoritative print publications (books, magazine articles, etc.) and links to reputable online resources.

[I always strive to link to universities for definitions and research, especially on odd topics like The Invisible Web, for example.

5. Individualism.

Your blog reflects your inner qualities, which are not identical to anyone else's.

You don't follow the leader when your conscience tells you the leader is wrong.

You don't follow the crowd just because it's the safe and easy way.

You question everything, nothing is assumed to be true just because some authority or tradition says it is.

You allow yourself to be "different" and you're true to yourself.

You don't imitate others, unless it's a good quality you're trying to incorporate.

You say what you honestly believe, no matter what anybody else thinks.

You don't just link to other sources, you tell readers what YOU think about an issue.

You're indifferent to both praise and criticism, but you endeavor to be worthy of the former and humbly open to the latter.

People consider you to be a "character", unique, special, one of a kind...and you are, we all are!

6. Creativity.

Your blog has some unique qualities to it that are pleasing, helpful, or artistic.

Your blog has little flourishes that no other blog has.

You strive to have a nice design for your blog, good color scheme, readable typeface, and good functionality.

Your blog stands out in some way, it's not like all the others.

You're often thinking about how to improve your blog, and you visit other blogs to study and learn from them.

7. Originality.

Your blog is not a copy of some other blog.

Your blog is influenced by other blogs, but you put your own personal twist on it.

Your blog is stamped with the impression of your distinct personality, interests, and expertise.

Your blog reflects your imagination, your talents, your an innovative, unusual, or entertaining manner.

You may even get to the point that, when you post comments at other blogs, readers can quickly recognize who posted the comment, before they even see your name displayed.

You've read blogs and books, including classics, that are written by people who have distinct and unusual voices, so you have some examples in your mind of how to stand out from the crowd.

For example, the following authors have unique voices: Sigmund Freud, Jacques Derrida, James Thurber, Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Arthur Rimbaud, Maurice Blanchot, Jerry Seinfeld, Woody Allen, Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx, Jacques Lacan, Emmanuel Levinas, Edgar Allen Poe, Martin Luther, Mahayana Buddhist texts, Will Self, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg.

You don't have to agree with them. Just study them and see what makes them sound different from the run of the mill writers and thinkers.

Post a comment to this article and tell me who YOU admire as a unique voice!

8. Relevance.

Your blog has practical value for others.

You write about that which you know.

You think, "What would my audience need to know? What beneficial information might be unknown to my readers, or difficult for them to find?"

When you read other blogs, web sites, books, magazines, you think, "Maybe there's something here I could discuss in my blog, and would be helpful to my audience."

If you tell a personal experience, you do it in a way that others can derive information that will help them.

Your blog sticks to one or a few basic issues or areas of expertise, and does not try to be all things to all people.

Your general topic area governs your choice of what to write about, what links to include in your blogroll, and what hypertext links you embed in your posts.

9. Integrity.

Your blog is morally straight, ethical, and sincere.

You're not a hypocrite.

You are what you say you are, and you remain loyal to your professional standards, personal beliefs, and audience needs.

You keep your promises, admit mistakes, and try to correct any errors or faults.

You play fair, you don't change the rules in the middle of the game.

You would never deliberately hurt, kill, rob, confuse, trick, humiliate, harm, vandalize, infect, damage, dominate, intimidate, bully, grieve, or backstab another person or organization.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate


Richard Gadsden said...


That's the only question I'd have on any of this. Blogs can be post-and-comment and personal in the way you propose, but they can also be lots of other things - Why not use a blog format for a personal diary? Why not a release announcements list for a company? Why not a "discuss this product with interested customers" team blog, run by the team who make the product (e.g. You had me at EHLO)?

Without reasons, this is just a petty dictator demanding that we all do as he says. Why?

steven edward streight said...

You are correct mostly.

I never said that a blog can't be a diary.

Blog journals are getting kids into writing, i.e. thinking and expressing.

I created a blog called Jejune Jumpers which is an "unblog", with no posts, no comments, no author, no links, no blogroll, no archives, etc.

I deconstructed a blog template and mutilated it beyond recognition.

Only the "powered by Blogger" badge identifies it as a "blogoid".

Intranet blogs can very well replace more complex CMS intranet functions, and I will be addressing this issue soon, very soon, since I have a potential client for this type of blog.

I'm refering here to blogs in general.

You seem to miss the main thrust of my post here: ethical values.

I have seen the ghost blogs and link farms and other anti- or pseudo- blogs.

Every media is invaded by crap.

I'm just trying to prevent blogosphere from turning into FM radio or television...

...full of irrelevant, boring, unseemly, detrimental, immoral, unethical junk.

Like junk mail and telemarketing calls, pseudo or malicious blogs are the enemy, the problem to attack and destroy.

Thanks for your well thought out comment. Much appreciated, friend.