April 02, 2005

Talking about yourself, Talking about others

This monthís Carnival of the Capitalists (collection of interesting posts from the past week loosely based on marketing, economics and business, etc) links to a Blogging Policy from entrepreneur Will Pate.

Will lays down these simple rules:

I will NOT blog about anything you talk to me about unless:

You ask me to and I think it's good idea.


I ask you if you want me to and you think it's a good idea. If I sense any hesitation on your part, I'm not gonna do it (Wouldn't be prudent).

Full post here.

Now heís talking from a business perspective, but the idea isnít limited to that sphere.

Blogs are clearly great for presenting info, opinions and experiences, but the latter category in particular often requires talking about those you interact with on a daily basis. Though users here can be considered part of a relatively closed community, to what extent should bloggers worry about breaching the trust of others when posting? Is it necessary to seek the permission of others before talking about them, or posting their pictures in galleries, or is being a friend an implicit go-ahead.

Itís an important issue because all posts can hang around in the public domain indefinitely. As anyone who's been vain enough to search their own name will know, Google has already run though and indexed many of these pages. Due to the caching of pages by search engines, even removing a blog or changing post permissons may prove ineffective should you wish to prevent a page from ever being viewed again.

For most people, most of the time, Iím sure this isnít an issue at all. Still, you shouldnít post anything that you or those you mention would be uneasy to have read by others months or years down the line.

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