I raise this question as a person who has been been blogging since August of last year, and who has fallen in love with how blogging allows the sharing of concepts, ideas and knowledge in a wide open community. I love how it works with very few of the traditional boundaries we’re used to, and provides the greatest medium for transparent communication. I’ve found many blogs to be a greater resource for news and learning than many of the most well-known magazines and news stations.
It is in this same spirit that I sometimes find myself unsure as to what exactly is blog etiquette? Blogging on the net sometimes feels like playing ball in oncoming traffic. So many different interpretations of what is acceptable and unacceptable, and so many different practices that switch from one person to the next. I bring this up in reference to my post yesterday, ironically, “The Dark Side of Blogging” which referred to an intriguing article by Michael A. Stelzner on Marketingprofs.com. It was an article that I re-posted in its entirety in block-text, along with multiple links and credits to both the author and the original post. I’ve seen the practice of both excerpts and full articles appearing in a blog post with proper accreditation. In fact, I’ve had many of my posts appear in full in other blogs. I’ve personally never had any issue with it, as long as the post was linked back to the original and accredited to me, the author. I’ve had other authors who have thanked me for having their article appear here. Michael felt differently, which he has every right to do so. I modified the post to only show an excerpt to meet his wishes. I’m not writing here to figure out who is right and who is wrong, but to state the fact that confusion and ambiguity exists in the blogosphere, and I’m certain we all experience it from time to time. Maybe a central figure like Technorati can publish a Web 2.0 Rules of Engagement for new and existing bloggers to possibly model after? Not sure. Regulating and taming the net hasn’t worked yet, and it may be that the ambiguity that exists is also what makes this medium so exciting.