In last week’s post about Facebook fan pages for PR agencies and the Mom Dot PR blackout, I reiterated my strong opinion that the issue isn’t reviews or compensation. It isn’t even burnout or poor blogger outreach, although goodness knows we could stand more than a little improvement on that score.
The real issue facing the blogging community is integrity.
In her excellent post on the blackout at BlogHer, Liz Gumbinner also wrote about the importance of integrity. This didn’t come as a total surprise.
Over the past few months of sturm und drang over FTC guidelines, pay per post and blogola, four of us — Liz, fellow bloggers and colleagues Kristen Chase and Julie Marsh, and I — have had an ongoing conversation about the underlying issues of integrity, responsibility and disclosure.
The direct result of that conversation is the Blog with Integrity pledge we are announcing today.
Blog with Integrity was created to provide bloggers with a tangible and collective way to express our commitment to a simple code of blogging conduct. It recognizes that there’s no single right way to blog and more than enough room in the world for different approaches.
What matters is the relationship with our readers. Meeting our commitment to them and to our community. Clear disclosure of our interests so they can evaluate our words. Treating others with respect. Taking responsibility for our words and actions.
Oh, by the way, not a parent or personal blogger? Don’t kid yourself, integrity is not just a parent blogging issue. The ethical lapse displayed by TechCrunch when it published the stolen Twitter documents pretty much trumps any pay per post blogger who neglects to disclose.
Credits: Blog with Integrity logo, badges and website designed by Christine Koh, Posh Peacock. Database code for the Pledge page by David Herrington, Active Oak. We could not have made this happen without their contributions.