Wednesday, April 11, 2007

That Code of Conduct again

A while ago, I had a stab at writing my own Code of Conduct - a set of anti-negativist guidelines to what approach this site should take. I think that it should be point of principle that every blogger that is in any way serious about discussing public policy should have one - but that they should have one of their own. Tim O'Reilly's template is useful, of course, but diversity is a virtue here.

Here's mine again with a few minor updates and corrections.
I will try to keep an open mind. There are some subjects on which I can comment with some authority. There are others on which I can only ask questions or offer speculative solutions. Wherever possible, I'll be explicit about this.

I will rarely delete comments. I have no rules on profanity. If you want to swear in my comments box, you can. I will probably not be very good at avoiding swearing in my posts. However, if you are simply abusive to me or anyone else, I'll delete it. Trolls will be deleted straight away. Off-topic comments may also have to go unless they're interesting. Anything that is obviously libellous, or innacurate in a way that could be damaging to someone else will also be either deleted or corrected with a few additional snarky comments of my own.

I will try not to criticise any substantial position that someone else has taken without trying to indicate what I think is a workable alternative approach. Wherever possible, I will try to demonstrate an understanding of the totality of power relations around any particular issue when I comment. Otherwise, I will ask for help.

If I disagree with a position that someone else has taken, I accept that it would be a mistake not to address the problem that they are aiming to solve and offer my own solution (unless I think that the 'problem' concerned is exaggerated or non-existent, in which case I should say why I think this). I will try and acknowledge contradictory facts fairly.

Personal gossip bores me and I'll avoid it unless it's just too juicy or amusing to ignore. I'll usually avoid promoting my own business interests, though I have a few qualifications to this rule. Firstly, as a co-owner of the business I work in, I have helped to shape the work it does. My enthusiasms have shaped some of our services, and promoting my enthusiasms may have the by-product of promoting our business objectives. Wherever possible, I'll declare interests.

Also, my work gives me some insights that I wouldn't have otherwise. I may use these insights on the blog, but - again - I'll try to acknowledge any interests I have.

I acknowledge that it is easier to attract readers and supporters by advancing popular or simplistic arguments. I'd rather have ten readers reading what I really think that ten thousand reading what I pretend that I think.

I will also try to provide my own suggestions on policy and amplify (or constructively criticise) the suggestions of others. I will try to raise the quality of debate by contributing perspectives that are not commonly discussed.

I will not always be serious. I will sometimes advance an argument in order to provoke an interesting argument. I'll post on all sorts of subjects, as I please. This code won't be rigourously applied to posts in which I'm trying to be funny, talk about football, horse racing, music or any of my pet hates.

By blog carries no quality guarantee. My jokes are often weak, and my logic is often flawed. I won't correct anyone else's spelling (unless there's a joke in it) and I will be rude to anyone who makes cheap points about mine. I don't have the time that paid writers have for redrafting and tidying up. This blog is a sandpit in this respect. I partly use it to find out what I think, so be nice.


1 comment:

Ivan said...

I thought the only way to do a code would be to make a Creative Commons type code selection system where the user chose what they did/didn't want to commit to - and then a badge was produced that set out their position.blo