Once again, thanks to the Tim O’Reilly and the New York Times, the meme about a “bloggers code of conduct” has reared its ugly head once again. Its not new. I blogged about it about a week ago, wondering, like today, whether or not it had its use in a self-regulating environment, and more to the point, whether or not a good comments policy is all that’s needed.
And it seems like most people do not approve, do not like, and do not agree with it, and some have even likened its usage to being in a virtual police state.
But, let’s be the devil’s advocate for a second [because I like thinking about all sides of the issue, particularly when the echochamber is reverberating on only one side].
How *could* Tim O’Reilly get something like these silly “code of conduct” badges widely adopted? With all the negative buzz surrounding the idea, you’d think that there’d be a snowball’s chance in hell that something like this would get taken up, right?
Hold on. There is a way.
Here it is.
1. Convince a few of your A-list friends with high pageranks, and healthy traffic numbers to get in on this scheme.
Prey on Take advantage of the the desire for links by beginning and up and coming bloggers to reward bloggers who adopt this code of conduct with inbound links.
3. For a limited time, offer to publish a list of ‘friends’ who have taken up the Code of Conduct issue, complete with Names, URL’s and descriptions of blogs on those A-list sites.
It would be utterly Machiavellian, and it would work. While there’s no question that many of the early adopters and influencers would *not* be onboard, he could influence the next generation of bloggers who are up and coming who are dire for inbound links (and a sense of validation).
Its almost like a reverse Pareto Rule — he would be getting at the 80% rather than the top 20%; or, put another way, it would be a fiendish way of harnessing the Long Tail (and Fat Belly) when the head is clearly inaccessible.
What makes this interesting is that while its probably not the only way he could get wide adoption of his code of conduct, it is tantalizing because its something that would get instant traction right away.
And it would be so deliciously unethical that to try it would violate the spirit of Tim O’Reilly’s Code of Conduct.
Something for Mr. O’Reilly and the rest of us to chew on so that we might ponder the ethics of marketing a code of conduct on blogger ethics. ;)