In legal terms, a standard is a methodology or specifications that have been adopted or repeatedly practiced by an industry, business, or community as the “way of doing things” – the average process that people expect when they think of how things work.
For example, it was a standard for years that you did not just show up at someone’s home without an invitation. Calling cards were sent to the home requesting a visit and appointments were made. In business, it is a standard for companies to pay a bill within 15 or 30 days of receipt. It’s the basic practices that need no law to support them as “this is how it’s always been done.”
What are the standards for bloggers?
On the surface, a standard operating procedure is that the blogger publishes content in a reasonably timely manner and responds to comments when appropriate. Since that is what most bloggers do, that’s a standard.
But what are the other standards we set as bloggers and web publishers? Are there any? Is it your responsibility as a blogger, as a web publisher, to set a standard with your blog?
When I first brought up the notion that it is part of our responsibility as publishers to set a standard, I got a negative response. “Blogging is just for fun!” “It’s not a real job.” “Who cares what we write?”
You can be arrested for what you publish on your blog. You can be sued and taken to court over what you publish on your blog. Your reputation is at stake because of what you publish on your blog. At the least, if you violate copyright or some minor clause in your web host’s terms of service, your blog can be shut down. Blogging is a responsibility and you have responsibility over your blog’s content.
When you hit the Publish button, you are saying to the world, “I am responsible for what I publish.”
I like the idea of setting a standard with my blogging. I’m setting an example for others to follow on how to blog, how to comment, and how to network and establish relationships online. I’m showing them the possible, helping them understand the rules and guidelines about how to play in this new virtual sandbox.
What about you? Do you think about the responsibilities that come with blogging? Do you think there are no responsibilities attached to blogging?
How are you setting an example, and a standard, with your blog?