Bloggers are inevitably obsessed with the topic of creative commons, and if they aren’t yet, they will be soon. Why? Well, if you have ever seen the cost of subscriptions for stock photo sights, you wouldn’t have to ask that question. They are expensive, often offer nothing special and in general don’t cut it for most casual bloggers that don’t want to spend cash on what is essentially a place for their thoughts.
Using public domain or CC licensed content is the perfect way around that. You can use photos and videos as you like, not worrying about the cost or being sued for copyright. Which is ever bloggers wost nightmare, thanks to the many horror stories we are subjected to on the web. read more
I think search is a seriously exciting place to be right now. 2012 has seen some of the most aggressive Google algorithm updates of all time; a lot of SEOs were hit hard, and as each update was released some form of mini-riot followed. But while anger towards Matt Cutts (Google’s human shield) ensued, I couldn’t help but feel that SEO was returning to the open field that it once was. SEOs dropped out in favour of other things, they decided that Google was on a mission to destroy organic rankings and that Google owed them for all of those useless links and cookie cut content they had created; a quick look at any of the comments on SEroundtable shows that SEOs are just giving up.
But for me, SEO now more than ever is about hording knowledge, it’s about grabbing as much as you can and stuffing it into your brain so that you can develop – through management or being hands on – the perfect user/search focused website. So that is what I’m bringing to you today, knowledge bursting new school SEO best practices that will make you smarter than the next guy. read more
With Halloween rapidly approaching, almost everyone is in the mood for a good ghost, zombie or vampire story. But while there’s always a good chill to be had from a scary tale or movie, some of the most frightening things aren’t works of fiction or stories at all, they’re simple facts.
Of those types of scary things, there is little more frightening than the law itself and how it can impact our daily lives.
As bloggers, we’re even more vulnerable than most when it comes to legal issues because, in addition to the usual spate of laws one has to follow day-to-day, we have the responsibilities of dealing with mass media law as well. Something, previously, few outside of the TV, radio, print and related industries had to deal with.
So, if you want some scary thoughts to give you something to ponder, here are five of the scariest legal realities and what they mean for you. read more
Most sites don’t try to break the law. Only a few actively make an effort to violate any kind of law and most of those are generally shut down fairly quickly, either by aggressive hosts or, in worst-case scenarios, law enforcement.
But this doesn’t mean everyone is perfect either. Most sites, at the very least, bend the law and sometimes outright break it.
This isn’t because they are run by bad people but because of the nature of the law itself. Sometimes it’s poorly-written law that is almost impossible to not break (at least technically) and sometimes it’s lack of knowledge about the law itself.
So what are some of the ways you’re probably breaking the law online? There are too many to choose from but here are five you should definitely take a look at. read more
However, privacy is a very thorny issue, even more so than most areas of law online. The reason is that much of what we think of as privacy law is actually decided on a state level, meaning in the U.S. alone there is effectively 50 interpretations of privacy law. This says nothing, obviously, about the international implications.
So, no matter what you think of the new Facebook features and tools, it’s important to be aware of the potential legal and ethical implications of using them and, to that end, it’s worth taking another look at privacy. read more
As a blogger, you are more than just an author and content creator, you are also a community administrator, managing and encouraging interaction between your readers and visitors.
Though much of this community interaction you can’t control, namely all of the conversation that happens off your site (Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.), a lot of it does take place directly under your purview, including comments on your site, conversation on your Facebook page and so forth.
To be a successful blogger, you need a good community to survive and thrive. However, running a community also comes with a series of responsibilities, both ethical and legal, that you need to be aware of.
Simply put, being a community admin is far more than having a comment box open on your site and letting others post. There’s actually a great deal more to it, especially if you want to have a community that is both productive and on the right side of the law. read more
As we’ve discussed previously on this site, being a blogger can be very risky legally. With a slew of potential legal issues including copyright, defamation, trademark, privacy and much more, there are many ways a well-meaning blogger can find themselves being sued.
To make matters worse, there’s a great deal of conflicting and confusing information on the Web and what good information there is, generally, is scattered across multiple pages and sites. This makes learning about the law difficult and means you can spend a great deal of time just trying to keep yourself out of court.
Fortunately, several bloggers and blogging-related organizations have worked hard to produce legal guides that give you a good breadth of information in a simple, single work that you can easily read or search through.
With that in mind, here are five of the best of those guides, what’s in them and how they can be useful in helping you protect yourself and your rights. read more
Societies generally have two ways that they try to encourage “positive” or “good” behavior on its members, laws and ethics.
But while both are similar in that they are ways to punish or discourage unwanted behavior, they are radically different in both what they are and how they operate.
As a blogger, you find yourself operating in a variety of societies. This includes traditional ones such as your local community, your country and the world as a whole as well as digital ones such as the blogging community and the Internet community.
This has some fairly profound implications for the laws and ethics you have to wrangle with as you’re not only caught between the duality of the two elements themselves, but in the layers of often conflicting standards of all the societies you reach and are a part of.
To unravel this mess, we have to first take a look at the differences between law and ethics and understand how they each impact bloggers in slightly different, but very powerful, ways. read more
But that begs the question, who is likely to do either make the threat or file the lawsuit? While the answer could easily be just about anyone as lawsuits online are as varied as thy are in the bricks and mortar world, there are definiely some groups that have been far more litigious than your average netizen.
However, actual data in this area is very difficult, if not impossible, to come by. Not only does one have to factor in the courts of over 50 states and nearly 200 countries, but many of the most important legal threats never actually make it to court.
So, unfortunately, a lot of guesswork is involved but it doesn’t take much research to see some trends forming. With that in mind, if you’re worried about being sued for your blogging activities, here are some groups that you probably want to avoid or at least be wary of messing with. read more
Legally, blogging can be a very scary activity. Since few bloggers are acquainted with media law before setting up their first site, they are dealing with issues of trademark, copyright, libel, privacy, etc. when they have little understanding of the law itself.
This, often times, creates problems where a blogger oversteps a legal boundary and finds themselves either being sued or threatened with legal action. However, it also can create the reverse problem, one where the blogger is threatened with legal action when they havenâ€™t done anything against the law.
To be clear, in the U.S., anyone can sue anyone for any reason at any time. If your sole purpose is to avoid a lawsuit, being within the law is, unfortunately, no protection. Thereâ€™s always a chance you could have to spend the time and money to defend yourself in court.
However, if you have a more practical goal of not being hit with a lawsuit that has a chance of success, you still donâ€™t want to give in needlessly to false legal threats. With that in mind, here are five of the more common false legal threats that bloggers face and why they carry no weight. read more