August 26, 2011
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
August 19, 2011
The Internet, for better or worse, is the largest meeting place to have ever existed in history. It’s a place where millions of people, from all backgrounds, can get together and exchange ideas, news, artwork and pictures of cats.
However, it’s inevitable that, with so many people in one “place” that there are going to be disagreements and some of them are going to get quite heated. Just as you don’t always get along with your “real world” neighbors you probably won’t get along with some of your virtual ones either and, also like physical world problems, virtual world ones also, at times, disintegrate into legal disputes.
So, if you blog long enough, especially if you routinely discuss or use work from other people on your site, there’s a chance that you’re going to be the subject of a legal threat.
For the unprepared, this can be one of the most terrifying experiences one can have online. Such threats often come with fears big legal bills, huge settlements and more. It’s pretty easy to paint a worst-case scenario that is either unrealistic or completely impossible.
Still, these are matters that should be taken seriously and knowing what to do is important. Though I’m not a lawyer and certainly can’t provide legal advice, there are steps that most attorneys advise you to take and I’ve outlined them below. read more
Tags: Blogging, copyright, defamation, law, legal threat, libel, plagiarism, threat
August 15, 2011
I have always loved to read. This was because as a kid my grandmother would read me a fairytale every night. This was a nightly ritual that had to be followed or else I wouldn’t go to sleep. Whenever my family would go to the mall my mother would take me to the bookstore. With my love affair for books it’s no wonder I learned to love writing as well. In high school I used to keep a journal. At the end of each day I would narrate what happened on it. But I usually kept my entries short. As much as I enjoyed writing, doing it by hand can be tiring.
It was in college when I discovered the art of blogging. I was surfing online when I stumbled across a food blog. I realized it was something that I could do as well. So I decided to try it. I blogged for a month and I loved it! Blogging is not only fun it’s a great stress reliever as well.
Here are 3 reasons why blogging can relieve stress. read more
Tags: Blogging, relief, Stress
July 22, 2011
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
Tags: anonymous, anonymous blogging, Blogging, Ethics, law, plagiarism
July 1, 2011
Whenever I talk with others about the legal risks that come with blogging, it is inevitable that someone says that the risks don’t apply to them as they blog anonymously and no one will ever know who they are.
The truth is that, while anonymous blogging may be great for certain purposes, it isn’t a bullet proof vest that lets you do dumb things legally without fear of reprisal. Even if you can bring together a perfectly anonymous site, you have to be flawless in your execution of it ensuring that every single interaction, no matter how small, is untraceable.
While anonymous or pseudonymous blogging might be good enough to fool your mother, your boss or your friends, it won’t be enough to fool law enforcement nor anyone with adequate motivation and resources to track you down.
Anonymous blogging may free you up to say things you otherwise couldn’t, but it doesn’t free you up to break the law. Basically, if you’re blogging under a different name, you should expect to be found out if you make it interesting enough for anyone to seek out your information.
Tags: anonymity, anonymous, anonymous blogging, Blogging, Privacy, pseudononymous
June 20, 2011
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 haven’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. There’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 don’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
Tags: Blogging, copyright, defamation, law, legal threats, libel, Privacy, trademark
June 2, 2011
Despite reporting a hefty drop in sales because of stiff competition in the smartphone market, Nokia is still the world’s largest cellphone maker by volume.
With more than a third of cell phones in the world being Nokia and a sizable chunk of those units being enabled for mobile internet, it would stand to reason that there could still be a huge audience for blogs that remains untapped.
But downloading blogs on what is essentially still a cellphone could lead to a number of frustrating consequences. With either the phone’s browser failing to download the site correctly or not being able to download the site in a readable form.
The solution to tapping this roaming audience of mobile internet users is to create a mobile app.
Tags: Blogging, Mobile Apps
May 2, 2011
I strongly believe that every business should have a blog to keep the lines of communication between you and potential customers open. The target of this article is to reveal 7 effective ways a blog can help you grow your business.
1. Blogging Boosts Brand Awareness
Corporate blogs create a unique opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas and offerings with not only your readers, but their readers as well, which eventually brings in more prospects. Guest blogging is another great strategy to build up an audience. Plus, new employees and outsiders can get a better chance to know company’s product launch, innovation and strategy.
2. Blogging Personalizes Your Business
Blogging puts a human touch to your business and keeps your audience updated on new and exciting things happening in your company. Blogs are all about being personal, so let your personality flow with blogging. Write in your own name. Share your personal experiences about running your business and being part of your niche. Being personal builds trust, so write with a conversational tone so people can understand and relate. read more
Tags: blog tips, Blogging, business
April 29, 2011
Copyright is a notoriously confusing and complicated area of law, but one that also impacts nearly every part of our daily lives. As such, it is pretty much inevitable that well-intended people are going to make mistakes.
However, with copyright law, blunders can be very costly. In addition to the threat of a lawsuit, one can have their site shut down, access to some of their favorite services revoked and lose a lot of credibility. Even if none of those things comes to pass, a copyright dispute is still a major headache and one that most, if given the choice, would prefer to avoid.
As such, it’s important for bloggers to be aware of some of the more common copyright pitfalls that come from blogging and, more importantly, how to avoid them.
With that in mind, here are three of the most common copyright blunders bloggers make and what can be done to prevent yourself from falling into them. Fortunately, all are easy mistakes to see and avoid, if you know to look for them. read more
Tags: Blogging, copyright, creative commons, DMCA, fair use, images, Photos, takedown
April 8, 2011
When it comes to blogging and the law, there is one area of the law that you pretty much can not avoid: Copyright.
Though you can avoid libel by never talking about anyone else, the same goes for privacy, and you can largely avoid trademark by being careful with your domain and not creating a business, it is impossible to blog and avoid copyright.
The reason is simple, every time you hit “Safe Draft” in WordPress, post a comment on another blog or take a photo for your site, you’ve created a copyrighted work and with that comes a set of rights and responsibilities you need to be aware of.
However, the issue of copyright is far too broad and far too complex to cover in any kind of depth in one column. So, in order to help bloggers who might not understand the law get some basic information, here are five copyright facts that you need to be aware of, all of which we will likely go into in future columns.
Bear in mind that these facts are based on U.S. law and, in some cases, may vary in your country. You can also read more about these facts, and other basic copyright information, on the U.S. Copyright Office website. read more
Tags: Blogging, copyright, copyright law, fair use, plagiarism, trademark