Tuesday, 01 March 2005

Jeremy Wright has posed a weblog entry discussing ethics and blogging. It's an interesting start to what should be (and needs to be) an ongoing conversation.

Jeremy starts with a discussion of the premise that bloggers are not ethical.

My take? It's very simple in my little world and point of view: Honesty, authenticity, objectivity and credibility are qualities that all people should strive for, regardless of their profession or avocation. It's not so much about the blogger vs. the journalist - these qualities apply across the board. It's about doing the right thing, and doing it the right way. It's about responsibility.

I've been both a journalist (several years ago) and a blogger. Ethics has been central to every job I have ever worked in: Journalist, police officer, security professional.

I get Jeremy's points, and agree with what he says in large part. There are, however, certain minor points with which I disagree (surprise, surprise, heh). I don't believe ethics was born of capitalistic need (early ethics was a Greek endeavor, and only a couple of ethical views like Marxism and social ecology are actually tied to economic or financial systems), and I tend to disagree with the idea that applying journalistic standards to blogging doesn't work. Rather, I think it can work - but that there's more to both sides of the equation than just journalistic standards, and that trying to oversimplify the discussion or pigeon-hole any aspect of it is a mistake. It's always tempting to try to divvy up different behavior characteristics and assign each of them to their own neat little groups, but it's never that simple.

Jeremy offers his own opinions and positions, and they are certainly worth reading and will hopefully start readers thinking about what ethics means to them in terms of blogging and publishing information in general:

"At the end of the day, the only thing we as creators of the written word have is that which our audience gives us - their eyes, their ears and their minds. And to violate that trust is the cardinal sin of everyone who values the written word. Be they blogger, journalist, poet or playwright.

"So protect your words, protect your readers and honor the trust you have been given. By doing so you will be the best journalist or blogger you can be."

Jeremy's article can be found here. Read. Comment. Write. Converse.

EDIT: Blog Resource has more comments here, as does Fifteen Seconds. And more yet - A Blogger's Code of Ethics, over ay Cyber Journalist.

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Blogging | Random Stuff
Tuesday, 01 March 2005 23:06:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 28 February 2005

From Yahoo News, an article about the first National Education Summit, where leaders from across the country are gathered to discuss what can be done to improve education.

Bill Gates had something to say about the situation, and I think there's a good chance he's absolutely right:

The most blunt assessment came from Microsoft chief Bill Gates... He said high schools must be redesigned to prepare every student for college, with classes that are rigorous and relevant to kids and with supportive relationships for children.

"America's high schools are obsolete," Gates said. "By obsolete, I don't just mean that they're broken, flawed or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools - even when they're working as designed - cannot teach all our students what they need to know today."

(via Slashdot)

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Random Stuff
Monday, 28 February 2005 22:00:34 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 24 February 2005

The other day, I was attending a conference in Redmond at a big ol' software company that is based there. I had the opportunity to catch up in person for a few minutes with Omar Shahine, who happens to work at that company, and who also just happened to be in the area that day (he actually lives and works in a different state, so it was a cool coincidence).

Omar is one of the principal people currently driving hard developing dasBlog, which is the weblog software I use here. It's an ASP.NET application and it's pretty darn cool.

Anyhow, it was great to meet Omar, even if just for a few minutes. It's funny how you "meet" people online, but never actually see them in person. I always like it when I can talk face to face with someone.

It's amazing to me how the world - and how we meet and interact with the people in it - has changed. It truly is a big small world we live in.

Oh, and Omar - it was great to meet you!

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Random Stuff
Thursday, 24 February 2005 23:48:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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If you use the Firefox web browser, you need to get the latest release, v1.0.1, which contains a number of security-related bug fixes that are important to patch.

Here's what's new in Firefox 1.0.1:

  • Improved stability
  • International Domain Names are now displayed as punycode.
  • Several security fixes

Download your preferred language version from here.

Press release is here.

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IT Security | Tech
Thursday, 24 February 2005 23:33:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 22 February 2005

If you use Photo Story 3 from Microsoft, now you can add a plug-in from Sonic to burn your story directly to DVD - useful if that's your targeted media.

Photo Story 3 brings your digital photos to life by making it easy for you to create professional-looking slideshows. Now, with the Sonic DVD Plug-in for Photo Story 3, you can save your favorite memories on DVD to share with family and friends. Making your own DVDs is just a click away with this powerful plug-in. Get more information on the Sonic Web site and download the plug-in for $19.99 US.

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Tuesday, 22 February 2005 17:11:12 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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I'm in the Seattle area (well, Redmond to be exact) for a couple of days (Tuesday and Wednesday) for a conference that I'm not allowed to write about here, at a Very Large Software Company.

If anyone's in the area and wants to grab lunch/dinner/coffee/air, drop me a line via email or other means (see the sidebar).

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Tuesday, 22 February 2005 15:42:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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