Dr. Mitchel asked on his blog recently about blogging ethics.

Is calling the etiquette around blogging “an ethic” going too far? I don’t know. When I include an album cover image in a review of the new Hold Steady album, ought I really declare that the image came from Amazon? Of course I should. I should also cite the artist responsible for the image and the copyright holder too but I don’t because this is just a spare envelope that I jot a few things down on and stick up here so my friends can have something to do when the meeting gets boring. And I can find all those quotes again by writing “Zoomtard Bonhoeffer idol” into google.

Hold Steady Heaven is Whenever

“A God I could prove would be an idol.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Equally, when I find a deadly link online, be it from my friends Google chat status message or by banging my fist on the keyboard and seeing where it comes from, I don’t do that thing (HT: Patrick Mitchel). I don’t even know what HT means! Hat tip?

But if I write a post that deals with someone else’s ideas I link to it. Like with this idea from Patrick. I think any substantive use of another’s ideas needs attribution. I just don’t think that sharing a link constitutes an idea or work.

I try not to reveal secrets on my blog. I don’t think I’ve ever used my wife’s name, just because she doesn’t like it. I have offended people in the past by recounting conversations (albeit anonymously and indirectly) on here and I hugely regret that. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t ever intend to insult anyone with Zoomtard. Except Transfarmer.

I try to write relatively amusing stuff in an irenic tone. Well, as much as is possible because while I am happy to chew on an idea for a while before writing, I never let Zoomtard entries sit and mature. Quality would be better if I honed them over days but Zoomtard, as you have no doubt seen, is not about quality. It’s about place-holding ideas primarily, sharing them secondarily and thirdly it is about the craft of writing regularly. But if I find huge errors in my grammar or in my reasoning, within reason, I do reserve the right to go fix them later.

The one cardinal rule I have adopted since starting is to end my anonymity. I use my name everywhere, Kevin Hargaden, so that I am responsible for the things I have written. Increasingly, I think the blog world would be infinitely more entertaining and informative if no one could pretend they were someone else, or more than one person or any other identity trick. Those things have happened in comments on Zoomtard and it seems being able to hide who you are destroys conversation more than being an arse probably ever would.

Oh! And of course, never say anything about China that might get me blacklisted there, since reaching out to those justice starved, God-ignorant commies is a key part of what I’m about.

Your Correspondent, His performance on American Idol was like karaoke without the booze

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