Michael: AZ Blogger NetworkUPDATED: 3/27/05
I wonder if there is a need for a more formal way to communicate with and amongst the many bloggers in Arizona. We certainly don't all share the same views or philosophy, but I think that despite the wide range of opinion out there, most bloggers I've corresponded with have had a basic committment to some core principles and many have been laudibly open-minded regardless of their convictions.
Here are some basic ideas I think most bloggers can get behind, regardless of where they land on the political spectrum:
- Journalistic Ethics: most bloggers strive to get the facts straight, whatever they may make of those facts, and to provide references to primary sources (which is more than can be said for traditional polemicists who anachronistically write 'columns' - I would dearly love for Ann Coulter to be forced to back up many of her assertions with a link...), and to be fair and accountable to those they write about (though not so accountable that we wish to forego the protections against liability for libel and slander extended to traditional journalists).
- Best Practices: most bloggers are anxious not to misuse reader information they may have in their possession, i.e. site statistics, surveys, mailing lists, etc. They strive to handle the trust that is given them regarding personal information in a responsible fashion.
- Improving Access: most bloggers would like more journalistic repute and better access to other media, public officials, and other newsmakers
- Legal Protection: most bloggers are concerned that their constitutional freedom to do what they do be respected and protected by the government and private parties, including employers.
In addition, it would be nice if bloggers were able to voluntarily coordinate their actions when the circumstances seem right to them, especially in support of good humanitarian causes. In addition, a regular channel of communications might encourage the sharing of hard-won best practices and tips regarding marketing, monetization of traffic, software, service providers, and sources. To these ends I have established a yahoo group for Arizona bloggers: AZBlogNet
The group is unmoderated, but with posting limited to members. I refuse to ride herd on what is sure to prove a motley group, or undertake (what is in my opinion) the corrupting power of moderation. I will ban anyone who is being willfully disruptive, but otherwise, whether anything like a real community develops will be up to the users. I hope to see my fellow Arizona bloggers there, irrespective of political inclination.