Mar 16, 2006

u blog?

copied totally from wei shyong

Blogging and its codes of conduct?

I hate writing long posts. One, it takes time. Two, no one reads them. Compared to short, picture-filled posts which create a direct and instant impact on readers, long posts seem dreary and never-ending.

Yes, despite the just-mentioned dislike, I am still about to embark on a tedious task of writing a long essay, because I feel it is necessary. It is about my view of the ethics of blogging. Just breathe normally and read on.

I was lying comfortably on the couch watching a debate/discussion about blogging and its ethics on TV earlier that day. My exhausted mind was not in at all in the mood for serious thinking after a day of packing (as I am going overseas) and reading (to take an exam while I am overseas). I was rather hoping for some slapstick humour, an action movie or a variety show on TV. But the blogging topic caught my eye, as I just started writing an online journal myself about a month ago. Maybe I really should have stuck to watching Fear Factor involving the playmates.

Anyways, the discussion about blogger’s ethics raised more questions than answers. And it got me thinking nevertheless. Because blogging is a very transparent and penetrative activity, with governing rules barely established, it acts as a double-edged sword which can do as harm as it does good to the masses.

Transparency and Penetration
Being transparent means there are no rules nor limits with regard to the content the blogger wishes to publish to the world. Be it a highly informative piece of advice, a humorous joke, daily happenings in life, innermost feelings, pornography, foul language etc. No censorship board exists other than the blogger’s own. And this is scary, for no one can ever stop the blogger. I am just concerned that some people having so much power in their hands, keyboard and mouse might start abusing that privilege. I myself not excluded.

Penetration means anyone in the world, be it a 5- or 6-year child, a teenager, an adult, an elderly, of any profession, who has internet connection and no proper firewall settings can access the pages written by bloggers. So parents think their children are well-protected behind thick brick walls, but are they aware of the possible evils the bits and bytes of the internet cable are bringing to their homes?

I am not a saint. I commit mistakes as much as the next person. I don’t plan to lecture on morals. And I can’t change the world all by myself. I am brought up in a family which values a stringent set of rules. I believe total freedom leads to anarchy and total chaos, and don’t envision a future in which the world would have no criminals nor policemen. To me, men are like highly civilised monkeys just waiting to break the rules. Few achieve true enlightenment and become real men. But the rest of us are easily swayed towards acting on basic instincts, and do not think clearly many a times. Some rules and guidelines, I feel, are necesary to maintain the integrity of good blogging and for the betterment of mankind on the whole.

Let’s talk about the blogger. What is his/her motive for blogging? Noble reasons would be to get to know more friends, share information, spread laughs, vent frustrations, let out misery… Basically trying to make the world a better place for oneself and others? If you are a blogger, never forget why you started blogging in the first place. That initial innocence and excitement. That untainted life force in you eager to share how things through your eyes look like. And not just because of the fame and number of hits your webpage can generate. 10K hits per day, so what? Never trade honesty and your gift in expressing well in words for what the masses want to read. Never sell yourself cheaply. And please have some maturity and responsibility when writing. Otherwise put in a disclaimer. Because you never know when you are misguiding someone, especially when that someone is a child.

The audience should also take responsibility for what they choose to read. Parents and teachers should advise accordingly, especially to young impressionable minds. Certain really harmful sites should be banned or sent a warning to tone down or alter the content or language, governed by a community of well-reputed bloggers and members of the public.

Blogging is a fun thing to do. It gives me, the blogger, the chance to express myself to the world, connect with friends, and pass on knowledge to others. But it can also be easily abused. Can I be the sensible and responsible blogger and you the smart and discerning reader? Let us work towards a better blogging tomorrow!

<pilo-speaks> Am I the sensible and responsible blogger and you the smart and discerning reader?

No comments: