This is the second entry following the first one which was more about the Bloggers Buff 2007 event. In this entry, I’ll be writing more about what I’ve understood and how you can become a responsible blogger from what seasoned and more mature bloggers have shared during the event.
The first step to become a responsible blogger is very easy – passion. Speeches delivered by Timothy Tiah (Nuffnang), Yvonne Foong and Kenny Sia commonly talk about the passion for blogging and writing. Sure, Kenny might be raking in big bucks he never intended for all of that to happen. Yvonne is a really great example of a blogger filled with passion and if there were an award for most passionate blogger; she would be the winner.
During the forum on responsible blogging, the panel; DatoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ahmad Talib ( Ex-NST GroupEditor), P.Kamalanathan (Putera MIC) and Li Tsin (Malaysiakini), discussed topics related to responsible blogging and what is needed by bloggers to practice it. We covered:
Malaysia public perception and blogging
Li Tsin spoke about how blogs are now being misinterpreted by the public because they always misinform the wrong information. This, of course is no thanks to the media who can raise or destroy blogging. Ahmad then said that a great injustice is being delivered to bloggers with the statement “bloggers are liars” – no thanks to the media. When it came to Nathan’s (sorry, needed to shorten the name though it sounds very young) turn speak, he agreed with what have been said and added the media has only been taking the bad things.
However, what he said next is really true. He said bloggers should consider the moral effects when posting an entry and new bloggers should not be misinterpreting what blogging should be. In my humble opinion, new bloggers at the moment are using it as a medium to only complain. Moving on, one blogger in the crowd asked…
Can the public movement like V for Vendetta happen in Malaysia?
Though Li Tsin agrees it is possible, it may still be difficult to happen as the Internet penetration is still a large challenge. While speaking about this liberal movement, Ahmad said oppression is a very undefined area and is inaccurate to use as an excuse because unless you locate the real source of the oppression then can you define the real problem. In other words, my interpretation is it has to be nibbed at the butt before it even begins later.
Ethics and blogging
Nathan started this off with a very good opening line. He described professions have ethics but practice of ethics is the responsibility of the individual. When ethics become dollars and cents, you lose your morality. In addition, Ahmad said If ethics were to be applied to blogging, bloggers will have to understand the ethics of blogging. Which in my personal opinion is entirely true as new bloggers have not heard of ethics and straight away go for the dollars and cents.
While discussing about ethics and blogging, Li Tsin described the gap bloggers are filling in for the public – in between the government and the media. Blogs are a way of direct feedback for issues because of the comments. Whereas if you write into the papers, you wouldn’t know if the comment will be published.
Why do you blog?
The one question the panel didn’t really thought they’d have to answer but had fun doing so. Ahmad said the reason he started blogging was because he was afraid he lost the way to write. Though he was worried about this, he also said the other reason he started blogging was because he was envious of his friends who did it. However, the one part even I never expected to hear is to pass his legacy to someone else to continue. My dear friend Ahmad, you’re not old and though you use your Blackberry as a paperweight I believe you’re still aligned with us seasonal bloggers.
When Nathan was asked the same question, he mentioned similarly on how he too was co-op into blogging because of his friends out of curiosity. However, the main reason now he blogs is to practice his writing.
So if you still don’t know how to become a responsible blogger from the topics above, here are the 5 tips shared by Ahmad to all new and seasoned bloggers:
- Maintain clarity of thought.
- Say it as you want to say it.
- Be very accurate.
- Be very careful in choice of words.
- Stick to the basic principles of saying it as facts.
His additional tips are if it’s not factual, state it’s yet to be clarified. And without the items mentioned, passion isn’t the only thing you will need for blogging.
The forum ran definitely gave a better perspective to bloggers on what is responsible blogging. It’s not only about the passion but the ethics and the principles to practice when blogging. One of the things I learnt is did you know you shouldn’t comment someone as unpatriotic publicly. It could lead you to a lot of trouble.
The added advice shared by a professor of media who attended is if you’re going to blog about sensitive topics from your neighbour to a provider is to keep a disclaimer. You know that one says what you’re writing is not intended to harm or bla bla bla.
Besides all that has been spoken, my personal advice is to read what you’re publishing twice, three times or four even. This is to not only check your grammar but to practically save your *ss from any lawsuits later.
[tags]Bloggers Buff, Blogging forum, Responsible blogging, Blog ethics, Public blogs, Nuffnang[/tags]