Posted by Amanda Chapel
The Blogger Code of Conduct Revised
So what's the latest Web debacle? The story now is that the very guy who coined the phrase "Web 2.0," Tim O'Reilly, has gotten severely mugged while issuing a few guidelines for civility.
Well, WTF! The New York Times describes the blogosphere as a nasty, wild and wooly place filled with uncivilized hooligans and vitriolic bloggers. And what is our combined response? We prove them exactly right. Terrible, just terrible.
Fact is, O'Reilly was just proposing that it's time we clean up our act. Considering that it was only a proposal and a first draft at that, the negative backlash is downright reprehensible. What happened to the "conversation"? Hypocritical bastards the lot of 'em. Here uniquely, we try to take a rational approach and help Tim refine his 6-point charter.
First, let's put this all in context. Here's a little background as to why this is so important and urgent:
Well, for one, O'Reilly and Co. have a lot riding on this Web 2.0 thing. For some there's a lot on the line professionally and personally.
For a "professional" perspective, take Edelman's Me2Revolution (please). They've invested a lot and haven't seen much (if anything) in the way of return. Trust me, if there's money to be weaseled out of a hyped trend, Edelman is the firm to do it. Bottom line: all this trash talk is really bad for business. Ya just don't throw a tantrum during the sales pitch. Think about it.
Now, on the personal front, people like Parmet, Holtz, Himler, Basturea, et al., have all told their friends and families that this scheme was going to pay out big time. Fact is, as this thing goes south, most of these guys are so far out on a limb career-wise, their options are now pretty limited. I mean, what else can they do? And Himler's got three kids!
Then there's the rising tide of floaters found in the blogging meme pool: the Wikipedia attribution and credibility issues; Edelman Wal-Mart Flog Flap; the seemingly endless Chris Hansen MySpace pedophile parade; the trumpeting of Twitter's triviality; and of course, the Kathy Sierra MeanKids online rape and death threat drama. Yikes! Sure looks like the society of Social Media is now populated by 60 million masked predators looking to swindle you or "cum down your gob." Turns out Keen's Cult of the Amateur not only articulately describes how this mob is replacing the Institutions that house the Mona Lisa with abject mediocrity; it shows how we've raised badly done pornographic graffiti to cultural icon... all held sacrosanct in the name of empowered expression... all defended by Jarvis’ 6 million pitchfork and torch bearing mobsters. Sad and a bit scary actually.
Listen, unless we do something soon, the hope for Web 2.0 will disappear forever. Imagine Ruble part-timing at Sharper Image; Scoble taking your order at Outback Steakhouse; and Jarvis writing the TV complaint column for the weekly newsletter at your grandparents' retirement home. And that's not far fetched.
O'REILLY'S PROPOSAL REV. 2
Anyway, the following is O'Reilly's proposal refined and including an addendum:
What those that instantly poo-pooed O'Reilly first draft missed is that this is an opportunity. Like PRSA's Code of Ethics, it's not like it's actually going to be enforced or anything but it says that we adhere to its principles. This will go a long way in manipulating public perception.
Other than that, what can I tell ya? Robert if you're reading this, I'd like to start with an order of Bushman 'Shrooms. Then I'd like an Outback Burger with cheese, medium done. Do fries come with that?
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If only the New York Times had used tough language like that instead of lobbing the President softies in the Rose Garden when the Patriot Act was being put in place.
I appreciate your concern, but my PR consultancy is doing just fine thank you. Also, if you took the time to learn my position on the state of the industry, you will know that my "baby with the bath water" comment remains valid. Here's something a bit more recent:
A few weeks ago one of your guest writers said labeling it "satire" doesn't excuse this sort of thing. Well, pshaw. This is a great post that had me doin' the LOL.
I'm one of those old farts who came of age reading National Lampoon. I like irreverent humor, and if I get an alternative point of view in the process, cool. Thanks for helping us keep this whole thing in perspective.
I thought that whole 'PR-mobs-bury-the-bulldog-reporter' gig was over weeks ago or is it just me?
What a major CF this is turning into. Everyone has fun at first, then some concerned parents (A-listers) get in on the action and suddenly you can't play tag anymore. Sigh! I do hope our "thought leaders" take an objective look at the fact that the only reason this whole dog and pony show called "Web 2.0" (bleargh) works because everyone behaves however they heck they please, damn the torpedoes. Those of us who can't take the odd death threat or flaming should head up to Canada -- they do it behind your back, there :)