Last Thursday at the Berkman blog meeting we discussed the issue of what is properly on and off the record for bloggers to write about. ABC television’s Nightline crew came and filmed the meeting for a possible inclusion in a Nightline show this week, date to be determined. We got bounced from Monday night for the Larry Summers issue.
Many people blogged on the meeting. Rebecca MacKinnon is tagging all the blog posts on last night's meeting here at del.icio.us. Here is what David Weinberger wrote as he blogged the event real time. Steve Garfield videoed the meeting and produced a nice documentary video, On the Record: Berkman Bloggers, that you can view online.
It will be interesting to compare Steve’s video to what Nightline does, if they use material from the meeting. The issue discussed is certainly more important than the media coverage. We disccused what is appropriate to write about in your blog. Steve’s video nicely covers most of the highlights, as do they other bloggers so I will not repeat all of them.
I did especially like two points. David Weinberger said that in a culture of transparency (with blogs) we also need a culture of forgiveness so we do not pounce on every innocent mistake people make, especially when they assumed they were talking off the record.
Lisa Williams said she only blogs about content that she owns. For example, she doesn't blog much about her marriage, because she doesn't have sole ownership of that experience -- she shares it with her husband. Here's a link to a letter Lisa wrote on her blog to Jerry Colonna, a VC who was struggling with what was OK and not OK to share on his weblog, “Uh oh, they found out about my blog and they’re not happy” It summaries some of the ideas she shared with us and closes with the comment, “The good news about this problem is that lots of other people have done some thinking about it, and you can bounce your ideas off theirs (in the blogosphere) and see what looks good to you.”
One outcome of this meeting for me is the need to create a blog policy. We advise businesses to create a blog policy in our business blogging book. I should do the same thing. I also encourage everyone with a blog to think through their personal policy and post it in their about space or some other clear spot. Here is a link to David Weinberger’s disclosure statement as an example. I am writing mine now and hope to have it up by the end of the week.