Ethics, Etiquette And Why We Blog

At the 2012 Food and Wine Bloggers Indaba, Jeanne of Cook Sister! fame gave a talk that covered the topic ethics, etiquette and why we blog. These are my notes from the talk.

  • be nice when you blog / tweet / talk
  • do not make things up
  • ask before you use other people’s recipes etc.
  • the wheel turns!

Keep in mind that the interweb has a memory that lasts forever no matter what you do. So, if you say it / post it / tweet it online it is there forever. There is never a need to say something bad about anyone! This is damaging to yourself as well as to the person you are ‘outing’. Do not name and shame. Do not let self interest motivate what you do. Be polite when dealing with people and remember free things are a priveledge!

Do not disguise the truth. Be honest in all you do and all in say. Rather publish nothing that publish something you have made up. Do not accept a freebie only because you want to have something bad to say! If you would not normally spend your own money on the product, do not take it. If you have to say “no’ say it graciously. Write a balanced review and disclose the fact you were given something for nothing.

Remember, copyright exists on anything you see on the web. This applies to cookbooks as well, so if you are going to do a review of a recipe remember to make sure you can publish the recipe.

Be nice to people who you come into contact with via or on your blog. Do not mock them,. or insult them. However, do not feed the trolls and delete comments from them. If a comment is a personal attack on you, delete it. But, do publish honest and valid criticism and reply to those comments. We all blog for different reasons so respect the choices of others! Act like a community and stick together.

Be consistent in all you do – add your policies to your about page, or have a separate page for them like I do. Be open and honest and credit the work of others. At all times be courteous, professional and respectful. Blogging for others is a negotiation process so manage their expectations.


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30 thoughts on “Ethics, Etiquette And Why We Blog

  1. I think you’re taking it all a bit seriously. It’s good to hear crazy things and dull to hear dull things. There’s a world of dull out there – say something controversial and get things moving:)

  2. Excellent guidelines Tandy, thanks for posting them. What a wonderful world it would be if everyone followed these!

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