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Why we need a Blogging Code of Ethics

Nuffnang supports the Australian blogging community to create, engage and share information. As blogging is a young marketplace with limited rules and regulations, Nuffnang believes it is up to the community as a whole to shape a successful future for the blogosphere and help grow its sustainable future.

As Australia’s largest blogging community, we actively support all bloggers, large and small, to blog about their passions and interests. Nuffnang doesn’t condone unethical behaviour when it comes to the blogging community or working with agencies and brands.

In the nearly six years Nuffnang has been facilitating campaigns between bloggers and brands, we’re proud to say the bloggers we’ve worked with have shown exceptional professionalism and work ethic and their work has really shaped the power and influence of this industry.

To maintain this professionalism and cement it for the industry, Nuffnang Australia will be developing a Blogging Code of Ethics.

Nuffnang believes the blogging industry has matured and now is the time to cement what we as a community feel is the right way to engage online, with one another, and with brands and agencies to ensure a viable and sustainable future for us all.

We as a community have the power to shape our sustainable future. Bloggers will decide this future and Nuffnang is actively encouraging input to this Code of Ethics from every member of the Australian blogging community.

Nuffnang wishes to collaborate with all bloggers to draft this document which will guide blogging behaviour and activity in this country and promote and foster positive and professional engagement.

Nuffnang Australia will not be supporting bloggers financially or otherwise who actively seek to discourage the values and ethics formulated in collaboration with the community.

To collaborate with Nuffnang Australia on the drafting of the Blogging Code of Ethics, Nuffnang encourages you to email info@nuffnang.com.au with your ideas, thoughts, opinions and input.

Thank you to all of you who make this community the wonderful, colourful and collaborative place that it is. We appreciate every one of you, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can further strengthen the Australian blogger community.

– Felicity Grey
Nuffnang Australia Managing Director

Felicity Grey
Nuffnang Community Team
  1. Katherine :

    great idea and already many of the bloggers have their own code. What about if we had a proper meeting about this?

  2. Felicity Grey :

    Hi Katherine, thanks for your feedback.

    Yes, we will certainly be considering a number of methods to put this together.

    As our main focus is to make this as inclusive as possible and collaborate with all bloggers, regardless of location, we’re kicking off the process with written comments. We look forward to hearing your input for this first draft and will continue to keep everyone informed of progress.

    Best, Felicity

  3. Darren Rowse :

    Not sure if we need a code of ethics really as a wider, national community.

    I understand the reasoning but after seeing a push for this in the US some years ago and watching the fallout (it caused more issues than it solved in the end as there were so many different points of view and interest groups) I’m not sure.

    My experience of the Aussie blogosphere is that it’s largely a very positive and ethical place and adding layers of rules or codes doesn’t feel like it is a good fit for something that largely runs smoothly and that self regulates pretty organically.

    There are of course incidents where this isn’t the case but they mostly work themselves out with time.

    I definitely could see how such a code would be useful for a network like Nuffnang to help its bloggers stay true to what the network is on about but to make it a wider code of ethics for Australian bloggers would probably mean it’d need a new organisation or body to be formed which I’m not sure is really appropriate.

    Don’t want to dampen your project – just think it’s probably better as an internal code than something that the wider blogging community need.

  4. Theresa W. :

    Love the idea — I’ll email through some comments!

  5. Veronica Foale :

    Oh awesome. I’m so glad we have someone like Nuffnang to tell us how to behave ethically in the Aus Blogosphere. God knows we’ve all just been drowning under the weight of making our own rules.

    Nuffnang: for the people.

  6. Felicity Grey :

    Hi Veronica

    We don’t see the Code as a set of rules. It’s more a chance to collectively agree on a set of behaviours to guide how we all operate and work with brands. Since we posted about this, it’s been made clear to me that we should perhaps consider the Code just for the Nuffnang community, which I agree with, although we still welcome input from the broader blogging community.

    It would be very sad if the fast growth of this emerging industry discontinued. We need to work toward a sustainable blogging future. We know you’ve written about blogging ethics in the past, and we’d appreciate your thoughts on this.

    Best regards
    Felicity

  7. Felicity Grey :

    Great! Thanks, Theresa

  8. Felicity Grey :

    Hey Darren,

    Thanks so much for your insightful comment. We definitely intend this as a voluntary code of conduct and can apply it only to the NN community, where the doors are of course open to the wider blogosphere.

  9. Kelly :

    Hi,
    I certainly think this is a worth while idea, especially as a collaborative process. If it encourages open discussion around the associated issues, I’m all for it.

  10. Felicity Grey :

    Thanks, Kelly. We look forward to hearing your feedback on what you’d like to see included.

  11. Emma Stirling :

    Hi Felicity
    I support the idea of a Nuffnang code but agree with Darren that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to do a broader code.
    There are a number of points I hope you consider:
    – As a health professional blogger I am bound by my professional body’s code of ethics and professional conduct over and above anything else. This places some restrictions on my blogging activity. And I could not agree to a Nuffnang code that was in conflict with this.
    – I have already committed via another pledge with global colleagues at RDs4disclosure and the Nuffnang code may need to look at the fit with these type of broader initiatives
    – I hope the code will complement existing social media guidelines like WOMMA http://www.womma.org/ethics/sm-disclosure-guide and the ACCC http://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Online%20reviews%E2%80%94a%20guide%20for%20business%20and%20review%20platforms.pdf so that we promote consistency for readers, even on a global scale
    – Finally as already mentioned I hope there would be a collaborative process with bloggers and consideration of a review and evaluation process.
    Thanks Emma

  12. Felicity Grey :

    Hi Emma

    Thanks for your input. You make a good point and we will be meeting next week to discuss how to proceed. Yes, we very much intend to make this collaborative, with review and consideration from all involved. Thanks again for your comments.

    Best regards
    Felicity

  13. MHFA :

    @Felicity

    Hope you’ll make a good assistive and adaptive code for all of us!

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