Guidelines for Bloggers

Well, a few months into managing the MHSLA blog, I still feel that I’m learning the ropes. I’ve recently read a series of guidelines for blog authors, and they certainly offer food for thought:

MLA’s Task Force for Social Networking Guidelines for Bloggers offers suggestions concerning cultural aspects, civil discourse, handling comments, content, legal aspects, and publicizing one’s blog.

Aviva Directory’s 12 important U.S. laws that every blogger needs to know is a handy overview of the legal aspects of publishing a blog; the topics covered are:

    • Disclosing paid posts
    • Deep linking (linking to any page other than the “front door”)
    • Images and thumbnails
    • If someone steals your content
    • Domain name trademark issues
    • Handling private data you collect from your readers
    • Handling user-developed content (i.e., comments)
    • Duty to monitor content, and liability
    • Tax law for income generated from blog ads, etc.
    • Limited liability/incorporating
    • Spam laws
    • Journalism Shield Laws

      Electronic Frontier Foundations Legal Guide for Bloggers, also based on U.S. laws, addresses topics such as privacy, defamation, intellectual property, and trade secrets. Its “Additional Resources” page offers links to websites relating to fair use, international law, podcasting, media, anonymous speech, and “chilling effect” actions (actions that act to quell one’s exercise of free speech).

      Walt Crawford also shares his experience as a blogger in Walt at Random. These aren’t guidelines, but rather, thoughtful discussions of the responsibilities of blog authors. A couple of recent posts that I’ve found helpful:

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