It seems to me that we’ve been talking about blogs a lot lately, and that blogs have been a major topic of conversation at many of the events around the annual convention last week. Most of the talk was around why you should be running a blog and how to go about it. However, there are aspects of blogging I haven’t heard many people talking about.
As we know, everyone who can set up and post to a blog has the power to speak their mind in a fairly public venue. While you may be using it to promote your business, others who have had a (perceived?) bad experience with you also can use their blog to speak against you. Since I’m not a lawyer, I won’t even pretend to go into any legal actions you could take, assuming you even have the grounds for it. I think in almost all cases its better to focus on not getting into such a situation in the first place.
An obvious question is “How do I avoid raising the ire of those bloggers I may do business with?” Jim Maule, a law professor at Villanova University, recently posted to the politech mailing list his thoughts on how to avoid being blog bashed. This was generated out of discussion about the recent Forbes anti-blog article Brouhaha.
I would do an injustice trying to summarize it, so I quote it here in its entirety:
How to Avoid Being BlogBashed:
1. Create quality products and services.
2. Sell what you advertise.
3. Make certain your products and services do what they claim to do.
4. Fully test and study your products and services before offering them for sale.
5. Disclose all risks posed to purchasers of your products and services.
6. Tell the truth.
7. Fulfill your warranty promises.
8. Don’t cut corners.
9. Comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
10. Don’t try to buy influence.
Follow those principles and the bloggers won’t have any reason to bash nor will they have anything or anyone to bash. They might even begin singing your praises without having to be paid to do so. As for the idiot bloggers who in turn lie, take the high road. Sue them. Don’t get down into their gutter. You’ll get just as dirty.
Thanks to Boing Boing where I first saw this link as one of their posts.
Also, FYI, “Politech is the oldest Internet resource devoted exclusively to politics and technology. Launched in 1994, the Politech mailing list has chronicled the growing intersection of law, culture, technology, politics, and law.”