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31/08/2008

Less disclosure on this blog (it's slowing me down)

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Image: Nothing to hide?: Would you trust this blogger?

So when I started up this blog I read up on blog etiqutte and guidelines that others had come up with. At the time I guess I thought of myelf as a citizen journalist, and having come from a background

Since then this blog has evolved and become - for now - my personal, public notebook. So for the sake of openness and as part of my general sweeping aside of things-that-get-in-the-way of blogging I'd just like to go on the record about disclosure and my approach to it:

I am not a journalist, nor do I pretend to be. If you want on the record impartiality look elsewhere.

This is my blog, and the best way I can explain how I treat it is as a open notebook. That means I'm delighted when others read it, and over the moon when someone links to it or takes the time leave a comment, even when (especially when?) it's just to tell me that they think I'm wrong.

I work for a company called iCrossing. This does not represent that company's views, if it did I'd spend too much time thinking about what I was saying and self-censoring to make this a useful exercise.

So sometimes I will write about companies that pay my company money - clients. Sometimes I will know that, sometimes I won't: it's a big place. I've been in agency life for 12 years now and it is hard for me to write about much, especially when it comes to technology and the media, without mentioning organisations that at some point or other I've had a business relationship with.

My personal rules are: I don't shill. I don't use this blog to curry favour, plug stuff I'm working on etc. It's mine.

So what I used to do is the disclosure thing, and add a note saying I work for them (see the Virgin America footer a couple of posts back). Most of the time what this way of thinking about things has meant is that I've not written a post instead of getting it out there. Shame.

So I'm not doing it any anymore.

If I suddenly decide to run this blog like a media outlet, I'll review that position but for now - that's how I'm playing it.

If I think it's relevant I'll mention it, but otherwise you'll just have to trust me: I blog about people and brands because what they are doing or saying is of interest to me. That's it.

Hope that sounds reasonable. Open for heckling...


Comments

That photo makes you look a bit like Ian Hislop!

Er, thanks, "Paul".

Really interesting post Antony, I respect that you're (re?)claiming this blog as you, as your own - the issues of disclosure/clients/agency working life etc. are ones that plague me frequently and have contributed to the strangulation of my little blogging monkey, too many moons ago. I think you've inspired me to get back on my digital soap box and rant and rave to everybody and nobody once again. No promises though, you know how it can be with a mojo ;)

Spot on, Charles - and thanks.

It's a shame that it needs saying, in a way. I often tell journalists I'm training that "interesting" is the basic unit of blogging - that any post starts with you thinking "that's interesting".

It's a sign of how many "forced blogs" - where people are actively looking for things to blog about - there are that this kind of statement is needed.

Cross-commented (?) from Adam's blog where he expanded on the comment above:

You're absolutely right.

I was slightly embarrassed to have to post what I did, and I also concurred with Euan.

Some things in my head were getting in the way of blogging - an activity which has become really important to the way I process things, make sense of them, by talking out loud.

It was just something I needed to say, to articulate to give myself permission, as it were, to not self-censor.

I think actually its partly borne out of my background as a PR person, the training and habits that were all about controlling output in communications. Has that been signed off? Is that on message? What will the implications of saying that be on partners and other stakeholders. Blah, blah, blah.

Shaking those habits off, most of all when it comes to my own blog is something I need to do.

Perhaps it does say something about the state of blogging too, but for me it was all about how I felt and how I wanted to be thinking.

There: you ranted, I rambled.

I agree, disclosure is less important as long as it's clear your blog is a 'personal outlet'.

What did someone say to you to pull a face like that? LOL

I was Best Man at a wedding a couple of weeks ago and was a bit nervous...

In response: "I'd buy that for a dollar"...

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