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Blog // Thoughts
April 7, 2006

Towards An Ethic Of Blogging

Does the ethic of blogging, the way we choose to be online, represent a kind of morality?

Hugh at Gapingvoid has picked up on a discussion between Doc Searle and O’Reilly Media on the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. In particular the notion that “what seperates Web 2.0 from Web 1.0 is morality” really caught my eye.

The differing herachies of business as morality are also relevant for bloggers. This ties in with comments I have made before about blog-width (or widecasting), on the level of the morality of generosity, or hospitality. To me the functions of comments, trackback and linkeage are the key components of blog-hospitality, on both a relational and transactional level.

The extension of that is in the fostering, or nurture of relationships. Here is where I think Searle’s thoughts open us to an interesting insight, not just about relationships, but about the kind of relationships that happen through good net-citizenship and through non-exclusive information.

The image of the silo, or the constraint of knowledge within silos is a powerful one and applicable to many fields of thought, which can be discursively transformed through blogging (i.e, better thought through blogging). Although a theologian may not think of themselves in business terms, they nonetheless are subject to both a market, to consumers and to transactions. It is interesting to watch how many professional theologians, when they come to blog, struggle with the components of blog-hospitality and widecasting (as well as resisiting the blogosphere in the first place). Those who adapt well, tend to garner more success with their blogs by being more generous and hospitable, which in turn broadens the “cast” of their work.

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