Blog and Wiki Writing Guidelines

Thanks to Leigh Blackall for giving a link toa draft set of guidelines for the use of blogs in wikis in formal educational settings. These guidelines, themselves stored on a wiki, provide a basic introduction to blogs and wikis and then consider their use for educational purposes. Policies, open and closed communities, general guidelines and what makes for successful blog and wiki entries are covered.

The article ends with what to me is a very thought-provoking section on ethics in this new publishing medium. I can imagine my blogging students this semester cringing at the following suggested code of ethics reproduced from the guidelines:

a. I will tell the truth.
b. I will write deliberately and with accuracy.
c. I will acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly.
d. I will preserve the original post, using notations to show where I have made changes so as to maintain the integrity of my publishing.
e. I will never delete a post.
f. I will not delete comments unless they are spam or off-topic.
g. I will reply to emails and comments when appropriate and do so promptly.
h. I will strive for high quality with every post including basic spellchecking.
i. I will stay on topic.
j. I will disagree with other opinions respectfully.
k. I will link to online references and original source materials directly.
l. I will disclose conflicts of interest.
m. I will keep private issues and topics private, since discussing private issues would jeopardise my personal and work relationships.

Powerful stuff indeed. Conforming to b, d, j, and k for students will be hard never mind for me!

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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