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While reading a post by Jill about ethical guidelines for bloggers, I started reading some more of her related posts and realized that I could make my own summary post about honesty in blogging.
In the first post, Jill gives three considerations to keep in mind when preparing to write a blog post. These three considerations are privacy, honesty, and advertising disclosure. Privacy is obvious–don’t put things out there for the whole world to see that you wouldn’t actually tell someone (even a complete stranger) in person. Keep other people’s privacy in mind too and don’t embarrass your family, friends, or coworkers with what you share about them (if they come up in your stories). Advertising disclosure is mostly a consideration for those very popular bloggers who get products sent to them for free. She advises these bloggers to be open about how they are writing about these “freebies,” if they choose to write about them at all, so that it doesn’t look as if they are endorsing the products simply because they received them for free. How honest you choose to be in your blog is also important, and this idea of honesty brought up an interesting tangent that I decided to investigate further by reading her related posts on the topic.
Jill brings up the video blog of Lonelygirl15 as an example of a fictional blog whose discovery as fictional greatly upset those people who had followed her and been involved in her story, thinking that she was genuinely an amateur video blogger like them. These people were upset to such a degree because they had thought they were having “a genuine interaction between equals” and thus had been honest and open with Lonelygirl15. When it turned out that Lonelygirl15 was actually an actress who had a legitimate production crew helping her make the videos, they (justifiably) felt silly for thinking that she was on their same level.
I thought this was a very interesting example to bring up. Being new to the blogging world and definitely not a video blogger, I have never experienced that sort of community interaction that these people had with Lonelygirl15. However, I completely understand their feelings after discovering that she was a fake. This story emphasizes the importance of taking care to be honest and considerate with one’s online persona.