Response Blog #4 – Ethics for Bloggers

As a new blogger, I find blogging to be one of the best ways for self expression. Writing has always been my thing and as a shy child, it was my way of expressing my thoughts and the things I wanted to talk about.  At secondary school, my essays would often be displayed around the building and that was a confidence booster.  So I can see why so many people enjoy it. The idea that we can attract a community around us and singularly share our creative content has a powerful effect on bloggers.  But as with each technology, blogging has its affordances and constraints. With blogging sites being so easy to setup, it is important for each blogger to design their webpage with integrity and responsibility.

Although bloggers enjoy the fact that they can build relationships with their readers, which involves making it easy for them to connect and share information, I think what most people like is that sense of uncensored freedom that blogging affords.  However, it is that same uncensored freedom that Carroll warns against in Writing for Blogs (Carroll 184). Without a standardized code of ethics, the casual style of writing is often misused and misguided.  While it is true that not all bloggers are journalists, Carroll says that bloggers should seek truth and be honest, minimize harm, act independently and be accountable (Carroll 185).  I believe that responsible bloggers have an obligation to their readers to show that they can be trusted.  Depending on both content and context, the public have a right to reliable information.

I believe that the most important quality of blogging is to be genuine and honest.  But being honest isn’t always easy.  Advertising is growing vigorously and online media has given it that boost it needs to flourish. Bloggers are bombarded with offers of free products in exchange for them giving a review on their webpage.  How can viewers be sure of the integrity of the blogger and the content?  Bloggers have to be mindful of obligations that could influence their content and exercise caution even if it means that they have to refuse products or services.  It is far better not to align creator content with advertisements but if there is an agreement, then bloggers should be prepared to offer full disclosure.

It is a blogger’s duty to uphold the truth even if that means admitting a mistake.  Carroll’s advice is that if a correction is needed, the blogger should first of all, take responsibility for the error and correct the mistake immediately (Carroll 188). The best way for bloggers to guard against inaccuracies is to be clear between what is an opinion and what a fact.


The Effects of Accessibility. . .

When I think of blogs, I think of my own personal blog Black Attire Aficionado, The Blonde Salad, The Finance Bar, Business Insider, Buzzfeed, Elite Daily, J. Crew Blog are just some of the ones that come to mind. The blogs above are diverse in many ways, I never thought of them as a discourse community until now. What these blogs hope to achieve is to bring users together to engage in variety of topics and give users a chance to engage in discussions and connect through doing so. As a blogger myself, I realized lately I’ve failed in the consistency department. I have been extremely busy over the past four months and have not had time to contribute to my blog that I love so much. In chapter 7 of the Carroll textbook, he creates a list of the “Ten Steps to Better Blogging,” it goes as follows, write everyday, schedule your blogging time, be authentic, carve our a niche, be curious and take lots of notes, engage, learn the software, promote yourself, breakup the text and be ethical. The list is sort of the undisputed rules of successful blogging. Since many of your materials exist online it is essential to practice these rules. I think if each of us can practice and perfect these rules, we will be very successful in our careers. 

During 2009-10 there was a massive rise in fashion blogs— it was unprecedented! Back then fashion bloggers suffered from not being seen as an authentic source or credible source for information. It was seen as a “hobby” to take photos of your outfit, write silly posts about trends. In the infancy phase of fashion blogging, many bloggers like The Bryan Boy (the forefather of fashion blogging) were not taken serious. Many fashion houses and photographs discredit as an enterprise. Fast forward to today, fashion designers are begging bloggers to promote their brands. The fashion designers send bloggers free clothes/accessories, invitations to shows, getaway trips, you name it they do it. Additionally in on page 197 (Carroll), he poses the question is there a major difference between journalist and bloggers? Is one not the other and vice versa? Just like the fashion bloggers who have changed fashion due to social media and other technologies, are they less credible? For instance when I take a photo on my iPhone and then edit it and post it to Instagram and I receive likes, am I now a photographer? Is calling myself a photographer and in doing so, does it discredit “professional” photographers? In some ways it makes us equal but I’m sure a few would say that Instagramers have ruined or taken away from the true art of photography, that moment of waiting for a perfect shot whether its been hours or years. . . Maybe everything is becoming to easy in this world. How can any decent work of art be consider a work of art if it is so easy/ accessible now? I think perhaps that is the true challenge for any writer, is to stand out in a sea of look a likes . . .

Maybe for all fields, there will always be a fight for individuality, to be unique, to have a gift unlike anyone else.

An Intro to Moi

Bonjour classmates! My name is Jodieann or Jodie for short and no I’m not French, please excuse my obsession with the French culture. Hmmm, a little about myself. . . For starters, I was born in Jamaica and moved to NY about 12 years ago. I am an only child and I’m pretty awesome. My interests are in writing, fashion, food and coffee. My desire at the moment is to begin freelancing and obtain an internship at Hearst magazine in the editorial or PR department. My current career interest is writing and I’d like the opportunity to work as Lead Copy eventually working my way up to become a Creative Director for a mag or fashion house. Another one of my career goals is to become a board member at ProjectArt, a art non-profit. I’d like to begin traveling next year or even a summer study abroad program. Over the summer I interned at HNW, a strategic marketing communications agency primarily to the wealth and asset management industries, which offered me an extension until December— cool beans!

Now to the good stuff. . .JS-BROOKE

My strengths as writer vary. I have been exposed to many genres of writing which has given me a unique exposure to writing as a whole. I am always willing to challenge myself. My weakness is with feedback, I struggle with applying “constructive” feedback to my work. I am a critical/ ethical thinker, lately my thinking has been more strategic which is quite different from how I used to think. I am very strong minded and I am comfortable sharing when something does not resonate with me. I tend to read slowly because I like to romanticize myself with words and I get too caught up in my mind. I dislike the generalization that there is this “one way” to do something mentality that is heavily enforced in this culture. Yes, I am familiar with OpenLab.

Science  fiction- When I think of science fiction, automatically Stephen King comes to mind. Not really a fan, it’s too much of a fad.

I was in the midst of transferring when this program came about. I decided to stay because I wanted to be a part of something “new”. I think City Tech has a unique community that is unlike any other that I’d like to stick around and help build it to something great. I don’t think I chose the degree, I think it chose me.

My expectation is for this class is very high. I expect to be challenged, both as a writer and as a critical thinker. I would like not only for my professor to challenge me but for my classmates as well to challenge me to see another angle on things. I hope what I am learning will be almost mirroring what occurs in the real world. I’d like to learn something substantial that can be applied on a daily basis that is not mundane. I hope to have constant understanding and support from my professor.