Ethical Considerations For Christian Bloggers
Blog ethics is something that I have found needs to be addressed even if it won’t get a lot of search engine traffic from Google. Recently I have seen two incidents where Christian websites have done something that I would call unethical. One involved me personally and one involved a dear friend of mine. In both cases I do not believe the offense was something that was done purposefully or maliciously but instead were cases where zeal and a lack of knowledge caused the people to do something that is considered unethical. As Christian bloggers, I believe we have to walk a higher road than the world when it comes to how we run and promote our Christian blogs. I think we all realize that there will come a day where we give an account for our lives and actions and the values that we lived by. At that point it will not matter if we had page 1 rankings on Google, or that we had the biggest Christian website on the internet. What will matter is what type of character did we show and what type of person did we become. Did we allow ourselves to become conformed into the image of Jesus. Because of that I decided to do a post on blog ethics and at least share with you some of the issues I have wrestled with and worked on in trying to have my internet presence match my personal character and ethics. It is my hope that as you read about my own struggles and issues you will take a moment to consider your own ethical standards for your blog.
Blog Ethics for Content, Link Building, and Social Media.
Blog ethics for content.
The ethical considerations concerning content at first seem like a no brainer. However it was in this area that both my friend and myself had unethical practices happen to us. It was called plagiarism. Both of us had content taken from our blogs and placed on another website without our permission and without a link back giving credit to the original author. I have not heard how the situation has resolved with my friend but in my case when I contacted the person who used my content as his own, he quickly removed the content. I would have been satisfied with a link and credit but his choice was to remove the content. There are reasons why taking another person’s content and placing it on your blog as your own is wrong. It is called theft. Your content on your blog is your intellectual property. I was surprised to find out recently that my “intellectual property” on this blog is now worth over $10,000 dollars if I was to sell this website today. Taking a part of that property and using it as your own is wrong. However if you want to syndicate or curate part of that content and give credit back and a link to it’s original source is very ethical. It not only helps you, but it helps the person who spent the time writing the content.
The second issue that I have wrestled with concerning content is using “spun” content as a method of link building. This is where you take a article or blog post and use a program to rewrite it to make it look unique. Most programs and those that use them do not produce an article that is of very high quality grammatically. Now does it really matter if an article on blue widgets is very readable in the eternal scope of things, when you are just using it to build links? Not in my opinion. However, we as Christian bloggers are not talking about blue widgets. We are talking about things that have eternal ramifications and the quality of that presentation does matter. So for me, unless I spin the article manually and make sure that the end result is a quality article that I would be willing to put my own name to and place on my own blog, it becomes an ethical issue. I find it ethically questionable to use poorly spun content.
Read about the blog ethics for link building and social media on page 2
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