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Of course Wikipedia has a page on netiquette. One illustration from that link says, "However, like many Internet phenomena, the concept and its application remain in a state of flux, and vary from community to community." So true. I mostly read blogs that use Google's blogspot or the Wordpress formats. A few years back, my brother created a blog on Wordpress that functioned as our family newsletter, and he made it private so that only the six of us siblings and associated family members had access to it. It was wonderful, until we all joined Facebook and it began to wither on the vine. That said, we could do whatever we wanted with it, say whatever we wanted, and nobody could read it that we didn't want to.
Facebook has some good things to recommend it, but there have been some privacy issues raised lately. I like the fact that I can keep up with family members, people I knew well in Boulder before I moved away, skydiving acquaintances from around the world, and local friends here in Bellingham, all in the same place. I check it daily, or almost daily. But my blogosphere is where I find the most creative and challenging information. Since some people post daily, and others almost that often, my Google Reader sometimes greets me in the morning with thirty-some blogs to read. I usually scan them if I'm in a hurry and have only now and then been forced to declare them all has having been read when I didn't have time.
|Queensland University tips|
Another thing that usually makes me uncomfortable is to see a graphic that belongs to someone else used in a post without attribution. As a writer/editor in my previous life, I used the Internet often to grab illustrations for my boss' articles, and I always had an email safely tucked away that showed I had permission to use it. Sometimes we even had to pay, to reprint syndicated comic strips, for example, or anything else that might be copyrighted. One blogging friend who travels a lot had a travel agency lift some of her photos and use them, without her knowledge. It's not okay. I remember once when my boss realized that a company overseas had taken an article we had on a blog and reprinted it, in color, and sold copies of it for $10 each!! We were able to make them stop, but we had to know about it first.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have an online community that provides me with thoughtful and stimulating commentary. It adds so much to my life, and I am broadened in the best possible sense by this activity. I also realize that there are some people out there in my virtual world whose names I don't know, who live in some hidden place, but who still capture my imagination and admiration. Isn't that wonderful?