In rules? i don’t need no stinkin’ rules!, Liz Lane Lawley questions the proliferation of ethical rules, guidelines, and suggestions for weblogging, seeing them as overly declarative and restrictive for a medium that is so self-directed and self-correcting:
I don’t want a rulebook. I have my own sense of right and wrong in my head, and I use it to guide my writing.
I tend to agree. Blogging has flourished largely through removing barriers (ease of publishing, mostly) and enabling people to plunge ahead and write without first getting a certificate or attending j-school, or apprenticing themselves to a master. You learn to be a better writer by writing as much as possible (and by paying attention to how you are read by others), and you learn ethics by living a human life on this planetl that is, unless you are a sociopath, in which case the last voice you’re going to listen to is one offering you ethical rubrics.