Bloggers: We Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges
Tim O'Reilly's and Jimmy Wales' call for a blogging code of conduct, including an "anything goes" badge for sites, sure has raised a ruckus. His idea is understandable in the wake of the recent Kathy Sierra incident, in which the prominent blogger received death threats on another blog.
But even though I don't think the tenets of the code are unreasonable in themselves, I tend to agree with Jeff Jarvis and many others that they're at best meaningless--bloggers, bless their souls, are going to do what they damn well please. At worst, they're dangerous because they imply to the world that all bloggers as a class are somehow less worthy of respect than, say, journalists. Some aren't, but so what? The best of them get the most consistent attention and the rest don't, regardless of whatever code of conduct they do or don't subscribe to.
Besides, the reason I like a lot of blogs is that they flout conventional wisdom, and if they flout conventional etiquette, too, oh well. It sometimes comes with the territory. I don't like death threats or even rank rudeness, but I just don't know that any particular code of conduct is going to make any difference.