Simon Dumenco, a Media Reporter for Ad Age, has come up with something called the Council on Ethical Blogging and Aggregation (CEBA). The group, according to David Carr in The New York Times, was founded in the hopes of developing a proper way for bloggers and aggregaters to credit others’ writing. Dumenco told Carr that bloggers should not see the group as the enemy:
‘This is not an anti-aggregation group, we are pro-aggregation,’ Mr. Dumenco told me. ‘We want some simple, common-sense rules. There should be some kind of variation of the Golden Rule here, which is that you should aggregate others as you would wish to be aggregated yourself.’
As aggregators ourselves, we completely agree that there should be some sort of standard. But there’s a couple problems with the CEBA. Maybe the most troubling thing is that for a group developing rules for bloggers, there aren’t many bloggers taking part. Here’s the rundown of who has signed up so far:
David Granger, Editor-in-Chief of Esquire, James Bennet, Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic, Adam Moss, Editor-in-Chief of New York, Elizabeth Spiers, Editor-in-Chief of The New York Observer, Mark Armstrong, Founder of Longreads.com and Jacob Weisberg, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Slate.
Not exactly a group who will be looking out for the little guy, right?
Another problem with the CEBA is that while it’s a great idea, it’ll be preaching to the choir. Those that will listen to its ideas about ethical crediting already conduct themselves in the right way. Blogs that seedily go about linking won’t change, no matter what the CEBA comes up with.
Obviously suspect linking and crediting is a problem, and we commend the CEBA for trying to change things. If nothing else, it’ll be worth watching what happens.
[Image via Flickr]
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