Last updated: 6/5/2002; 8:35:20 AM

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What Violating the Golden Rule Means in an Era of Blogging

 

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Good words to live by normally.  Essential words to live by now that blogging is becoming:

  • common
  • normal
  • credible
  • not just by geeks and for geeks

Here's why:

  • If you treat me poorly I'll blog it.
  • If you treat me well I'll blog it.
  • If your contract is offensive then I may sign it but I'll blog it publicly for the world to see.
  • If you are incompetent I'll blog it.
  • If you're competent I'll blog it.
  • the list goes on

What's happening now in this "blog era" we've entered is that I can tap into the day to day knowledge of people I respect.  Examples:

  • Why do I use www.rackshack.net for hosting?  Because Dusty (sorry man, forgot the url, brain dead today) said they're ok.  Dusty's a reader of mine and I'm a reader of his.  I like him.  I trust him.
  • Why does at least one person I know of NOT use Rackspace?  Because I blogged my experience with them and they read my blog and respected me. 

You could argue that this is no different from a www.companynamesucks.com web site but it is so vastly different that it's hard to know where to begin:

  • Blogs aren't generally vile, puss filled abusive rants
  • Blogs have a history and a context so an author can be evaluated
  • Blogs are updated regularly.  You may see that on day X I hated Verity with a level of flame, bile and anger rarely seen before but then you can also see that on day X+10 they fixed the problem and were redeemed.
  • Blogs are intimately tied to free speech.  *sucks.com sites are often shut down since they are just bashing,  It's hard to see how a well thought out, well reasoned blog that happens to mention negative experiences will get shut down.

So people where is this going?  If you go from this position, which I think people will generall agree is true, :

People always ultimately do what is in their own self interest

Then you get this:

  1. The current deplorable lack of ethics in american business will improve albeit slowly.  Change is slow.
  2. People will treat other people better.  More along the lines of the golden rule.
  3. Why?  Because it's in their own interest to do so.  Because if you don't you lose business.  Look at Rackspace above.  Their error with me cost them at least $2400 ($199 / month hosting * minimum 12 month contract).  And Rackshack, because they treated Dusty well, got richer because of it since I am now a customer and I now recommend them fervently.

The implications that simple blogs have continue to amaze me.  Of course given that what blogging does is give a system of discrete, disconnected nodes (known as people) a persistent shared voice and communal memory that is TRUSTWORTHY, perhaps I shouldn't really be surprised.





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