Blogging Code of Ethics

[July 28, 2008: As expected, here's Version 2.0 of this Code of Ethics.  Updated 3, 4, and 7]

I have long admired ComputerWorld's deceptively simple Code of Ethics.  Reading the venerable New York Times' Ethical Journalism Guidebook is almost as inspirational as a short seminar in journalism.

Blogs are entering the mainstream.  This new medium offers an unruly blend of news, advice, gossip, and speculation.  Some of this material is credible, some of it is not.  Corporate-sponsored blogs, like this one, add yet-another ingredient into the mix.  This has the potential to make it even harder for readers to assess the credibility of what they're reading.

If blogs are to attain any recognition or credibility as a new form of journalism, they must follow a code of ethics specific to the demands posed by this new medium.  Inspired primarily by the gold standard set by ComputerWorld, here's my attempt at a Code of Ethics for this blog:

  1. This blog is sponsored by Oracle and written exclusively by Oracle employees.  All Oracle employees are bound by the Oracle Code of Ethics and Business Conduct.
  2. This blog's first priority is the needs of the Oracle community.
  3. Factual errors will be corrected promptly and completely.  Changes will be documented, as appropriate.
  4. This blog focuses on hard technical information, avoiding marketing rhetoric.
  5. Authors may express their opinions -- ranging from enthusiasm to skepticism -- about certain features in Oracle products.  These opinions do not necessarily represent the views of Oracle.
  6. This blog may make limited statements about upcoming features, releases, and certifications.  Such statements will be flagged with the following disclaimer: 

    The above is intended to outline our general product direction.  It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.   It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decision.  The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.
  7. This blog may comment on technical compatibility of Oracle products with third-party products. These comments should not be interpreted to be endorsements or criticisms of third-party products.
  8. This blog does not permit:
    1. Discussion of confidential Oracle information
    2. Speculation about Oracle release dates for upcoming products or certifications

Given that this is the software industry, it's reasonable to expect Version 1.0 of this Code of Ethics to be followed by later versions, but one has to start somewhere.  I welcome your comments and feedback on this.

Comments:

It's refreshing to hear from someone who's paying attention to such details!  Thanks for pointing that out, David; I've corrected that.Regards,Steven 

Posted by Steven Chan on April 02, 2007 at 02:14 AM PDT #

Item 2 states that:-

This blog's first priority are the needs of the Oracle community.

Surely this should be "first priority is" or "first priorities are"?

Apart from that, I commend you on Version 1.0 of the excellent Code of Ethics for your blog. Well done.

David.

Posted by David K. Dickson on April 02, 2007 at 04:03 AM PDT #

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