Blog Safety

7 06 2011

PLEASE NOTE: I have set the blog up so that this page will remain as the second post for a few weeks, to make sure everyone reads it before posting. Otherwise, the most recent post always floats to the top.

Blogging is a very public activity. Anything that is posted on the Internet stays there.FOREVER! Deleting a post simply removes it from the blog it was posted to. Copies of the post may exist scattered all over the Internet. That is why we need to be careful and follow some simple, clear, safety rules.

FIRST RULE:
To protect your privacy, you need to set up your account using ONLY your first name. If you have the same first name as another classmate or your username is already used, then let’s add only your last initial (or your middle initial and last initial) to your first name, like MarkE, or MarkAE.

SECOND RULE:
Do not use pictures of ourselves in our profiles. If you really want a graphic image associated with your posting use an avatar — a picture of something that represents you but is NOT of you.

Other teachers who have blogged with their classes have come up with a list of guidelines for student bloggers.

One of them, Bud Hunt, has these suggestions, among others:

  1. Students using blogs are expected to treat blogspaces as classroom spaces. Speech that is inappropriate for class is not appropriate for our blog. While we encourage you to engage in debate and conversation with other bloggers, we also expect that you will conduct yourself in a manner reflective of a representative of this school.
  2. Never EVER EVER give out or record personal information on our blog. Our blog exists as a public space on the Internet. Don’t share anything that you don’t want the world to know. For your safety, be careful what you say, too. Don’t give out your phone number or home address. This is particularly important to remember if you have a personal online journal or blog elsewhere.
  3. Again, your blog is a public space. And if you put it on the Internet, odds are really good that it will stay on the Internet. FOREVER. That means ten years from now when you are looking for a job, it might be possible for an employer to discover some really hateful and immature things you said when you were younger and more prone to foolish things. Be sure that anything you write you are proud of. It can come back to haunt you if you don’t.
  4. Never link to something you haven’t read. While it isn’t your job to police the Internet, when you link to something, you should make sure it is something that you really want to be associated with. If a link contains material that might be creepy or make some people uncomfortable, you should probably try a different source.

Look over the guidelines and add any ones you’d like to suggest in the comments section below this post. I think Bud’s suggestions are excellent — clear and easy to follow. We’ll be using these from now on as the basis for how we will create our blog posts.