Monday, October 22, 2007

Legal Risks of Blogging

There have been a couple of occasions in the last few months when I have felt that comments on this blog were in danger of crossing a legal line. In one case, I gave an explicit warning in response to a comment.

I have a strong free speech policy on this blog. I will never reject a comment just because I disagree with it. But I am also conscious that this blog is a publication and is bound by the laws in the same way as any other publication.

I mention this because The Local has just had a very good post dealing with this issue, including two current law cases against Australian bloggers.


Legal Eagle had a very good post in this area that also brought out another issue, comments on bulletin boards etc.


ninglun said...

You may recall this arose on my blog a while back with certain comments someone was trying to make about the Orkopoulos affair. This is my main reason for having moderation on the WP blogs. I don't on Retired Teachers Never Die as I doubt the content there invites much risk. (Perhaps that's why not so many people are reading it.)

Jim Belshaw said...

I do indeed remember the Orkopoulas matter because I had the same commentator. I am still maintaining open comment, it is easier, but I stand ready to delete.

The visit patterns between blogs is interesting, as is the varying pattern of click-throughs with adsense.

Personal reflections has opened a huge traffic lead on the other blogs. Because it is my personal favourite I tend to post more, and I also put up more topical comment. Both attract traffic. On the othe hand, click-throughs are rare.

One of the things that I find hard across the whole group is to maintain consistency not just in posting but in content. I tend to forget who my audience is.

In your case the ESL blog attracts, especially ar peak times such as exams, because of content.The Judith Wright pages are a much smaller equivalent on mine.

Floating life attracts traffic because it is you and varied. It's a good blog.

I don't go to journalspace much. Not sure what to expect, how it fits in.

On Oz Politics and the Big Archive, I actually think that there is a conflict between the political commentary and archive roles.

This is very much a personal opinion.

I tune out most of the political commentary that's around. I get enough of it in my own home without having to worry about it on line as well. Not that I can ignore it on line. Try going through comments on Poll Bludger to sort the interesting wheat from the political chaff. I can only cope with so much Rudd or Labor triumphalism! After a couple of hours of it I feel like voting for Mr Howard.

So in my own case, the commentary stands between me and enjoyment or reflective consideration of other content on the blog.

As I said,that's very much a personal opinion. I do not pretend to be representative.

Old teachers is new and has a different audience again. I think that you are still finding your niche here.

I do enjoy this blog. My biggest problem at the moment is an eye-sight one.I find the light on dark hard to read.

ninglun said...

Thanks for that, Jim. I compensated for the visual problem on Retired Teachers by opting for pale blue on black and enlarging the font and to me it looks clear, but best in IE7 or Safari. Perhaps the rendering is different with your screen resolution.

The archive material tends to get visited by individual entries from WordPress tags or search engines, so it doesn't matter too much that it is attached to what is becoming an Oz Politics blog, albeit a much less formal one than the excellent Poll Bludger. Having the feeds indicating what is happening on the other blogs also helps. People do use them: they are probably more attractive than links and they update automatically.

Get your blogs hooked up to Google Analytics. You get much more information than Adsense or your current counter tells you.

WordPress does not allow Google Analytics, by the way, but their own stats service is excellent so this does not matter.

What a nerdish comment!

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, Neil. Will check things out tonight.