Independent Bloggers’ Manifesto
This is the 2014 update of an earlier version I posted, in which I outlined a student bloggers’ bill of rights and responsibilities. In this update, I create a student bloggers’ manifesto.
1. Independent Bloggers will outline their own individualized blogging mission statement, explaining to their intended audiences some of the key reasons why they blog.
2. Independent Bloggers recognize that they hold complete control and responsibility for modifying their own privacy options for disclosure of personal content within personal blogs and group blogs.
3. Independent Bloggers acknowledge and exercise their right to choose not to participate in dialogues or knowledge-sharing and can opt out of the blogging and are not bound by a routine of regular posts. In addition, they can also choose to not disclose personal experiences, and not to feel pressured to blog for any audience.
4. Independent Bloggers can choose to refuse to participate in activities in which they feel uncomfortable. They can also choose to adopt a pseudo, “blog self”, or alias, and write in another’s voice.
5. Independent Bloggers accept that what is discussed within a private learning space among other students is not intended to be shared outside that learning space, and that students need to respect others’ privacy.
5. Independent Bloggers can opt out of being assessed by instructors if the assessment is based solely on frequency of posts and comments, and instead bargain with their instructors for a more meaningful assessment process;
6. Independent Bloggers can request an external validator/mentor as a role model to act as a guest assessor. Though the instructor holds the final say over assessment, it is expected that both the student’s and the guest assessor’s feedback is considered;
7. Independent Bloggers determine the extent of self-disclosure, and to whom they will disclose, and for what purposes;
8. Independent Bloggers recognize that other student bloggers have no obligation to respond to their posts, and they in turn have no obligation to respond to others’ posts.
9. Independent Bloggers need to understand that one must strive to balance their motivations for blogging between both intrinsic and extrinsic sources. Not only do students recognize they need to blog for one’s own individual intrinsic reasons, but for also seeking feedback from others, for drafting ideas for assignments, and for meeting course requirements.
10. In cases when Independent Bloggers’ intentions are to blog exclusively to meet the course requirements or compete un-authentically to win a popularity contest, they need to declare these intentions, and should be allowed to opt out of participating in educational blogging entirely.
11. Independent Bloggers are expected to outline their own expectations for engagement with others’ ideas – for example, whether it involves one or more of the following activities: reading, commenting, lurking; linking.
12. Independent Bloggers expect to retain posting rights, including the rights to edit, delete, restrict or widen access to their contributions, as well as the right to copy these posts to other personal/public blogs.
13. Independent Bloggers understand they need to notify other students and peers that comments linked to posts created within a “walled” educational space will be made publicly available, enabling other students to edit or delete potentially sensitive content beforehand.
14. Independent Bloggers recognize that they are answerable for any content created, and recognize their ideas are available in perpetuity once released into the public domain.
15. a) Independent Bloggers accept that their posts using others’ ideas require attribution, either by citing the author and title of the blog, or by linking to the post, or creating a trackback (if this option is available).
b) Independent Bloggers’ posts allow others to redistribute the work for non-commercial purposes without modification. In cases where others seek permission to modify the student’s contribution, any derived work will share share-alike permissions.
16. Independent Bloggers have the right to respond to outsiders’ comments and include those comments and replies as part of their own edublog.
17. Independent Bloggers agree to entrust their ideas to be hosted by the educational institution for up to two years, after which, the institution will notify students that their content will no longer be hosted, allowing sufficient time for them to migrate their content;
18. Independent Bloggers recognize that the privilege of responding to others in a safe learning space is to be considered a sacred trust, and will never willfully engage in harmful actions, as determined through consensus by the student community through a discussion leading to a student bloggers code of conduct.
19. Independent Bloggers should be assured that their instructors have had experience maintaining their own blogs, and have a positive outlook toward the blogging experience.
20. Independent Bloggers should be assured that their instructors read and respond to their posts if this dialogue is requested. Independent Bloggers also have the option to opt out of group blogs, instead choosing to maintain a personal blog.