My blogging topic schedule has been disrupted by many events the past few weeks. I am staying true to my promise of setting eight blog posts to celebrate the blog's eighth birthday. So here's the first on responsible blogging, a lesson I have learned over the years.
Blogging has given me a voice. At the start, it was a shaky one. Unsure at one point and very opinionated at sometime. That was not good. If you want readers to believe you, your voice must not only be convincing. It should have conviction. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Readers will know when you're bluffing and when you're saying your ideas with all sincerity.
Having said these, what you want to communicate out there does not always have to be your opinion. Maybe you have an idea, a strong opinion on a topic but these have to be well established on facts and information. A personal belief is one thing. An unsupported opinion is another. Hold that opinion or personal idea for a while. Research. Investigate. Try out your hypothesis. Cite your sources. Do not claim what is not yours.
A blog is a media that does not undergo strict editing. So, the blogger is his or her own editor. When I started blogging, there were no blog awards yet. But, there was the iBlog Conference in 2005 where influential bloggers came and gave talks, lectures and tips for beginning bloggers like myself. One unforgettable blogger in the group of speakers was Connie Veneracion. She was a living testament to responsible blogging. One memorable line she delivered then was this: "Our online persona reflects who we really are." That would mean, that despite a pen name or anonymity, we show our true selves when we blog.
Blogging can be fun. And yes, there's a promise of earning a bit of cash. But, the voice and the freedom of expression found in blogging must be taken with great responsibility.