Rules to write by
Dan Frommer wrote an excellent list of what are essentially the ethics at the heart of a site he’s recently begun. These are good ethics. I like these ethics. I’m on board with this. I’ve summarized them below, but you should go read 10 steps to better blogging.
- Factual accuracy and attention to detail above all else. Builds trust.
- Write what you want to read. Be yourself.
- Be more skeptical. Everyone’s going to tell their own side of the story.
- Attribute well.
- Add context. Don’t assume people know what you’re talking about.
- Be critical, but not unfair.
- Care about the details of your writing, grammar, etc.
- Care about your design. Make the right tradeoffs between culture, revenue, flashiness, and clutter.
- Don’t be the 10th person to write the same thing.
- Try new things all the time. This is the Internet – don’t act like you’re writing for Time Magazine in the 80s.
A side note on the way things are shaping up
I wasn’t very familiar with Mr. Frommer, though I had heard his name before. So I looked into who he is.
Previously, I helped create Silicon Alley Insider in 2007 with Henry Blodget and Peter Kafka, which grew to become Business Insider. There, I did everything from reporting (5,700 posts) and editing to coding early versions of the site. Before that, I was a technology reporter at Forbes, focusing on mobile and telecom.”
I think this is a fascinating progression. From Forbes – a gigantic and formal business publication – to a startup publication about startups (Silicon Alley Insider) which turned into a rather large and formal business publication (Business Insider) then back into a startup publication with what feels like an intense focus on transparency and honesty.
I like this. I think this is the way things are shaping up. I think we can make our livings creating and building businesses consistent with what I’ll call “the internet’s best way.” We don’t have to succumb to douche baggery and adhere to money-grabbing techniques in how we build our products and sites.
We can build our businesses and lifestyles out from honesty, earnestness, and heart.