Beth Kanter's post about nonprofit blogging policies reminded me of a post I made about Robert Moffitt, the Communications Director for the American Lung Association of Minnesota in 2005 when I worked at Backbone Media. My post referenced one of Beth's articles. Robert did not have comments enabled on his Association's blog because his state had a very active pro-smoking blogging community. He was concerned that his Association's board would shut down the new blog the first time a pro-smoking blogger made a pro-smoking comment on his blog.
In a post describing the meaning of the term synthetic transparency, the definition is from Dr. Walter Carl of Northeastern University, “Synthetic transparency involves using blogs to give the impression of openness, honesty, and transparency but without really doing so.”
I wrote about the association’s level of transparency,
“The organization set the expectation that a reader could not interact in a public way on the blog. The ALAMN has received some criticism through direct emails for not allowing comments on the blog. But at this stage in the development of the ALAMN’s blog such a design makes sense for that organization.
Is the ALAMN being intentionally synthetically transparent, or because they are upfront about their level of transparency by not allowing comments is the ALAMN just defining what level of transparency the organization is willing to accept. I’d suggest it’s the latter, by establishing the design of the blog without comments, the ALAMN makes a clear statement about their level of transparency, and there can be no misunderstandings here. The ALAMN is not being synthetically transparent.”
I did a quick check and I was not able to find association's blog.
As Beth is looking for more examples of blogging policies I'd offer the following:
On this post are links to three podcasts about blogging guidelines produced for the Society of New Communications Research, in addition, the journal of new communications research has all the case studies we developed from the podcasts in an article we wrote last year.
You can also find some online guidelines I wrote while working at Backbone Media. I expanded on these guidelines in chapter four of my book, "Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging."