A publisher mate of mine called me with a few questions about my post on regulating bloggers. His question was how do we draw the line between media and blogger? It’s a tough question but here are some thoughts:
Dont base it on traffic. That ignores the network effect of sites like Facebook and the scale that is achieved through simple links and search. Traffic is also ever shifting. Some days you would be regulated. Other days you wouldn’t. One link in the future could change your status.
Perhaps it could be a simple self declaration based on guidelines – all done online. Guidelines to explore might include whether the blog is revenue generating or directly used for commercial purposes. Or, if the site is a self-declared media network powered by bloggers. A great example of this in action is the impressive MaxConnectors which just launched here in Australia.
I’m not sure how you can effectively regulate the rest of us that are sharing thoughts and ideas, that view our content as personal opinion, and who ultimately are guided by no commercial intent. To regulate this would be to attempt to regulate conversation – albeit, online and in written form, but conversation nevertheless.
I do like the idea of a set of standards for bloggers, commentators and serial opinionators to work to. We could crowdsource those. Clearly there needs to be some discussion around how we manage link-baiting, trolling and conversation-jacking.