As a brand new blogger, taking his first wobbly steps into a wild world, I feel lucky to do in the midst of a Category Five BlogoStorm. First, no one will pay any attention to all the stupid typos I'm going to make and second, I can learn firsthand the benefits and the nastiness of the blogosphere.
I'm not going to give a play by play breakdown of what happened. Right now, the brew-ha-ha is the #5 topic on Technorati. Hard to miss.
However, Tim O'Reilly, one of the apparent peacemakers who brought together the main combatants, has also suggested a code of conduct for the blogosphere. You can read a draft of it here.
I know I'm new here in the blogosphere but I'm pretty sure that voluntary codes that feature cute, cartoon Sheriff's Badges aren't going to cut down or prevent on hateful speech. I'm also pretty sure that anyone who suggests censorship backed by the power of the law will face a Category Five storm of their own.
To be honest, my opinion is that the blogosphere-as-Wild-West-cow-town will stay that way until it's residents get sick of it and decide to change. Which means never. Any individual or business that operates online in this new "conversational" communications environment will have to think long and hard about where their comfort lines are drawn. Crisis communications plans will have to move from the dusty file room and constantly be updated and kept at the ready.