For work, blogging and issues in my personal life, I do a lot of research online.

When I land on a site, I expect the information to be accurate, however, wanting to be an informed consumer, I double check the data by reading additional articles on the same topic. If I find more than one website or blog reporting the same information, I begin to believe it may be true.

Still, sometimes it’s not.

Today’s Lesson

Readers often land on blogs thinking they are reputable websites and may take what is written as accurate.

But, as bloggers, we know many blogs (and comments) are only a reflection of the author’s opinion.

We usually don’t include a warning to that effect on each post (unless we’re including affiliate links), but instead, in the fine print of our disclaimer or buried in our about page, we may post a sentence that claims such.

But, who actually reads that?

With more than just bloggers reading our blog posts, unless you know what a blog looks like, (and many don’t), a reader may believe since this is what Google or another search engine is showing in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), the information shared in the post must be reliable.

Add to that, the fact most readers skim; looking for the short answer to their question. When that happens, even if in the post we admit this is only our opinion, many may miss that part.

For a blogger it would be easy to forget how much power our words have. Whether we write to uplift, write to teach, or write to share, each and every word we post can make a difference in the life of another person.

What our readers do with that is their responsibility.

But what I publish online is mine.

Today’s Assignment

Before hitting the publish button, are you aware of the impact your words can have on another person?

How you ever been misled by something you found online?

Do you think each blog post should contain a disclaimer?

Care to Share?

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  1. My blog is mostly about opinions, not facts… I think it’s pretty obvious when you read my posts. I do think it’s important to teach kids to make sure a site they have landed on is reputable prior to using info from that site. So a “gov” or “edu” site is generally more trusted than a “com” or “net” site. And of course one should check and compare several search results.

    Theoretically Google only brings relevant results, but once in a while even the almighty G can be manipulated (though not as often as in the past) – even for a short time – by the wrong people who get their junk sites to the top of the SERPs for certain keywords.
    .-= Check out vered | professional blogger´s awesome post: The End Of Racial Segregation? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      That’s a good point about .gov or .edu sites. More than likely the information contained on those sites have been thoroughly researched and should be accurate.

      Thank you for mentioning how we can teach our kids what to look for when they are online looking for reliable information.

  2. Greetings Blogsters,
    Well, looking into the headlines it appears the USA is heading into dangerous territory . The break-ins , shootings , and other crimes are increasing at an alarming rate . Playing with Iran is getting us nowhere fast . That government doesn’t care what we think or do because they are going ahead with their nuclear ambitions and are bent at destroying Israel . Israel , lives and survives on a little piece of dirt in the north African desert , while the Arab nations own and control all the other parts of the continent . The excuse is used for the creation of a Palestine state and yet they have all north Africa . The truth is they want to push Israel into the ocean and then Palestine will be forgotten . But , of course Iran wants to nuke it out of existence .
    Well , I don’t think those forces will ever succeed . I think Israel just might have a few surprises for them .
    Just my opinion and you said someone wanted it , so there it is .
    Good day Ya’ll
    Larkin

    • 1. Israel is not in Africa

      2. Palestine is not Tunis, nor Morocco, nor even Egypt; no more than Wales is Alabama.

      3. I love Israel

      4. I love Palestine

      5. When there’s a will, there’s a way for peace.
      .-= Check out Miguel de Luis´s awesome post: La ley del columpio =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Larkin,

      Thank you for sharing your opinions. That’s what being online is all about – the ability for us to voice our beliefs.

      • Larkin BucknerNo Gravatar says:

        Greetings Barbara and Good Morning,
        Thank you for the come back on the blogs. However I must totally disagree with Mr. de Luis because he needs to check his geography and his logistics and know that palestine isn’t on the map yet with the exception of east Texas and a few other tiny spots that have no bearing on anything . I must side with Israel and I must pray for Israel and I must look to the Holy Bible as the road map of the future .
        Thank You and Have a Good Day ,
        Larkin

  3. Well a disclaimer doesn’t get very far under Spanish law anyway, so I don’t include a disclaimer at all.

    However, I am aware that my blogging have consequences. It’s not common, but sometimes you get the odd email by a stranger thanking you. I have a post on doing school homework and it beats nice to see a comment by some middle schooler thanking you.

    Responsibility has a nice side of the coin too, it’s not just hard, tough work you have to do to check your sources and provide honest content, it’s your part of your relationship with your readers, and it does pay off.
    .-= Check out Miguel de Luis´s awesome post: La ley del columpio =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Miguel,

      That’s true. When we get those emails or comments, it lets us know the work we’ve put into a post is paying off.

      Although it does take time to research for some posts, if what we provide to our readers is accurate, not only do they appreciate it, but it builds our credibility.

  4. Hey Barbara,

    Great post as usual.

    Good questions too. Consequences to our actions and our words. Yes. Yes. Yes. You couldn’t have said it better. Now I’m blogging I have a written voice too and I’m starting to believe what I write. Big mistake!

    We are all so multi faceted that the minute we write something we may feel one way and then later change our minds. I still consider my self a newbie to blogging, four months now.

    AND I’m learning from my mistakes. It’s a public forum, we have to choose our words wisely. No, about the disclaimer question, though.

    Have a great one. Julie
    .-= Check out Julie @ jbulie’s blog´s awesome post: Life is participation. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Julie,

      I agree. Sometimes we publish something and later we realize that’s not what we believe anymore. Thankfully with a blog we can always go back and post an update stating so.

      And what I’ve also found is sometimes our readers shed light on a topic and raise issues we may have never thought of, thus changing our point of view.

  5. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    I think my topics have been subjective enough that my blog posts are clearly opinions. As for the stuff I found on the internet, I usually consider them opinions as well. Of course, some people’s opinions are more correct than the others’.

    If I was looking for information about how to fix my window, I will look at several to evaluate (and possibly find a consensus) of the opinions. But I will generally believe there are no hidden intentions. However, if I were looking for something about, say, a dietary supplement, I would be looking closely at the links to see if they are affiliate links. Affiliate links are not all bad, but if I start seeing the same referral ID everywhere, I will become more suspicious.
    .-= Check out Kelvin Kao´s awesome post: The Puppet Show (Day 2) =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kevin,

      That’s very true. What we’re researching for, can alter whether we believe what we read or if we think we should dig deeper.

      I’m with you on items which may be for sale via an affiliate link. Unless I know the author is credible, I’ll check those links plus make sure it’s not a paid post.

  6. BradNo Gravatar says:

    No not really. Unless its for a product review…as then its required in the U.S.A.

    The only real example of fake news would be the onion besides that I don’t think any bloggers lie.
    .-= Check out Brad´s awesome post: Vista RTM Reaches End Of Life =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Brad,

      Yes. The product reviews are suppose to reveal that which throws the ball into our court to determine if the review is truthful.

      I’d like to believe bloggers don’t lie, however, when it comes to paid posts, I’m wondering if all bloggers can be totally unbiased. And then, it’s not that they’re not being truthful, but they may neglect to include all of the facts.

  7. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I do my homework before publishing. Have I gotten burned? You betcha! However, if a blogger does their due diligence, then they should not worry about their impact in so much as article/post but be happy a future reader can earn trust in their content.

    Something that is very hard to achieve. But it can be done! 😀
    .-= Check out Linda´s awesome post: An Electrifying Road Trip Along Route 66 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      I can see how with the type of posts you do, you’d have to do a lot of research. Not only do your readers depend on you to provide them with the latest green news, but they’ve come to know you’re the “go to green gal”.

  8. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    Thought provoking, Barbara. Quite thought provoking.

    I’m with Kelvin on this, I think. I think it’s a bit of a myth that anyone (myself included) can ever be purely objective about anything – especially facts.

    It’s my opinion that anything we ever write can only ever be opinion. Bits of the truth may be nested within the words, but they can be as difficult to find as needles in a haystack.

    I find it best to approach everything as a statement of opinion, thereby letting others off the hook if they happen to get some of their facts wrong, and giving myself permission to look into things a bit more for myself should I need to.

    Perhaps we wouldn’t need a disclaimer of the kind you suggest if we all learned that it is, in fact, okay to think for ourselves… and to not always have to be right about everything even when the facts aren’t always at hand. Sometimes, opinions can be more illuminating than facts… even thought facts are clearly a good thing too.
    .-= Check out Tony Single´s awesome post: Melancholics Anonymous =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tony,

      I hear you. It’s hard to be totally objective when we’re reporting “facts”. Especially since each of us read things differently and then digest them often with an agenda in mind, or if we are reading between the lines.

      As for thinking for ourselves. Although most of us do, I think we will always find some who take each word we publish literally and will sometimes try to use them against us.

  9. Steve BushNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, I just found this site.
    Being factually accurate is so important for bloggers. The internet is rife with misinformation already; there is no need to repeat it. My site in particular is called “Fact of the Day .CA”, so it is VITAL that everything is cross-checked with reliable sources. I publish my sources so that people can learn more for themselves, and it would be a good practice for other bloggers as well.

    Side note: In general, the way that Google searches are done lead to self-reinforcing results. For example, someone who Googles “Acai benefits” will be presented with pages about how awesome acai is. On the other hand, if they Google “Acai myth” they will get pages that are all as skeptical as the user. So when you are searching for information keep in mind that your opinion will influence the “facts” that you find!
    .-= Check out Steve Bush´s awesome post: April 14 – Sydney Hailstorm – Fact of the Day (2 Comments) =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Welcome Steve,

      Yes, anytime we are reporting facts, it’s imperative our facts are not only correct, but that we provide links so our readers can find out more for themselves. Being careful of what we post, not only helps our credibility, but for someone like you, as time passes you could easily become the “go to” guy for facts of the day because you’ve become known as being accurate with what you share.

      I’m happy you brought that up – the way we and our readers search online. Like you said, unless we ask for a myth or a problem, chances are they won’t show up in our search results.

  10. I’ve been thinking a lot on this as well Barbara. With so many blogs going up daily, you see more and more “rehashed” information, and it’s not always accurate to begin with.

    A beginner reads a blogger who’s been on line 2-3 years and takes his/her work as accurate; they copy it, even put their own voice on it, but it’s still inaccuracy now spread wider.

    This is why “personal experience” articles are #1 and should be… “5 traffic tips I personally use to gain traffic” instead of the usual “this is what THEY say garners the most traffic”.

    I at least try my darnedest to always add something like, “in my opinion”, “personally speaking”, “maybe it’s just me, but…”

    You get the gist. lol
    .-= Check out Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing´s awesome post: WANTED: HootSuite vs. TweetDeck Comparison Guest Post! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dennis,

      Isn’t that the truth? That rehashed information gets posted so many times, by the time it ends on the umpteenth blog, it can be so misconstrued it doesn’t even resemble the original information any more (which as you said may not be accurate or it may now be outdated).

      I like your idea of posting articles which reflect what worked for us. That way the reader can take what they think might for for them and discard the rest.

      And as we all know, what works for us, may not work for others.

  11. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! This is thought provoking indeed – I always love reading all the comments/reactions to what you present!

    While a writer can express opinions based on any topic, they DO have some responsibility for fact checking. That being said, many writers take license to alter facts to match their opinions, whether this is being done consciously or not we never know.

    As a reader, one could only HOPE that one persons words would not alter their convictions entirely without seeking MORE info on whatever topics. Like getting a “second opinion” from a different doctor, I believe the reader has some responsibility too to form their own “intelligent” opinion.

    You know, we can disclaimer ourselves to death, but I understand it’s because this is such a litigious society. Where they are REALLY needed is being overlooked entirely. “Scientist” and doctors (who are being PAID) to say something is safe – researchers whose results are skewed because they too are being funded by some huge drug company – and governments (like ours!) who give these companies legal protection from lawsuits against any claim that their products caused harm to somebody. I’m much more concerned about these than I am some bloggers opinions about anything.

    Great post – lots of thinking going on here – as usual! 🙂
    Hugs
    suZen

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you SuZen,

      I hear you. Bloggers seem to be a lot more conscientious than some of the websites which are deemed to be reputable. As you mentioned, if a website (or it’s author) is being funded by “xyz”, they could easily put a person’s life in danger. And readers may believe because the website touts a “big name”, it’s accurate.

      Like you, I find that sad.

  12. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I know this won’t get me anywhere in the popularity polls, but the whole James Chartrand/Men With Pens thing flat out made me angry. Ultimately, I unsubscribed and dropped all contact. I know gender doesn’t make a difference, but I feel duped and taken. And then, to have it announced and gain benefit from the dupe, well that makes it more so.

    It goes back to honesty and being genuine.

    George
    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: Look Around – We are the Next Generation of Writers =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      That’s a good point. Not only is it important for us as bloggers to provide accurate information, but if we project ourselves to be someone different than we are, that too can make a reader feel like they’ve been mislead.

  13. Greg BlencoeNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I tend to look at blogging as just a different method of communicating. In the past, people would share their thoughts with the other people around them in their communities. But now with the internet, you can share your thoughts with anybody in the world.

    Therefore, as a reader, I personally don’t immediately assign any more value to what somebody says just because it is on the internet. I assign value based on my opinion of how good it is.

    Furthermore, the internet seems pretty good (but not perfect) at exposing things that aren’t true.
    .-= Check out Greg Blencoe´s awesome post: How to get your ideal boyfriend/girlfriend =-.

  14. Greg BlencoeNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I forgot to mention in my last comment that I really like the design of your blog. Very cool!
    .-= Check out Greg Blencoe´s awesome post: How to get your ideal boyfriend/girlfriend =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Greg,

      That’s true. Not only in real life, but online, we need to be “informed”. Just as someone in real life may repeat something they heard (and may believe it’s true), online the same type of information may be shared. It’s up to us to determine if we believe it and if it’s something we can use, or if it’s worth repeating.

  15. Gosh, I have no disclaimer anywhere on my blog. I do think people know what I’m saying is opinion though and sometimes I even write “only my opinion, but…”

    As for what effect my words have, you call to mind one time where I wrote about my slight OCD tendencies. It was a light-hearted post and I got a lot of comments from people who felt they did a lot of strange things compulsively.

    But weeks after the comments died down, I got a comment from a woman who left a very long one wherein she talked about the torture of her daily life having full-blown OCD. I don’t think she was offended by me making light of my own tendencies, but rather I think she wanted to “get it all out.” I apparently hit a nerve with her.

    I felt so bad for her situation, I wrote her a personal email to ask if she’d sought therapy or other ways to help herself cope. I was crushed when the email bounced back to me undeliverable. She must have left a bogus email address. I left a followup comment on that post for her to contact me, but sadly, she never did.

    I have never forgotten about her. I hope she got help.

    So, yeah. Our words affect people in ways we sometimes can’t imagine.
    .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Windy Cake and Bacon Shoes! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kathy,

      Thank you for sharing your story of how your words touched another person. That’s sad. Like you, I hope she found help.

      Your story reminded me of when I did a post on texting while driving on one of my other blogs. A women showed up in the comment section and shared how her son was killed by a driver who was texting. Reading what she went through brought tears to my eyes and was a good reminder for me (and hopefully for the others who read the post) that no phone call or text is worth someone’s life.

  16. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara — I think informational blogs that are quoting facts really ought to provide a source. That being said, I’d have review all my posts to see if I actually did this:~)

    When I read someone’s post, I feel I have a responsibility to check things out that the person might recommend. I don’t take things on face value, but will research on my own to verify what’s been said.

    I don’t like disclaimers. I think it opens a can of worms that I’d rather not see opened. Yet, I do understand the reasoning behind it. I have known some bloggers who’ve been attacked and it’s been ugly for the blogger. I’m not sure, however, that a disclaimer would change the attacks.

    Boy, does this comment ever sound wishy-washy? I guess I need to think more on this subject:~)

    You do make me think!!!
    .-= Check out Sara´s awesome post: Life Lessons: Humbled by Simple Words =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sara,

      You know, when I started blogging, I didn’t give disclaimers a second thought, but when I signed up for an affiliate marketer, one on their stipulations was you had to have a disclaimer in place. That was when I added mine (it’s linked to in the footer).

      For bloggers getting attacked, a disclaimer may not help, however, since these are our blogs, we do have the prerogative to delete offensive comments at will. (That’s where a comment policy helps, as well)

      I don’t think it’s necessary for us to have a disclaimer on each post, but do think if we’re doing a paid or affiliate review, we should disclose that and our readers can determine for themselves if what we and what we are saying is credible.

  17. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Yes, you do make us think, and that’s a good thing. In the case of my blog, its content wouldn’t likely have a negative impact on anyone even if there was an error in my information. I think that unless a blog is providing a professional service, a disclaimer wouldn’t be necessary. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t all be as accurate as possible when presenting facts.

    When researching information either personally or for a post, I always check more than one source, and determine what I think are the facts based on consistency of the information.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Linda,

      That’s true. We should be as accurate as possible when we present information. And as others have noted, sharing links to additional information helps the reader to decide for themselves.

      Your mention of consistency between information reminds me of how I’ll often see the exact same information on more than one site (either it’s been stolen or the author gave permission). In those cases, I often change my search terms and find other sites which provide additional information written from a different perspective.

  18. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I think it’s important that we choose our roles (storyteller, message, messenger, … etc.) The safe place, I think, is always sharing from experience (In my experience, … blah, blah, blah … or A funny thing happened to me on the way to the mount top …)

    I think it also helps to have a frame. Facts can be verified. Opinions are subjective. Sometimes I like to play source, sometimes, source of sources, and sometimes just storyteller.

    I think one of the best things I can do in the future, is post insight on how readers can walk information and evaluate the claims, sources, inferences … etc. — basically argue the information for themselves, since I’m a fan of “teach ’em to fish.”
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: 3 Ways to Get Unstuck =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.,

      I hear you. I love that “teach ’em to fish” mentality, too. And…that is also how I like to learn.

      You’re right about the “safe place” to share from. When we’re writing about an experience we had, and word it accordingly, there shouldn’t be any doubt in the reader’s mind.

      Speaking of “playing source”, I’m guessing that’s also how the name of your blog was born – “Sources of Insight” 🙂

  19. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. we always want to verify things – ie we get two opinions from doctors, if something’s wrong .. and we need to confirm in our own minds.

    We do take what we read as gospel .. and that is definitely not always right .. and as people we scan the information – seeking what we wish to read or learn. Too many just believe – without questioning or reasoning.

    Your notes and comments re the policy and disclaimer statements are invaluable for us all to remember.

    Re the this is my experience .. is a good way of expressing ideas or thoughts

    We’re not experts .. we just offer different approaches or ideas on subjects.

    Wikipedia isn’t always right – though mainly it is near enough.

    Thanks – for these thoughts – Hilary
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Fancy a Cornish Cream Tea? In Cornwall, in Tokyo or at home? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hilary,

      You’re right. Most bloggers are not experts, and even if we have experience in a specific field or line of work, what works for us may not work for others.

      Letting our readers know we’re publishing our opinions is a great way to remind them to do more research.

  20. Hi Barbara,

    What I have come to notice is that many bloggers want to get traffic so many resort to writing ezine articles and a lot of those articles rank high on Google searches.

    I recently was doing some research on diabetes and the first four sites that showed up in my Google search results were all from bloggers who wrote ezine articles and none of the writers were doctors nor were they people who had experiened diabetes. That concerned me.

    If someone is an expert, then by all means, write about it. But when someone writes about diabetes without any medical knowledge that is kind of scary. I understand the desire to get traffic but to give medical advice without the credentials is very dangerous.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: Savor the Food You Eat: A Brand New Way to View Food & Dieting =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      That’s so true. Although bloggers are looking to get traffic, writing articles on topics they are not familiar with could be detrimental to a person’s health. Thank goodness you knew not to trust that information and dug deeper.

  21. I don’t believe anything on the internet unless it is from a very well known source. The fact that anyone can create a website (or blog) in under an hour instantly makes me a disbeliever. Also, like Nadia mentioned above, it’s all about SEO. Anyone can make a site and get it ranked if you are good at SEO. That explains my name in the title. If I don’t keep up with people doing SEO for their site, my site will eventually drop and there goes my business! I’ve read many ezine articles that are so wrong that it made me laugh. I also have a blog and do try to think of how my posts effect readers.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bounce House,

      I hear you. As readers we need to be very careful if we’re going to use the advice we find online. And, as authors we need to know what we post can affect others – sometimes in a negative way. Words have so much power.

  22. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    Anybody who doesn’t take the Internet with a healthy grain of salt needs to have their head examined.

    Sure, there is some really great expert advice out there. And it’s definitely worth paying for.

    But do your homework first, do some background checking, before you start buying into it and start changing your life based on what someone advises you.

    Because there are just way too many snake-oil salesmen out there. Are they trained social workers, certified therapists, or experts in their field based on years of practical experience?

    Or are they just bloggers who call themselves “experts”, and who have no qualifications whatsoever?

    Caveat Emptor, I say.

    In the mean time, if we want to be influenced and change our lives, I suggest we look towards the Real World. Follow the examples of our parents, educators, spiritual leaders, mentors, and other role models. People we can see and talk to on a regular basis.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      You’ve raised a good point. Even if someone says they are qualified, how do we know they really are? I like your advice of consulting with those we know in the real world. Not only are their credentials easy to check, but their track record gives them credibility, as well,

  23. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    If you think about it, it’s not just blogs.
    Newspapers are notoriously biased towards providing a good story at the expense of the facts.
    Even books contain an element of opinion!
    The only way to get a balanced view is to do your own reading and see if the facts match your experiences.

    Most of the info I pass on in my posts is info that has worked for me. Can’t guarantee it will work for everyone.
    .-= Check out Keith Davis´s awesome post: Flying in formation =-.

  24. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Keith,

    Isn’t that the truth? Anything we read could have been written with a bias. One thing I like is most bloggers will admit what they are sharing is only their opinion. What we do with it is up to us.

    And, bloggers do have the advantage of knowing what a blog looks like. That alone, can be very helpful.

  25. Hi Barbara.

    I was taught from an early age to check the source(s). And to distinguish fact from opinion. Those two lessons still serve me well.

    On my blog I don’t write for researchable fact, but I DO stop and ask myself what difference what I say might make to a reader. But public writing carries an inherent responsibility to be truthful and, in my case, at least uplifting.

    I think the medical code, “First, do no harm,” is a good one for all of us to follow.
    .-= Check out Barb Hartsook´s awesome post: Life Happens in the Small Moments =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barb,

      I like how you put that; how your stop and ask yourself what difference your words will make to your reader. That’s showing responsibility as a blogger.

      The medical code is a perfect mantra for us to follow. Thank you for sharing that.

  26. spletne straniNo Gravatar says:

    I must say that i always trust bloggers. Maybe i’m weird or just reading correct blogs but i think that the number of readers, PR and Google are the best way to trsut or not to trust what it’s written on the blogs.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Spletne,

      That’s a good point. If we look at the page rank of a blog as well as the number of readers it receives, that’s often an indication the information we find will be reliable.

  27. Bruce DanielsNo Gravatar says:

    Barb,
    This is the best post I’ve seen on this subject. While being a newbie blogger and not posted a lot of stuff. I have done a lot of writing on various factual subjects for some time. I look at it this way, if a blogs content mainly posts opinion content, hey it’s an opinion, even then sometimes one needs to include a source. But if it has hard factual content, I would always include sources, links and documentation and of course credit if quoting another writer. The disclaimer or litmus test for me is, how/or would I present this to my mother.

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Bruce,

    I agree. When we’re stating facts (or what WE believe to be factual) citing our sources backs up why we believe what we wrote. Although the source could be incorrect, my hope is someone would raise an argument stating why it’s incorrect.

    The mother litmus test. That’s always a good one. 🙂

  29. thinsmekNo Gravatar says:

    I try to make a certain impression on visitors to my blog by calling it “The Personal Blog of thinsmek”. I want them to know that it is all about my opinion, not about relevant topics or anything like that. Thus the personal.

    But my skim readers will probably not even look at the title. Hopefully can combat this by installing a great theme with unusually outstanding typography.

    I don’t believe in disclaimers on personal blogs. Except maybe on the about page?