A front page story in Monday's New York Times covers the weeks-old story of threats against blogger Kathy Sierra, and describes the blogosphere as a nasty, wild and wooly place filled with vitriolic bloggers. At least they didn't characterize Sierra as a "cute kitty" the way CNN did in their one-dimensional coverage of the story.

What the Times story really is about is two-fold:
- a publicity grab by blogger Tim O'Reilly and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who've teamed up to propose a code of civil conduct for bloggers;
- an excuse for the Times to undermine the credibility of bloggers, who, with increasing frequency, beat them to stories.
Jeff Jarvis has a thorough post about the issue, including comments from a range of bloggers.
What bloggers need is common sense, a level head, and the willingness to engage in conversation with others we may disagree with. What we don't need is someone to set the rules and standards for us.
My comment policy on my blog is, and always will be, that if I wouldn't tolerate something in my living room, I will not tolerate it here, in my online home. Comments have to be coherent, civil, and helpful to others or they simply won't be published.
I may be rude, but I'm not abusive, and I have no problem banning the IP addresses of abusive jerks. I also selectively decide whether or not to publish comments that don't include the writer's name.
You don't like my policy? Get your own blog.

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B.L. Ochman is a social media marketing strategist for S&P 500 companies, including McGraw Hill, IBM, Cendant, and American Greetings. She publishes What's Next Blog and Ethics Crisis, where readers can confess their worst ethics transgressions and others can rate them on a scale of one to ten. She also blogs for MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog.