ArmchairBEA 2013 – Ethics & Non-Fiction

Design credit goes to Nina of Nina Reads

Design credit goes to Nina of Nina Reads

As we continue into Day 4 of ArmchairBEA, our topic of discussion will revolve around Ethics and the genre Non-Fiction. So sit back and get comfortable because this post is going to be one of those lessons in what not to do as a blogger. =^.^=



Oh boy … Every few months the blogging community cycles back around to this topic, and every few months someone goes and pushes the limits on what is considered appropriate. And sometimes the fallout is extremely messy. The sad thing is, most of the drama that occurs could easily have been avoided had those involved simply conducted themselves appropriately and followed the rules.

So for the purposes of this post, we have decided to share with you the Top 5 Rules of Blogging as we felines see them. Mind you these rules might be different from someone else’s and the order of them may vary, but most of the ideas are the same. And at the same time, they are what we call, common logic rules.

Rule #1: Do NOT plagiarize someone else’s work/ideas!

Now we will admit that sometimes it can be difficult to find a unique and refreshing way to phrase a post, especially seeing as there’s only say many ways you can say that you loved a book. But taking someone else’s reviews and changing a few words here or there is a serious no! You may think you are being clever doing this, but trust us, you will be caught. We’ve seen it happen time and time again.

Yet on the other paw, we have seen people get accused of plagiarism, but were in fact not guilty. This tends to happen when similar like-minded folk share the same thoughts on a particular title. Again, there’s only so many ways you can say you liked a book, so similarities do occur. So with that being said, should you feel that you’ve been plagiarized, be absolutely certain that your work has been copied before you go pointing claws at others.

Rule #2: When in doubt, give credit!

Say you have an idea for a weekly meme that you’d like to start which is based loosely on an already pre-existing meme but explores a different aspect of that topic. What do you do? Simple: Give credit to the originator or find a different way to approach your topic entirely. Better to be safe than to be sorry.

Rule #3: Above all, be honest!

If you post something and you know it came from someone else, don’t hide it. Be honest about the fact that it’s someone else’s piece of work. Don’t try to hide it and don’t lie. If someone says something better than you ever hoped you could, ask that person for permission to share their post. Chances are they will let you, provided you give them the credit they deserve (see rule #2). Likewise if you want to use a section of their post, ask permission and then provided credit when given approval. If you approach a person and they say No, DO NOT go behind their back and post it any way. We can guarantee such actions will come around and bite you in the tail later.

Bytheby, the same rules apply with images as well. Yes, bloggers love to work with stock images that are free for use. But if you see an image on someone’s page that you decide you want to use for your post, check with them before hand to make sure that the image is safe to use first! We recently had a friend who had many of her blog icons, which she paid money to have created, stolen from her. The thief tried a number of different ways to try to hide her actions until finally our friend reached a point where she was ready to quit blogging entirely. Eventually the issue was resolved, but everything could have been avoided had the person just come forward and asked before using.

Rule #4: No means NO!

We shouldn’t have to point out the obvious here, but there are those who really don’t get this concept. If you are denied permission to use an idea or something from another blogger’s blog, accept their decision and move on. Do NOT do it anyways.

Rule #5: Keep it private and professional!

Do not engage in an argument in public. And especially, do not engage in name calling and threats in front of others. It’s not only unprofessional, but … well … it’s completely unprofessional! If someone has done you wrong, approach them in private in order to resolve the issue. The only time an issue should be brought to public eye is if you’ve exhausted all avenues of private resolution. And even then, do it professionally as we can guarantee that you will be hearing from the other party involved. Should the other person take the issue public, respond appropriately and professionally. Again, do not use profanity or resort to name calling. It’s one thing to stand up for yourself, it’s another to do it in a manner which reflects poorly on you in the end.

And yes, we know that ranting is a way to relieve the stress, anger, and hurt. But should you decide to engage in a rant in public, you need to be prepared for it to come back and bite you in the tail at some point. How you conduct yourself when people respond will reflect back on you. So always be sure to handle yourself professionally. Also, there are days when you or those around you are going to have an off moment. When that happens, get off the internet. Better to just walk away until things get better than to risk saying something you will come to regret later.

So what rules do you follow as a blogger? Share us yours in the comments below. =^.^=



This is a genre that we don’t really read all that much. It isn’t that we won’t read it, but more that we’d prefer to read other things. The only time we ever really pick up anything that is non-fiction is when we need to research a topic, want to learn a new skills (like how to manipulate html/css), or occasionally see something that catches our eye and makes us want to explore it further. Even Buggy, our former co-host who recently passed away, hardly touched the genre. =-.-=

If you’d like to recommend some titles or authors to us that you think we’d enjoy, feel free to do so in the comments below.


Posted on May 30, 2013, in General. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hear, hear. Well said! :0)

  2. Wonderful thoughts on ethics! Great list of rules 🙂

  3. I agree about all the points you’ve listed for the ethics! It’s so important to write your OWN reviews and to link back for ideas and pictures.


  4. I agree–there are only so many ways you can say that you loved or hated anything. “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes) Completely agree with # 5. All the drama just brings everyone else down. Nice post and great tips.

  5. I agree with the rules and honor system you presented. Wish everyone followed it.

  6. So true and well said on all counts. Glad things worked out for your friend but what a pain. Do people need to relearn the Golden Rule? Here are my thoughts on ethics and useful links I’ve found to help decipher what I need to do about my more complicated questions. Hope you will stop by. Happy Friday and keep up the good work from your friendly ABEA cheerleader today!