The Guardian responds to Rogers Cadenhead’s complaint about lack of disclosure and misses the point. Rogers believes that Ben Hammersley should have disclosed his active participation in the RSS-DEV working group, while the Guardian believes:
It was stated clearly at the end of the piece that Hammersley is author of O’Reilly’s Content Syndication with RSS, something which, in the small community of developers you address, the editors of the section felt was sufficient to explain his background in this highly technical argument. We also provided links to other sites where further information and points of view could be obtained.
A little poking about with a search engine turned up this post from Ben Hammersley’s archive. In paragraph two, Ben states:
I spent much of last year immersed in the RSS world, and have been trying to withdraw ever since. Life is too short and summer is too precious to spend it inside dealing with a development community quite so socially dysfunctional. Given the clean-slate Echo effort, I guess I’m not alone in that view.
The tone of the original Guardian article didn’t bother me. The Guardian misstepped by not acknowledging Hammersley’s active participation in a dysfunctional community. And they’re digging deeper by not recognizing an appearance of impropriety.