The white hat / black hat debates have been going on for well over five years now. I personally am tired of it all and rarely report on it over here any more. A new thread sprung up at Cre8asite Forums named Are SEO forums ruining the SEO/SEM Industry Image? In that thread, Kim Krause links to, Jim Hedger, a great writer's blog entry, The First SEO Republic Forumed.
Like thousands of other SEO practitioners, I have been quietly monitoring a raging debate that has crossed several SEO/SEM related forums over the past week. While this debate rears its head from time to time, it remains unsettled and as it continues to unfold becomes more and more unsettling. Given that they differ in tone from forum to forum, there are actually several debates taking place but all seem to have one thing in common, a lack of civility towards other views and a decreasing level of common sense.
Jim then calls on the leaders of the industry to do something about this. Maybe SEMPO, maybe SMA, who knows but he says whomever the leaders are, "that leadership needs to learn to work together to pull the various ends of the horseshoe into the powerful marketing industry we should all feel proud and privileged to work in."
The forum discussion is going on now, feel free to join.
Oh, Jim also writes:
There is a forum to the right that takes an increasingly hard stand on search engine guidelines, a few right-of-center white hat forums, the largest and most widely known one in the middle, and a few on the left ranging from the established radicals to the new radicals.
I would have placed the white hat forums on the "left" and the black hat forums on the "right."