Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blogging Etiquette

Social networking through the internet can be a lot of fun, but often times we forget that there still are a few ground rules and suggestions that can make blogging fun.
I thought I’d share a few tips which may help you—call this a course in blog etiquette. I’m not touting myself as a professional; you can definitely look up plenty of posts on this very topic, but wanted to share a few tips which I’ve found to be helpful.

Remember that two people can read the same sentence and often “hear” a different tone of voice. Try to be as clear as possible in your writing.
For example, sometimes I’ll use an exclamation point when I’m excited about something! But to someone else, that symbol may mean that I’m angry or upset. If you’re not sure how your punctuation will be construed, stick to a period or you could add a smiley face :)
It may be wise to avoid sarcasm unless your reader will definitely recognize your satirical form of communication. Remember that your tone of voice can either be highly amplified or vaguely distant when two people read the same sentence depending on the background information/social relationship they have.

Stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to share your opinion, but keep in mind that we all have differing views.

Be true to your readers. If you promise them a post, results to a contest, a review, whatever; be sure to deliver.

Remember that what you write may be read by people from all over the world, different cultures, different age groups, etc.

Give credit where credit’s due. Link to your source, provide websites, etc. where you gathered your information.

What you put on the internet will likely be available forever and ever and ever. Think before you post. Ten years from now, are you going to want to claim the post you are writing today?

On Commenting
Think before you speak, or in other words “think before you type” would apply to blogland.
Remember that anonymity is no excuse to be rude and just because you can be anonymous doesn’t mean you should be nasty.

Sometimes it’s better to just nod your head in agreement in the privacy of your own home than to post epic-length comments about every topic you come across.

It’s nice to have visitors and comments, so when you’re surfing don’t be afraid to leave a friendly comment. In the same breath, don’t leave lengthy personal comments, instead send those via email. Also don’t do blatant self-promotion and advertising through your comments either. This is a friendly social network, act like one.
You don’t have to know someone to leave a comment, so don’t be afraid. You may end up making a good friend by visiting a blog and commenting.

If you choose to read something, don’t ridicule the author about forcing their opinion on you. You read it didn’t you? Remember that we have free speech. Go ahead and disagree with them if you like but don’t insinuate that they made you read their blog.

Have fun in blogland. I’ve met some great people and learned a ton about them and in-depth information on some interesting topics while being a blogger for the past year. I’ve won free books and a couple other contests too. I've discovered details about writing conferences and other social gatherings that I might've missed otherwise.

There’s so much to do in blogland. I hope you remember your manners and have fun!

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