Blogs are so ubiquitous today that you can’t avoid stumbling on one while surfing the Internet. However, how many actually know blogging etiquette? Whether you’re a blog owner or a frequent commenter, here are a few tips to remember.
For the Blogger
- Bear in mind that you’re writing for a global audience. Even though your blog may be a personal one, it’s still public and accessible to anyone.
- Navel gazing is passé. Gone are the days when you could tell the world what you had for lunch or dinner, and whether you burped 10 times today. If you want an audience, write for a specific topic (or a few) which you believe you’re good at.
- Be creative, don’t steal other people’s content. Just because you don’t have anything to write to maintain your blog, does not give you the right to copy and paste other people’s work onto yours.
- Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. It doesn’t hurt to belong to one side of the fence. In fact, it might make your blog more interesting. If you’re afraid of criticism, you might need to think twice about keeping a blog.
- Don’t make your blog an excuse to make a personal attack on someone. Remember the old saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
- Attribution. Always return credit where possible. If you are going to copy a text, or use an image, please return the credit and link back to where you found the material.
- Don’t steal bandwidth. If you are going to use an image off a blog, save it on to your own image hosting site. It’s rude to copy the image source and link it directly to your own blog.
- If you’re emotionally riled by a commenter, pause before you hit submit. You might regret what you wrote.
For the Blog Reader/Commenter
- Post comments that are related to the entry. If you must post a hello to the writer, email it to them, or post it in their chat box (if any).
- If you have your own blog, don’t blatantly promote yourself on other’s blogs. Especially if the entry is unrelated to you.
- If you don’t like it, move on. If you don’t share a blogger’s opinions, don’t make it your mission to spam his/her blog with your vile personal attacks. There are so many blogs to choose from in the blogsphere, find a new one to frequent.
- If you’ve accidentally posted repeat comments, apologize to the blog owner, preferably via email. You could post the apology with another comment, but be careful not to have it posted multiple times again.
- Rude and childish behaviour just because you’re an anonymous commenter or are behind a pseudonym is unacceptable. As much as good manners is required in the real world, it works the same in the blogsphere.
- If you’re emotionally riled by a blogger, pause before you hit submit. You might regret what you wrote.
- Bear in mind your reputation. Even if you’re blogging or commenting under a pseudonym, there are possibilities that you will be found out one day. Blogs are not dispensable. Even after you’ve long deleted that embarrassing photo of your prom night, someone might just be able to dig it up years later on the Wayback Machine – that big bad Internet archive in the ‘sphere.
- There will always be differing opinions to yours. Remember to always respect other’s views and opinions. If you want to share your own, do so in a mature debate. But bear in mind that you don’t need to change that person’s viewpoint.
If that’s too many things to remember, just keep in mind these 3Rs – Be Responsible, Respect the person behind the other keyboard, and Relax. Open your mind, and you will enjoy the blogsphere’s endless possibilities.