Blog Etiquette: The Rules are Quite Simple

This weekend has been rather interesting as far as my blogs are concerned. In fact, what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend, turned into one of those “never a dull moment” deals. I love blogging, truly I do, but sometimes people ruin it for me. Every now and then, I experience rudeness and inconsideration and feel a refresher course in blog etiquette is in order. A few cases in point:

  • Yesterday, someone submitted one of my blog posts to a social media site, creating a rush of traffic to that particular blog. While one would normally rejoice at having tens and thousands of new visitors, the truth is, it was a misogynistic nightmare. The post was about my reasons for hating football and the football fanatics left comments that were rude, vulgar and just plain mean.
  • This morning I found an item I wrote the other day reposted word for word on another blog. The “blogger” feels that by linking back to the original source, she’s free to take my words and post them on her blog.
  • Last week at a writers forum, one writer turned off comments to her blog after receiving a disagreeing comment. The fall out included a lot of back and forth between several blogs, with lots of meanness and not very many valid rebuttals.
  • And speaking of comments, I’m finding people are leaving lots of spammy links in my comments in hopes of gaining traffic.

So here it is in a nutshell, several rules of blog etiquette:

  1. Unless you have permission, it’s never OK to post someone else’s words on your own blog. You’re certainly welcome to provide a quote with attribution but to reprint the entire post is not good blog etiquette at all. In fact, it can get your blog shut down and your hosting taken away.
  2. When you comment on someone else’s blog, there’s usually a line under the name and email for a link to your blog or website and that should suffice. There’s no reason to link your blog again in the comments. We know where to find you if we need you. If you have a link you feel is relevant to the topic, contact the blogger, she will probably bring it to the attention of her readers. Please don’t spam.
  3. It’s ok to disagree with bloggers or those who drop comments, but do be respectful. Calling names, using vulgarity and telling me to get back in the kitchen to make a sandwich only show off your ignorance. If you can’t offer a decent rebuttal, keep your thoughts to yourself.
  4. Respond to commenters. Your readers took the time to offer their thoughts, keep them coming back by reciprocating.
  5. Don’t forget, everything you write is on display for the world to see. If you don’t want to the world knowing something, don’t post it. Many employers now Google potential employees. If you’re showing off your lingerie or ranting about your previous boss, these won’t bode well in your favor.

People become very courageous behind their computer screens. Really, it doesn’t take a whole lot to be considerate. A good rule of thumb is to treat other people’s blogs like you would treat your own. Be nice, be respectful and be considerate.

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