Sunday, March 26, 2006

Blog etiquette & the confessions of an internet chat cheat

With the relatively new phenomena known as blogging a few questions come to mind. One of them is "How do I know if I am using proper blog etiquette?" I must admit I have not always done so myself. Recently I decided to delete my blog in a moment of pure frustration. The process is so final. I absolutely feel I broke some kind of blog etiquette by deleting my blog. I apologize to anybody who had taken the time to follow my blog writings, nonsense, contests and good humored fun. I feel it was selfish of me to delete my blog because I also erased all the comments my visitors had left. Some very good comments and links back to their pages have been lost forever. I hope we may all learn from each others mistakes and successes. So please learn from my mistake that if you are thinking of deleting your blog for whatever reason, think about it for awhile. If you feel you still want to delete it, let your readers know ahead of time why and what your reasons for deleting it are. My reason for deleting my blog was rather foolish. I had been chatting in internet chat rooms with a few women and I was forgetting that I have a girlfriend in real life. Somehow I thought it was O.K. to flirt with these internet hotties. At first I did not feel that it was real people at the other end, just fooling around on the computer. When my girlfriend read some of the stuff I had been writing to these females, she certainly felt real pain. I was feeling guilty for hurting her and if I hurt any of the internet friends I made, I apologize.
So here is some advice. Remember to always be honest. Be truthful to yourself, and to others in real life and on the internet in your posts and in chat rooms and when leaving comments on others sites. In an attempt to understand what proper blog etiquette should be I started by asking myself, "What are the reasons I enjoy blogging?"
1. It gives me a place to voice my ideas (whatever they may be at the time.)
2. I can receive constructive criticism and positive feedback from a wide variety of people.
3. I have made new friends and contacts around the world.
4. I have learned about many topics from other bloggers
5. It would be nice to be rewarded with all the work put into blogging with some kind of income earned(advertising, referals,...etc...)
Many people may disagree with #5 and I can understand that. I would like to say that I can really appreciate all you bloggers who do not use advertising and are not trying to sell anything. However I can not help noticing many bloggers, like myself have adsense and other similar paid per click advertisements on their sites. Rent a blog etc.. etc... In order to continue to enjoy blogging I think the best thing I can do is try and follow these simple rules of blog etiquette that would make it more enjoyable for all of us.
1. Write about whatever you want, but try and have a purpose. Think twice before posting potentially controversial material(eg. Are you posting cartoons about the prophet Mohammed because you are genuinely interested in freedom of speech issues, or are you just looking for publicity and outrage). It is true that you can not please all of the people all of the time, but try to avoid offending others with negative and hateful type comments or posts.
2. If you want people to leave comments on your blog for feedback, remember to take the time and do the same. When you are surfing for credits or whatever take the time to read and appreciate the work somebody put into that blog. Go leave a comment on a post that amused you or taught you something. Maybe you share a similar experience or are fans of the same music. The more comments you post, the more comments you are likely to receive.
3.Remember that whatever your interests are the great thing about blogging is the community. The strength we have are in the numbers. It is easy to make friends and contacts from around the world by joining some of the chat rooms and developing relationships with your readers and fellow bloggers.
4.Take a look at what other bloggers are doing and learn from them. Don't steal ideas, but make them your own with a new twist. If you notice a blog tool somebody is using that looks interesting, check it out.If possible sign up for the service, who knows, you may be improving your site and helping another blogger get a referral reward.
5. If nothing else you can always click on somebodies renter's blog, or advertisements, as a sort of tip to show your appreciation for the blog site you are visiting. I try to follow these 5 simple samples of good blog etiquette and hope you will also. Please feel free to add your blog etiquette thoughts and comments below. I would truly appreciate it and hopefully we can help discover the proper blog etiquette for all of us bloggers out there.
Ever Higher Ever Farther Evere Better


bozette said...

very nicely put.

yash gupta said...

Hey thanks for Posting this again. do visit my blog I had found another blog discussing blog etiquette and linked it in my post.

otilius said...

Hey, welcome back to blogging. Nice return.

Lauren said...

Ugh. I've definitely been having some issues over at my blog as well. Nothing having to do with my boyfriend, but instead my wicked stepmother was being a complete witch to me through my comments. But sometimes blogging can be so awesome... tons of people came by and commented with support. Perhaps you should tone it down with the internet hotties, but dont lose your creativity in the process.

Jimbo Big Toe said...

The key to blogging Zen is reciprocation. When I receive a good post to my blog I recognize them with a link back to theirs (only if they are worthy posters however). I then click that link and post to their blog. I think traffic exchange sites are an excellent way to get new commenters but total reliance on these institutions makes us traffic whores. I am way too hairy to be any kind of whore. Good advice! Welcome back.

Anonymous said...

Great points! Thank you for sharing. :o)