Friday, June 01, 2007

Blogger Etiquette

Marty , in her latest blog, asked the following questions. Since I have wondered, too, I thought I'd post the questions here and see what everyone has to say. I have answered them myself, if I know the answer, but if you disagree, please feel free to correct me.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrre's Marty:

"I keep asking people, "What's the Blog Etiquette?" and nobody knows. I want a few suggestions. For instance: "

1. Is it rude to visit without leaving a comment? I don't think so. I hope not, anyway. I don't always comment.

2. If someone leaves a comment, should you visit them and say thanks for commenting? Oh, I usually do, because I'm curious.

3. I have enjoyed posts where I never leave a comment, and then wonder if I'm partly responsible for keeping that post alive. Is it like a store with no customers will have to shut down? Nah. They probably won't know if you're there or not.

4. Has anyone had bad experiences using real names? I don't know. I just think most people are kind of cautious.

5. Are there blogger stalkers who try to track you down? Probably, but I've never had that experience. I suspect it's rare.

6. Is a comment supposed to be short and sweet or can it turn into a post itself? You can always say you're going to write a long comment on your own blog and invite that writer to visit. I'd also make a short comment, anyway.

7. Is it polite to suggest a favorite blog when you're commenting on someone else's post? Sure. Everybody appreciates a "shout-out".

8. don't read blogs where crude language flies fast and furiously, or where lack of respect is shown. How do you keep comments from becoming that way? You don't really have much control over it, but you can ask the offender not to use that language, please, on your blog.

9. How long do you keep checking a latent blog, before you give up on it. It doesn't take me long to give up on a blog where the writer doesn't post at least a couple of times a week. Unless, of course, they announce they're taking a break or going on vacation, etc. Usually, they'll announce an upcoming absence. There was one blog I used to read and comment on, and the writer used to read mine and comment, and then, suddenly, nothing. It has been many months since she has posted anything, and no one seems to know what happened. She had a very popular blog, too.

10. I never want my blogging to turn into a chore. It's totally fun right now. But I can start feeling responsible to my imagined readership. How does that work? Just keep your readers informed if you need to take a break. We get worried about our Blogbuddies.

11. Posts are so different that we can all find what we're interested in. Are there topics people are especially drawn to? I think so. But, I'm drawn to bogs that have some variety, and the blogs where people talk about their day to day activities. There are "specialized" blogs out there, but I don't know how to find them, unless someone comments who has lots of them on their blogroll.

12. What are pet peeves of blogs? Well, not everybody likes every blog. I'm sure you can irritate your readers just like you can irritate your real-life friends. But, we're a forgiving bunch.

13. How do you choose the ones you read regularly? When I can't wait to see what that writer will come up with next, I put it on my blogroll. I have a waiting list, too, of blogs I haven't decided about yet.

14. What's the etiquette on adding someone to your blog roll? Should you let them know? I would, but you don't have to. People are usually flattered when you want to link to their blogs. Makes them feel all warm and fuzzy and wanted.

15. If you're added to someone's are you supposed to add them? Is it an insult if you don't? Well, I don't know if it's an insult, but I always do add them.

16. If you laugh at your own blog, and no one reads it, is it really funny? Of course it is. If you only amuse yourself, that's fine. They can go somewhere else if they can't take a joke.

17. Do you write for yourself or for your readers? I think we'd all love to say that we write for ourselves, and some really do, but I have to admit I love to have people say they enjoy my blog. But, then, I'm really needy.

18. Would you keep writing with no comments? Actually, I probably would. Hope springs eternal, you know.

19. Some people are worried about getting comments from strangers and feel invaded. How can you tell who not to invade? When they tell you to go away.

20. Do you need permission to quote from someone's blog? No, but you definitely want to give them credit, and link to their blogs.

21. If you're not getting any money for it, can you use artwork and images from books on a blog? I think so. I don't know what the rules are about that. I guess you're talking about copyrighted work, aren't you? I'd always put the writer or artist's names on it, of give them credit somehow.

22. How many blogs do you regularly follow? A lot. But, then, I'm retired and have a lot of time on my hands, and I'm addicted to them.

23. Can you take a break? Will people stop reading you? You can take a break, just let people know you'll be gone for a while. They'll wait.


HoosierGirl5 said...

I'll put you on my blog roll if you'll put me on yours! (grin)


Newt said...

I think you nailed them. I tend to go for the warm, fuzzy, and funny blogs. In general there seems to be a great deal of respect all around. I don't see a lot of comment "attacks". I just see a lot of kindness and encouragement all the way around.

Betty said...

hoosier girl: You're on.

Newt: I haven't encountered but two commenters who took exception to my calling Calista Flockhart skinny.

her indoors said...

very interesting, you know i have never even thought about blog etiquette. i read a blog if i like it i keep on reading it for a while then i will link it, i just love blogging i am a blogaholic.
good post Betty

Alan G said...

Well Betty, this is one of those posts about which I could go on, and on, and on with commentary on a number of topics noted in your post, having lost my own passion for blogging - at least for the moment. But for the short of it….I pretty much agree with your comments.

I learned early on that there are literally thousands of really good blogs out there and there is no way that one can read them all, much less actively participate in them with meaningful responses. And if your blog does receive 10, 20, even 30 responses on the average to one of your average posts, that will pretty much consume most of your spare time. That’s assuming one; you don’t work and two; you don’t have any other folks depending on your time to any degree.

And….there does seem to be somewhat of an obligation built into to this blogging phenomenon because most bloggers feel they must visit and reply to those who visit and respond to their blogs. If one takes on that obligation responsibly with regard to those visitors, they will be spending a lot of time just keeping up with their “circle” of visitors with no time to interact with other new blogs they encounter and find they like. I have noted many instances where visitors to a blog will stop visiting if you do not respond in kind by visiting and commenting on their blog.

I am a regular reader of your blog but I only comment when one of your posts touches on a personal interest or hits a chord such as this particular post. If you post comments about the books you are reading such as you often do, I will not be commenting simply because I am not a reader like yourself.

But….sooner or later I will be commenting because you will manage to piss me off at some point! LOL

Just teasing….just teasing! LOL

Annie said...

As I read your comments I found myself agreeing with each one. Etiquette has been equated, by me anyway, as rules for civilized behavior and all yours do seem geared toward keeping things toward the "civilized" end.

Jay said...

One of the interesting things about the blogosphere is that you have to comment on people's blogs to get comments on your blog. You can be the greatest writer of your time, but if you don't comment on other blogs they won't comment on yours.

Betty said...

her indoors: I thought her questions were very good. I had never given much thought to some of them.

alan g: Well, you know, I live to piss you off! ;-)

annie: I think most bloggers I have read are civil people and just naturally use good etiquette.

jay: I think you're right.

Sister--Three said...

Blogging is fun. When it is a chore, I think we should rest. I like the connection with those I know, but I don't mind getting to know a few others along the my other self...YOU!

We have the same name and think lots alike. I am really Betty and I think you are too. But maybe Betty is just your AKA.

Sister--Three said...

Betty, I thought of one reason that sometimes I do not comment. I hate typing in those letters where they have the comment section set up with the spam prevention text. Most of the time, I mistype and have to retype them. I really hate it and sometimes will read these and just leave rather than say 'hi' as I have to type and type right to comment.

Wonder if this annoys others? If someone spams your can just delete the comment. This way you are inconvenienced and the other way the reader has the inconvenience.

Betty said...

sister 3: I find them irritating, too, but some people are more cautious, and maybe they have had more experience with spam than I have. I still comment on their blogs, though. If I ever start using word verification, you'll know I've started getting lots of spam.

Kell said...

I think you nailed all the questions. Many times I feel like I'm the constant lurker because I just don't keep up with a lot of blogs and commenting, let alone posting on my own. I think it's very interesting/odd/wild that you and Jay both have become self-confessed blogaholics when at least once a week I think of shutting down shop. Go figure.

Lorna said...

Yepper, you pretty much nailed those answers for me, too. Your blog is one of my favorites and I really enjoy your style of writing and your humor! I surf around a lot, and basically, if i like the blog I go back. If I don't, I don't. :-) The ones I have found to be vulgar or just plain full of BS get about 2 minutes before I am gone for good! hugsssssssssssss

P.S. I think the letter thingy at the end is a pain, too, because I usually have to do it two or three times to get it to post! LOLOL

Betty said...

kell: You're just a lot busier than we are. If you only post once a week, it's all right. Your blog is really good.

Lorna: I enjoy your blog, too. If I find a new one, I read if a few times, and if it doesn't appeal to me in some way, I don't go back to it.

HoosierGirl5 said...

Yay, you added me! I added you, too!

Great post. Very funny!

Melissa said...

Wonderful answers, Betty. I read a lot more than I could ever comment on - most times I very much enjoy what I read (which is why I come back to the blogs I read), but may not have anything to say other than "great post", and it generally doesn't feel quite right to leave just that. But this time, I'm going to say it.

Great post, Betty. :)