Good Monday, everyone. Instead of the usual Monday lesson or information article, I felt compelled to step on my soapbox and have a wee rant about Blog Etiquette, specifically, visiting blogs and responding to posts.
I love to visit my friends’ blogs. I enjoy reading about their adventures, vacations, family moments, or whatever lessons they feel are important. Reading about what others feel and do broadens my perspective and also helps me to stay in touch with people in a more personal way. Some are like digital newsletters while others are like family scrapbooks. But what is important to remember is that they are sharing personal things, whether it is a lesson or an intimate family vacation, the blog is theirs, their thoughts, their impressions, theirs.
It’s a little like visiting someone’s home. When you go to another’s house, I was taught to behave. In other words, you don’t put your feet on the table, or shoes on the furniture. You mind your manners and be gracious. And blogs are much the same as going to someone’s house — you are a guest to them.
Problem is people visiting blogs have forgotten how to act. Guests behave badly these days.
So let’s review some fundamentals and bone up on our manners.
1. When visiting a blog or posting on someone’s social media page, remember it is THEIR page, not yours. They have a right to write what they will.
2. If you don’t like what is written, you have the right to leave, move on, pass over the post.
3. If you don’t like what is written, and it is a public forum, you have the right to your own opinion and may offer a dissenting viewpoint. But remember to mind your manners. You may NOT attack the author. Just as you would not attack someone in a person’s home, so you do not do it in a public forum.
4. Do not show up to sell something. That’s rude and spamming. Never use someone’s invitation to their blog as a means to solicit. If I invite you to my house, you don’t get to have a Tupperware sale, or a Come-To-Jesus meeting. That’s inappropriate, rude, and disrespectful to use people that way, in case no one ever told you that.
5. In today’s world, everyone seems to be a writer. That’s great! Do not use a shared connection (we’re both writers or painters or singers or mothers, etc.) to ask for help. That is inappropriate to solicit in public in a comment. If you want to reach out to a person because you want help or need to share, use contact forms or send private messages or use email (if known). Stop using comments to ask for help or solicit anything.
6. Remember that your comments should address what the post is about. If the person writes about a recipe, then comment about how you tried it, how it sounds, if your family makes something similar, or ask a question about the recipe. Do NOT branch out into how the recipe is used by politicians to solicit votes (just a far flung example, folks). In other words, be in the moment and focus on what the person is saying/writing about. Reminder, this is THEIR house, not yours.
7. Do NOT come to people’s posts to ask them to buy your products or view your page. That is spamming. Do you know the sign that says NO SOLICITING?
8. Mind your manners. If the poster speaks about winning an award, congratulate them. If you don’t feel the love, move on. No one said you had to be there. If you won the award too, share! If you are jealous and don’t feel the award program was worthwhile, don’t spew your negativity. That’s rude and is meant to drag down the other person. Take your hate elsewhere or write your own post about it. Remember you are to comment on what is, not what should be or wasn’t. Don’t be a troll.
9. If the poster asks for your opinion, by all means give one. But remember to mind your manners and watch your language. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom to disparage or be foul. Would you do this inside of someone’s house as a guest? (If you would, then you need more manners than I can remind you of here!).
10. Remember that there are other means of expanding conversations if you feel it is warranted. Do NOT use other people’s posts as a means to advance yourself. Get your own blog for that, ok? Then maybe I’ll come and visit you.
11. Behavior as a commentor also defines you as a person. Are you trying to be seen as a professional in a like field as the poster? Perhaps in a field that may be of interest to the blog writer? Then act professional! People will notice those who carry themselves with a welcoming and professional attitude. Be a putz if you wish, but that will be your forever reputation. Is that what you really want? I hope not because that behavior can also get you deleted and blocked. That’s a huge UNWELCOME mat and people hear about folks who earned one.
Blogs are a good way to disseminate information, share photos, expand awareness, even approach controversy. I like them, and I like visiting them. But I never forget to mind my manners when I do.
I hope you will use and share these basic etiquette tips going forward. I think it will improve everyone’s experience as a poster and as a commentor.
Don’t forget that the owner of the residence has the right to toss you out on your ear should you be disruptive or unruly or downright nasty. The same holds true for online social media locations.
And as my mother always said, “always bring a gift when you are a guest.” If you can’t literally bring a gift, then let good manners be your present and the example for others.
Did you participate in my NAME MY BAR CONTEST?? We have a winner! Ann Nedich came up with the best idea and the new, trendy New Orleans bar will be called CLUB MALACHITE.
Rather appropriate since Dra’s eyes are green, the bar lights are green, and Dra just happens to own a malachite necklace which no one knew. I took that as Serendipity.
Congratulations Ann! You are now immortal. Have a Mini Malachite on the house!
ATTENTION! Going to do a FACEBOOK LIVE event on Wednesday March 29 at 7:30pm EDT. It will be my first solo event, so come see me be foolish on my Facebook Author page. I will be announcing something SPECIAL for April’s National Poetry Month. Remember to check out the archived video if you can’t join me live.
In honor of National Poetry Month, next Monday I will begin a series of articles about poetry, along with a schedule of when things will appear and special freebie book days! FREE! Stay tuned.
Thanks for joining me again. Please feel free to leave comments or use the contact form if you wish to reach me!
I remain, Yours Between the Lines,