August 10, 2004

More Blogging Etiquette Do's & Don'ts

While the Commisar's away at a re-education camp, a Capitalist Pig has assumed control of our beloved Commisar's site. While visiting, he gives a few useful etiquette tips for guest bloggers. Which means I'll never be able to be a guest blogger on Harvey's site.

Harvey, himself is on a one man crusade to help save newbie bloggers from cluttering the blogosphere with bad form, content and style. He recently posted some really outstanding suggestions in his guide called 12 STEPS TO BETTER BLOGGING.

I would like to add a few do's and don'ts of my own, which I learned the hard way, during my first few years of online journaling [before it was called blogging]. Included in my list are some of the biggest mistakes I or others made [and paid for in the long run].

Here’s my added tips of do’s and don’ts if you want to make it to your first anniversary without losing to much face:

- don't disappear on your readers without giving an explanation, unless, like in my case (carpel tunnel), to type it would threaten your health. If that's the case, get somebody to communicate with your readers.

- do give your readers at least a vague idea of what's going on, if you're not able to or don't intend to blog for awhile. PLEASE, no need to get into TMI (too much information). There is no need to describe in detail that rash that is now spreading on your backside. Just simply leave a sign that your alive and breathing but unable to blog at this time will. A graphic will sometimes do.

- don't apologize for the creative well running dry, sometimes that happens with the best of writers. Just tell us you’re doing an Australian walkabout in search of inspiration. Or better yet, Do a Harvey, make up some fantastic story about something as you disappear letting our imagination fill in the blanks. Hmmm, maybe during my next drought I’ll have the mysterious Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit mud wrestling with Harvey? Or maybe describe a three-some. Oh get your mind out of the gutter, I meant Glenn Reynolds mud wrestling with Harvey and FrankJ. Maybe Frank can supply the sketches as a visual aide.

- definitely check your emails/comments from time to time. You just might be intrigued by a commentor or receive wonderful well wishes that coax you back to blogging. Besides, responding to comments will give your readers that warm fuzzy feeling that they matter and that you care (even if you don't).

- don’t trash, or minimize your writing skills or blogging, it’s unbecoming of anyone. Especially if they’re fishing for compliments. If that’s the case, they’ll only appear pathetic and will lose readers faster than they can say the word CLICK.

- Don't tell your employer and coworkers about your blog, especially if you steal work time to blog. Yes, it's stealing if you're blogging on company time. You can get fired for it. I've known 2 people who were fired even though they didn't steal much time. Stealing is stealing, whether its 2 min or 2 hours.

- Consider the repercussions of telling your family members (especially your spouse), friends, neighbors about your site. If you use your blog as an avenue to vent your frustrations about them, remember, you might forget about that post that you wrote 6 months ago where you described that fight you had or how you called @#$%@# idiots. Well, if you forget, don't be surprised if they remind you about it with a left jab across your jaw when you go to throw out the garbage.

- Finally, don’t (and I mean this folks) DON’T have your passwords automatically stored on your computer if you share that PC with someone you're not exactly on good terms with. I know of a case where a man was writing about his sexual exploits with other women until his wife found his site in their browser’s drop down list. After she changed the password, she hijacked his site and used it against him in their divorce proceedings. Divine retribution if you ask me.

So there you have it. Hopefully you found something useful. My guideline for blogging is simple, I write stuff that my mom or friends wouldn't be embarassed to read on the front page of the NY Post. If you're in the genre of verbal S&M and you don't live alone, or you have a culturally sensitive job, then do yourself a favor - get a pseudonym!

Posted by Michele at August 10, 2004 07:21 AM

Hey! How come my Filthy Lies got mentioned in a paragraph about a dry creative well? Filthy Lies ARE my well! :-)

"When you can't write anything good, write like Harvey"... SHEESH!

[stomps off in a mumbling huff] :-P

Posted by: Harvey at August 10, 2004 11:54 AM

Welcome Michele. If you want to see great form and talent, look no further than my Nap Room


Welcome neighbor.

Posted by: Tom at August 10, 2004 12:33 PM

Lost your e-mail..already. Have you seen your Blog Stamp at the Politburo Diktat?

Posted by: Rusty Shackleford at August 10, 2004 11:29 PM


Posted by: search at August 18, 2004 04:31 AM