Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blog Etiquette - What is It?

I am going to be honest, up until a few days ago (or maybe it has been over a week ago - anyway) I had never heard of this topic. "Blog Etiquette" - what is it? I know that I have taught my children proper etiquette while out in public, dealing with people; writing letters for gifts received; table manners, etc. Why shouldn't the same rules apply to blogging? After all, I spend hours pouring over projects, then taking pictures, editing, writing descriptions, tutorials, and the list goes on and on. Then I have someone stop by and leave a comment and I don't have the common courtesy to tell someone "thank you". Is all of my time and effort for my own personal enjoyment? Of course not! It's so I can "show off" what I have been creating and to interact with other crafters like you.  Of course,  if I never respond back to you, how will you ever even know if I care that you have dropped by and in turn, how will I then ever begin to interact with people like yourself?

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:" Proverbs18:24a (I think this applies to women as well)

I sit here writing this and want to humbly apologize to my faithful readers who have posted comments on my blog, yet I never responded to you. I am sorry. I am working to do better and to become more faithful to those of you who take the time to visit me and let me know you were here by leaving your comments. If for some reason, I don't respond to you, remember, I am human and "things happen" LOL If I continually ignore you, then you have the right to ask me why I haven't been responding :)

Since this article first appeared on 504 Main, It was followed up with many fabulous comments and thoughts and Cheri from It's So Very Cheri then added a few more thoughts to the article plus she gave some fabulous tips on how to make sure your blog settings are correct so that you can respond to your commenters along with receiving responses from places you have visited. I was surprised to find that my blog settings were not correct and actual blocking people from responding back to me. Thanks Cheri, for setting me straight!

So, what is all of this talk about Blog Etiquette? Here is Holly's post from 504 Main
Now, let's cause some controversy...nah just kidding, but I thought it is time to touch on a post I have had in the edit section since December…blogging etiquette. I am not the first to address the situation. I am not going to preach or rant {I could} or make you believe that I have it totally right, but I totally believe in bloggy etiquette, and do my best to adhere to it and what I think is good bloggy etiquette.

I consider myself to still be a newbie, but some basic principles were pretty apparent early on, especially as I visited more blogs and comments and all I ever got was {crickets chirping}. So I quit visiting…why should I participate when it seems no one cares? To me that is what blogging is {partly} about. OK, then I started again, I visited a few big bloggers and I actually received responses…different kinds…some would send an email back, some would comment on my post, some would do both. I was thrilled.

I still have blog nerves when I visits "big" blogs. Recently I visited It's So Very Cheri. I was nervous {yes, I am a dork!}...I had seen Cheri's blog around since before I began blogging, I had heard about her linky parties and seen her "I've been featured at..." buttons around. I figured she would never respond to me. Man oh man was I wrong. Cheri is a perfect example of how bloggers should treat one another. She just recently moved to Wordpress...so go visit her if you have not already and follow along, you will not be disappointed with her creativity and inspirations.

This all leads me to my oh-so-scientific formula of...
MY Blogiquette Do's:
{I cannot say that I have not missed a blogger here or there along they way but it was not on purpose…I just messed up - it happens...ask my kids.}

Comments
1. The number one way I respond to comments is by visiting your blog and commenting. HOWEVER if your blog is not linked to your profile and you do not leave the URL in the comment, I cannot…I have had a handful of these instances recently and I feel bad…and the emails are also “No-Reply @ Blogger,” so there is no way to contact anyone. If you need to know how to link your email, go to your dashboard, click on edit profile, go down to the box that says "Show my email address." Don't want to plug up you regular inbox?...Get a free email {it is easy} and add it further down on that same page where it says "Email Address."
2. If you ask me a question, I will answer it in an email or at your blog {if you are a no-reply @ email person}.
3. I try to leave a decent comment. I won’t lie…I have visited some blogs and I am at a loss, but I think of something beyond “great post.” Unless of course, your comment to me was "Nice post." You may just get that back. Warning I use "love" and "fabulous" a lot but only if I mean it!
4. Personally, I think it is rude to not respond at all to someone who visits and takes the time to comment. This happens to me a lot and it is my pet peeve. So, I strive to respond to comments.

Linky's and Blog Hops
1. If I join a Blog Hop/Blog Party {via a linky} I will always follow the person whose blog I am joining the party at {it only seems fair}. I will leave a comment as well {I have slipped up there a time or two when it has been late at night}.
2. If I join in someone’s giveaway, I will follow too…most require this, but even if they don’t, it only seems fair.
3. I have never hosted a linky, so I will remain silent about the host/hostess job until I do.

Following
1. As far as following goes…if you follow me, I will generally follow you {unless you are weird...sorry but I do have some blocked followers}…if you leave a comment and let me know!
2. Do I unfollow people?…I will be honest, yes I have – just a handful…but for very good reasons…they have become offensive or just have plain have tacky behavior. Occasionally an attack of {millions and millions of} crickets have caused this, but only if there is another reason as well.
3. I do participate in Friday Follow/Making Friends/Etc. parties and follow the rules…if you follow me, I follow you. Am I going to be able to visit all of these blogs...no, are they going to always be able to visit me, no...but I will not unfollow for that reason.
4. EDIT***I follow different blogs for different reasons, and I am sure different people follow me for different reasons. I touch on cooking, crafting, creative writing, etc., so I am not surprised I have a big reading list.
5. EDIT***I follow blogs I want to follow. If after continued comments, no one responds, I may continue to read, but not bother commenting anymore.

Reading Blogs
Um yeah, I would have to win the lottery to be able to sit on my behind and read every blog I follow. I do not even know the number and really do not want to. So here is how I read...
1. If you comment on my blog...you are first on the list of who I visit.
2. When I finish visiting the commenters on my blog then I hit my folder of must read blogs - ones with great writing, great ideas and inspiration {they do not all get comments...lots of crickets chirping}.
3. Then I hit the reader.

***EDIT***NOTE***3/25/2010
Yet another edit...I realized this sounds like I am calling out big blogs, but I have also gotten a lot of crickets from small and medium blogs too. Also, I will comment 1-2 {sometimes more depending on the blog} just in case...I know I miss a comment here and there but when you miss 2,3, and 4 times...that is just ignoring.

Edit 3/23/10
Katie of Katie's Nesting Spot brought up a very good point that I did not touch on here - so I am adding it...In her own words..."If your craft or idea is inspired by someone else you should say so, and leave their name, not "here" and link. I also think if you take someone's photos for a feature you should always drop them a line, telling them so."

Building trust and a community, to me, are essential components of blogging. It is only fair to link and credit the source of the inspiration or photo.I am pretty sure I have done this continually...giving someone else the credit they deserve is no skin off my back and helps us all. And I know I need to start watermarking my photos!

EDIT....3/22/10!!!
Matty {yeah, he rocks} left a comment that summed up a lot of what I wish I had said. "...When I didn't have as many followers as I do now, and wasn't following as many blogs as I do now, I was able to read and comment on every single post of every blog I followed. Every single one. And I religiously replied to every single comment I got on my own posts.

It has now reached a point where with work, life and family responsibilities, and the ever growing number of blogs, that I had to make a decision....for my time and my sanity. I now no longer have the time to read and comment on every single post. I just get to as many as I can, starting with my favorites and the people who visit me. And with a few exceptions, I have stopped replying to comments just to save time. Instead, I make it a point to read and comment on their blog.

The days of double dipping.....commenting on their blog AND replying to their comments on mine are just too time consuming anymore."

I enjoy blogging {maybe too much}. I try to treat other bloggers, whether they have 5 followers of 1500 followers, with respect. I do get behind in my commenting and posting, but try to make up for it...
I am only one woman with two wild kiddos!

What do you think?
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