A Little Blogging Etiquette
Maybe it should be titled “My Blogging Pet Peeves” rather than “Etiquette”… although you can argue that there is some cross-over between the two. I’ve noticed a few things lately about some blogs and bloggers, and I’ve bit my tongue long enough. It’s time to rant.
- Comments! I generally try to reply to most comments that people leave, even the negative ones. Sometimes it’s not always practical. I have a core group of readers who leave comments on a regular basis, and sometimes I will just pick one or two and reply to those. I don’t think they feel neglected if I don’t reply to every single comment. But if there is a new reader who comments, I make damn sure that I reply to that and thank them. If someone has taken the time to read my post and write me a comment, then I think they deserve to be acknowledged. A blog is more than a regular website. It’s essentially a mico-community where readers can interact with the writer, and even among themselves. Without comments, a blog isn’t a blog at all. So it amazes me when I come across a small blog and leave a comment, only to have it go unacknowledged. I understand that someone might not have the time or desire to respond to a particular comment, so I won’t give up on a blog immediately. I tend to use the same rule of thumb with blogs that I do with Twitter… three strikes and you’re out. If I leave three comments and receive no reply at all… then I guess that person is really not interested in acknowledging my existence. I think that it’s a little sad, though. I’m not looking to strike up a life-long friendship… but if you’re going to engage in social networks of any kind, and you’re not social… well… there are PLENTY of great blogs and bloggers out there who ARE. The ones who don’t recognize that me leaving a comment on their blog is only trying to help them… well… they’re on their own.
- Donation buttons. If I get annoyed that people don’t reply to my comments, then I sure as hell shake my head in disbelief when someone receives a PayPal donation, and doesn’t take 30 seconds to write a quick thank you. This has only happened to me once, and I hope that it was a mistake or isolated incident, but it still rubbed me the wrong way. I’ve received a couple of small donations from friends who found something of value in my blog, and I was extremely grateful to them, and made sure that they knew it. I’ve left a few donations on blogs that I felt were worth it. Nothing big, but I think that someone who receives a couple of dollars from a total stranger who loves reading their work… It probably makes their day. I like to imagine the look on the face of that blogger in Belgium who received some euros from a blogger in Canada who loves his HappySad cartoon. He wrote me a great thank you note. It made both of us feel good. But sadly that’s not always the case… if someone handed you money, or held the door open for you, or allowed you to go in front of them in line… or ANYTHING… wouldn’t you say “thank you”?
When I sat down to write this, I had intended to make the list a little longer, but I got a little carried away with those two points. I’ll throw it up on the blog as-is. I’m sure that not everyone agrees with me, especially with the first point. That’s ok. This is how I view blogging… it’s not the rule. Thankfully, there are a ton of great blogs out there, and extremely friendly, gracious bloggers behind them. I just had something that I wanted to get off my chest, and… *breathe* I feel a little better now, thanks!