A few weeks ago I threw a party at my home. In preparation, I cleaned, organized, baked and even practiced making light conversations. On the appointed day, several people arrived and casually seated themselves in my living room. Because a few of us knew each other very well we carried on conversation easily and tried to bring those new to our group in as smoothly as possible. In order to excel mixing and mingling, I proposed that we each say something about ourselves. After I finished, each one in turn, began talking about mutual interests when all of a sudden a woman burst in through the front door, threw down her packages and exclaimed, “Cometomyhawse rite now bcause mihowse izz bettern urs”!!!
Well! To begin with we were all shocked that not only did she not knock, she did not introduce herself prior to demanding we go to her house right away. Somehow in the haze of confusion I remembered my manners and asked the hot mess standing in front of me if she would like to tell us all who she was and if she would repeat what she had said initially in a way we could understand. With that, she said, “whoare u? U R Stewpid and can’t b the kind of frind I can. Knot onlyRU steWpid, Ewe R phhat-n-uglee 2 with know talint eether. Me? I have great talent – much more than u andjth’ats Y every1 should Kum 2 my howse!” “I amGr8 n I got grate allbyemiselph!”
With that, I stood up and asked her who she was and why she was trying to steal all my friends. She stood silently in the middle of the room with her eyes tightly closed. It seemed she had some magical thinking that assumed if her eyes were closed and she didn’t speak, we could not see or hear her. Even though many of my friends asked me to make her leave, I chose to ignore her and asked them to do so as well. When she didn’t receive the attention she was seeking, she eventually picked up all her packages, left my home. Last I saw of her she had run onto the porch of my neighbor and burst in her front door.
How many of you have experienced this same thing? I bet you have. You see, our blogs are like our home and invite people in every day. When we post something, it is to start conversation and get to know one another better. Supportive communication is paramount to each human’s well-being and this is one of many ways we seek it out. If someone came into our home and acted as the woman above, we would say she had bad manners, was uncouth, and did not practice common etiquette. We would not want her in our homes or our lives and neither would anyone else.
Just like someone who “isn’t raised” in a particular culture, bloggers may not know they are committing a faux pas. Even if you conduct your blog as if it is a business, there are certain rules successful people adhere to consistently. Since good manners are revered in every other aspect of life, why wouldn’t they be honored in blogging as well? While I’m not going to be remembered for always following the rules, I try to extend all the courtesy I expect to be given, even if it is not reciprocated because it is more a reflection on me than on the other person if I equalize.
In an attempt to remain true to my conviction, I have posted a list on my laptop that I call The 10 Rules of Blogging. It helps remind me to conduct myself in a manner befitting my age, wisdom, and upbringing. I thought I would share them with you for your comments. I will try to explain a little for each one.
When visiting a blog:
1. Use your “company” manners. If you generally act like a donkey, you won’t be invited back.
2. Don’t do a drive-by. Visiting someone’s blog just to advertise your own blog, Linky Party, or product by “commenting” with only a link to your blog/product/Facebook page is not really commenting at all, is it?
3. 1st visit be Willy Loman. If it is your first visit to someone’s blog and you want to comment, act as though you were a door-to-door salesman like Willy Loman. Introduce yourself! I always try “Hi, I’m Kalamitykelli from The Domestically Impaired’s Guide to Retro Kitchen Arts.” Then, if I have something pertinent and interesting to say that will add to the conversation, I put it in.
4. Don’t be the Cowardly Lion. Don’t anonymously attack someone, either the blogger or a commenter on the blogger’s blog. It’s just rude and cowardly.
5. Don’t argue your point of view. You are a guest, state your case clearly and succinctly, letting it stand on its own. If you do not agree with what is being said, GO TO THE NEXT BLOG!
If you are the blogger:
6. Newton’s Third Law. A reminder that for every action there is (or should be) an equal reaction. Always respond to comments. Remember that you asked for this level of participation so meet the challenge. It doesn’t take much time at all to say thanks for stopping by or answer a question and it will win you a follower for a very long time.
7. Beezzzzzzzzzz. Always spell check, just like you were in a spelling bee.
8. Grammar Police! Always check your grammar and punctuation or have someone else do it. Do not type your entire post in all caps. While it is perfectly acceptable to use colloquial slang like, “Mmmkay” for “okay”, it is not correct to use “2” for to, too, or two.
9. It’s so hard to be humble. If you make someone else’s recipe, even if you adapt it – just say so. It doesn’t take anything away from your abilities and it certainly gives you more credibility. If you made a craft from a blog you read and then post about it, give the person credit.
10. Just do it! If you are a blogger who is participating in some kind of Linky Party, Blogger Award or some other exercise meant to mix and mingle ultimately helping you increase your followers – just do it! Always follow the requested requirements. If you don’t know how, the privately email the host and ask them how. They will help you!
Once you have conquered these, you will be Wonder Woman (or man) Blogger!!