April 11, 2005

Blog Netiquette

While this statement will undoubtedly come back to bite me in the ass later on when I decide to break the rules, it's about time someone finally decided to devote a blog to blog etiquette. There are simply too many simple rules of blogging that some of us long-term bloggers take for granted that new bloggers may not know about.

Darling Phin, as a contributor to this new blog, has asked his fellow bloggers to provide examples of what agitates them. Instead of hogging his comments section, I decided to post over here, which will also perhaps spread the word about this new blog.

If you're interested in what agitates me as a blogger, well, read on after the jump.

I have to approach this from two different angles, because not only am I the author of a blog (duh!) but I am also a reader of blogs. So I shall list out what agitates me about reading other people's blogs and what annoys me about running my own.

Whether or not Phin will find any of this useful is another question entirely. I'm simply getting the opportunity to bitch here, so I'm availing myself of it.

First off, we have agitation about other people's blogs.

  • Technical aspects.
    • learn basic coding
    • if you have no clue as to how to differentiate your blog from the millions of others which have the exact same Blogger template, well, find a geek and make them your friend. Geeks like beer and money. They can usually be bought cheaply
    • do not, I repeat, do not think that a hot pink background with light pink lettering is ok just because "it looks cool." No one will be able to read your blog. You do want people to read your blog, right? Well, make it so their eyes don't want to pop right out of their sockets after a visit to your home. The same goes for people who have black backgrounds with white lettering. Really, people. Not everyone has great eyesight
    • Get a comments section on your blog and for the LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY sign up for trackback (and learn how to use it!). You need comments for the fact that people will want to chime in and they expect it. Trackback is good because it allows you to tell other bloggers when you've linked them. It also allows you to know when other bloggers have linked you. This is a beneficial tool that does not make one reliant on that piece o' crap Technorati.
    • Get a sitemeter. Sign up for Technorati. And sign up for the Ecosystem. These are all things that will help your blog become more well-known. If you want to be linked, well, get the tools to help you know when you've been linked. And that help other bloggers know when you've linked them
  • Learn how to spell. The English language is a beautiful thing. Also, if you are under the age of nineteen and are fluent in IM, know that heavily relying on IM in your posts does not make you look good. It makes you look lazy. WTF is ok on occasion, but consistently using it is annoying as all hell. Same goes for FWIW, OTOH, BTW, etc. You have a blog so you can write, so, well, write.
  • If you are referring to an article in your piece, post a hyperlink to this article. Do not bloviate without giving me a clue as to what you are bloviating about
  • If you decide to chime in on a topic that is going around the blogosphere, do not automatically assume your audience knows precisely what you're writing about because, chances are, they don't. Give a recap of the story in the first paragraph. Include links. Sum it up so your readers don't have to spend time searching around for the scandal du jour.
  • Learn about Fair Use.
  • Don't steal. It's beneath you.

Okedokey. Here's what agitates me about running my own blog.

  • News organizations who:
    • charge for content
    • make me click through an interminable amount of ads to get to said content
    • whose hyperlinks go dead after three weeks. Yes, NY Times, I'm talking to you. Same with WaPo, etc.
    • want to charge me to stroll through their archives.

  • Comments
    • People who comment anonymously and then get pissed off when I delete them. Don't send me an email and whine about it. This is not what is generally considered to be a wise move, because I have your frigging IP address, people, and have no issues with banning you/outing you to the world.
    • People who think they have some right to shit all over my comments section.
    • Readers who, for some strange reason, expect me to hold an online conversation with them in the comments section and then, like a petulant child, get pissy about it when I don't and send me emails wondering why I'm not commenting? Sheesh. I know it might not seem like it, but I do have other things to do, folks.
    • Comment spammers! Die, M***erfuckers, DIE!

  • Political campaigns who keep sending me press releases! I am not a CITIZEN JOURNALIST, folks! I am a CITIZEN OP-ED WRITER! Your ignorance about the Cake Eater Chronicles is showing! Get a freakin' clue.
  • Bloggers who hotlink to images/mp.3's. This is stealing, folks. Learn it or suffer the wrath of some blogger's hosting serivce.
  • Bloggers who don't give credit where credit is due.
  • Readers who think I should be chiming in about this, that or the other. I will chime when and if I damn well want to, and not a moment before that. Get your own damn blog if you don't like it.

That should about do it. I feel better now.

Posted by Kathy at April 11, 2005 12:17 AM

Just what I was looking for.
Thanks a ton.

Posted by: phin at April 11, 2005 08:26 AM

Don't need to sign up for trackback; use wizbang's manual standalone trackback pinger!

Posted by: Adrianne Truett at April 11, 2005 12:40 PM
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