Friday, February 29, 2008

the barbed wire fence . .. ouch

This morning I chatted on the phone with Jill about blogging etiquette. Jill and her daughter Laura had been wondering about some of the issues of blogging and she wanted to run some of their ideas by me. If you are like me you are likely hoping that you won't offend or cross through someone else's barbed wire fence without permission.
We decided to team blog today and I would encourage you to run over to Jill's blog today and read a list of the blogging etiquette that we discussed over the phone. Some things were of greater importance to her and some issues were at the top of my do and don't list.
I think we all of us blog writers enjoy the sense of community that we are rewarded with. As individuals we will be as unique on bloggy land as we are if we were to become friends in a different forum. In the year and a bit that I've enjoyed this hobby I've learned much about myself and also I've learned a bit of others. I would very much value your input on this post. Perhaps after reading Jill's post and my post you may also want to post on this issue yourself and share the etiquette that you value most.

One of the things I'm not entirely sure about is the link list. I'm always surprised and delighted to find my name on someone else's link .. .especially if I enjoy that persons blog. I'm especially surprised if I had never heard of their blog before and don't have a personal connection with them. I think it might be considered a wee bit polite to at least leave one comment in the other persons blog as if to say . . .hey I live across the street .. .come by some time. I'm not innocent in this either but I plan to do this properly in the future.

Speaking of living across the street. I've noticed that some people have no issues of telling what town, state, province, country they occupy and others feel quite protective of this information. This is further complicated when folks know you and know where you've been and then say . .. hey is that the _______ bridge or the ________ river or even say usually innocently which town you live in. I try to respect that privacy and I'm sure I've goofed this one up myself.

Also, related to this issue, it makes me uncomfortable when someone attempts to become a detective and finds my mailing address. I've been very blessed to have meet some wonderful girls through blogging and we have become email and phone pals but their is an understanding between us that an address is requested not found.

Oh and about the link list. What really is the proper way of updating this without being rude? I'm asking you. If someone is linked to you and is an avid blogger for awhile and then the hobby fizzles out .. . what do you do with their link? I'm a sensitive girl myself and wouldn't want to hurt another's feelings, but I would love to have a link list that is current for others to enjoy, without clicking in and out looking for a new post.

Another etiquette question I have is about tagging. Is it really rude not to play the game? It was so easy in elementary school to say . ..I don't want to .. . After telling the weird things about myself once or twice I just can't think of anymore. Perhaps you should contact my family and ask them .. .oh wait .. . .no . .. I've already said that may be a no no. (smirk)




Another small thing I think about is I have no problem with people lurking that don't know me from a hole in the wall .. .but if you know me and you read my blog . . pretty please the next time you see me .. . .let me know. I'm honoured that you find my corner of the world worth the few moments a day that you stop by.



Don't forget to run over to see Jill today .. .her list will be worth the read. . . .
also stop by Laura's blog as well to see her take on blog etiquette.


Please tell us what you think .. .what is important and what is not? Of course we all have different ideas since culturally we will all have different life experiences. I'd truly love your input on this. If they don't quite have their post completed .. .they will .. .pop by a bit later.

Have a wonderful day .. my pedometer is on but so far it's barely budged. .. .Oh dear .. .time to get moving.
Tomorrow is pedometer stat club day .. . Oh boy .. . I've had good days and bad days and we'll see what the average comes out to.

26 comments:

  1. I too agree that if you have a link to another blog that you should be in contact with the other persons blog and not just a "closet blogger" - however if I were to stumble across my link on some one else's page I would be delighted that they enjoyed my blog enough to have a link to it on their page. I guess it's all personal preference, but we bloggers do have to be respectful.

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  2. Very interesting post, Lovella !
    And blogging etiquette is an important subject, I agree!

    To me -- how someone expresses themselves on their own blog is what makes them sincerely themselves and their blog uniquely interesting!
    Where the barb wire fence comes in is where either on their own blog or in their comments on other people's blogs they betray someone else's privacy or personal space.

    I'm not nearly as nervous about guarding my privacy as I was when I first stepping foot into the blogging world,(having found that most people out there are just friends I haven't met yet) but still, I think it is only courteous to be careful not to reveal more than any blogger has chosen to reveal about privacy issues such as where they live or work or shop.

    People reading blogs I think are free to comment or not comment but if they knew how much comments are appreciated by the blog author, then they might comment more! (smile) but I certainly am honored just by the fact that someone visited - they don't HAVE to leave a gift!

    I find the links a problem for me.. I sooo don't want to hurt someone's feelings so I have avoided the whole issue by linking only family and then I don't have to worry about who I have left out or if the list is up to date.

    And I think the 'games' - the tagging - are great fun.. until you have done a couple and then they can become something you feel reluctant to do. I am still honored if I am 'tagged' and will acknowlege the tag...but I decided I am not obligated to play.

    Isn't the rule that should goven blogging land the same as the rules we observe in our off-line relationships? Taking the time to know what is important to each of our friends and where their boundaries are and then being considerate of them?

    I have mostly met wonderful people in my blogging experience -- only one or two visitors that made me a little nervous-- but still I think talking about etiquette is wise and lets us know if we are all on the same page.

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  3. Ohhh sorry.. I didn't realize my comment was so long until I pressed 'publish'... Oops!! are long comments a no-no in blog land??

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  4. My jaw just dropped when I saw your PERFECT pictures today! How on earth did you do that? I struggled to think of something...got nothing!

    As usual, you tackled the topic with grace and kindness. I love the way your write.

    Thanks for thinking and sharing on this subject. By the by, Laura is laughing that she is supposedly posting on this too.
    She will...later...maybe much later...we'll see how her day goes.

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  5. I have a few battle scars from real-life barbed wire fences, so this is a good reminder to me to watch out for those virtual barbs also! Julie has pretty much summed it all up for me.

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  6. Hi Lovella,

    Great post - a very revelant topic. I appreciate your honesty. I would certainly agree that about the links list - it is polite to add someone to your link list only after you have commented on their blog and told them who you are. As to deleting blogs that are not updated and/or current...I'd say delete them! Maybe that sounds harsh, but I've done it before, and to be honest I don't feel bad about it. I think if a person doesn't update their blog for 6 -12 months, they aren't going to be offended about it.

    One thing that really bothers me is 'lurkers' that NEVER leave comments! When we (the blog author) take the time to write a post and only 2 people comment, it feels like nobody's even reading what you've written. And it makes it even more frustrating when your friends continually read your blog, but don't comment either. In my opinion, if you are a reader of someone's blog - it is proper etiquette to leave them comment!! Ok, I'm done ranting now...

    Bonnie

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  7. I've decided to add a post to my blog on this topic as well - I'm curious to hear other people's opinions about these issues!

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  8. As your non blogger friend I have so appreciated that you have invited me to read your blog. I guess because we are such dear friends I often know about your life but I so appreciate your creativity, your encouragement, your recipes, photos and tidbits of your daily life. Your blog is like a magazine and I have afew favorite blogs that I read as I love the creativity and ideas I gleen. I certainly don't ever want to be a snoop! I do notice that you have alot more comments than the the others I look at but I do think you have a creative blog and also a positive read. I also commented on Jills post today. All of your combined concerns were well stated. You gals are Pen Pals at it's best! Etiquette, I want more of it in all areas of my life so I will read others comments and take advise to heart on this topic. Kathy

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  9. Hi, Lovella - I love the issue that you, Jill, and Laura have brought up today (I've already left comments with Jill & Laura).

    Like several people have said, I think it's a great compliment to visit a blog and find a link to my own blog there. It sort of validates me as a blogger (and I have had my doubts at times!). I do click on the links in my own sidebar on a regular basis to be sure they are still good links.

    My hubby has requested that I maintain our privacy out of respect for him (because of his job), but a lot of people "know" who I am and that's fine with me. However, I have made some wonderful "friendships" (what do you call it when you haven't actually met - is that sort of like being a pen pal?) through blogging, so my email address is right there on the front page of my blog. I don't mind being contacted. I've had some wonderful "chats" through email with some fantastic bloggers, many of whom I now consider friends.

    It makes me very uneasy to know that some people take the time to sleuth out personal info, such as address or phone number. I don't understand the point of this unless they intend to become stalkers. If someone that I've become online friends will be visiting nearby and we want to meet, then I'll share the necessary information by email.

    I have mixed feelings about tagging someone, so I usually don't tag anyone. I just leave it open to the reader to accept a tag if they choose. (But sometimes those are fun to do!)

    Lastly, I think it's courteous to leave a comment, even just a "checking in" or "good post" or "hi, how are you" when you read someone's post. I subscribe to most blogs through Bloglines and sometimes forget to click through and leave a comment...but I'm getting better! I'm trying not to be a lurker!

    Like Julie, I hope a long comment isn't considered bad form. It's a dreadful habit of mine.

    Just a funny note: I was a teenager before I realized that people were saying "barbed" wire and not "bobbed" wire. I guess that's just a typical Kentuckian mispronunciation!

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  10. I think the golden rule is a good way to handle all the blogging questions. Do to others as you would have them do to you. Or in Confucius' words, Don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you.

    I am always very excited when someone posts a comment on my blog. It's important to me to leave a comment for others. If I don't agree, I don't have to comment--it's THEIR blog and I see it as THEIR 'property'.

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  11. Enjoyed the list Jill came up with! Blogging etiquette can be a little tricky sometimes. i don't keep a list of blogs I read on my blog as I don't want to have to "delete" someone, or someone be hurt that they aren't on it. I also don't do these "pass on" things -- awards or questions. I always feel so badly when someone passes something on to me, but I just don't like having to pass them on to other people -- it may end up burdening them instead of encouraging them.

    Enjoyed the wedding dresses yesterday!

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  12. Interesting topic.......I've often wondered what the blog etiquette is for strangers commenting who don't know you. I agree with Kathy's comment that your blog is like a magazine. I enjoy the various "articles" and pictures, and I've been extremely intrigued when occasionally on your pictures there are people I know! The awkward thing is that we've never met, and I feel strange leaving a comment, although I have a few times. It's like you've left your door open for anyone to look in, but, as a stranger, to actually walk in is intimidating! I was quite relieved and I thank you for saying that you don't have a problem with "people lurking that don't know me from a hole in the wall" !

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  13. Oh dear...I don't have a blog...what's the rule on that? I hope that I do follow blog reading etiquette.

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  14. I was really surprised to find that people would post a link to my blog without asking. I'm more used to it now. It is a compliment but some folks put my whole name in their links list. Although I haven't said anything, I would prefer only my first name or blog title. Most of the blogs I read I keep track of in a favorites folder so I don't have to manage a links list. It would be awkward to remove links. I guess bloggers need tough skin. I sure appreaciate comments, however brief, as I appreciate the friendship aspect of blogging. I'm never sure where to comment back to my commenters - in the comments or in the next blog. We like some privacy - for example my husband, who's life is so public, prefers I not use his name. No I don't call him LK at home :) He just doesn't want our home blog to show up in a Google search.
    Thanks for the post. Always interesting.

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  15. I too, think it's "rude" to add someone onto your links list unless you've asked permission. I always ask. Secondly, those dumb tags......I NEVER do them. I think if it's not the style on your blog it is not rude if you choose to exercise your right to not partake. When tagged, most times (but not always) I leave a little comment on that person's blog saying I won't participate because I LOATHE the tags. People then get the hint and don't tag me again.

    I"m all about the privacy thing, especially since I actually HAVE had someone look me up and call me on the phone. It was very upsetting and frightening that it was so easy. Hence the fact that I have gone anonymous on my blog. People think it doesn't happen....BUT IT DOES!

    As for blogstalkers. Well, truth be told most won't come out of the closet... unless you take your blog private. But then you miss out on meeting new people. That is why I remain public. I love making the new friendships much like you do.

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  16. Very good questions and points! I guess I've all been guilty once or twice...I sort of learned some of these by trial and error when I entered the world of blogging.

    I still struggle with the tagging and awards issue too...it's a difficult one. I think I've finally decided not to tag anyone whenever I do a meme but just leave it open to anyone who wants to join in. And if someone gives me an award, I am grateful and appreciate it and I shall let them know, but not post it or pass it on. I'm not really into award, though I certainly do appreciate the thought. The meme tags and the awards were great fun at first, but they do tend to feel more like obligations after a while...

    Thank you (and Laura and Jill) for your thoughtful insights on this.

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  17. I guess you could call me another non-blogger friend. After reading this post, and the comments, especially those of annonymous Kathy and Elsie, I decided I should say hello. I pop in every so often and am inspired by your beautiful pictures, recipes, and especially your outlook on life in general. Thank you for letting me in! Dairymary

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  18. Very interesting thoughts and I agree with the majority.

    I don't have comment moderation on my blog but I do have an email address - I have found that those who have questions of a more private nature tend to use that avenue of communication.

    About leaving comments - I am always surprised at how many people read without commenting. However, blogging is, by nature, a public forum, very much like a magazine. If we choose to write this way - rather than have a closed forum like a Yahoo group which you have to join, then we should expect that people will read us without leaving comments. I think some people feel they have nothing funny or original to say so they read without leaving comments. That isn't to say they don't enjoy or appreciate the blog. They could also just be shy.

    Having said that, I love when people "delurk".

    I'm not really worried about privacy on my blog - obviously! Everyone knows I live on PEI and I have freely mentioned local landmarks - etc. It doesn't feel like an issue to me - however I respect others desire for privacy and I wouldn't mention where they live or ask for personal information through their comment box.

    Here's my little pet peeve - I entered the huge bloggy give-away because I wanted to give a little something away to thank my regular readers and also just for fun! But I probably won't do it again. I had a huge spike in my blog stats which was a novelty but it didn't translate into any new regular readers as far as I can tell (other than my 2 winners :) Increased traffic is the primary purpose of the Bloggy Give-away. I appreciated the comments that showed the readers had actually "read" some of my blog but I couldn't help but wonder if "great giveaway!" or "I really want this!" were copy and paste comments entered into the hundreds of blogs that participated.

    Call me suspicious...

    Great discussion Lovella!

    And for my walking club entry - I've walked 3 times so far and am planning to walk again today with my friend "Leslie" - I finally finished the 3 miles walk without dying :) - it's actually a low areobic workout with bands for strength training and flexibility exercises at the end. It works for me especially with our icy roads. I'm going to to do it once more today - with my pedometer firmly on - I think it adds around 5000 or so steps in 48 minutes- The dvd says 3 miles which according to Ellen should be around 6000 steps but I think the knee lifts slow down the actual step count although they add to the exercise value.

    However many steps it sure is good exercise. I'm sweating when I finish.

    Hope you don't mind this long post oops "comment"!

    And thanks again for your prayers for Gus.

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  19. I also feel like "Oh dear, I don't have a blog - so I may have offended when I didn't mean to."
    Sometimes I have felt like I may have used someone's blog to express MY feelings - sort of making it like a conversation, and maybe that's not always appreciated either. I'm sory for where my comment was uncalled for. I do feel that a "regular" reader should at some time let the writer know by at least saying "hello."
    Thank you for this post. I know bloggers make themselves quite vulnerable and it must be quite challenging at times to "keep up". I admire your willingness to "be yourself" and your sense of humor combined with sensitivity. You have a great way with words.

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  20. I just want to make another note here on non bloggers who comment on blogs.
    Ladies, you have no idea what an encouragement you are to us bloggers. I often think that you are the ones who are truly giving of yourself since we have no way of treating you to a comment on your blog. Thank you so much for doing that. I have never had a non blogger cross the line on my blog. . . please believe that.

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  21. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts (and all the commenters thoughts) on this issue. Once I've finally caught up on my trip, I'm going to post something on this issue as well because I want to get my thoughts out there and hear others thoughts, too. Thanks. You really are great at getting your thoughts down.

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  22. Terribly interesting, Lovella. I'll be sure to follow your links, too, to see what the other gals are saying.

    I have not asked bloggers about putting their blogs on my bloglist. Perhaps this is because it is an honor to be on a list or, at least, that's how I've thought of it. But now I'm rethinking this.

    I believe that I had this question in the beginning and referred to Blogger Help and read that bit about it's being an honor. There are some on my bloglist that, though I visit often, I seldom comment. Some on my bloglist are such big blogs, popular blogs, that they are there not only because I enjoy them, but because I consider it a service to my readers to provide the link.

    Oh I so agree about being careful with people's private information!

    My bloglist has been updated a couple of times. Sometimes a blog takes a different turn from what I first thought and I can't justify sending people there.

    So, Lovella, may I please have your permission to post your blog on my blogroll? :>

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  23. Thanks Lovella for taking on this blogging etiquette together with Jill & Laura. Many good points were raised and I too feel like I have probably broken some of these rules.
    I appreciate your leadership skills in the world of blogging and I hope that we can continue in this forum respecting each other's privacy.
    Your pictures reflected your blog very well and I appreciate the creativity you use to communicate in your blog.

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  24. interesting conversation on this issue. i have so enjoyed the writing outlet and i agree that we bloggers should write for our own enjoyment. i do choose not to mention names of my family or where i live, but i am sure that others could figure it out if they wanted to. i agree with 'running wildly' that keeping a blog public is a great way to feel connected.
    as for other blogiquette, if i comment on a blog, i usually say where i found it. (it's often from yours lovella, since you have a very long list!)
    i never would have believed that i would enjoy blogging as much as i do. and i have enjoyed finding others across the world who express themselves in blog-form. good on y'all!

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  25. This is a great post. I think this is something we do need think about, just like we would in the rest of our lives and relationships. I must admit I am one of those 'lurkers.' I do leave occasional comments to the writers of the few blogs I read, but I am guilty of not always leaving a comment. I have thought about the encouragement that comments must give the writers, but I guess I didn't value that enough to be consistent with my comments. After reading your post I do feel guilty for that, since I appreciate affirming words too, especially when I open my heart to others as you bloggers so often do. I have started reading your blog quite regularly, but I found it through another friend's blog. I want you to know that you are a huge encouragement to me. Your ideas, receipes and just the way that you share your heart have been such gifts. I guess I should also tell you that when I started reading your blog I didn't know who you were, but after reading it for several months now I have figured out that we have a funny connection. My husband is going to be working with your son in the next few weeks, as he just got hired there. I also know the other Grandma that you share a grandbaby with. We went to nursing school together. I know this sounds ambiguous... and maybe a little confusing. But I really do respect the privacy concerns that you and others mentioned in your post... that's part of my own hesitation in entering the blogging community. Anyways, please know that I am very encouraged by your posts. I will try to be more faithful in my comments. After all you take time to post every day! Thanks again.
    Amber

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  26. Hi Lovella, thought I would "delurk" to say hi. I often visit your blog via Running Wildly. You always have a great story to tell and your pictures are magnificent. And very wise words there in regards to blog etiquette.
    Cheers, have a great day.
    -El

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Thank you!