Blogging Etiquette

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

[picture courtesy of]

Blogging has been around for years, but it has only recently reached its Tipping Point, with everyone from CEO's to 12 year old kids writing their thoughts for the world to see. This phenomenon has brought with it a new set of rules that we've never had to deal with before or "blogging etiquette" if you will. I get asked a lot about blogging, and while I am by no means an expert, I'll share some of the etiquette faux pas that I come across often as I go through my own daily list of blogs to read.

1) If you are blogging for a business, like I do, share from your life, but don't share all of your life. I don't need to know the intimate details about your fights with your husband, or how your aunt never supports any decision you make, and blah blah. For a business blog, there is definitely a line between being personal and relatable and too much information.

Handy rule of thumb: if what you're writing will hurt someone, don't blog it. It is the world wide web, after all. It will get seen.

2) Allow people to comment. Nothing is more of a reading turn off than blogs that don't allow interaction. A member of the post-modern generation myself, I prefer open discussions over being "talked at". If people are being obscene, turn moderation on or delete the comments as they come. Allowing comments changes the atmosphere of the blog for the better. And unless you're Seth Godin, you probably cannot get away with leaving them off.

3) Use original content. If you borrow something to highlight, provide links to the person it came from. In fact, if you mention anyone who has a blog or website, provide links to them. It's called being a nice person.

4) Use a separate entry for each subject. If you are blogging about five different topics in one day, they each get their own blog entry. Keep it simple.

5) If you blog about something after the fact, say an event that happened two weeks ago, don't backdate the post. No one will care that you are blogging late. They will care if you come across as deceptive.

So there are just a few common blogging etiquette points to look out for. Feel free to add your own in the comments below. And if you have your own blog, let me know so I can check it out!

{originally posted on July 3, 2007}

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