11 Rules Of Basic Blogger Etiquette

I thought some of the bloggers out there might find these 11 basic rules to be of use or at least may find them to be a good jumping off point for debate about blogger etiquette…

— If you mention another blog, actually create a hyperlink to it. Simply typing out the URL — example: rightwingnews.com — is for dead tree publications, not blogs.

— Don’t copy an entire post from another blog without permission. They wrote the post so they deserve the credit & the traffic.

— Since there is no way to excerpt a graphic from another page, it is acceptable to put a graphic created by another blog on your site. However, make sure to give them credit for their work and a link back.

— If you run across a story at another blog, it’s a good idea to let people know that blog was where you originally ran across the story. Those little “hat tips” may be a small thing, but people appreciate them.

— Sending out promo emails for things you’ve written is perfectly fine. However, you should make sure it’s something worth looking at and don’t flood people with emails. There’s nothing more annoying than getting almost daily emails from bloggers promoting run-of-mill posts. If you’re going to promote something, it should be worth promoting.

— It’s OK for a new blogger to send out an email letting other bloggers know that he exists. However, if you’re going to send out a “take a look at my new blog email,” put in some real effort first. By that, I mean make sure all of your links work and have up at least a couple of weeks worth of posts. If you’re asking people to look at your blog and there are only a few short posts on a half-finished blog, you’re wasting people’s time.

— Avoid posting the email addresses of people who send you hate mail or who are rude to you. Doing that just sets them up for harassment by your readers that you’re going to get blamed for.

— Don’t do a trackback to someone’s blog if you’re not actually linking to the post. That’s called trackback spamming and it’s about as welcome as viagra spam.

— Speaking of spamming, if you’re going to post a link to your blog in someone’s comment section, at least make sure it’s on topic. Furthermore, how about adding something relevant to the post they just made? Just slapping links and excerpts from your blog in another comments section is annoying. I’ve actually banned people from my comment section for doing that.

— There’s debate about whether it’s OK to make substantive changes to posts after they’ve gone live. Personally, I see no problem with making spelling or grammar corrections at any point. Furthermore, IMO, it’s OK to correct inaccuracies BEFORE they’ve been pointed out in your comments section or on another blog. However, if you make a change AFTER someone has pointed it out, without acknowledging the change somehow, expect to be accused of trying to cover-up your mistake.

— Don’t take disputes in the virtual world into the real world. In other words, don’t post people’s personal information online, don’t get involved in their home life, and don’t try to get them in trouble where they work. That sort of thing sparks a lot of bad feelings and not just from the people who are directly involved.

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