|© Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
Blogging, the hottest trend in online publishing right now,
is currently spreading like wildfire across the Internet.
A cross between an online journal and a bulletin board,
everyone from rock starts, politicians, business leaders
and your average "Joe" or "Jane" can instantly become a
center of influence online using blogs.
But, as with any social interaction, certain rules apply
(my grandma calls them manners) in order to be viewed as
One of the things that gives blogging such strong appeal as
an online publishing method revolves around "comments."
Blogs that allow "comments" enable readers to respond and
elaborate on the information posted by the blog owner.
These comments and the free exchange of information,
opinions, links, and new ideas creates the dynamic and
growing content that makes blogging such a popular online
activity for both publishers and readers.
However, rules and unwritten customs about the proper use
of "comments" on a specific blog are also where most of the
problems and controversy will arise.
Since a successful blog eventually becomes a community of
people (albeit in cyberspace), proper social behavior is
critical to be an effective and accepted member of the
Keep these basic rules in mind when approaching a new blog
that allows commenting by readers so you won't find
yourself on the wrong end of a scolding by people who
operate with a different set of rules than you.
As with any social circle, violating the group's rules and
customs will instantly cause a negative backlash.
** Keep It Relevant **
Stay on topic with the post you're commenting about in a
Nothing will earn you the wrath and disdain of your
fellow posters and the blog owner faster than posting an
** Watch What Others Do **
Different blogs operate under different rules. What rates
acceptable in one blog would earn you a verbal thrashing in
Before posting (especially if you have not posted to a
specific blog before), look to see the types and quality of
posts others make regularly.
Are they long or short?
Do they contain a link to the person's website?
Is there a "signature" under their name?
** Be Polite **
It's fine to disagree with people when making a comment,
whether it's the blog's author or a comment made by another
It is not, however, acceptable to launch a personal attack
on anyone or make nasty comments in someone else's blog.
If you feel the need to do so, do it in your own blog.
It's the same principle of you can say whatever you want in
your own house, but when you're in someone else's house,
you act right (and better than you do at home).
** You Can't Respond To Everyone **
If you operate a blog and someone asks a question, try to
respond, but both sides should understand that you can't
respond 100% of the time.
We all get busy and a blog, unless it maintains a paid
membership, is often supported as a labor of love.
About the author:
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the
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