blog discussion - blog etiquette:

January 12, 2012

thanks to alice b gardens photography for the image above!

Today's discussion is about blog etiquette. I'm actually speaking on this topic at Alt Summit next week and am really curious to hear your thoughts on the subject! Would love to get some of your input and possibly address some of the points/topics.. I'll definitely come back and report on what my panel discussed with you all.

So what do you think friends? Is there a general 'blog etiquette' rule-book out there or guidelines that we bloggers should be following? Are there things you see in the blog world that you may not agree with? Anything can be brought up here - crediting, (which I know we've discussed before) copying, content, dealing with mean people. I've been blogging for 3 years now (wow, actually going on 4!) and I've seen a lot but may also be out of touch with certain blog issues that may be happening out there. Let's also turn it around and focus on the positive too --what are some 'polite' things you notice bloggers are doing? Anything out there you've noticed that you appreciate fellow bloggers following proper blog etiquette?

As always, this post is not meant to stir up controversy or point fingers or anything like that. Just an open and friendly discussion. If you have something you're not sure about regarding blogging etiquette - please be sure to post it for all to discuss! :) Thanks in advance always for a lovely discussion! (and for any input on etiquette-thoughts for the panel!)

26 hello's:

  1. I think that it is all in the eye of the blogger. If you're looking to 'blog for profit' or to enhance your business then I think that you should be a little more PC. That is obviously the best way to reach more people. However, most people blog as a way to put their thoughts out there and to express the things they love (or dont!)I dont think there should be any blogging rules. Its all about freedom of speech....if you like what I say you can keep reading, if not there are no hurt feelings! :)

    xx Ashleigh

  2. That is a GREAT subject I've been thinking about lately.
    What bothers me about many blogs (mine included), is not that there are mean people there (there aren't, which is lucky). They're all nice. Very nice.
    But you don't get honest feedback on things you do or show or say. No one tells you that he didn't like what you show, that you should maybe work on that and that... If you get feedback, it's always very positive.
    No one is that positive. That's impossible.
    And as nobody ever writes anything even remotely critical, I don't dare start it (ok, that's perhaps my problem).

    There's a lot of superficiality (do you spell that like this?) in the blogosphere. And I'd love to remove that somehow.

  3. @Kleine Wunder überall

    Just to add to that: How shall I improve my blog and my crafts and my "art" (I'm not sure whether I can call it that), if I never get (even slightly) critical feedback?

  4. I love that photo you used & actually that gets to my 'blog etiquette' question: Sourcing images.

    I always try to give the best credit I can to an image/idea when I am actually commenting on it. For example, mentioning someone's DIY or a product I love. I always say 'find it here' or 'buy it here' or 'this is the blog', etc. But if I am just showcasing something as inspiration in a post (like on an inspiration board, as an example of something, or to show my point) I don't really try all that much to source the image more than saying 'source' or 'via' or 'found here'

    I often mention finding it on pinterest (after linking to the image's source through pinterest), which isn't the greatest of sources, but it's an idea board. I'll say 'part of my color inspiration board' or 'pinned this to my indoor display board' just to show where exactly I found it & where others can pin it or do research on where it's from, etc.

    I've hear mixed reviews on sourcing images. I try to be as honest & upfront as possible about it.

    Do you think perhaps an image disclaimer or something should be included on the blog itself? I don't mind if others use my images & do their best to source it back. I don't get all up-at-arms over it...but I know there's some work out there that shouldn't be copied & pasted all over the net with out the source.

  5. I write an advice blog, so I'm used to people (politely) diagreeing with me. To me, a blog is a place for discussion, so I like to hear other people's opinions even if (in fact especially if) they are different from my own. I never take offense at it, and in fact, it's helpful to have people chipping in with a different take on an issue or a different way of looking at it.

    I read a lot of blogs, and I comment a lot as well (since, as you might have noticed, I have a lot to say!). I have noticed that my comments don't usually get published on most blogs if I say anything even slightly different from what the poster said. If I show any signs of disagreeing, even politely and in a very reasoned manner, the comments just seem to get deleted.

    So I was wondering: do you think only positive comments should be posted? (If often see the old adage of 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all' near the comments, but I always take this as 'don't disagree rudely' not, 'don't disagree ever'). Do you think it's entirely a personal choice, and up to the owner of the blog? Or would you encourage people to allow all comments except the truly rude?

    I'd love to hear your take on it. Have a great time at the summit, it sounds brilliant!

  6. Great comments and questions already! I would second that it's very important to cite photos and tutorials and other sources correctly. "Flickr" or "Pinterest" is NOT a sufficient photo credit! Pinterest is good for some images, when they come from the original source, but sometimes they don't so you've got to be careful.

    I know I get frustrated when people leave anonymous comments on my blog that are critical--it sort of leaves out the possibility of having an honest discussion about it.

  7. I think it's important for us to leave comments on other blogs to show support. Sometimes, it can be frustrating to spend time creating original content that people may read, but might not comment on. It's an immediate feedback that is really quite flattering (most of the time). Tweeting/FB'ing an opinion is nice, but helping to contribute to the blog's community directly is something that is really helpful.

  8. I agree that it's important to credit the photographer when using photos but I can't stand it when blogs try to say that it's a legal issue. It's still technically illegal to post a photo even when crediting it. What's not illegal is if you get prior permission from the photographer. Now, some photographers don't care if you use their photography without their consent as long as you credit them. But I see a lot of bloggers get high and mighty about crediting when in fact what they're doing is still illegal because they did not get permission from the photographer.

    That came off as really snotty. sorry! I don't personally don't judge people who credit improperly or don't get permission, but I do judge those who preach on their blogs to do it. It just bothers me that they are making a lot of bloggers feel bad when, in fact, they are also in the wrong (unless they got permission.)

    I have so much to say about blog etiquette. Not because I think I know it all (Haha! I know it don't!) but because this topic is always on my mind. Great post, Danni!

  9. i agree with ErinScandalous that leaving comments is important, because it's nice to know people are reading, and looking at your blog. Now maybe it's not a big deal to someone like you who gets thousands of readers. But for a smaller blog it's nice. I think replying to questions or emails is also important. I read this one blog, and loved the font she had in her header, so i left a comment asking what it was, and no response, and then emailed her, no response, and then tweeted her and still no response. This was over several months too, it was frustrating and annoying. Just having that simple response, or comment back to what you've asked or commented is nice to have, and i gain more respect for you and your blog. Now i understand that you must get thousands of emails from readers, but it's something the keep in mind.

    Another good etiquette for blogs would be the sponsorship, and sponsor posts. If you do have a post that is sponsored, then let us know its being sponsored, and put a disclaimer. And secondly allow it to stay true to your blog theme and content. There is nothing more annoying then reading a blog and seeing some random post about nothing that has to do with any other post, and knowing that the author is being paid for it. You loose my respect for that, and sometimes even a follower.

    I would love to hear what everyone else is thinking! And i can't wait to hear what will be discussed at ALT Summit!!


  10. I think crediting the *original* source is very important. For example, if you re-post a DIY that inspired you, but you found it on a blog that had also re-posted it make sure to link to the original DIY-er, not just the blog you saw it on! The one who did all of the work, came up with the idea, etc. for the DIY definitely would appreciate credit. Just seems nice.

    And 'Pinterest' is NOT a source. Pinterest did not make the cupcakes, the cute pillow, or the how-to...etc. I guess what I am saying is - give the actual people who did the work credit!

  11. i think blog etiquette is a timely subject - and one that needs to be reviewed again and again to ensure proper crediting and etc. takes place.

    on the flipside i'd love to hear a positive spin on blog etiquette, ie. how to build-up the indie community together. b/c we're all "little guys" we do need each other... and the more effectively we find ways to work together, the more we all benefit :) i'd love to see someone take more leadership in this area specifically!

  12. Great subject. Why do we often see only positive comments? I think it's because a lot of bloggers see their blog as their space and delete anything negative - their prerogative I guess - but it's a public/private space really isn't it in some ways? We become quite proprietorial about our favourite blogs - but then sometimes we forget that there are real people behind it with real lives etc. Secondly, most of us are acutely aware of how easily comments can be misinterpreted, so we aim to go the other way and not leave comments that could in any way be seen as non-supportive - after all, we want the blogs we love to continue!!
    Re comments generally - some bloggers ALWAYS respond, some don't. I'm the "don't" variety - I figure I've put my post out there as my statement, and if someone comments, that is their end of the conversation. Sometimes those comments don't require response, sometimes they do. Other bloggers feel it's very impolite not to respond to every comment....but if you have hundreds of comments, of course that is going to be difficult.
    One thing that irks me, and may come under the etiquette umbrella, is where readers are almost harangued into voting/supporting/commenting where the only gain is for the blogger (ie an award or something like that). I have unsubscribed from those blogs. If you love your blog/blogger you will support them without being hounded - if you aren't that crazy about them, it will most definitely turn you off....

  13. The topic and discussion in the comments reminds me of this post by Jessica,

    I think some of the same theories can certainly be applied to blogging and encouraging people to find their own voice and for bloggers with more experience to, if needed, nudge newer ones in the right direction on issues of reposting/copyright etc.

  14. I have not been blogging for very long, nor do I have much blogger to blogger interaction. However, I think the answer is really simple if we would all answer it honestly. It seems the best rule would be the idea of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Sounds simple, right? If you think about how you want to be credited and acknowledged for your ideas, the types of comments you would like to receive, or the things you would like to see as a reader, it seams like it would be so easy! I do not claim to be the perfect blogger. My response even made me think about my blogger ways!

  15. All great ideas but to me the most important aspects of blogging is to respond to comments and also to accept and discuss those comments that may not be all positive. Too many blogs are just "too" nice. In the design world I appreciate advice from someone who is in the business. They often see things I dont. I dont want to just hear how beautiful a room looks or how great a post was. Give me your honest feelings and/or advice. And, if you receive a less than complimentary comment or some unwanted advice "that is how I feel" is not a legitimate response. And for other bloggers, respond to all comments. If you get so many then you are obviously popular for a reason. Dont just shoot through and pick and choose a couple...take the same amount of time to respond as the commenter took to comment. I honestly believe people are not intentionally mean and that is one of the problems with the written word..we dont really know how something is being said. So assume it is in good spirits and respond accordingly. Great topic, by the way.

  16. What I've noticed some very kind and polite bloggers doing is actually taking the time to personally respond to every (or almost every) comment they receive by email. I certainly believe in answering a question someone has, but I wonder if it's necessary to respond to every comment? I certainly don't expect a response if I havne't asked a question. And for the bigger blogs with hundreds of followers I cant' see how that would be possible.
    Lovely? Yes! Necessary? Hhhmmm

  17. I've been enjoying reading these comments! Here is something to think about. When I wrote for Apartment Therapy, we were not allowed to use any images without the explicit permission from the owner of that image. (unless it was with a "creative commons" license on flickr, or a blog that had a creative-sharing allowance.) Sure, it was a big pain because sometimes I had a deadline, and the only post ideas or photos I could find were online, and the owner didn't get back to me in time. BUT! The great thing about that is I was forced to come up with unique content (of my own- shocker! My own photos alll the time!), which really helped my posts to stand out anyways. Until I couldn't come up with fresh content frequently any more, and then I stepped down... ha

    But having that experience really helped keep me on the straight and narrow on my own blog. Most bloggers consider it acceptable to post an image, as long as they credit properly. But I really, really try not to ever do that without express permission from the owner. And I've found that in turn, my content is more unique.

    So that's something to think about. Do we make the rules like "taking images is okay as long as you properly credit" because it makes life easier for us? Or because we really believe that is the most ethical. I think the blog world has come a long way as far as image sharing goes, but I really think it could be better.

  18. Also, just to add, I had a major DIY type of blog (with big-time advertisers) take an image of a DIY I did on my own blog, and actually make their own video showing how to do it. The post was extremely popular, was embedded with advertisers making them money, and at the beginning of their video was my photograph of my project. I couldn't believe it. I hadn't submitted the project or anything.

    I know this is an extreme example, but still.... it's like people think just because I put my work out there they can take it and do whatever they want with it- without asking first. They ended up crediting me, but I never gave them permission to use my images or my ideas. Photographers, stylists, crafters.... ALL creators work hard to make what they do. And so they deserve to be asked if their images/ideas can be used- regardless of proper crediting and such.

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  20. i SOOOOOO wish that i could go to alt summit! i was soo sad to have missed it last year too. although this year, with a little one, it's a bit tough to travel!

    in terms of blog etiquette, i definitely think that crediting is VERY important. if you are taking words or pictures from another site and they are not your own, you must always mention where it's from if you can or at least not take credit for something that isn't yours~!

  21. I don't think it's fair, or proper, to list image sources as "Pinterest" (or any other general trending site for that matter), especially when there isn't a link provided for each image as most things on Pinterest are not credited properly in the first place. An example of this would be this post: There are 12 photos posted and only two of the 12 give proper credit to the source. The other 10 are listed as "Pinterest". That's my 2 cents.

  22. I don't think it's fair, or proper, to list image sources as "Pinterest" (or any other general trending site for that matter), especially when there isn't a link provided for each image as most things on Pinterest are not credited properly in the first place. An example of this would be this post: There are 12 photos posted and only two of the 12 give proper credit to the source. The other 10 are listed as "Pinterest". That's my 2 cents.

  23. I think the etiquette is kind of confusing when you have to source pictures/recipes. For example... it's "from Pinterest" (+ link to the board) enough? Before I thought that I was supposed to copy the recipe as it was - but I now I rewrite with my own words and link to the original recipe. I hope that's the right thing to do.

  24. my thoughts don't have to do with dealing with mean people as dealing with people who use the comment space to be the argumentative devil's advocate for fun. i don't know about your local newspaper's online comment writers, but ours in salt lake are notorious for being ridiculous and fanatical. i had a blog post last week with comments that spiraled downward so quickly, it reminded me of the tone of authors of some of these online newspaper comments, i had to scratch my head and wonder why people feel so inclined to invade someone else's space so negatively. there's a difference between a discussion board and a comment box.

    when i read a blog, i feel like an invited guest in someone else's space. a really really vulnerable place where they share serious things, superficial things, things that might not mean a lot to me but mean the world to them {things you shouldn't assume to understand through a non-verbal platform like the written word.} i would never ever - as an invited guest - disagree with the writer's point of view... unless specifically asked to.

    i think bloggers have created a place where, largely, we uplift and celebrate each others successes and creativity. if i come across a blog or a post that makes me roll my eyes, i do just that... roll my eyes and then click on. i've asked my readers to do the same thing.

    and amen. :)

  25. When I submit work to blogs, I'd really appreciate a personalized note back. If my work isn't right for a blog, I'd like some sort feedback on it, even constructive criticism. It's rough putting yourself out there and hearing nothing back, or getting only a form "we don't have time to respond to individuals" note. The blogging world can feel like an exclusive club, with a lot of the same artists and designers featured everywhere.

  26. not sure about etiquette per sé but i think it's always a nice courtesy to visit commenter's blogs or just form some kinda community feeling when reading blogs. most times, people are silent readers and that's not very... interactive at all. which is sad. anyway, enjoy your time at the summit! :D happy 2012 to you. belated, i know but only 14 days late. :P lolol.


Friends, Thank you so much for reading + supporting my blog, and for taking the time to leave me a comment. Your comment support truly means so much to me. Have a lovely day! xo, danni