Reposted from July 2008.
So I’ve been officially in the blogosphere for a little over six months now, and maybe, just maybe, I’m getting the hang of it.
Come to find out that bloggers, like nearly any other group, have their own little culture. So you don’t just sign on with a Blogger account and start writing. NOooooo. You have to learn how to do it, um, properly. Just like we had to learn certain rules of etiquette when we started emailing, or certain ways of expressing ourselves with characters other than the alphabet (like 300 different forms of smiley faces) 😀 –as a blogger, you eventually learn how to walk the walk. Online, of course.
There is no course of study on how to blog (or if there is, it’s probably lame). For me, I’m a natural student of human nature, so what I have learned about blogging, I’ve learned by paying attention to what other bloggers are doing–kind of a peer pressure kind of thing. So here are just a few things I have learned about the unwritten rules of blogging.
- Use lots of hyperlinks–like this random link to Aaroneous’ blog, or this random link to one of my previous posts. Using links is not only a courtesy to help drive traffic to other bloggers’ sites (and your own)–it also makes you look like you are real smart for all the online reading you obviously are doing.
- When people are good enough to leave comments on your blog, you should comment back. Even if there are 237 comments and it takes you all night and part of the next day. Forget the job; blogging IS your job now. Responding to comments shows people you care. (Responding to 237 comments shows that you are obsessive/compulsive; but that’s another blog entry.)
- DON’T WRITE ANYTHING IN ALL CAPS, LIKE THIS. JUST LIKE WITH EMAIL, WRITING IN ALL CAPS MEANS YOU ARE SHOUTING. AND SHOUTING IS IMPOLITE. ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE BLOGGING ANYWHERE SOUTH OF THE MASON-DIXON LINE IN AMERICA.
- Cool. Bloggers. Sometimes. Put. A. Period. At. The. End. Of. Each. Word. Like. This. I have no idea what this means. Just do it from time to time. You’ll fit in.
- Cool bloggers like to start postings as if they are continuing a conversation. Like starting a post with the word “So” (you’ll notice my bloggy coolness in doing that at the beginning of this very post). Starting with “And” or “But” is done less frequently, but also pretty hip, if you ask me.
- Bloggers sometimes deliberately use bad grammar for effect; however, you should try and spell-check whenever you can. Nothing makes a wors impression than bad speling.
- Excessive potty-mouthing is not good, but it is considered chic to throw an occasional cuss word into your blog. Especially if you are a Christian. This is “in” right now.
- Sleepwear and underclothes are the official blogger uniform. All the cool bloggers blog in their underwear. This, of course, poses a problem when you are blogging in a public place like a coffee shop or at work. To avoid arrest, I fool the masses by stealthily wearing my underwear underneath my regular clothes. Mwahaha. (Incidentally, blogging in the nude is not recommended. Most people simply cannot write intelligently when they are naked.)
- Do not use your real name. (My name, um, is actually Elmer Sczhlapczkovsky. I went with the moniker to make my name easier to pronounce.)
- Break the rules occasionally just to show what an independent rebel-type you are. (Except for the shouting part. DON’T DO THAT.)
Keep these rules, and you are virtually guaranteed success in blogdom. And as you learn…you’ll find that for the most part, other bloggers are helpful, patient, and generally nice folks. 🙂