Blogging Is Lonely Without Someone to Talk to . . .
It started in 1993, long before there were blogs. It was named “The Endless September.” That was when AOL unleashed masses of untrained users onto the Internet. Until then, it has only been a yearly advance of college freshmen.
Before that time, such clue-lacking lusers were a small trickle every September when the college freshman hit the computers to which they got free access when they paid their college tuition. At that time, it was manageable with suggestions to lurk a while and observe how others behaved before jumping in with cluelessness, with polite, behind-the scenes education when nettiquette was breached, and with an occasional BOFH wielding a large mallet when the polite education didn’t stick.
The Endless September
I bring this up for a reason. . . . hinky un-blogger-like things have been happening around here. I see the pattern now and it seems that the Endless September is back on.
Ew, how embarrassing to wake up one day and realize that comments and trackbacks are like diamonds . . . they last.
Burned bridges and drive-by comments aren’t pretty.
Relationships, on the other hand, are what blogging’s about.
7 Great Ways to Connect with Other Bloggers While You’re Out Reading Blogs
I’d like to offer some great ways to connect with other bloggers, ways that will get you positive attention and start relationships of mutual respect.
1. Look before you speak. When you’re on a new blog look around for minute, don’t just read a post and comment. Take in a bit about the blog and the blogger. Read the comments that came before yours as well. Think about what you’d say if you were in a discussion with all of them. Folks will recognize that your comment has substance and take you and your comment more seriously.
2. Listen also. Each blog has a culture, just as each person’s home does. Certain types of behavior are acceptable in one place and not another. Notice how folks talk to the blogger and to each other. Respect the rules of the house.
3. Know you’re a visitor. Be generous of spirit. Let the blogger be the star of the show. It’s his or her house. If you see an error in print send an email, or point out incorrect information softly by saying, “you might be interested to know that they’ve found out . . .”
4. Don’t leave links without knowing or asking. Sometimes a look around will tell you whether it’s okay to do so. Even so, a link without a comment is impolite. It says, “Come to my blog. I’ve nothing to say here.”
5. Come with the mind of a learner and you’ll be well rewarded. Bloggers are helpful, friendly people who love to solve problems. Expect things and you will be easily forgotten. Value the time and experience of the blogger who helps you, and you’ll have a relationship that will last.
6. Know that being clever or teasing folks in print is a talent, be sure to use a emoticon if you’re doing it. Feelings get hurt and thoughts get misunderstood. We all think we use words the same way. We do not.
7. If you leave a comment that argues a point or asks a question, do come back. Please allow us to answer. If you don’t return, it appears that you think you know more than anyone else does. I answer those comments and wonder about the people who left them . . . what did he or she think leaving the comment would do?
PLUS ONE: Relationships are about people. We write from one side of the computer. We feel alone talking to one other on the end of a long optic fiber, but we’re not. Our bodies are in the privacy of where we choose to be, but our words are in the openness of cyberspace. People — some not even born yet — will read what we write. We can’t ever forget them.
People who read us learn things, and get to know us. Sometimes they comment and a conversation starts. Next thing you know there’s a relationship happening.
Some of those people become colleagues and friends for life. I know. I’ve already met some and plan to meet more.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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