Netiquette Meme

Edited to add: Please don’t take offense if you do one of the things I mentioned I don’t like. Maybe I should have ranked these from worst to not-that-bad. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think things like profanity or spam comments are pretty universally disliked, but some of these other things are just matters of personal preferences. If I like chocolate and you don’t, I am not offended: if you like red and I like pink, we can still get along. Some of these are just that — personal preferences. But that’s what the meme was asking for: what we liked and didn’t like and why.

I saw at Quilly‘s that Nessa has begun a meme about blogging etiquette. The basic idea is to:

On your own blog do a post listing 5 things you like about blogs, 5 things you donโ€™t like and 5 things you do blogging that you think are cool and why you do them. Try to give the reasons why, too, so people understand your way of thinking.

However, these aren’t ironclad rules and you can feel free to list more or less as desired.

Things I like about blogs:

1. Connection. I was amazed when people first began commenting on my blog and left genuine comments, and then showed genuine care, even praying me through some difficult situations.

2. Stimulation. Many blogs stimulate me imaginatively, creatively, intellectually, spiritually.

3. Fun.

4. Good writing. Most of us just write as things come to mind, and that’s fine, but there are a few who express themselves really well, whose writing style I like as much as their content.

Things I don’t like:

1. White or light words on dark backgrounds. They are hard on the eyes and make me see the “negative” (as in reverse image, not as in not positive) for a while.

2. When an everyday average friendly blog goes commercial. I know a lot of people do ads to support the cost of the blog, if they are paying for their own domain, or to justify the time spent, etc, and I am not talking about that.ย  But there are a few who, once they start to go that route, become more business than blog. There are two specifically (and no, I am not going to link to them) who used to be regular commenters here, and I am not even on their radar any more, even though I still commented there for a long time (I rarely do any more). But it is not just about return comments: it’s that the whole tone of their blog changed.

3. Long posts not broken up into paragraphs. I think probably most prefer short posts to long ones, but I don’t mind long ones occasionally if the subject and writing are good. But one long paragraph that could be broken up into smaller sections should be.

4. Nudity or s*xual (disguised not because I am prudish, but to avoid the wrong kind of Internet searches) jokes. If I come across anything like that on a blog, I shut it down immediately.

5. When a site gets stuck or is very slow in loading, especially when the culprit is ad-related.

6. When I comment on someone’s blog and they start sending me unsolicited e-mails urging me to come read their next post, especially when they don’t ever visit my blog. I keep up with blogs I read regularly via Google Reader. Self-promotional e-mails really irritate me. Again — I feel I need to keep balancing things out — I don’t mind an occasional thing like that. For instance, Quilly sends out an e-mail when her Punny Monday posts are ready, and that’s fine — sometimes it doesn’t show up in Google Reader for a while, sometimes she gives a bit of background, sometimes I’ve forgotten, etc.ย  Or e-mails that are just a personal note or a continuation of a discussion — those are all fine.

7. When a blog is overly cluttered. I don’t mind sidebars, but a great lot of distracting things is…distracting. Things that move or flash, in particular, usually lessen the likelihood that I’ll spend much time there.

8. When a blog doesn’t have a search button. It’s very tedious trying to look through the archives for a post you read previously (especially if you can’t remember when you saw it) without some kind of search function.

9. I dislike the format I’m starting to see around now where blog posts show up side by side instead of being in a list form down the page. Here is an example — this is from a site I love and I don’t mean to “slam” them, but this format is so busy it’s off-putting to me. But this is a site I usually read via a feed reader and only comment on specific posts occasionally, so I don’t run into it much. In fact, I was really surprised to go to the main page and see it like that, but if it had been my first visit I probably would not have gone back.

10. When the blog posts are set up on feed readers to only show part of the post, making me have to click over to see the whole thing. A couple are set up to only show the title of the post, and honestly, I don’t always click over to those every day. There are some blogs that I click over to comment on almost every post anyway, but it just bugs me to have to for every post. And it especially bugs me if the purpose for setting it up that way is ad-related: some time back one blogger did share that she gets “credit” for how many people read her blog by how many actually click over, but she didn’t get credit for those who read via rss feeds, and that was why she only put partial posts or “teasers” in the rss feed. As I said elsewhere, I do understand why some place ads, but I don’t like to be manipulated or “used.”

10. These are more about comments than blogging, but comments are in integral part of blogging (otherwise what you have is an online journal):

  • “Empty” comments that just say, “Good answers” and don’t really respond to anything said in the post.
  • Self-promotion in comments with multiple links back to the commentor’s blog. Just the link back that occurs when you fill out the info. when you comment is sufficient. (BTW, you should know that the Askimet spam blocker which WordPress uses auotomatically sends anything with more than two links to the spam queue.) There are exceptions, like when someone wants to share thoughts on the same subject in a previous post of theirs and they’re sharing the link.
  • Businesses who leave comments linking back to their business site. I am not here to provide free advertising for you.
  • Spam comments with links back to s*xual sites, pharmaceutical sites, etc.
  • When you repeatedly comment on someone’s blog but they never respond. Among the regulars with whom I interact, we don’t all comment on every post every day, and that’s fine. But some people never do.
  • The Open ID comment format. When I start to type in my url, a prompt comes up with my whole url, but if I click on the prompt, only what I had typed at the time shows up, so I have to go back and type the whole thing. Plus a good bit of the time, after I type in my url, I get a window that there’s an error, and I have to try it at least twice, sometimes more often, before it accepts my comment.
  • Blogger blogs that only accept comments from other Blogger blogs. I can understand not wanting to leave the “Anonymous” option open, but I don’t know if they realize that cuts them off from bloggers with other hosts. I set up a Blogger blog linking back to my main site just so I could comment on those blogs, but it bugs me that I had to do that.

Things I am on the fence about (Yes, I made up this category):

1. Music that plays automatically on blogs. Normally I don’t like it, especially if it is loud, rockish, or jarring. Usually I don’t even have music playing in my home while I am blogging: my brain can’t seem to handle both at once (though I do like playing music if I am cleaning, cooking, etc.). So I usually turn off any music or hit the mute button (and one pet peeve is when the music widget is hard to find and therefore hard to turn off.) However, a few times I have found music I really liked and even ordered through hearing it on someone’s blog.

2. Awards. I do love when someone has thought of me and tagged me. But I feel awkward tagging some people and leaving others out, and the generic “All of you take this award” seems to take some of the meaning out of it. I put all my awards on a page in my sidebar with a thank-you to the giver,ย  but I don’t often follow the “rules” for them any more.

3. When I comment on someone’s blog, if they are going to respond, my preference would be that they visit my blog. I don’t mind an e-mail in response too much (and some responses call for that rather than a public response, and occasionally a friendly discussion will ensue via e-mail — that’s fine), but there are a few bloggers who never “return visit” someone who comments or who always respond via e-mail without ever visiting their visitors. Maybe I am wrong, but I seemed to pick up on the idea in early blogging days that it was common courtesy to try to return visit someone who commented on your blog. It’s not that I comment just to get visited — but when I repeatedly comment and that person never responds, I feel awkward and eventually stop. Then again, some people answer within their own comments, and that works really well for some, and if I know they do that I often check back after I have commented. But I have over 130 blogs in Google Reader. They don’t all post every day (I’d never be able to keep up with that many if they did), but I have a hard time some days keeping up with all the posts, much less making a return visit back to each one I have commented on.

4. I can understand the idea of having multiple blogs: I’ve thought about it myself. For instance, some of my readers are only interested in posts relating to books, and I’ve often thought of making a separate book blog. But I really don’t like visiting a blog that has frequent reminders to “Come see my post over here.” And when one blog I like splits into two or more, it makes it that much harder to keep up. I end up just reading the main blog I started with. It does work well for some people, but generally I prefer everything in one place.

5. I like devotional blogs that share thoughts from God’s Word. (Well…I like good ones, not ranting ones.) But I like them better if they show some aspect of the person’s whole personality — something funny here, something about the family there, etc. Getting some idea of the whole person makes me appreciate more what they have to say. Just a straight devotional blog can come across as just looking for an audience to preach to. That’s not necessarily wrong…just personal preference. I guess I like devotional posts that are more like sharing over a cup of coffee than a sermon outline, though I have done my share of outlines.

Things I do on my own blog:

1. I try to visit every one who comments on my blog at least once. I may miss some or not have time some days, but I try.

2. I like to change at least the picture header with the seasons. I used to change themes, but I like the features on this one the best.

3. I like to share links to other interesting things I’ve read.

4. I have a mixture of serious, devotional thoughts, fun or interesting things, “life in general” posts — a hodgepodge. But a good reflection of who I am, I think.

Wow — I’m sorry this got so long! I know that “long posts” are going to be on some people’s lists. But I guess once I got started, I wanted to get everything off my chest. I wrote most of this last night, and when I saw how long it was, decided to let it sit overnight and then come back and cut it down — but I ended up adding more, so I’d better stop!

I think some of these things would likely be on everyone’s lists, but others we would have different opinions on. That’s fine: we can disagree and still be friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

Edited to add: Please don’t take offense if you do one of the things I mentioned I don’t like. Maybe I should have ranked these from worst to not-that-bad. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think things like profanity or spam comments are pretty universally disliked, but some of these other things are just matters of personal preferences. If I like chocolate and you don’t, I am not offended: if you like red and I like pink, we can still get along. Some of these are just that — personal preferences. But that’s what the meme was asking for: what we liked and didn’t like and why.

32 thoughts on “Netiquette Meme

  1. I know my feed is a partial one and I can’t figure out how to change it.

    I spent quite a bit of time the other day trying to fix it. I didn’t even know it was until someone said something.

    I contacted another blogger who has a full feed and she couldn’t figure out how hers was a full feed.


    • Oh, please don’t worry about it and please don’t be offended, Lizzie. That one was minor compared to others. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I know yours isn’t ad related.

      • I just checked, and on WordPress people can go to their dashboard, click “Settings” and then “Reading,” and then there is a place that says, “For each article in a feed, show…” then a place to click Full text or Summary.

        Blogger also has a dashboard with “Settings” and a place that says, “Allow Blog Feeds” with a drop-down menu for Full, Short, or None.

        I have no idea how to do it on one own domain.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post – and I am one who generally gets lost in long posts. lol.

    The responses to comments has been one of the harder things for me to figure out how to do. I do like to respond to comments using the Reply button on my blog so people who read my blog can see that I do respond to comments. But I also know that when you read and comment on lots of blog posts, you don’t always remember to go back and check to see if the blog author has responded to you. My host (typepad) does not have the option to notify of follow-up comments via email like yours does. Sure wish it did!

    I agree with every one of your observations.

    Good post.


  3. Now this is a thought-provoking post and one I’m kind nervous NOT to comment on. ;D I really did enjoy reading through your thoughts about what you like and do not like about blogs. I agree with you on a lot of your points. It IS disheartening to go and leave a lot of comments (i.e., get to know someone through their blog) on someone else’s blog and yet never have them come to visit you. However, I happen to know I do that a lot. Part of the problem I face is in managing my time effectively so as not to take away from my family. Some days I DO feel like I’m just throwing out my own ideas and praying the world forgives me for not commenting on other sites. Periodically I try to rectify this situation. I’m still learning balance. And I think that’s key – balance. That beautiful, difficult word. Mostly, I’ve just selected a set of blogs that I purpose to leave comments on a regular basis and I follow those closely. (Like, for example, yours!) For now, that’s what works for me but I do miss a lot of people who comment on my own blog. I rather like the suggestion of going and leaving periodic comments though. That’s something I can do.

    I’m anti music on other people’s sites that I do not have control over whether or not I want to hear. Obviously, I do not mind Youtube videos because I can choose to hit the play button. But I hate scrambling to find the music player to turn something off.

    All in all, I really did appreciate hearing your thoughts and opinions on this subject. It’s a topic worth thinking about.

  4. I’m really glad I read this…cuz I’d never thought about some of these things…and I can see how they’d be annoying. I never even thought of putting a search on my blog (now I have to figure out how) and I’m a little worried about whether mine does that whole Open ID thing. Please tell me if it does because I really love your comments (and e-mails)! It’s so funny…cuz I don’t feel offended, just alarmed that I could be annoying people without even knowing it. I do soooo love the connections that blogging as afforded me.

    A side note on the two blog thing. I’ve tried to be more sensitive to linking my two together lately. My one blog is almost strictly family read…but I can see how it would seem sort “sales” minded to continually link the two. I too have been “discarded” when friends have gone commercial and bigger! Thankfully, I don’t have worries about that…and will continue to enjoy being a little blogger fish in a big blogger sea!

  5. I think I agree with pretty much everything you say here.

    On my blog, I respond to comments that ask me questions, but other than that it’s very haphazard whether I respond there or not. (I often can’t think of anything to add…) But I do try to go to the blog of the people who comment, and make sure I comment there instead of just lurking.

    Some days, I lurk. I read. I think about it. But if the comment-muse isn’t upon me, I move on.

    (I wish there was an emoticon that meant, “I nodded all the way through this. You made me think. Thanks.”)

    • That would be a great emoticon!

      Sometimes I read someone’s post, and my mind just doesn’t come up with anything to say in response.

  6. i am so glad people are doing these posts. i am learning so much.

    I am not fond of the new blog format you mentioned but I use Reader most of the time and go directly to a post. I don’t care for lots of moving things. i’m easily distracted.

    While I prefer posts around 300 words for daily reading, I will certainly read a well written post that is longer.

    I have put ads on my blog and do paid posts so that I can claim expenses as a paid writer while I am trying to get a writing career off the ground. I was just told (and no one ever mentioned this) that my twitter and left side ad box blocks my text for someone. That will be fixed asap.

    I like balanced blogs too. I have no problem reading religious or politically posts that differ from my views but I don’t care to be preached at in any arena. I also don’t care for strictly gossip oriented topics.

    I always comment on someone’s blog if they have visited me once. I even put them in my Reader, but if I don’t get comments say once a week or at least every couple of weeks, I’ll stop visiting. There are certain people I know who read my blog but are not frequent commentors. I don’t necessarily need comments all of the time but once in a while to let me know you are around is good. If I read a post I always comment unless I plan on not coming back.

    I understand more about the verification and comment moderation now. The word verification thing is just hard for me because of my dyslexia but I can see why people do it.

    I think my comment is as long as a post now so I’ll say good bye. I enjoyed your list. Thanks for doing it.

  7. As I’ve said before, I love how your blog is such a great mix of serious, fun, family, etc.

    One thing about comments . . . I have swung back and forth between answering within the comments, answering by email, and going to the commenters’ blogs. Right now I’m having to use comment moderation because of some spam comments I was getting, so I’m answering each comment as I publish it. It’s working so well that I think I’ll keep doing it this way. If you’d like someone to answer your comments via email, make sure you have your email in your profile through Blogger; otherwise, there is no way to respond via email. The blogger only gets “noreply” and can’t contact you!

    And one more! I have come to really dislike music that starts automatically on blogs! No matter what kind it is. I’m usually either listening to my own music or I’m in the room with Beth as she’s doing school, and the music is just too distracting. One blogger I follow recently polled her readers and changed her music to only play if the reader started it. I thought that was very kind of her to consider what her readers wanted.

    Great post, Barbara!

  8. That truncating the blog post thing to get more visitors confused me a bit. You are one person. Whether you visit my blog once in a day or 8 times in a day (on various posts) I still only get credit for one person – -unless of course you would be willing to visit 8 times on 8 different computers, which I deem highly unlikely.

    I am pretty tech savvy and I know where to go on my template to tell it not to truncate my posts, but it won’t listen. Since that is the only feature of this template I don’t like, I’m keeping it.

    And I only send the Punny Monday email to regular participants — and I only started that because I got several requests for reminders.

    • I know every ad situation doesn’t work like what I mentioned, but some time ago a blog I used to read (and I can’t even remember which one it was) said specifically that she had her posts to show up only partially in her feeds so that people wouldn’t read it in the feeds but would click over because of the ads. I don’t remember if she got a certain number of credits per click or if her rates depended on the number of of visitors to her blog — but either way, it rubbed me the wrong way. But I know every blog with ads is not set up that way, and every partial post isn’t done for that reason.

      And as I mentioned in the post, I wasn’t talking about e-mails like the Punny Monday one — that is a courtesy to let us know it is up, because sometimes new posts don’t show up in Google Reader right away. But what I am talking about is that a few times now, I have commented on someone’s blog due to a meme or something, and then suddenly I find myself on an e-mail list from them urging me to come read their next post — like the self-promotional comment, only in an e-mail.

      And some bloggers that I have commented on will only answer via e-mail with a “Thanks for visiting my blog” but never come to visit mine. I know visiting and commenting shouldn’t just be tit for tat, but those kinds of bloggers don’t seem to be interested so much in the blogging community but in their own personal community.

      Those are the only kinds of e-mails relating to blogging I object to, although I have come to realize that the latter may just be due to busyness.

      But, no, I don’t mind the Punny Monday e-mail at all — they are good reminders — or getting into further discussions via e-mail.

  9. I love to read the posts submitted to Nessa’s meme. It helps a lot to get a better understanding about the DOs and the DON’Ts in the Blogosphere. Sometimes we really don’t know what can irritate or offend others. Even though, your post is long I have enjoyed reading it and share the thoughts. I also think it’s great that you gave the edited to add. Have a wonderful weekend, Barbara ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. This was really interesting.

    I think you and I are alot alike, Barbara….!! :0)

    I love visiting your blog. I feel like I know you — and not all blogs are like that.

    Take care and keep blogging!

  11. Great post, Barbara. I am one who doesn’t like music on blogs because the music player seems to always bog down the blog loading.

  12. This is a long post that I certainly enjoyed reading, Barbara! You have covered everything so comprehensively I don’t have anything more to add but to agree with you. I was mentally doing a list of stuff and then I strike off every one as I go down your lists.

    I’m very particular about paragraphs and I absolutely dislike reading long ones. I wished the bloggers would be nice enough to break them into smaller chunks but because they’re some of my favorite ones, I decided to tolerate.

    I’m also particular about writing so I get quite agitated reading badly written blogs with broken English, typos, etc. Funnily, I don’t have many readers from Malaysia, maybe because I don’t write the “style” and most of my visitors are from the US (when I checked on Google Analytics).

    One thing that worries me is the loading speed of my blog. Mine has lots of pictures in it and I optimized them all with the hope that the quality is not compromised that much. I sometimes wonder how fast they load on my friends’ computers.

    • “Tolerate” is a good word in this case — just like we live in real life with people who don’t do everything exactly the way we like it, we also do in blogland.

  13. WOW! You are really opinionated about blogging! LOL! I’m pretty sure I don’t have that many things that bother me. Maybe I just stay away from the blogs that bother me, so I’ve forgotten about them! I do keep MY computer on ‘mute’ so I don’t have to listen to other people’s music — music wreaks havoc with my concentration when I’m trying to read.

    I do read some blogs in my reader and then click over to comment. But I don’t mind clicking over to read… it bothers me that some feeders don’t feed photographs into my reader. So if I don’t click over, I would miss a lot! One blog I frequent, the feeder sends the empty space where the photo goes – but not the photo — makes it look really weird on the reader! LOL! Mostly I just like the reader because it notifies me WHO HAS posted!

    But anyway… I’m glad you got all that off your chest! And I read every word! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That’s what I like best about Reader, too — knowing when someone has posted something new. It saves me all kinds of time from checking blogs and finding no new posts.

      There are some blogs, like yours, where I comment on just about every post, so I click over anyway. But others I only comment on here and there.

  14. Serious now.
    I agree on the dark backgrounds. They bother my eyes too.
    I’ve never considered having the search on my blog, I think I’ll go ahead and put one up.
    I’m not big on having the music either, but instead of looking for their music thingy to turn it off, I just turn off my volume button.
    I started replying to commentors in my own comments, but realized that most probably don’t come back, so I’d rather reply back on theirs or email them. But I’ll still do it occasionally.
    It does bug me when one only replies to my comments by email without ever coming over for a ‘visit’. It implies to me that they’re not interested in what I have to blog about, just in my response to their blog fodder.
    For the most part my blogging friends all interact with me and I with them, and has made for some great friendships.
    Oh and one more thing. I was on someone’s blog once and I kept hearing this faint, crackling, fuzzy noise on my computer. I thought Oh No, my computer is going haywire. I was thinking I was going to smell smoke any minute. Then I realized it was the blog I was visiting. They had the sound of waves crashing as their ‘music’. Boy was I relieved!

    • When you said, “It implies to me that theyโ€™re not interested in what I have to blog about, just in my response to their blog fodder.” — that hots the nail on the head. That’s what bothers me about it.

      LOL at the last paragraph!!

  15. I really like this post Barbara! I like to hear what people like and don’t like and I’ll have to hop over to the link you posted and check out other peoples opinions later. I know when I had music on the blog, a couple of people complained about it. And frankly, after a while, it got on my nerves too – lol.
    I never would have thought of white letters on a dark back ground bothering someones eyes, but that is really something to think about.
    I try to remember about paragraphs, but I’ve become a sloppy writer since I started blogging I don’t always remember that rule. I’ll try to take that into consideration more often.
    Your post got me to thinking and I may steal this or even link back here later for WEGO Health (for my Health Bloggers Group).

  16. Wow! This was a very good post, Barbara.
    I don’t care for the one-long-paragraph posts either.
    I hope my blog is easy to navigate. I’ve tried to keep it simple. I don’t care for blogs that are too “busy”.
    You’ve made many good points that I totally agree with! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Oh and sometimes I, too, read a good post but, just honestly don’t have a comment to make or don’t want to make a comment…..sometimes…..:-/

  18. I’m with you on a lot of this. I hate it when bloggers send me a self-promotional email when I comment, especially if that’s ALL they do. I mean, I’ll just delete and turn the other cheek if they will simply come to my blog and comment, but how often do they? OTOH, I’ve made some bloggy friends I really value who respond to my comments in email and start up conversations there. I’d rather they commented on my blog and converse with me where others could join in, but I can kind of see where they’re coming from.

    Thanks for visiting me. Come by any time.

  19. Sorry–I just couldn’t help it ๐Ÿ™‚

    I enjoyed reading your likes and dislikes–especially your dislikes, because I think it’s always helpful to hear what others think, so that I can be a better internet friend.

    I have a hard time with figuring out how my blogging relationships should look. It’s difficult knowing that I have a limited amount of time and can’t follow/regularly comment on everyone’s blogs–and trying to figure out how to do that enough that I’m involved but not so much that I’m not living my “real” life.

    As for comments, I appreciate comments in general (except for the blatantly self-promotional ones that say nothing but “Nice post, come see mine”)–but I especially enjoy the kinds that interact with what I’ve said and tell me something about the commenter. Since those are the type of comments I enjoy reading, those are the type I try to give–but I often wonder if I’m being a bit selfish and “me-centered” when all my comments end up being first person. (*I* feel, *I* think, Here’s a related story about *me*)

    • I do think that balance you mentioned in your second paragraph is one of the hardest things to find. I evaluate how much time I spend reading and commenting from time to time and have cut back on the number of blogs I keep up with.

      I enjoy the types of comments you mentioned, too, where I can tell the reader has read and thought about the post. Yours are always thoughtful.

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