I’ve been blogging almost 3 years now, and I know a lot of people are just now starting to maintain a personal blog. I also have seen how powerful (good and bad) blogging can be for those of us in "the public eye." So, I thought I would share some hard earned lessons with my reading public.
Blogging is a brand new mode of communication (compared to other forms of media) and it can either be really good for you, or it can be really damaging to you. These rules will help you keep your blogging life happy.
- Rule #1 Don’t ever write something you wouldn’t want your mother to read. Too many people have a false impression that their blog posts are private or that if they haven’t invited someone to read it, they won’t. Don’t make that mistake. If you journal on a blog it will eventually be found by people you know. Everything you publish online is public.
Rule #2 Opinions are like…. bellybuttons… everyone has one. The cool thing about blogs is that it gives you an inside look into what someone is perceiving from their point of view. The bad thing about blogs is that you are only getting their perception, their raw and unedited thoughts at a specific time. The more you respect others blog opinions, the more happy you’ll be reading their blog. My rule of thumb is that for every opinion I read about something I know, I learn something. Even if I disagree with everything they wrote, I learned something.
Rule #3 Don’t throw gasoline on a fire. I would highly recommend that if you read something about you or your blog or your people that is negative… just do yourself a favor and don’t hit that "comment" button or send that person an e-mail, OK? Just leave it lie. I’ve made this mistake too many times… I’ll see something someone wrote about me or YMX and I’ll want to "vindicate" myself by commenting or dropping an e-mail to the author to address the "attack." The truth is that it is always better to let that sleeping dog lie. I can’t think of a single good thing that has come out of me doing that.
Rule #4 Beware of Trolls, learn to love Lurkers. A troll is someone who reads your blog to get information about you to use against you. A lurker is someone who just wants to read your blog to get to know you. Just know that both are out there.