When it comes to posting things online, you’ve got to be careful. As soon as you post a post or comment you’ve created a digital record that may go on living online forever.
With that in mind I thought it was a good time to revise my Rules for Blogging. Whether you are new to blogging or a seasoned veteran, consider following these hard earned lessons to help keep your blogging life positive.
These are the rules that I follow at adammclane.com and I suggest you adapt them for your own blog.
Rule #1 Don’t ever write something you wouldn’t want your mother to read. Some 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 a snap shot. It’s their perception, their raw and unedited thoughts at a specific time. It’s perfectly OK to have an opinion and express it on your blog. But it’s always a good idea to save a controversial post for 24 hours to think about it before pressing “publish.”
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 Give credit where credit is due. If you want to post something you saw somewhere else, that’s cool. Just make sure to give that other site credit. If you read blogs you’ll see the acronym “HT.” That means, “hat tip” and is a polite way to acknowledge your source. Bypassing this rule makes you look like a jerk. The same rule doesn’t hold true for pictures. Unless an image is specifically marked as copyright protected, feel free to use it for your blog. The biggest etiquette with pictures is to host that image on your blog instead of hotlinking it to the place you found it.
Rule #5 Beware of Trolls, learn to love Lurkers, reward contributors. 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. A contributer is someone who participates in your blog somehow. Maybe they mention your blog to you in person or they post comments often. Find ways to reward them for their loyalty to your blog.