**This could be a controversial post. I'm going to test out the waters with this one. It's fine to have differing opinions here, but keep it respectful and constructive. I will not tolerate mean comments or personal attacks, and they will be deleted. If I find topics like this too be too controversial I will no longer have them.**
Talk it Out Tuesday is a monthly, sometimes twice monthly post where I present a topic on beauty, nail polish, or blogging to be discussed. I present my opinions on the topic and then I invite you to contribute. These posts are meant to bring about constructive discussion on topics we normally do not have an opportunity to discuss.
Today's topic is the Blogging Unwritten Code of Conduct a.k.a. Blogging Etiquette.
What I mean by this is that there are general rules that all bloggers seem know about or expect their followers and other bloggers to abide by. The problem is, these rules are not set in stone, and not everyone is aware of them so it can cause issues.
The 2 things I can think of that come up with this issue are "comment spammers" and "picture thieves".
**Please note I'm not trying to downplay these issues. I know myself included that despite good people or bad people these incidents can be frustrating and very annoying**
When I first got into blogging. I was unaware that sharing links in blogger's comment section was a complete no no. I had considered posting my link in a few blog comments. In fact, I may of actually done it a few times. Then for some reason, I got a inkling that maybe this was not right. I ended up asking some people who told me this was considered spam. Did I think I was spamming? No not really, I thought I was just sharing my link with others. I did not see it as a bad thing at first. I do understand now it is self promotion on someone else's blog.
Now, as a blogger I see it done on my blog, and I'm quick to judge people in a negative light who do that. I even go to Twitter or Facebook to rant about comment spammers. The truth is like me previously, I'm sure many of these people do not realize this is bad. They have absolutely no clue this is considered rude. How are they supposed to know if they are brand new to the blogging world? How can we expect people to know?
I think there is also a difference. I think there are people who are aware and do it frequently without any care in the world. There are people who do it despite being told in the comment section that it's not allowed. That is frustrating, but I think we all should be more patient when it could be someone's first mistake, my self included.
I'm sure I'll get flack for this one. I clearly know there are people out there who steal pictures and steal peoples posts and pictures purposefully . There are also people who try to pass on this work as their own (i.e. LUUUX) or eBayers who continuously use people's swatch photos. This is absolutely wrong and needs to be stopped, however, there are some people who use peoples images who simply do not realize it is wrong.
I've seen people use other people's images in a positive light to show something awesome someone did or they find a picture on Google and use it on their blog to show other people something they don't have etc. These people I truly believe are completely innocent, and just need a friendly note or reminder that they need to credit the photo or not use the photo.
I've seen bloggers handle this well, and I've seen bloggers handle this not so well. I've seen people completely attack, vilify, and completely humiliate what are otherwise kind people because they made an innocent mistake in their ignorance. I think the frustration is certainly warranted, but we need to take a breather first. I feel like as bloggers we need to be proactive, versus reactive. I think a lot can be solved in a private respectful email. This is not always the case, but I think it's necessary step before taking farther action if you are ignored.
I'm not saying this about people who repeatedly steal pictures and ignore peoples requests to stop. I'm talking about these one time incidents that get blown out of proportion and are handled badly. We all make honest mistakes. Let's not burn every person at the stake because they make a boo boo.
One final issue that I think is a little differnent is "anonymous mean commenters". I feel like this is a rule that should be common sense. People should not have to be directed on this one, they should just know better!
Anonymous Mean Commenters
This is something I thankfully have yet to encounter on my own blog. I've seen this done on other blogger's blogs, and some of the stuff I've read it is just flat out disgusting and hurtful. I cannot tell people what to do. People can pretty much behave how they'd like on the internet, however, I wish it was different.
My problem isn't so much with people not revealing themselves when writing a nasty comment, but why even put it on the person's blog in the first place? Like I mention on the top of this post, it's totally cool if you have constructive feedback, but just mean-spirited nonsense is not ok. Again, like the other things I mentioned if you have an issue with someone email them personally. Why embarrass and harass them on their blog?
I think I idealize blogging and people too much, and it disappoints me that people behave so cruelly to people. Oh well.....
These are just a few of what I think are dozens of rules in regards to blogging etiquette that we expect everyone else to understand, but really don't (sans anonymous mean commenters). I said I'm guilty of this myself. I am quick to judge people who make these mistakes. I'm quick to go to Twitter to air my grievances, not realizing that I am very much alienating and making other people around me feel insecure and uncomfortable. It is wrong, and I apologize.
There are a few things I take issue to in the blog-o-sphere. Let's be honest here. Do we really like every blogger and every blog? Of course not. Are there situations and actions involving people we do not agree with? Of course. This is only natural. There is no law requiring everyone to like one another and be friends. There are no requirements you must subscribe and enjoy every blog out there. There are just better ways to deal with these things.
Vent to your friend about it. Bit*ch, moan, and complain all you want. Don't take it to the public forum though. I think bloggers have to mindful even though we are regular people that people look up to you in a way and do follow your every move. In the case of anonymous mean commenters..come on now...really? Just be respectful guys.
What are your thoughts on this issue?
What are some other unwritten rules in the blogging world you have an issue with?
Are there certain rules you think should be a given and universally understood without them being written in stone?