Being a Good Blogging Citizen
A few weeks ago, I wrote about what I thought made a good equine blog. Digesting this topic some more internally, I wanted to write a follow up post about what I think may be even more important – being a good blog citizen.
I didn’t realize when I started blogging that I would truly be entering a close knit community of people. I now call several people I’ve met through blogging friends, and even if you’re not someone I talk to on a daily basis – I root for your success and empathize with your failure all the same.
So what does it mean to be a “member in good standing” in the community? As always, these are my silly opinions and you should recognize that deep down I don’t really know what I’m doing.
A comment received is a comment given. Blogging shouldn’t be all about the comments… but it’s hard not to want feedback on something you work hard on. If someone comments on your blog, check theirs’ out and return the favor.
Don’t kick someone when they’re down. I think when you read a lot of blogs, you see things unfold that you may or may not have thought were a bad idea to begin with. We can’t all be captain hindsight, and when we blog our mistakes are so obviously public. As a member of the community, you can do a lot by saying “I’m sorry” instead of “I told you so.”
Offer happiness and condolences. It is not a coincidence that my posts that usually have the highest number of comments are the ones where I am celebrating something (a great show) or upset about something (a lame pony). All of you are so fantastic about making me feel better about things. I feel so much support from the readers of this blog!
Don’t one up each other. It’s not a contest. Jenny doesn’t need to be better than Sally. Just be Jenny, Jenny!
Interact with your readers. If someone leaves a comment on your blog asking a question, do your best to answer it for them. Really, any comment given is an opportunity to respond replying to that comment. I don’t reply to all my comments anymore (used to), but I try to answer questions, offer thank yous, and clarify anything that seems fuzzy.
Let someone know if you’re MIA. Shit happens. Sometimes we don’t feel like blogging, and that’s no big deal. If you disappear for a long time without anything happening, people really do get concerned though. If you can, tell a blogger friend or post a quick ‘hey I’m going to chill for a while’ post.
Help validate the newbies. Starting a blog can be really intimidating, especially when you discover this community of bloggers out there with tons of comments and followers. You know what’s a good way to make them feel welcome? Leave them a comment or two on their new blog – even if it’s not something that interests you and you may never come back again. They will notice and appreciate this a lot (ask me how I know!).
Above all… be yourself. Don’t try to fit into a mold just because someone says you should.
I’ll also take this as an opportunity to thank all my readers! Know that I read each and ever comment, and really appreciate your continued support. This blog is a lot of work, but it’s a labor of love for a lot of reasons… and the blogging community is a big reason!
29 thoughts on “Being a Good Blogging Citizen”
I loved this!! I’m constantly following new blogs, whether they have 1 or 100 followers. Replying to comments makes my day because I know I have supporters in this crazy, horsey-filled world. :)) I’ve definitely made some amazing friends through this!
I never thought that by blogging I would be joining a community of wonderful people. My eaders have become my support group and I value their comments and critiques! Excellent post 🙂
Love, love, love this post! I remember reading all the blogs and thinking that I wanted to be a part of this community, so I started my own. It took a while to figure things out, both about how to write and how to interact with others, and of course going through the ups and downs with some less than stellar comments and blog posts, etc. but now that I’m starting to become part of the blog community it really is awesome and I encourage everyone thinking of starting their own blog to try it 🙂
Took me a while to figure it out too. I love your blog and am glad you’ve “joined the community”!
Definitely an awesome post. Makes me feel a little better about blogging. You’re right about newbies… It’s intimidating. But you also have to get out there to get any response. I love reading about everyone’s adventures and rooting people on because that’s what I would want. Golden rule right?
Absolutely. Golden rule pretty much applies in every situation.
This is a fantastic post! Well done!
I will admit I’m a bit of a comment addict. I comment on almost every post I read (unless I’m way behind and trying to catch up) and I love getting comments. Sometimes when I don’t feel like blogging, the comments are what keeps me going. Maybe it’s a little shallow and I probably should do it just for me, but you know… we all have our quirks. 😀
I’m also bad about going MIA without a note…. oops! I follow the rest pretty well though, so I’m happy to know I’m a good blogging citizen hehehe!
Everybody loves comments! It’s definitely not shallow, especially if it keeps you happy blogging 🙂
🙂 love the variety of your posts
I definitely learned my lesson on going AFK last year 😛
Don’t leeeeeeeeave us again! 😉
Thank you for such a great post! I am the “newbie” you were talking about! lol I started blogging as a way to keep track of what worked and what didn’t with “Woobie” and to also try and motivate myself to improve. I had no idea when I started that there were so many lovely bloggers out there who felt the same way! You. Are. AWESOME!!!
Very sound advice. Now if I could just find the time to follow all of it:)
I really love this post. For the most part, bloggers are good citizens like that, which is good.
The greatest part of blogging for me was joining such a great community. Blog land seems to be one of the last friendly places on the internet. You really don’t see the nastiness that you see in forums and other such places. Bloggers seem to be generally wonderful and supportive people (the odd time you do get a negative comment it really catches you off guard). I love my fellow bloggers!
Holy ***king **it @ that horse’s last ditch effort to clear that jump. The athleticism is blowing my mind – successful jump or not, it takes an athlete to maneuver like that. Damn.
I know! What a tryer
I learned more about just general what’s-done-in-horse-world from blogging than anything else, lol! And yes comments are the best, though I’m terrible at giving them regularly… 😛
I used to reply on every comment but that isn’t really that reasonable anymore time wise, I’d rather be at the barn! 😉 I do appreciate every comment received and certainly try to respond to any questions etc. I try not to be tit for tat but I do tend to stop reading blogs that only post negative comments or reply with the told you so moments. Not even necessarily on my blog either. I hate to see bloggers being unsupportive to other bloggers too.
The blogging community is awesome. I never expected to make such great friends when I started my blog. Good post!
Agree, I can’t respond to everyone anymore. I also sometimes think it feels weird to reply with essentially the same thing over and over again.
Also don’t like reading blogs of people who seem to spread negativity!
Bravo Lauren! Way to put it all in a nutshell.
Some of my very dearest longterm friends were people I met through blogging. People who have opened their homes to me, let me ride their horses, have tagged along with me to shows, and have always been there for me no matter what.
I’ve not been that great of an interactive blogger since Gogo died, but my longterm contacts are very near and dear to me and always will be!
I definitely try to follow all of these suggestions, although I don’t always succeed as much as I’d like. It’s not any different than growing friendships in real life. You get what you put into it.
Another great post! I have met blogger friends in my area in person (just saw one yesterday at a local horse expo) and love the interaction in this community. I find it to be mostly positive, especially when a blogger is going through a difficult time personally or with their horse. I read blogs that are interesting to me and those that I find a personal connection with the writer.
Nice post Lauren! I like your “help validate the newbies” suggestion, I’ve been a bit remiss in that department. I need to start exploring the realms of Blogland in search of new blogs again…
Great tips, as usual! I agree with not kicking people while they’re down. That’s a good way to drive someone offline. The only thing I wish is that blogger had a better way of nesting comments and notifying when someone responds to you directly. I use LJ and it’s easy to have conversations back and forth with other users. Here, you either have to check back or check the subscribe button… which can be very annoying if you’re commenting on a popular blog!
I love checking out new blogs. I am slow to add them to my reading list, but it’s cool to try and see all the blogs out there. I look forward to building up more members of my community. Good ideas and I just feel inspired to go ride and record the interaction with my (semi feral) horses. 🙂
Thanks for writing this post.
This is such a great post 🙂 I think every blogger could learn something from this.