Look up on the net, it’s a troll, it’s a spambot, no it’s SUPER BLOGGER!
Are you faster than a speeding bullet, arriving at a blog mere seconds after it’s been posted? Are your posts more powerful that a locomotive, firing up emotions in your readers that bring tears of laughter, sadness and fits of rage? Are you able to leap to the comment section in a single bound, writing out a response so engaging and articulate that people swear you’re going to be the next Danielle Steel (and think, that’s just reading your comments!)
Okay, so many most of us will never become a “Super Blogger,” at least not by those terms. All jokes aside, most of us do try to be good bloggers. We do our best to come up with interesting content, posting as regularly as life permits, and most of all we try and make visitors to our blogging home feel welcome. (We don’t even make them take their shoes off before they come in.) And many of us reciprocate when it comes to our blog followers and comments. It seems like the right thing to do.
Let’s face it, being a “good” blogger is a lot of work and could be all-consuming if we let it. We could be zipping up and down wordspress hitting the “like” button with lightening speed, staying up into the wee hours racking our brains to come up with clever and meaningful comments. But blogging, as with all things, takes us time to find the right balance, one that works for us. We wouldn’t want to be accused of being a rude blogger by any means and yet it could take over our lives if we let it.
Last week, Roni Loren blogged about blogging manners in her post, enough-with-the-quid-pro-quo-blogging-etiquette-free-yourself check it out to see what she has to say.
In her post, Roni mentions the “rule” about bloggers supporting one another, following each other, and commenting back and forth, and says we basically do it because it’s good manners. Many of us would agree with that. Growing up, my parents believed that when someone visited you then “owed” them a visit. It was a fairly common practise. People kept tabs on it, same as phone calls. It was tit for tat. I’m not so sure that this rule holds true today or if I just ignore it. If I want to visit someone I do. If I want to phone them I do. I could care less when last they called me. I figure if they didn’t want to talk they just wouldn’t pick up. Thank goodness for caller ID.
Roni says that in the beginning “the reciprocity thing can be a great way to start making friends,” and this is very true. If you don’t put yourself out there how will anyone find you?
So what is it then, have things not changed since my parent’s day? Are we simply reading other blogs and commenting so they will reciprocate? I had to give this some thought. It’s a tricky subject.
The point of Roni’s post is to say that it’s not bad manners if we don’t reciprocate. She says, “We should not have to suffer a guilt trip because instead of visiting all of our blogroll that day, we turned off the computer and took our kid to the park. We shouldn’t have to “catch up” at midnight and hit all those posts we missed out of some sense of obligation.”
She goes on to say that the key to having blog followers is to write interesting posts, ones that encourage discussion and above all be genuine. These are all great points and is why I read the blogs I do.
Okay, I certainly understand the idea of visiting back and forth and leaving comments. As one blogger said, “Everyone likes to get comments on their posts.”
But is anyone going to comment on your blog if you never comment on theirs? For me it’s nice to know that others are reading. Hits to our blogs don’t mean a darn thing if no one is taking the time to actually read what we’ve written. Call me a social butterfly, but I do like getting to know bloggers and it seems the best way to do this is to engage in conversation. Still, it’s hard to shake that thought that not reciprocating, at least to some degree, is bad manners. If I visit a blog on several occasions, leave comments that are never replied to, nor does the blogger visit at least once to say hi, it gives the impression that the blogger isn’t interested. Sorry, but that’s how I’ve been conditioned to think. I don’t need anyone to be my next best buddy, but if you acknowledge me, at least a tiny bit, I won’t feel as though I’m being completely ignored. Sound lame? Sorry, just speaking the truth here.
All that said, I do have blogs I follow that I seldom, or never, leave comments on. Roni’s is one of them. I love Roni’s blog. I visit often, but in the almost three years that I’ve been following her I might have commented on her blog three times. I don’t feel the need to let her know that I’m hiding in the shadows, and I don’t expect a return visit. I met Roni way back when she was blogging on wordpress. I follow her blog because I like what she has to say, which I guess was the point she was making. Like I said earlier it’s a tricky subject and I don’t really have any answers.
So the moral of the story is? Okay, I’m trying to come up with one here and I’m not sure if there is one. How about this? No need for any of us to worry if we’re not awarded Super-Blogger of the year. We just need to be ourselves. People will visit and leave comments because of the posts we write not because there’s something in it for them.
What are your thoughts about good/bad blogging manners? Do you feel ignored if a blogger never acknowledges you? Or do you feel a blogger’s only responsibility is to writing great post and to heck with reciprocity no one can be everwhere all the time?