I've had my bloggy home for a little over a year. I've enjoyed writing about my experiences and races as well as sharing my epiphanies with the internet world, but the thing I've enjoyed the most is the personal interaction with other runners and health enthusiasts. I'm grateful for this community that has accepted me with open arms, regardless of how I look or how fast (or slow) I run.
Over the past year, I've discovered some stellar blogs and some outrageously awesome people. However, I've also stumbled upon some blogs (and their respective creators) that have really rubbed me the wrong way. So I wanted to share some things that I think we should all be mindful of in the blogging community.
People don't care what you know until they know that you care. I first heard this phrase when I was preparing to go on a church mission trip, but I think it applies to the blogging community perfectly. Find a way to acknowledge the presence of your readers and those who make comments. People will know that you're in it for more than just the numbers.
I found a blog that I was getting interested in, but every time I would make a comment or try to engage in conversation with the creator, she ignored me. But I noticed she often left comments on the "big time" blogs, but never the smaller ones. Eventually I got tired of her elitism so I gave up on her blog.
Likewise, sometimes I comment on a blog that has a million readers, and the author actually responds to my comment! Among the dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of other comments, they will actually respond to little old me. I don't expect it every time, but it makes me feel like the person cares about their readers. We're not just a number to them.
Be nice. It's far too easy to say something mean to someone when you're not saying it to their face. While there might not be immediate repercussions to your words, people will still be hurt and you could definitely lose readership!
I had been reading a blog for a while when they decided to post some inflammatory opinions about my Alma Mater. I was amazed and also sickened to read the dozens of hostile comments that used word "hate" over and over again. I lost respect for the author and haven't been back to their blog since. Find a way to share your opinion while still respecting the opinions of others.
Speed is relative. Ah the infamous "what is slow for me is fast for you" debate. This is a tough one. It's so easy for me to say "I had such a slow run!" without thinking that my "ridiculously slow" is someone else's normal. But then again, how many times do bloggers need to specify, "it was slow for me?"
It's a tough pill for me to swallow when I read someone's race recap where they talk about the terrible, awful, embarrassing, pathetic, etc. race they ran only to find out their finish time would never be attainable for me. Or my favorite, "I just had a baby and I'm so fat and out of shape, and I could only manage 15 miles at xx:xx pace." Yep, that pace is faster than my PR, thanks for making me feel like a loser.
So be sensitive to your readers when you talk about what is slow and what is fast. And don't constantly whine about how you're "not fast enough."
Accessibility. Make it easy for your readers to follow you. Whether it's by e-mail or Google Friend Connect, we need to be able to know when you put a post up. There are some great blogs out there that I'd like to keep up with, but there's no 'follow' option. Boo =(
Don't use fancy text or bright colors. The end.
Don't be long winded. Use short paragraphs. We have short attention spans.
What are your biggest blogging pet peeves?
What etiquette would you add?
Do you respond to your comments and/or follow back your followers?
How do you acknowledge to presence of your readers?