The epiphany that not all bloggers necessarily have the same level of netiquette came to me with a very recent experience. I'd contacted one blogger asking to swap links, and when I didn't hear anything for two weeks, sent a follow-up email joking that my first email must have gotten lost and asking her to respond. She did respond days later, apologizing and saying she didn't check her blogger email account that often, and saying I'd be added to her blogroll.
I'd say that exchange took about two weeks, and it took about another four weeks before I was added to her blog.
Last night I checked out the blog. There was a new entry detailing the dresses she'd bought recently, and my blog listed in her blogroll - under the wrong name. I left a comment on her new post complimenting her dress and her bravado in attending the H&M grand opening at Pacific Centre, and said that my blog name was wrong and asked her to correct it. Well, I checked back this morning and not only is my blog name still wrong, she'd deleted my comment!
WTF? You have time to delete a blog comment but not to correct a simple mistake?! Both of these things take a matter of seconds to do unless you're severely computer-challenged. This is a classic example of BAD BLOGGER BEHAVIOUR. I understand bloggers are people too and people have lives, but this isn't about having a life outside of blogging; it's about showing contempt and disrespect toward a reader and fellow blogger.
Lest you think I'm making a big deal out of nothing, here are the basic rules of blogger decency I adhere to, and that I admire others for when they adhere to them:
- Do respond to emails and messages in as timely a manner as your schedule will allow.
- Do check the contact email associated with your blog regularly! It's the only way through which other bloggers and readers can contact you, and not doing so shows disrespect toward those who cared enough about your blog to send you something.
- Do be diplomatic in your correspondence. Remember that online correspondence is trickier than just talking to someone because there are no facial/physical/verbal cues, so the tone of your replies is very important.
- Do take responsibility for any mistakes you may make, and take the time to fix them. I follow this credo in my life as a technical writer and in my blog. If I find typos or errors that I missed when doing a read-through of my posts, I will go back and fix them even after they've been published.
- Do acknowledge when you can't wear your blogging hat with as much gusto as you normally do. Life happens, and I really appreciate bloggers who tell their readers they might be too busy with exams or other things to post and respond regularly, or when they tell readers they'll be away on hiatus.