This is a list of Dos and Don'ts for blogging. While this is put together by me without any sources, I believe following these rules will make the blogosphere a better place for all who pass through it.
- Strive towards quality. Beauty is in the eye of a classic D&D monster, but quality shines through. While everyone may not agree with you, or find all your points interesting, people will appreciate passion, integrity and effort. There is enough spam out there already.
- Mind your P's and Q's. I mean this in the most literal way. It is hard to read a text that is full of typos, grammatical errors, and poor punctuation. Also, use paragraphs, as one massive text-block is a turn-off for most readers. If this is hard for you, install a spell-checker on your browser, and check up some basic grammar (this is one search away).
- Put a picture in your post. A picture says more than a thousand words, right? It also livens up your blog, and makes it easier to recognize one post from another. Not to mention the fact that a relevant illustration helps the reader relate to what you put out there.
- Be mindful of your privacy. Every single bit of information published will theoretically be available to the entire human population for as long as there is a world wide web. If you don't want the unwashed masses to know personal details about your life, don't tell them.
- Give credit where credit is due. Using other peoples stuff is usually cool, as long as you credit them for their work. This goes for pictures, quotes, and pretty much everything you can publish.
- Let your guests feel welcome, and they may return. When people take the time to comment on your blog, you should let them know you've taken the time to read what they wrote.
- If you can't say something nice, shutting up may be a better approach. Being honest in a review is one thing, but going into maximum over-flame over something someone said on teh internetz will only earn you scorn. No one likes a troll, except maybe it's mother.
- Let your readers know if you are selling something. No one likes to feel duped, so if your post is an advertisement, for your own wares or that of a third party, a disclaimer is in order.
- Use common sense. That's right. Most problems and misunderstandings can be avoided if you stop and think before you post.
Lastly, a word of wisdom:
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
-Robert E. Howard
That goes double on the internet.
[Picture source: Barry D]