Saturday, October 6, 2007

Blog Etiquette

I've been keeping this blog since January and there some rules that I have discovered along the way about how and what to blog. These are merely guidelines, not necessarily hard-and-fast rules, but generally, I try to stick to these:

1. Don't write about work. I used to be an avid reader of a blog called Dooce, of which the author, Heather Armstrong, blogged about her misadventures at work and was subsequently fired. I don't read her blog anymore, but I did take to heart what happened to her. I always write as if my boss were reading. I never mention where I work or any specific events at work. It's just better not to risk it.

2. Don't write about your family. Now, I follow this rule kinda loosely. I mention little things from growing up such as my dad's bedtime songs or my sibling's childhood adoration of muppets, but I refrain from writing too much about my family as I know that they read my blog. So, stories about our goofball family of nerds (I think that all of us could agree that we are nerds) are out. Sorry, no posts about the family wedding this weekend. But golly, I would never fall short of topics if I could break this rule.

3. Don't cuss. This is another rule that I follow kinda loosely. Those of you who know me and see me on a semi-regular basis know that I have a mouth dirtier than a landfill. But for some reason, I keep the seven words you cannot say on television according to George Carlin, out of my blog. Maybe it's my attempt to be more lady-like. Ha!

4. Don't write about people that don't want to be written about. I have some anti-social, reclusive friends who I love dearly but who don't like to be blogged. I try to respect that. Even for the friends who don't mind being blogged, I only use first names. And I certainly do not blog personal information about anyone.

5. Don't write about current, past or prospective boyfriends. It's hard for me to follow this rule, as I have some jaw-dropping, side-splitting stories that I could tell that could make this the most popular blog on the internet. But alas, out of respect for these fellers, I do not mention my current or past love life at all. [Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.]

So, those are my rules for my blog. They keep me out of trouble. I don't feel that these rules need to apply to other blogs except for maybe rule #4. That's an important one.

A couple weeks ago, I discovered that someone's been blogging about me. This blogger does not have any blogging manners at all. Not only did this person blog personal information about me, but this person used my first and last name and linked to my blog. I find this irresponsible, despicable and mean. I would like to use George Carlin's seven dirty words to come up with something to say to this blogger, but I will follow rule number 3 and just say this: Blogger, please remove any mention of me from your blog and find something else to write about. Thank you.

Oh, and I just about forgot the next rule.

6. Don't pick your nose while blogging. For goodness' sake! You'll get boogers on the keyboard. And that is really grody.


Gye Greene said...

A compelling blog entry.

Questions (or requests for clarification)...

#2 -- Do you mean "potentially embarrassing stuff" -- or **anything** about your family?

#3 -- I like. It's much more creative if you cuss like the British, or a hillbilly -- lots of metaphors and similies. (e.g. Hugh Grant in "Notting Hill": ''Sod the dog, I've made the wrong choice, haven't I?'')

#4 -- Myself, I always use pseudonymns; half the fun is coming up with good ones. For that matter, you could modify #2 to just treat them as "people you know", and then write about them. As long as it's not potentially embarrassing. (It's too bad the other person is being indiscreet about you in their own blog...)

#6 -- as my dad always said "You can pick your friends. And you can pick your nose. But you can't pick your friend's nose. (And don't drop boogers on the floor.)"

Speaking of boogers... a potential for your radio show: Weird Al has a song on his first or second album called "Gotta Boogie", done in a dance/boogie style -- about "Gotta boogie!!! // Gotta boogie!!! // Gotta boogie on my finger, and I can't shake it off!!!"


Gye Greene said...

Sorry -- upon re-reading, I guess those were more "My 2c worth" than honest questions.


Charlotte said...

Thanks, Gye!

As for blogging about the family: none of the other family members have a blog. And thankfully, we all get along despite our wide-ranging differences. Out of respect of that, I prefer to keep them out of my blog. Besides, I don't see my siblings that often.

And I don't have a spouse or any kids... if I did, I'd probably blog about them. But that's different.

With friends, it's different. Lots of friends have blogs and most of them don't mind being blogged. If they did, I most certainly would take it down.

A general rule that I use when I write is "What would my boss or my mom say if she read this?" That usually keeps me out of trouble.

Anonymous said...

Your points were more or less my philosophy when I was blogging too, except I used loads of pseudonyms for family, friends, locations, etc. As Gye said, it is fun coming up with creative ones.

And except for #3. Cussing is cathartic for me, and the blog was the perfect place to do it.

Charlotte said...

Hey Minty,

Cussing can be cathartic for me, too,sometimes, but I don't want it on the web with my name attached to it.

As for blogging about friends, family, etc. using pseudonyms, those people will still read it and know it is about them. It's best for me to just keep my mouth shut.

I don't want it to get too complicated. If you want to hear juicy stories, you'll just have to listen to them in person.

Gye Greene said...

Just a reply to your comment on my blog. :)

Even though you're not up-to-date with today's music, the fact that (1) that's actually a concern, and (2) that you're still actively discovering new music, puts you miles ahead of most of our contemporaries.

Maybe that's a characteristic of DJs?


Charlotte said...

Music is my obsession. I had been letting it slip a bit over the past few years, but in 2007, I decided to dive head first back into my obsession.

Being a dj only feeds my obsession. Myspace does, too.

I do believe that it is odd for a woman of my age to be into music the way that I am. I am sure that it's partially due to the fact that I am unmarried without kids. If I had a spouse, a houseful of kids and a full-time job, I probably wouldn't have time to devote to djing or music.

Gye Greene said...

Just browsed back to see if you'd replied to my reply. :)

I think it really hinges on the individual characteristic -- which gets dampened or suppressed by life circumstances. I reckon that if you had the life-circumstance you mention, you might not be DJ-ing, but you'd still be listening to music.

Just gaging by my own situation: married, toddler in the house, working P/T plus **trying** to finish a Dissertation. But I'm currently listening to my recently rediscovered collection of tapes when I drive in the car; and every few weeks I check out the midnight music video show, just to see if there's any good "new music". Oh: and I read the local (free) weekly music magazine record reviews, just to see if anything sounds good (my "Albums to Check Out" list keeps growing faster than my actual following through).

And once your hypothetical kids turned teenage: well, there's a whole 'nother avenue of discovering new music. ;)

So, no: it's not your life circumstances; it's you. :)


Charlotte said...

Gye, you might be right.

But I think that if my life circumstances were different, my obsession might not be music.

But I would definitely be obsessed about something. Maybe quilting.