Friday, September 19, 2014

Blog + Social Media Etiquette 101

The blogosphere is an incredible community, a colossal melting pot infused with different characters from all over the world, each budding with fresh perspectives and interest. When I first began the journey on long ago, I had no clue it would turn into a mega-complex society of both individuals and groups. As the popularity of blogging continues to grow, it's no longer this small island of people who digitally document their life as a mere hobby; it's become so much bigger than that. Because of this growth, more and more people misuse the technology we're given that was engineered to give everyone with a voice a platform to speak.

After many years of being apart of this world, I've noted a few aspects of it that aren't so pretty. The more I put myself out there, the more these observations come to light. The only way I know to improve the flaws within myself is to acknowledge them, then write out.  Here is a list of things that every blogger can possibly take from and tweak the way they see fit: 
  • Be kind. Instead of shrugging it off when you notice someone is on Twitter late at night, "in their feelings", reach out to them in a private message. Offer some kind of encouraging word. We love to say 'You never know what people are going through' after someone does something as drastic as suicide, but act like we don't care when given the opportunity to do so. Twitter is not designed simply for self-promotion, although it can and should operate as such. In some cases, it's the personality aspect of a brand. It's also a space for you to show support, network, and connect with others. 
  • Read first. Comment second. Engage with fellow bloggers through thought provoking comments; not just, "Great post!" If it has pictures and words, read the words too, out of respect for the work the blogger has put into that particular piece. If you're in a time crunch, and the post is lengthy, bookmark it and come back to it when you have time. If it doesn't speak to you personally, don't comment at all. Also, don't comment out of obligation or to make your web presence relevant. Be sincere in your approach, because it definitely shows when you aren't. 
  • Don't throw shade...publicly. I admit, I'm guilty of doing this on more than one occasion. Although I'm getting better, this is something I am constantly working on. In a previous post, I explained that people don't always catch my sarcasm, especially when they're not able to actually hear my tone. Honestly, it's not always necessary. Instead of publicly humiliating someone so that others can join in on the ridicule or providing a gateway for people divert attention to what they would not have other wise noticed, send them an email expressing your concerns or criticism. There is a certain way to handle things in regard to being open and honest; one of those ways is through being direct. 
  • Know the difference between constructive criticism and positive feedback. While it's vital to be nice, it's just as important to understand that not everyone who offers feedback is out to get you or waiting to see you fail. Not everyone with an opposing perspective has malicious intent. People who believe in you the most want to see you do and be your best and will always support you, even if you choose to not listen.  Sure, there are internet trolls with no life who hide behind this false sense of bravery called the internet, but I'm sure within that crowd of individuals saying things you may not necessarily agree with, are a cluster of people who are rooting for you.  Additionally, be very weary of 'yes-men', who kiss your ass whether you're producing mediocre content or not and only want to be recognized for their own benefit/exposure. That's not, and never will be, the kind of support you need. 
  • Cultivate your own ideas.  In the age of social media, blogging, and digital forms of information everywhere, sometimes it can be hard to be innovative when thinking up new ideas or coming up with topics to cover on your next post. I get it.  However, we all have a unique voice. All of us could witness to the same thing happening and, somehow, the stories would all start and end differently. Branding is a huge aspect of blogging these days, but it's so important to be authentic while building said brand. Don't try to be like anyone else. Don't feel pressured to take on something just because it's popular. Because of your God-given gifts and human experience, You are good enough and even though one thing may or may not be your cup of tea, it doesn't mean you don't have other things to offer. There is plenty of room in this world for all of us to thrive. Stay true to who you are, committed to authenticity and what you have inside of you to share, and everything else will fall into place accordingly. 
That's all I have for now.  Bloggers, if you have any more tips, the comment section is always ready for your feedback and I'm always open to learning a thing or two more. 


1 comment

  1. YES! I love this post so much. I'm trying really hard to keep my "personal feelings" (especially when it involves throwing shade haha) off of my blog's Twitter but it's hard sometimes. Love the part about criticism. It's so true. We should be open to it but at the same time it can be hard to decipher who's giving good feedback and who's just trying to be rude. Great post. I'm going to share it.


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