Blogging Etiquette and Politics: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I normally stay away from becoming involved in controversial discussion and arguments, but something annoyed me this morning.

I’ve only been blogging since April. When I started I hadn’t a clue about the process and I have spent a large amount of time building my blog into something that I’m proud of. As my following has grown I have started to get to know others a little more and I’ve always been very lucky to receive lovely comments from them and to my knowledge haven’t been subjected to any personal attacks. There have been a few occasions where someone has disagreed with what I’ve written, but they’ve usually done so in a polite and courteous way. WordPress, in my mind, was very much a fun, supportive and happy place to be and I have always felt safe here.

However, over the last few months I have started to notice some of the ‘dark side’ of the blogging world, particularly when discussing stats.

Most people that I follow have a blog just for them – they write when they have time and do so simply because they enjoy it. Some write to make money out of the advertising, to promote their business or product or as an extension to a further project that they may be involved in. Some have experienced a traumatic time, a difficulty or may be dealing with an illness and want to reach out to others. The topics that I’ve read over this year have ranged from family, friends, personal experiences, thoughts and opinions on national and international news stories, poetry, art, life and things that matter to the writer. Some of these blogs have gained THOUSANDS of followers and have millions of views on WordPress alone in a very short amount of time, without including the extra publicity of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr etc.

Here’s where I’ve found that the jealousy begins, and I mean to write this word because that is exactly what it is. Jealousy. I’ve seen a number of posts recently attacking outstanding bloggers under the guise of disagreeing with their blogging etiquette: liking posts before reading them, mass following, blah blah blah. I’ve read posts by bloggers that are responding to nasty emails that they’ve been sent, or had vile comments written to them or about them.

My question is, if a blogger had 20 followers rather than 20,000+, would you be attacking them? If somebody ‘liked’ a post before reading it and they hadn’t gained more than 50 followers, would you really waste your time sending them a nasty email or writing a ridiculously long post about it?

No, you wouldn’t.

I could actually understand this if the content of the bloggers posts were controversial, but the majority of what I’ve read from the people I follow have been well-written opinions on a subject of their choice and should be treated as such. Of course, it is likely that others may disagree and will feel the need to respond, but that doesn’t mean the blogger should be verbally attacked!

What also infuriates me is that these bloggers are generous people – they have taken the time to help me personally and promote my posts (and the posts of lots of others) over the last few months (resulting in my blog gaining lots of new followers) and don’t deserve the criticism that they are getting. Instead, we should be applauding their success – it isn’t an easy thing to accomplish what they have and there are millions of blogs out there who aren’t even in the same league as these guys.

Finally, I’d like you to ponder this: what difference does this make to your own writing? If somebody has amassed more followers than you, how does it affect you? The answer is simple: it doesn’t. You are under no obligation to read and/or follow these blogs. I know who like my posts before reading them and it doesn’t bother me a single bit, I don’t mass follow people and only follow blogs (just over 200 of them) that I enjoy reading, despite having over 3000 followers myself. I reply to as many comments as I possibly can, I take part in Daily and Weekly Challenges and I host regular blogging parties. But if I were to change this and decide to adopt a different approach in an attempt to increase traffic, that is my decision.

So, for those of you that insist that there should be a blogging etiquette, here’s one for you:

1. Write fabulous posts on your blog that people will enjoy.

2. Mind your own goddam business about what anyone else is doing. Leave the trolling to Twitter and Facebook.

Have a lovely Thursday!

63 thoughts on “Blogging Etiquette and Politics: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

  1. I enjoy your blog tremendously. However I think there is another reason why some of us blog.
    I blog to reach those who suffer with “mental illness.” There is a cultural denial of the severity of and the possible help that is out there for what many like I suffer from and with.
    I dont write posts that people will enjoy. I write posts to reach those who are looking for a connection when they are living in a place that seems unbearable.
    Thanks for your blog. I didnt notice how many followers you had til you mentioned it.
    Jim

  2. Just keep going, over 60,000 hits in such a short time is amazing FULL STOP. Don’t let the bile of envy get to you, they obviously just aren’t that good. From a blogger full of admiration for a fantastic achievement, have a great Thursday and then go and enjoy the weekend.

    ps Better go and read your post now 😉

    • Haha! I haven’t experienced any negativity but I do feel bad for those that have recently, particularly an extremely popular blogger who has been really kind to me recently and now has received a huge backlash from others.

  3. I see this happening to one of my favorite bloggers to read. He has this huge following and he is now being attacked because of this. How he got there is purely his business and he has a legitimate blog which serves as his medium of getting his opinion out there and it’s not like he forced his followers to follow him. I see it as an insult to his readers too. We have brains, we follow who we want to read.
    Tsk.

  4. 3,090 followers and 64,277 hits? You’ve done very well in such a short time. Stand tall and proud and don’t worry about the negative ones that have nothing better to do with their life than to try and show their ugly faces. What do they know? Right? Keep up the good work!

  5. Isn’t it not just human nature, everyond has the green eyed monster in us but some of know how to keep it hidden.
    This is one of the reasons that I stay off forums especially forum that are dedicated to the arts I used to belong to a long standing photographic forum it was great when I first joined and a great time was had by all, then more and more people joined and the safe fun site turned into a cesspool of pathetic petty jealousy from people who thought someone elses images were better than theirs and it came to the point that the owners of the forum a large well known worldwide company had to step in warn people about behaviour and would close the forum. I had left before this this disgusting behaviour caused the forum to implode. It got that bad that two members took legal action against each other for slander.
    Offline these people would have never taken part in such behaviour, the net is anonymous, faceless entity so people behave like animals because once the computer is switched off that side of their other life shut down, then they move into their nice and rosey family life. People have a whole new persouner their new address is their email, they have a whole new set of friends, they change their looks with an avatar, they can change age, place of birth, age even a bìrthday and in some cases even their sex. Don’t get me wrong its not everyone, I have met people like this in the flesh, we used to organise photography meets and we never refused anyone as we treated everyone fairly and as equals. I remember one guy came along and he had been suspended a few time by the forum moderators and threatened with being banned, we as a group was a little worried about him turning up, we really only knew an avatar, a nick name and his reputation, he turns up and this man introduced himself firstly by his nick name and then his real name, this trouble causing, vile man turned out to be the nicest man you can meet, he was polite, articulate, generous. We never spoke about the forum at the meet as this was an escape from the virtual world, we had a great time and once back to our virtual world mr nasty became mr nice, he had realised that the other member were not faceless avatars but were real people with real feeling. The forum still descended in to chaos and many of us left and let the nasties to it.
    I have not trusted the net for many years now, I have seen to much of the hidden monsters in people to love being online now.

      • Epic lol like it, I just write,but thanks 🙂
        But I need not worry about anyone getting green eyed over either of my blogs, if I could count spammers then I would be happy but apart from the mysterious spammers I must get a couple of people a week. 🙂 I will have to change the photos on the front see if that attracts more people. I am going to see the other neurologist on Saturday and if its a nice day I will take a visit to the top of the Dundee Law and grab some images. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law,_Dundee

  6. I used to be a Stat “junkie.” Obsessing about it. Wondering how someone could have THOUSANDS of followers when I have steadily (and somewhat proudly) watched my follower list grow from 40 to well over 300. I have stopped worrying about it all. I write for therapy. I write to share my music I write. Most importantly, I write because my heart has something to say. If only 300+ folks read it, so be it.

    Excellent article, as always, Suzie.

  7. yes i read this post 😉
    and thank you
    being new to blogville, there is clearly a culture here, but not clear
    and reading about such things is indeed a benefit – in that when i’ve read (nasty) comments i never understood what to think about it
    and when people like or follow a blog to promote their own blog/business it reminds me of that children’s book… with all the caterpillars crawling up a pillar of other caterpillars… and none of them knows where it leads to…
    (also, i never noticed how many people follow your blog… i just like your writing)
    keep up the great work
    and thank you again

    • Thank you very much! I think that everyone is perfectly entitled to their own opinion but I hate the fact that the trolls exist of WordPress. To be fair, it isn’t that often and I’ve already set up a system where all my comments have to be approved, but it’s a shame that I feel that I’ve had to.

  8. I have always thought that some people gather followers the way the kids on Facebook gather Friends. I have not the faintest idea on to use or abuse the stats. I wouldn’t have a clue on how to manipulate them so I never pay any attention to them. I do what I do because I still find it enjoyable. There are only a limited number of people I share comments with. I said in a post that I like a post a week, or two or three a week, but two or three a day within hours of each other is more than I can possibly contend with. I have left blogs because I felt that in 4000 followers, one less wont make all that much difference. I always read what you have to say and many times I agree with it.

  9. I don’t really get all the extracurriculars that go along with blogging so it’s no sweat off my back. I’m amazed at the time some people devote to their blogs and FB, etc. all in the name of attracting followers. I suddenly have 700 followers when I remember only recently being at 69 for a long time because I’m immature and the number always made me chuckle. I honestly don’t know where all these people came from and if even 10 of them ever read my crap. I won’t like anything I don’t at least read in part, and I try to share posts that I really like, especially when I like the blogger. It’s all good and we should all just play nice.

  10. I just don’t understand why you would take the time to be negative, write out that thought, and then post it on someone else’s blog. Really, it just says more about you than the original blogger I think. Personally, I have come across excellent blogs of all sizes, and all bloggers have different motivations for creating what they do. Stats don’t really tell the story of a quality blog in my opinion.

  11. I don’t really bother about stats – interaction counts more than numbers. It’s sad to think that people take time and effort to brew up trouble for other bloggers rather than penning something original. I’ve never been subjected to this myself, bu the best advice I’ve heard so far is “don’t feed the troll”. The less attention and airtime they get, the better.

  12. Well said!
    Some people feel safe behind their computers to say whatever they want, and that’s really a coward thing to do. We should all be happy for each others success, rather than bring each other down. We are blogging for a common reason, the love of writing ❤

      • Heh… you are lucky. I have seen 200 posts in the past couple months. All with guess whose name on it? heh… ya it wears on you. But some would say “I bring this on myself.” I guess I do… but at the same time what bothers me the most is to see people I have helped rag on me… I can’t stand quiet for that.

  13. Wow! What a great point you have made… your blog is incredible for only blogging since April. I have just made it over 100 followers after almost two years. If I get more than 20 views in a day, that is an incredible day for me… the past week has been a totally unexpected week for me and I have been amazed. I can’t fathom having as many followers as you. Well done you. Great post. DAF

  14. I agree with you completely! People have the ability to be ridiculous. That just happens. It’s a shame. But hey, haters gonna hate. All we can do is take the high ground… or crack skulls. I like cracking skulls, too. Good on you for speaking up, Suzie!

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  16. I love this post. What you are taking note of here is not at all what I think of when I think of questions of etiquette. It would just never occur to me to make things like follow strategies and liking before you read matters of etiquette. I DO believe in good manners, and I have a link to the Daily Post “Blogging Etiquette” category on my profile pages, but that’s more a personal statement than an expectation I have of others. When I meet someone who has been successful at building an audience, my thought is: “Good for them, I wonder if I can figure out how they did it?” Sucks that some people use “etiquette” to beat others over the head.

    • Thank you very much (and for your Twitter follow). It’s a shame that the successful bloggers have to deal with that sort of thing… you’re right – it isn’t etiquette…

  17. Perfect post Suzie! Thank you for sharing this with us! Luckily, I don’t have to face jealousy myself, but my brother did and it made him quit blogging. I will let him read this and hopefully he will see that he’s not the only one dealing with this and return to blogging!
    Lots of love
    Patty

    • Thanks Patty! I normally feel really cheeky leaving links, but your post really struck a chord with me. Sounds like your brother had a really bad experience – I hope he does return to it – it’s such a shame that he quit.

      • Please, feel free to leave links on my blog. These subjects are important, especially for young people to know about. Yes, I feel very frustrated about it because I couldn’t protect him from this! I really hope he will start blogging again because it’s a great way to connect and learn! 🙂

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    • Thanks Conrad – I wrote this quite a while ago when I saw the abuse that some of the ‘power bloggers’ were receiving. Of course, there are always going to be those who are angry by the controversy caused in some of the posts, but the sorts of comments I’ve seen are not necessary or acceptable in my opinion

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