Thursday, January 17, 2008

Blogging Etiquette?

The title is a question, because I really don't know!

So this is likely to be a post full of questions ...

I think good manners are essential in any interaction with others, so I know being generally polite is important. I try and answer every comment, knowing how lovely it is when I get an answer to mine, I continue to be amazed (may I never take it for granted) that the community of writers on here are just so ... well, amazing!

At the risk of repeating myself ...

So I know that friendly comments and supportive gestures are welcome, that sharing tips and information is appreciated (and that my tiggerish exuberance and total naivety is kindly tolerated!)

What I'm not so sure about yet, is whether it's cool to mention other people, or add them as links, or at least whether I should ask permission first?

I'm guessing that everyone is pleased to be mentioned somewhere else, as it might increase visitors to their own blogs/websites, but I wonder if that is, in fact, a huge assumption. Perhaps someone would rather not be linked to someone they don't know, or whose general philosophy they might disagree with, or whose writing falls short of their own standards, or (as in my case) who knows very little and has a blog that is little more than an indulgence!

I also wonder whether there may be someone in a list of links who would rather not be in the same list as another blog or website?

Plus, because I am so new at this, I am wary of offending people, or at least making them say: 'Ha! What does she know!'

The truth is I know very little about writing fiction, not much about writing anything, and nothing at all about being published! This blog was started, with a post in early December, because a friend told me to get on with it, when I mentioned yet again that I should start a blog. Then I forgot all about it until for some reason I arrived here again, met SallyQ and then through her blog I found lots of others, all interesting and lovely to read and with lots of links to lots of others ... I could be here for ages, just reading. (How will I ever find time for writing?)

Having been so inspired and warmly welcomed and generously encouraged, I have stayed (you will probably never get rid of me now, I am totally hooked!)

I called this blog, when I first set it up, Write Here! Because I knew I needed to write, but I also need to be told to! I had no plans for it, I had plans elsewhere, I just wanted a place to write. I decided last year that I would write articles, as my writing past consists of non-fiction writing (mostly academic essays and research papers), and I wrote a few for a website I am planning to set up, for student parents.

Well, they say we should write about what we know, and I figured if I couldn't write about studying while being a Mum (after 7 years), I should probably give up!

I have started another blog devoted to this cause and am loving that too. I now have three, in fact ... oh! so addictive! (Blogging is sort of oxymoronic, it's incredibly addictive therapy.) So I have one I hope will be helpful to others, one I hope will eventually become a book (well, we'll see, it's fun, anyway!), and one that is just sheer blissful indulgence, guess which one you're reading?

But because very busy people who know lots more than I do about writing kindly take the time to read my blog, and even comment on it (that so makes me smile, when I get an email to say I have a comment, I always open them first!), I have tried to add some helpful stuff to the rambling (ahem! rambling sentences as well as subject). I have started to sort out the links into separate categories and will add some more. I'm really not sure how useful they'll be to anyone, but perhaps the fact that I have a total novice's outlook, will be a positive thing, in some way.

I hope to continue writing this with writerly themes (please humour me, please forgive me!) although I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep it up.

Any comments on blogging etiquette really would be much appreciated! :o)

Oh! And maybe someone could help with this, please?

I am having problems getting my head round the difference between 'learned' and 'learnt' ... I haven't had chance to get to the library and look at a better dictionary than mine (apparently an Advanced Learner's edition and it's useless, I have often looked not-particularly-obscure words up that aren't in there), which has both as past participle of 'learn' and only one as an example, so I am none the wiser. Again. I hate that.

But when I know the answer, I can add a post to my Learning Curve blog ... yay! it's funny how that happens!



SallyQ said...

I think most bloggers are delighted if you link to them, Moondreamer. I don't ask people. I just put up the link. Then again, I could be doing it wrong, but no one has yet said that they'd rather I didn't link to their blog.

The Internet works on reciprocal linking (even if search engines trying to sell you their products claim otherwise!) so I don't think anyone would mind if you linked to them. Most people would be very honoured. And if they're not, then more fool them.

Leigh said...

What a lovely lady you are to think of these things!

Lane said...

Hi Moondreamer. Glad to hear you're enjoying blogging! Like you, I started with the intention of writing about writing but it didn't quite happen like that!

Re blog etiquette? I think people are only too happy to be mentioned and linked too. I've never heard of anyone minding anyway:-) I put up links of everyone I visit regularly although I'm a bit behind and have some more to add.
I love comments and always answer them. If I visit someone regularly and they don't answer my comments or return the visit, I just slink away because I don't want to feel like a stalker or part of a fan club. To me it's all about the conversation and community.
Any other questions - just ask:-)

re learned/learnt - I've always thought learnt was the past tense and learned the perfect but I think they're pretty much interchangable now although learned is US English.

Right I'm off to add you to my sidebar.:-)

HelenMH said...

I agree with what Sally and Lane have said. I'm sure Sally won't mind me mentioning that her blog was the first I found and started reading. I then found everyone else directly or indirectly from there. When I was new to blogging I just tried to follow the lead of others. I love it when people link to me and I love it when people I don't know leave me messages.

Annieye said...

You put into words so eloquently some of the things I wasn't sure about, so the comments on your blog are useful to me too. I've only been blogging since November.

I'd hate to offend anybody. Some blogs I read, but don't comment on - mainly blogs by blokes because I'd hate to upset my husband. I don't think for a minute he'd mind me talking to strangers of the opposite sex on the internet, but if the situation was reversed I think I might feel a bit hurt!

If Captain Black is reading this (a really nice bloke who I DO exchange blogs with), my husband sometimes reads his blogs and e-mails too and he doesn't mind in the slightest.

Some of us wannabe writers are meeting up in London on Jan 30th - could you get there and join us? We're going for lunch at the Queen's Larder. If you want to come you need to contact Kevin Machin (Captain Black) at

Moondreamer said...

Goodness! Thank you all (again!) for such helpful, and very lovely comments ...

Sally, thank you! I won't worry about this any more. Reciprocal linking ... fantastic! :o)

Leigh, thank you, and what a lovely lady you are to leave such a smiley comment! :o)

Lane, thank you!

"I just slink away because I don't want to feel like a stalker or part of a fan club..." Yes, that would be me too!

Like you, I really enjoy the sense of community on here, am still amazed by it every day, and am so glad I came!

And thank you for the info about learnt/learned ... I can stop writing it as 'learnt/learned' now! I have generally used learnt on my Learning Curve blog, I think, and am happy to stick with it now.

And thank you too, for adding me to your sidebar. Sally's right, I certainly feel honoured! :o)

Moondreamer said...

Thank you Helen!

Yes, it's a lovely warm feeling, getting a message from someone.

I'm sure Sally won't mind at all, I tell everyone that her blog was the first I read, and that she 'introduced' me to lots of other brilliant blogs, including yours! She set me off on the road of discovery, and she has supported and encouraged me ever since.

It's nice to know you've been here too, Helen, thank you!

It seems you now do for others, what Sally did for you :o)

Moondreamer said...

Thank you for the lovely compliment Annieye, and I'm really glad it was useful!

I would so love to come to your 'gathering of writers' (I think there should be a special word for that, but have had a very hectic few days and some incredibly late nights, and can't think of one now!)

Sadly, I won't be able to make it on the 30th, but am guessing you will all meet up again? Please let me know, I'd be honoured to come, and look forward to meeting you in person!

Am going to read Captain Black's blog now :o)


I first started reading Cally Taylor's blog, Writing about Writing, last year and it went from there really. I love recommending blogs I enjoy, (my list is getting longer by the day) and am only too thrilled to know that people have a look at mine - it's the highlight of my day, to be honest!

Moondreamer said...

Me too, Karen!

Cally's is another blog I try and read regularly. I spend more time reading than writing, there's just so much interesting stuff ...

Hmmm, I got told off recently, for using 'stuff' because it is very 'unliterary' and 'not becoming of a literature student' at all ... it was while chatting to a friend on messenger, mind you. He was just teasing (I think!)

But I like it, and use it a lot. (It's a very useful word after all, as it covers a lot of stuff!)

I think it might be one of my five favourite words ... am glad I didn't get that question on the writing meme, I would have found it very hard!


aliqot said...

Hi moondreamer, I was chuffed to bits to be linked on your blog, and took the liberty of doing the same to you.

I'm as ignorant as you of blogging etiquette too - only started blogging 'properly' around Christmas (*when I found Sally had linked to me and there was nothing that gave me a bit of a kick)

Yes - learned/learnt - must try and sort that one out as well. There are one or two otheres aren't there? spelled (does spelt exist apart from the grain?)

I'm rambling.

Moondreamer said...

Thank you, aliqot! I'm honoured to be linked to your blog, it's great, Keep up the good work!

I certainly use 'spelt' when I'm talking, but I guess Lane's advice about learnt/learned would apply here too? (Spelt and spelled are both in my dictionary but it isn't helpful!) :o)