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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Blog Etiquette

Hi Everyone!

I've been thinking about this post for a very long time.  So, I decided to get it out.  Moreover, yesterday, the wonderful Gigi and Hexicon wrote a great post about shopping and consumption, and many of the comments on the post reminded me of many of the things I've been thinking about.  I'll share my thoughts about what I deem proper blog etiquette here, but first a question:  does blog etiquette exist, or does it really matter?

Now, my thoughts:

1.  I think that tone is key when commenting on blog posts.  As a professor, I teach my students that diversity of thought is both necessary and critical.  I want each one of my students to value difference.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, whether we agree with that opinion or not.  However, I think that it's highly important to watch our tone and how we express our opinions.  So, yesterday, I was a bit annoyed by one of the comments on Gigi's/Hexicon's great post.  In the spirit of full disclosure (I'm always honest here because that's who I am) I should tell you that it takes a LOT to make me angry/frustrated.  Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.  However, someone commented that they've stopped visiting certain J. Crew blogs because basically we're only halfway through the year and some J. Crew bloggers have already purchased their "77th pencil skirt of the year" and "45th statement necklace of the month."  The person went on to say that these bloggers are making a "caricature" of themselves and that they're "honestly embarrassed for them."  As I stated in my response on the post, I don't take issue with the opinions in this comment, though I vehemently disagree with them, what I take issue with is the judgmental tone and the clear personal attack.  No one knows anyone else's financial situation.  The bloggers referred to in the aforementioned comments could be millionaires.  Their families could have left them a major inheritance.  Whatever.  We just don't know, so I think it's best to avoid the cataloging and lists delineating what "So and So" blogger purchases and when they purchase it.  And, to suggest that someone has a "sickness" just because they shop a lot is over the top in my opinion.    

Here is my final thought about tone:  a couple of weeks ago I asked for feedback on the J. Crew Lucille Dress.  Tabitha left what I think is one of the funniest comments I've ever read.  She writes, "Rynetta, it does nothing for you, I'm always envious of how you look in pencil skirts, your figure can sing but not in this frock horror!"  Tabitha offers critical feedback here without berating me or anyone else who has purchased this dress.  Tone is critical, I think.  


2.  The wonderful Biscuits and Navy asked the following question in my last post:  "As a new blogger, I'm constantly wondering if I'm doing the "right" thing. For instance, do I need to follow back EVERYONE that follows me?"  Great question!!  I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks about this, but here is my take.  I try to follow everyone who follows me because I see this as a community and I value reciprocity.  And, I continue to follow bloggers who don't follow me back.  


Okay, those are my thoughts so far......what blog etiquette "rules" would you add?  Do tell!


Thanks for stopping by!

50 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Skylette: Your original comment, which was eaten by my phone, LOL, said the following: "could not agree more with your points on tone. I also despise when people leave hateful comments and hide behind an Anon screen name. If you can't say it using your own identity, it shouldn't be said at all."

      I totally agree with you. Say what you have to say and own up to it! I just wish that people would watch how they say things, especially when they don't really know the person they're attacking!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
    2. Yes, I love how most of the rude comments on gigi's post were from anonymous commenter. I find that very childish and annoying and I am really glad that Alexis disabled anonymous commenting on the mothership long ago.

      Also, I don't see the point in posting pointless, negative comments. I am all for being honest, but some things just do not need to be said.

      Delete
    3. oops, J. CrewJD, I don't know how I missed responding to your post earlier. I totally agree with you that it is pointless to post negative comments. Some things absolutely don't need to be said, especially when the comments are purely judgmental.

      Also, thank you SO very much for alerting me about the eBay seller using my picture!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  2. Tone is essential, especially in the written form, when the words you choose are the only way you can convey courtesy. "That's not the best color for you" and "That looks terrible" essentially deliver the message, yet one is helpful and one is mean!

    Keep on blogging, Rynetta, and don't let it get to you! You seem like such a lovely person, it's terrible that you were targeted in this way. I'm currently in grad school and can't do as much shopping as I'd like, so I live vicariously through your blog and others like it! :)

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    1. Rachel: Thanks SO much! I totally agree with you that tone is essential.

      I will definitely continue to blog. Like you, I was a graduate student once! I worked my butt off so that I could add whatever I want to my wardrobe!!!!

      Thanks SO much for being here!!

      Delete
  3. Hi Rynetta!

    Lovely post! I don't mind a good critique either, but hurtful is just hurtful! And for the record: I want to live in your closet!!!!! :-) And maybe borrow the odd bubble necklace!!!!!!

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    1. Hi WMM!!! Thanks SO much!!! I want to live in your closet too!!!!! LOL about the Bubble Necklace!!!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  4. I 100% agree with you, Rynetta. As a fellow English teacher, I am well aware the importance that tone plays in writing. It's one of the reasons why I use smileys in my blog comments sometimes; I don't really use them in any other setting, but it helps to convey the fact that I mean well and am trying to be positive in my writing. I think people who frequent blogs oftentimes forget that the person behind the blog is just that...a person. We see pictures and we read words, but because we've never met them live and in the flesh, it's difficult to see them as a human who has feelings just as we do. Yes, it is incredibly important to be kind, cautious, and cordial when speaking to people--in ANY setting, in-person or online. It makes all the difference in the world in how people react to you! There is always a way to give criticism without being mean about it.

    Thanks for this post and for your honest thoughts. I value your blog and what you bring to this community!

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    Replies
    1. AppGal: Thanks SO much!! I totally agree with everything you've said here. As you said, it's important to remember that a person is a person. And, it's important to remember that it's really unfair to judge people, especially when you don't know them. I value your blog too!!!!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  5. Well, my blog is wide open and I like it that way. I'm a manager in business and sometimes have people screaming at me from all angles, occasionally it is quite personal. I roll with it, but that's me. I've dealt with a TON of adversity in my life so small stuff like that rolls off pretty easily.

    Maybe you could put your blog etiquette rules by the comment box like some do, just to remind people.

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    1. xoxo: I hear you. I considered leaving my comments section open, but I decided against it. And, I should clarify that the person didn't leave the comment on my blog, they posted in response to the great post about consumption on Gigi's blog. I genuinely appreciate your feedback. And, I always value your honest opinions.

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  6. I love reviews, good and bad, because they help me formulate my own decisions. But, I also appreciate courtesy!

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    1. KnitYarns: Like you, I can take constructive criticism very well. What I can't and won't take are personal attacks! Courtesy is the key!!!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  7. I enjoy reading your blog and your great reviews. In the blogging world, as in the cyber world these days, a lot of people express freely of what they think regardless of what impact it has on the other side of the fence. Honest opinions are important but there are nice ways to get the message across politely.

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    Replies
    1. Small Town Gal: Thanks SO much! Likewise, I look forward to your great posts and reviews. And, I totally agree with your points about honest opinions. I take issue with unfair judgments.

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  8. Hi Rynetta, I am sorry you felt you were personally attacked. I know it hurts! It is true that it takes a lot of time to keep a blog, post pictures and share with others and we should all be kind to each other. You are such a positive person, your posts make me smile and I feel like I am so much more jaded, sarcastic and skeptical, but I want to be like you.
    You know your finances and your style and you are certainly not hurting anyone with your pencil skirt and bubbles collection.
    xoxo

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    Replies
    1. ajc: Thanks SO much!!! I really appreciate your kind words. I try hard to remain positive no matter what. And, you're so right about your point about finances and style!!! xoxo right back at you!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  9. I left a really long comment at Gigi's follow-up post, and I think one paragraph from my comment applies to your post here:

    "I also notice that not one person in my real life cares if I dress up and have a blog, 'cause they get that's me, but on the net, I am perceived WAY differently than I am in real life, and I get it, and am cool with it. I do attempt to be "myself" on my blog, but dude, I am not gonna bore you all with my angst-y moments nor am I gonna bore you with the time my kids jumped around and acted like fools at the play place, 'cause that is not what my blog is truly about in the end. The context you get from my blog makes me appear different than I am out there for real...and if someone forgets that there is more to me and leaves something hurtful on my blog (not constructive criticism, that's fine), I let it roll off my back, because they don't know me completely, and I don't expect that they would. So they get a pass for being kind of mean to me...now if my friend did the same thing, totally different story."

    It has taken me a long time to get here, though. I have to say that in my first two years of blogging I got hurt CONSTANTLY over all criticism, constructive, outright mean, or just kind of stupid. I didn't discriminate and was all sensitive, full stop.

    I do applaud you for adding to the original discussion, because you had a strong feeling (just like the original commenter) and you expressed it. I often have a strong feeling, but because of my sheer unwillingness to place the spotlight on me and my feelings, I *won't* comment because I don't want to chance someone commenting back and discussing it with me. Part of that is because I am so overwhelmed by noise in my household (gotta love young kids)...I don't even want metaphorical noise when I am surfing the net. ;)

    Keep blogging, yours is a lovely one to read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dinagideon: Thanks SO much!!! Your response nails it. I remember reading one of your posts about how mean people have been to you in the past, and I just do not get it. I love what you say about how "they don't know me completely, and I don't expect that they would." I have to remember that despite my efforts to be my true self here, some people just won't see me for who I am.

      I really appreciate your encouragement. I am definitely going to keep blogging because I really enjoy it! Bloggers/readers like you and several others really make it worthwhile.

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
    2. It's true Dina, I still get hurt a lot too through blogging, but the good outweighs the nippy comments.

      Delete
  10. Rynetta, This was a great post. I think etiquette is important, even in the blogosphere. I feel very naked and vulnerable when I blog, because I'm letting everyone into my personal world and thoughts. Because of that, people should be aware of things they say or the vibes they put into the blogosphere. Those are my thoughts.
    By the way, you do have a lot of pencils skirts (LOL), but that's your thing, just like Tippis are mine. Just know that it's said with love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angie's Closet: Thanks SO much!!! Naked and vulnerable are definitely the right words to use. We're definitely exposing ourselves. LOL about my pencil skirts!!!! See, your comment isn't offensive at all. I love pencil skirts!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
    2. One can never have too many pencil skirts :) that is practically my motto!

      Delete
    3. J. Crew JD: LOL!!! I totally agree!!!!!

      Delete
    4. If I had your shape I'd live in pencil skirts, when I turn to the side in them I look like the letter I, in fact worse, my belly sticks out but my butt is flat!

      Delete
  11. Wow, people can be so hurtful. It's a shame you had to even post about common courtesy. When I was growing up, my Mother used to always say to me, "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all."

    Personally, I love your blog and your taste. I look forward to it every day!

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    Replies
    1. Buffy Alten: Tell me about it! I genuinely appreciate your kind compliments about me and my blog. And, I really appreciate you being here!!!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  12. rynetta,something happened to my last post.
    I just wanted to let you know that i hope you are not hurt by the attack that was meant for you.
    I love your blog and enjoy every post.
    Just as you collect statement neclaces,i collect bracelets!
    It is our own personal decision what to buy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ina: I sent you an email! My apologies, I was publishing comments from my phone, but somehow, it started deleting comments on several of my posts.

      I really appreciate your support. I love your blog too. In your initial post, which is still in my email inbox, you asked a question about followers. I think that you're already doing these things, but I think that commenting on other blogs, and leaving your blog address after each comment might help. As I said, I think that you're already doing those things. Your blog is amazing, and your style is equally amazing.

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  13. I love reading your reviews! It's a shame that someone has to be so mean. Keep up the great work and know many of us enjoy your collection! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mini: Thanks SO much!!! I genuinely appreciate your kind words/compliments!!!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  14. I'd apply the same rules to blogs as I would to regular life. If I wouldn't say it to someone's face, I won't write it to them on a blog either. But I know people who would say things to someone's face that I wouldn't. They aren't necessarily rude, just more blunt than I am. So I guess you'll have some of that in the blogging world too, where the writer doesn't worry too much about tone and just puts it out there. There is a line that can be crossed, though. I hope (and the others) haven't had much of that. For any one person like that, you have so many more readers who enjoy and appreciate your blog. Keep on bloggin'! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cate: Thanks SO much! I'm super grateful that you appreciate my blog!!!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  15. Hi Rynetta! I read your blog everyday and I enjoy your reviews and pictures. I like to shop and I don't really have any girlfriends to do it with so blogs like yours fill that space for me.
    ;)Martha

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    Replies
    1. Hi Martha! Thanks SO much!!! I hear you about shopping with girlfriends. Most of mine shop at other stores, so I totally get what you're saying. It's really nice to have a great community to share opinions and reviews!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  16. Long time lurker, this is my first post. All I can say is ignore them. I love your blog and I think you are doing everyone a great service by posting pictures of things you love and providing reviews. I admire all of the bloggers out there that take time to even maintain a blog and all that it entails, including the picture taking. Plus, I like the fact that you are a average sized woman (no offense to all the size 0 bloggers)which gives me a more realistic idea of what something will look like on me. Who cares if you like to shop? I do too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ERISACHICK: Thanks SO much!!! I really appreciate your kind words. And, you're right, ignoring negativity is a great strategy. And, I hear exactly what you're saying about having a size twin so to speak to measure how items will fit/look on you! I really appreciate reviews from all shapes, sizes, and colors, but there is something about knowing how it will look on you. And, LOL about liking to shop. I'm with you!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  17. Hi Rynetta! I'm a bit behind on what happened (will have to go catch up on Gigi's blog), but I get the gist of it. I am a firm believer in having common courtesy for people, and not judging a book by it's cover, as you never really know what is going on behind closed doors. All of you who blog, and share snippets of your lives with us, are letting us in, but like others have commented already, it's only a small portion of who you are. Whether your thing is pencil skirts (I own about 45 myself, amassed through the years), or accessories, or shoes (one can never have too many pairs), that's your perogative. It's nobody's business what your financial status is, you work hard and deserve whatever you purchase for yourself. You earned it. It's downright wrong of someone to make you feel bad about that, and be mean in the process. Hopefully they will make good on their statement and stop following those that "offend" them, because who needs them?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Marietta! Thanks SO much!!! I think you've nailed it in your comments. You're right, like everyone else, I work HARD. Oh well, it's okay to disagree with people, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just wish that people would avoid character/personal attacks!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  18. I too am a long time reader, first poster. I cannot believe the nasty tones of the some of the comments over the past day...what I don't understand is why read these blogs then? I enjoy your blog and others because you all help me figure out my own style and feel good about myself. If I didn't want to read product reviews, I wouldn't come here! As long as you post, I'll read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. rcb.shops: Thanks SO much!!! You're absolutely right, why visit a blog that annoys you? I don't get it. Thanks so much for your kind words about my blog!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  19. First off, thank you, Rynetta, for this post. I think this is a topic that really merits discussion. I am usually shocked that people post negative comments about others because I feel sure that those same people wouldn't dare say such things in person. I truly don't understand why someone would have an intense, personal opinion about another person's shopping habits, not to mention going so far as to leave a hurtful comment. Also, style is an incredibly individual thing - with confidence and feeling good being the best accessories - so any thoughts on a person's look is subjective.

    I agree that tone is key. Constructive criticism is not synonymous with rudeness or meanness.

    As a blogger, I understand the tremendous voluntary time/effort factor involved, as well as the love of sharing a positive part of yourself. As a blog reader, I understand that I choose what I want to read. Keep doing what YOU do, the way YOU do it, Ms. Rynetta!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. joyandsunshine: You're very welcome! Thank you for being here! I think you're absolutely right that people tend to hide behind the computer screen. It doesn't matter if their name is published through blogger, they're still shielded by the internet for the most part. And, I will definitely continue to do me, that's all I know how to do!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  20. Thank you so much for this wonderful post Rynetta. I'm very grateful for all of the advice. I was not aware of the situation that had arisen, but I hope you take to heart all the readers/bloggers that appreciate and love what you do with your blog and that this will outweigh any naysayer. I maintain the old adage of "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Thanks again and keep up the great work! I happen to love all your skirts and necklaces, so keep 'em comin:)

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    1. biscuitsandnavy: Thanks, sweet friend! I really appreciate your kind comments. And, I'm glad that you love my skirts and necklaces!!! I do too!

      Thanks SO much for being here!

      Delete
  21. You know I read this & you know what I think. I'm glad you took the time to write this post. :)

    I have to say that I really subscribed to the belief that there is no tone on the Internet or in emails, but I'm no longer convinced that's true. Perhaps it was true at one time -- we didn't really know how to express ourselves thru the computer. I saw a lot of hunt-n-peckers at the keyboards back in the day. lol But now things are different. Folks have gotten *very* comfortable with saying what they like, quite often with no filter. So to say there is no tone is an excuse. People know what they're doing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Well I can be too glib sometimes too, it's easy to do on blogs because comments are usually made in the wink of an eye or tap of a finger.

    Honestly? I thought it was refreshing to hear that woman's comments, I think she made a few excellent points, I don't think she meant them towards you at all but it did cause a lot of upset and strife, I think it would be great if we could all disagree and still get along.

    I do think some folk shop to the point of craziness, I really do, to me it seems like an illness.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are welcome. Rude and disrespectful comments will be deleted!