Do you have nice blog manners?

I am sure, like me, that some days you race through your favorite blogs like the Tasmanian devil. You've quickly noted that Blogger Bonnie has announced she's pregnant, that Blogger Rosie has made a the most delicious looking dish and that Blogger Isabella is considering throwing herself out her speeding minivan. You were going to go back and comment later, posting some congratulatory ~ classy ~ conciliatory thoughts, after you've finished the laundry and plucked your eyebrows. But somehow you got stuck watching Oprah and eating a bowl of ice cream and it all went wonky.

I know it's really hard to find time to comment and I think it's absolutely okay if you don't comment all the time. But perhaps you could just comment weekly on your favorites? Weekly is not too much, is it? Some blogs don't really NEED a lot of comments, they are checking their stats and they know that they have readers bookmarking them from Alaska to China . . . but some lovely little blogs need a lot of love.

If someone comments on your blog, it is up to you whether you comment back. It depends how many comments you get, and how much time you have. You should decide what's best for you. If someone asks a direct question in your comments, you should try to respond. Me personally, I try to visit anyone new that comments. Hey, it's how I find so many new and interesting women to read about.

 A little tip for Blogger users though, be sure your comments are set to POP-UP BOX. You can then stay on the same page of your blog, just scrolling through the posts and reply to your comments super quick! {HINT:Go to SETTINGS then COMMENTS then scroll down a bit and say yes to POP UP WINDOW} (this is my favorite setting so I don't have to reload your blog page time and time again)

Remember what your Momma told you? If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Or say something short and sweet and diplomatic. Remember what a blog is? Someone else's online journal. It's all about them. And perhaps they are really different to you. Which is okay. Unless they openly ask for constructive criticism. And even then I'd be a bit careful about starting a riot. Perhaps keep your snarky comments to yourself.

Just because someone might write their personal blog in a cynical tone, doesn't mean it is open season for dark comments or criticism (leave that to their Mothers please). Some bloggers are using their blog to have a healthy vent, others are seeking acknowledgement that there is someone out there just like them and some bloggers just have a great grasp of black humor. All deserve your utmost respect. Always treat them like people in the real world. Keep it nice. If a blog really grates on you ~ DON'T GO THERE! Just click away. It is as simple as that.

I didn't use to mind if people comment anonymously, when it's a nice comment. Until I received a malicious comment. If you are 'anonymously' commenting on a blog because you don't have a user profile, then you should sign your name in the comment text box. If you are leaving a negative comment, ask yourself if it's really necessary. Would you write the exact same comment in a personal email to the blogger in question? Would you happily sign your name? I personally can't think of any reason to leave a negative comment on a blog. Bloggers blog for the love of it, to share and to express . . . To Shine. Don't say stuff that will hurt their feelings. Just click away.

What To Do If You Get A Nasty Comment? Delete it. {I will not, but I didn't take my own advice at first} Why let some one make your blog a yuck place too? Just delete anything that upsets you - it's YOUR place - don't let someone come in and wipe their muddy shoes over your nice bloggy home. Quietly usher them out with a minimum of fuss and don't give them another thought. Don't draw attention to it. Remember your lovely manners. You can't help it if some people were raised in a box of smelly drawers, can you? And maybe they can't either, so raise one eyebrow and move on. {You might like to think about turning on 'comment moderation' if you are concerned about negative comment

Blogging is all about sharing, linking, inspiring, discovering! But if you aren't bothering to link to your friends and favorites, your blog could soon become a quiet place. There is no reason not to link to the blogs that you love, or the blogs of people you love. You don't have to ask permission to link to someone else . So link to your hearts desire and let your readers know who you like! Be proud of the blogs you love and don't feel you'll be judged on who's in your blogroll.

If you are not on someones blog roll and you want to be don't ask them. Really. I know you think it's important to be on their list but they'll put you there if they want to. They might have rules for who they link to, or some crafty strategy. Don't let it bug you. Just enjoy reading their blog. If you REALLY want to be friends, then spend lots of happy, fun time on the blog in question. Perhaps someday they'll see just how great you are. Perhaps they already know how great you are, and just can't be bothered ever updating their blog roll(for instance, I just updated mine for the first time in six months). Or perhaps it will become less important to you, that whole list thing.
Some bloggers just hang about the big busy, well-known blogs commenting their behinds off and hoping that they get noticed. But remember that as great as those big blogging peeps are, they started somewhere less big. So take an inspiration trip and go look at some of the smaller delicious blogs too. There are some absolute GEMS out there, more than we'll ever know. If you find one you love, comment freely and nicely and be sure to link to them and share their goodness around a bit! DON'T keep your favorites a secret, because if no one visits, then your favorite blog might just go up in a cloud of no-one-wants-to-read-my-blog smoke. And then you don't have a secret to keep (and you've lost a wonderful source of inspiration) and someones feeling sad and unpopular too. No winners there.

If you find a blogger mumbling something teary about having a hard time. Say something. Send them your support. Even if you don't visit their blog often. Even if it's not one of your favorites. It can be short and sweet, but sending one teeny comment might make a big difference. The online community should be no different to the real world. Take the time to care about someone when they need it.

I honestly try to comment to everyone I receive a comment from. I may be one, two or even three to four days behind sometimes, but I will get to the blog. It's all about nice blog manners to me. If I have ever left a comment that I felt is rude, I will go back and reverify that I was not trying to be rude. I tend to be bossy sometimes and try really hard not to be that way in comments. If I have ever offended anyone, please believe me, it was not intentional!