Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Copied from this blog
I realized while signing up to follow a few new blogs that some people are actually not aware of etiquette rules many bloggers observe. Most of the places that I found information about what netiquette is and how to use it are not current, since I guess everybody assumes this information is well known. However, there are always new bloggers joining up in this wonderful blogosphere where I find such interesting and amazing new people, who are also sharing their lives with me and so many others. Most of you probably already are aware of the following information, but I thought maybe it would make for some stimulating comments.

Of course Wikipedia has a page on netiquette. One illustration from that link says, "However, like many Internet phenomena, the concept and its application remain in a state of flux, and vary from community to community." So true. I mostly read blogs that use Google's blogspot or the Wordpress formats. A few years back, my brother created a blog on Wordpress that functioned as our family newsletter, and he made it private so that only the six of us siblings and associated family members had access to it. It was wonderful, until we all joined Facebook and it began to wither on the vine. That said, we could do whatever we wanted with it, say whatever we wanted, and nobody could read it that we didn't want to.

Facebook has some good things to recommend it, but there have been some privacy issues raised lately. I like the fact that I can keep up with family members, people I knew well in Boulder before I moved away, skydiving acquaintances from around the world, and local friends here in Bellingham, all in the same place. I check it daily, or almost daily. But my blogosphere is where I find the most creative and challenging information. Since some people post daily, and others almost that often, my Google Reader sometimes greets me in the morning with thirty-some blogs to read. I usually scan them if I'm in a hurry and have only now and then been forced to declare them all has having been read when I didn't have time.

Queensland University tips
The first and most important thing I hope new bloggers remember is how important it is to any blogger to get feedback. I know that when I read a post that has an impact on me, I immediately leave a comment on it, even if I don't have much time before I need to do something else. Comments are also so much more appreciated when they actually give me some inkling as to who this person is, who found my blog and cares enough to leave a comment. It's also really important to remember that the written word doesn't have any method of communicating sarcasm or one's dry wit, so if you make a witty comment meaning the exact opposite of what you are saying, you might add an emoticon after it, such as  :-)  which might keep from wounding someone unintentionally.

Another thing that usually makes me uncomfortable is to see a graphic that belongs to someone else used in a post without attribution. As a writer/editor in my previous life, I used the Internet often to grab illustrations for my boss' articles, and I always had an email safely tucked away that showed I had permission to use it. Sometimes we even had to pay, to reprint syndicated comic strips, for example, or anything else that might be copyrighted. One blogging friend who travels a lot had a travel agency lift some of her photos and use them, without her knowledge. It's not okay. I remember once when my boss realized that a company overseas had taken an article we had on a blog and reprinted it, in color, and sold copies of it for $10 each!! We were able to make them stop, but we had to know about it first.

I feel so incredibly blessed to have an online community that provides me with thoughtful and stimulating commentary. It adds so much to my life, and I am broadened in the best possible sense by this activity. I also realize that there are some people out there in my virtual world whose names I don't know, who live in some hidden place, but who still capture my imagination and admiration. Isn't that wonderful?


  1. i like this...you know when i first started out i had no idea what i was doing, but over time...i think these are a few good rules...esp the not stealing...we had an issue among a few blog friends where someone was taking whole posts and passing them off as theirs...the good news is that if that happens you can take measures...

  2. A fine post. I'm so glad you made mention to grabbing images and not giving attribution to (or better still requesting permission from) the original poster.

    I see so many people who use "Google Images" as their source as if it's a copyright-free zone. It's not. It presents images from your blog and mine and when someone posts a photo and say that it's courtesy of Google Images, they're wrong. And they're still stealing from the original photographer or artist. I think most people don't realize it, or give it too much thought but after hearing it a few times, they know exactly what they're doing. Thanks for sharing this info. :)

  3. One aspect of Netiquette that I think is important is trying to return a thoughtful comment to your blog with one to theirs. Thoughtful post.

  4. Very good! I have a hard time commenting on all the blogs I visit but I should make more of an effort...and will!

  5. Okay, here it goes... "thoughtful comment." And it made me think about the book cover I used in a post. Slap-slap! My bad.(Gawd, but I think that's a stupid phrase; however when ya got limited education, talent and imagination, what's a guy gonna do?)

  6. So far, I haven't seen any evidence of my pictures being stolen, but how would I ever find out?

    As for comments, I tend to return the favor if someone takes the time to comment on my blog. Otherwise, I only comment when I feel the urge to do so.

    Jan, I appreciate your comments, because they are ALWAYS thoughtful and well worded. Mahalo, as we say in Hawaii.

  7. Yes I agree wholeheartedly with what you have said. I just read on Facebook today that one of my well known Blogger friends saw one of her pictures posted in a well known magazine. They stole her photo and used it without asking! Wow, that takes some guts and she is pursuing action related to this fraud. I too enjoy each and every comment I get on my blogposts...but I feel so guilty when I cannot read every post written by all of my blogger friends. Sometimes life gets so busy it is impossible to read them all and comment all the time. So, I have settled for random reading and random comments which is working a bit better for me when life gets hectic.

  8. What a great post DJan!!! A lot of people are completely ignorant when they begin blogging and have to learn these things the hard way! I think everyone should read your post!!!! :-)) Just stopping by to give you my love! Janine XO

  9. I'm struggling a bit to get all of the blogs read and leave comments. But I feel that I need to make an effort. Blog friendship is still friendship and needs to be nurtured.
    I have no idea whether or not my photos are being used or abused. But I do only publish my own stuff. Oh, well. I share them because I want to.

  10. You are a wonderful blogging friend..great tips..I try always to leave a comment..but sometimes I am just speechless..imagine that?:)

  11. Hmmm... food for thought. I like to use art work on my blog, but they are paintings that are in the public domain, as many images are. I would never take one from another blog to use, especially someone's photographs, without asking them.

    I have had people take my actual blog post and use it as their own, however. But I have such a boring-little-blog, that if they want to do that, they can be my guest.

    I don't have as much time for blogging as I would like, so often I don't visit as many blogs as I should. I think it's tough when blogging becomes obligatory. It starts to become more like work than a fun hobby.

    Your blog is always great...!

  12. Great information DJan, I wish something along these lines had been available when I first started blogging.

    You hit on the one thing that has bothered me from the start, how can someone take another person's work and use it as their own? While I haven't had any problems I have seen it often, what are they thinking?

    All of my blogging friends are very special to me, I wish I had time every day to visit each one and comment. There are some days I barely have time to get online and I always feel like I am missing something.

    I ran a complete scan on my computer and the program found no viruses or malware. I use Norton 360 and it updates frequently so it should catch any problems. About two months ago I kept getting a similar warning on some blog pages but when I ask for details to be displayed the program said nothing detected. Maybe it was just a Blogger blip. Thanks for letting me know, I really appreciate it. If it shows up again please let me know.

  13. I guess I just don't care who takes what I write. After all - if they can use it - why not? I'm done with it. But I do try to link when I use someone's stuff. Very good guidelines here. Common sense and consideration.

  14. It is sometimes hard to comment when you don't have anything specific to say. If "good post" is enough, then I guess I could do that. But...I don't want to be insincere or patronizing, either. As your sister, I hope you know I read all of your blogs and enjoy them very much.

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  16. Well I suppose I'd better put something down after all that, hadn't I? (wink). I'm very aware that the English have a reputation for sardonic wit and sometimes this can be taken the wrong way. The American humour is very different and I have been caught out, both ways, many times.
    Yes, I agree we should always (underlined) leave a comment if the post is read because I don't believe that someone has no comment to make. If someone takes the trouble to research and write, then even a thank-you will do.
    Not sure I agree with you about the photos. Not everything is about money, is it?
    Blessings, Star

  17. I'm probably guilty of using graphic images without attribution. That said, I don't use images that are specifically copyrighted, or at least, declare themselves so.

  18. Thanks. I needed that. I'm not adept at computers, social networks or graphics, or much of copyrights regarding blogs. Guess it's time for me to pay attention or get off the blogging deal. I'm aghast at how public many people choose to be. And I'm ignorant of how one would determine what is "free" and what is not....I'll be checking in with the Wikipedia netiquette pages.

  19. This is a great post! I always try to comment but sometimes I just don't really know what to say. I would love for you to post more about Google Reader. I read from my Dashboard but would try something different. Where does one go to get free pictures for their blog? I may have taken some .........I thought if they were out there on the Google images that you could. Would love more info on this!!
    Love your blog!!

  20. I put a copyright icon on my blog. But I know I should put a signature on all my photos. I just haven't wanted to bother with it. That stinks that people are discovering their photos being used illegally. And you're right, comments are what makes blogging fun.

  21. Great post, DJ. I had never heard the great term, Netiquette, before. When I started blogging I really knew nothing about it. I know I've probably been guilty one or two times of using internet photos, only because I didn't understand the rules at the time. This is a great reminder post for all of us and a great lesson for newbies.

  22. Nice Post. Netiquette is an essential part of internet communication these days. Even i tried to compile a list of netiquettes which i think are extreme essential to know. Here are 11 Simple Netiquettes of Good Internet Users. Have a look and let me know your comments.


  23. lol! never heard of but love that term "netiquette"! :o)

    all very true!

    I try to comment whenever I read something 'cause I know how it feels to wonder if anyone is reading your blog 'cause almost no one is commenting (you are a wonderful exception my friend!)... but it's true (as someone else mentioned above) that it's hard to do that when I don't have anything meaningful to contribute or am short on time. But will try to do better!

    My main netiquette breach is probably with pictures/images/clipart stuff. I try to link back to the source, but sometimes you know the source has themseleves lifted it from somewhere else! Like when I'm looking for a movie poster to illustrate my movie postings... or clipart things. *sigh*
    I have no problem with people using my photos as long as they ask me first and let me know where they'll be using it (I'm curious to check it out), and then they cite me as the original photographer! I need to write something about that for the new blog's sidebar since I'm hoping to post some stunning pictures of New Zealand in a month. ;o)

    thanks for sharing this with us! hugs!

  24. Netiquette is very important. For more information visit www.NetworkEtiquette.net

  25. I am late as usual but I am going back to all your posts. I was not aware of the site on netiquette. Your post make me think about the agency who took my photos. I just went on the plantation site – and my photos are still there… So on Monday I’ll send an email to that agency again. I have so many blogs to read with a great number of posts. I enjoy reading them all really. Well my husband came and asked when we would have dinner, so I have to stop reading – but I’ll be back. When I am on the computer reading posts I never look at the time.


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