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opinion

Hygiene

Hygiene, or a sense of professional decorum, is important when communicating with readers. In this post, I discuss my personal blogging hygiene. I am not the most appropriate person around here, but I have guidelines for being “professional” even while I’m acting out.

The Emperor’s Nude Hose, courtesy The Daily Mail.

Terminology
There’s a follow button around here but I’m not Yeezus. I prefer to say subscribers or readers. Frankly, no-one is hanging on my every word. Everyone visits willingly and this makes feedback immensely valuable.

Calling cards
Right, so when someone gives some feedback on a post, I never assume they’re in love. They’re not getting carried away in the fantasy of us. In return for their kind support, I don’t suddenly post missives about my happy family life, my husband, wife and three point five children, my happy engagement, my hot muscular boyfriend, my busty girlfriend or announce that I am in fact, gay, asexual or bisexual. I don’t conclude that attention from a blogger means they want, you know, a relationship. Like, for real? That’s whack.

Rapport
To begin with, I try to post things that readers might enjoy. If I invite feedback, I look out for it and respond as soon as I see it. If I have objections to post content, I quietly leave. WordPress is not a bistro, so ordering authors around is not on. Conversations and continued attention are the best ways to develop rapport with other bloggers. Self-adulatory messages along these lines don’t count: “Hello, Good on you for recognising my genius. I’m grateful for every minion…”

Taylor Swift needs eye drops
Humblebrag or brag-brag? I can’t decide.

Command prompts
Showing up on blogs like the Supreme Queen of the Universe and commanding bloggers to “read, like and follow” is poor form. Occasionally, I point bloggers to posts I’ve written but when phrasing my requests, I remember how someone snarled at me, “Obviously you didn’t memorise read my (PhD thesis) proposal.” It had taken him six years, on two scholarships, to write four pages. It was a full two minute read. I promised to never talk to anyone like that.

Assumptions
When someone visits my catalog and exclaims that I’m “strange”, I’m reminded of the recording artist (you’ve never heard of him) to whom I was almost engaged. He had spent his career in the tabloids, on stages and in bathtubs with models in a drug induced haze. He called me, “stuck up” because I said that in our future together on Paradise Island, I would like to spend Sunday mornings watching polo. Think about this for a minute. To what was this person’s assessment of “fun” calibrated? Thank you.

Image credit: Behance

Solidarity
I’m not a judging panelist, but a member of a community. So, when commenting on posts, I’ll say how much I enjoyed reading. I’ll read as if I’m watching my favourite Russian pianist live in concert. I call out from the balcony. Brava! Bella! Then, backstage, I shower her with kisses. I offer the same to you.

By ΠιCΘLΞ

Life is short, so let’s be decent.

208 replies on “Hygiene”

I’m sure you haven’t offended anyone, Jeni. I’m sure you have some guidelines I could use. Everyone has a set of guidelines that works for them and as long as readers your readers support you, all is well. Thank you so much for reading.

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I didn’t read through all the comments so I will go ahead and apologize if I bring up something already discussed.

This is a really nice article. One of the things that irks me is when I take time to read a post and comment and the author chooses not to respond. The whole point of having a comment section is to create a dialogue with your readers. If you don’t want to, or are unwilling to do that, then don’t have one. I’ve read numerous blogs that merely have a “like” button and no comments. Thus, they don’t like, or want, feedback. That’s fine. I will “like” this and move on.

I’ve also don’t understand the point of posting negative comments. I’ve read plenty of bad blogs and posts and I just simply move along. It isn’t for me and that’s fine. If something is wrong though, I will point that out, because that is worthy of being discussed. Also, we can have discussions of opposite view points without either of us being wrong. That isn’t negative in my opinion.

I also despise the “read my blog or my post” comment. Thanks for using my blog, which I have worked hard to create a following for, as a vehicle to promote your own work. If you want to build a following, why not work at it? Post quality material people want to read and that resonates with them. Get involved. Post insightful comments on other blogs.

I’ve had fairly good luck on my blog with dealing with people. I hope that continues.

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Thanks for your reply, Jarrod. I understand how hard it is sometimes to deal with the mess. I have asked people to leave links to their blogs on mine and people are modest so they don’t always follow through. Someone begged me to follow her, though but she’s only had two posts, so I am not sure what she needs a following for. I think because we live in a world where it seems that admiration and rewards come to some people without any effort. The other point, which is most important is that yes, we can disagree and get along. I love it when sometimes a reader and I are having a conversation from opposing viewpoints and we don’t seem to argue. At times, readers will avoid reading my essay and jump on a point to correct me when I have said the same thing. Where is all of that coming from, I wonder? Thank you for weighing in and please come back soon.

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There isn’t really a need to leave your blog link because it is linked in your user name next to your gravatar. I would recommend putting it in your gravatar profile though.

I find that if I interact with people and they find me interesting they will find their way to my blog. I don’t mind promoting my work and my self but not at the expense of others. Your blog is your domain and your work. It is not a forum for me to advertise my work. I may promote a piece that is similar to the discussion but that would be rare. Like you said, I get a lot of “Hey read my blog” or “Please follow me.” It reminds me of petulant children.

Yes, you hit the nail on the head. People seek validation. We all do in some form and those with deep rooted insecurities need it the most. I’d like people to follow me, but not if you don’t want to. I’d never force anyone to and for those that did and no longer do, thank you for reading when you did, the interactions we had and the time we spent together.

I’ve found people tend not to read longer posts which is unfortunate. Those tend to be some of the best.

I think your mindset is similar to mine in that I don’t feel a discussion where a disagreement is occurring is negative as long as mutual respect is given. A lot of people don’t see that and simply chalk it up to arguing. I’ve also had people tell me that they would never post anything they feel is dissenting cause they feel that takes away from someone’s writing. I feel if you write something, it is fair game. But disagree on principle and make valid points. Don’t personally attack people or write things like “you don’t understand” or other such nonvalid points like I was told on my post entitled “Baltimore.” If you feel I don’t understand, then make me. I am open to other points of view and I have been told numerous things with views that I had not considered that made me reevaluate my position. I am secure enough to do that.

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Thanks so much for your response, JC. When I mentioned links to blogs, I meant to particular articles. Sometimes, people write about points similar to mine and I want my readers to go directly to posts instead of searching around on their blog. I agree with you that once someone has put something out there, it’s fair game. However, again, the personal attacks are just lazy. Interestingly, just yesterday, I found a post in which a blogger argued with some points I made about Google Glass (which ironically was cancelled due to the very issues I’d raised in my essay). The person completely bypassed all the points I made talking about how I would use Glass technology for my hobbies and highlighted only the issues I raised about people having no hobbies except acquiring technology and using it to invade the privacy of others. Almost all the points in this person’s rebuttal could have been made without denouncing what I wrote and of course, now the points are invalid because I did not make a single one of them. This person has not responded to me as yet, but I am hoping that s/he will learn to read next time. Don’t you just hate it when people jump down your throat? That’s why I had to post several articles about this issue. It was getting on my nerves and I felt it had to be addressed. They all worked, by the way. I wrote one called “To Whom This May Concern“. I am not sure if you’ve read it, but this one shut the door on haters. I have had nothing but thoughtful comments since then. x

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I didn’t understand that you meant point to specific articles when you were discussing leaving their blog address. I had brought up that subject in my reply so I am right on point with you. Yes, I think that is valid as long as it is to the point.

I’m unfamiliar with Google Glass and know nothing about it but your point is well made.

I haven’t read the post you mentioned but I will. I always encourage people to leave comments. I think the internet “tough guys” tend to gravitate more towards women for whatever reason. I am sure it is a bully mentality where they pick on people they “perceive” are weaker than they are. I was speaking to Heidi Nolan about this a few days ago on her blog.

I also discussed with Heidi that I have one commenter who routinely leaves comments that makes me wonder if they even read the post. I appreciate their activity but often wonder what they got, if anything, out of my writing. I routinely just write “Thank You.” Heidi has a similar problem on her blog but the person is passive aggressive towards her, much like small boys are towards girls when they have a crush on them and treat them poorly.

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Thank you for this information, JC. I had this problem up until recently until I had to get really firm about it. I do not tolerate passive aggressive behaviour and usually have had visitors tell me I’m too straightforward. One reader called my other readers sycophants and minions while pretending she was a caring friend. People choose to be awful. They’re not like this by accident. We are conditioned to not want to be hated by others and it causes us to tolerate things we should not. That is why tough guys can gain ground. Blog authors attempt to pacify them instead of sending them on their way with a definitive “no.”

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Reading your work it is very clear you are very opinionated. There is nothing wrong with that. You believe in the things you believe strongly. I think that is admirable. People tend to be afraid of strong personalities especially if they are mired in their own insecurities. Plus, in any aspect of life, it is easier to deflect than face yourself.

I’ve read a lot of your work since I started following you. I haven’t agreed with all your opinions, but that is fine. Some of the things you have written about I get the impression you have had strong experiences that have shaped that opinion. And while I may not agree, I can respect that about you, as I have also had some experiences that have heavily shaped my thought process.

I haven’t had a lot of discussion beyond minor feedback on my own blog. The strongest dissension I received was on my post entitled Baltimore. http://thehauntedlullaby.com/2015/05/01/baltimore/

I don’t have a problem with the reader disagreeing with me but she made very little argument beyond basically “I don’t understand.” I responded and asked her to enlighten me but she never did write back.

I read a post one day that a young lady had written about the relationship her and her sister maintained. It was very poignant and touching. I liked it a lot. I wanted to read more to see if I would want to follow the blog and switched to her previous article. It was one of the most appalling articles I have ever read.

Mind you, this isn’t a pen name she was writing under, but her real name using her real photo. She decided to write, in detail, about each of her sexual partners, by name, including their size, and their abilities, if you will, with a rating system. She had gotten the idea from another girl and I suppose it was written under some sort of guise of “I am women hear me roar” mentality. I was appalled that someone would do that in a public forum. This also will be public once your perspective employer searches your name in pursuing a career. I almost commented “you should be ashamed” but I declined, knowing she had already done enough damage herself.

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I’m not sure if you are being sarcastic here.

I found working with others to be a useful talent in life as I often don’t agree with most of the people I encounter in life. It isn’t because of hubris, I just feel a lot of people have their priorities mixed up, are selfish, and two-faced, which I don’t agree with.

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Thanks a lot, Jarrod. No, I wasn’t being sarcastic. I learn a lot when people tell me something new. I have always been flexible because I grew up in a culture where there was no default race, culture or religion. My adult life is the same. I learn so much from the diverse views of friends and they respect me even if they can’t see where I’m coming from. I try to remember that it is a privilege to have access to people who have diverse views and to make myself equal to receiving their respect, friendship and support.

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Okay. Thanks for the explanation. Obviously, sometimes things become misconstrued without the effects of voice inflection.

I think the key word there is respect. I have always lived by the motto of “If you aren’t endangering or hurting yourself or someone else, then go for it.”

I think your ideas of being flexible and dynamic lead to successes in life. We all have a lot to learn. The best way to learn is through listening.

Being open-minded makes you more educated and worldly, which you have demonstrated through your writings.

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Thanks so much, Jarrod. I really enjoy talking in depth about the stuff no one wants to discuss and I hope to hear more from you soon. I hope you’re refreshed after the Memorial Day holiday?

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I’m on a different planet, but I had a whole weekend to myself, which is unusual. I used to it recover from an autoimmune flareup. I’m all good now and bushy tailed. Thank you and I do look forward to more stimulating commentary at mine or yours.

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I rarely take time off and when I do it is usually to take care of some business. I rarely take it off for pleasure so the time was nice.

Hope you feel better soon.

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Thank you. I was always led to believe that hardwork is rewarded but I am ending those who cheat the system and lie are rewarded. I won’t turn my back on my integrity or who I am though.

Be well my friend.

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Thank you for reading. I felt it was important for me to let my readers know that when I read, like or comment on their posts, it’s in recognition of their time and effort. I also don’t see the point in fighting when I can just make friends. I hope you’re having a good holiday weekend. x

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Oh, you read that exchange? We talk like that all the time. Thanks so much for commenting, my creamy frosted cinnamon and pecan cupcake, drizzled in nectar. and a dash of nutmeg. Have a good rest until next time we catch up. x

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That’s what I’m talking about!

I was going to try to outdo you in the food-themed compliment department, but quickly realized that you simply cannot be outdone. (And if that’s not a compliment of the highest order, then I don’t know what is.)

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Thanks, so much. I’ve been trying to cheer up a friend of mine and she got distracted by the thought of food and I just kept it up. Also, I’m a professional dessert eater so I can see what I mean. Come back for more soon. x

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You are a great inspiration. Because, I cannot see myself hiding my smile, while reading your posts.
Thank you for spreading smiles and making everybody’s day!
Love
-Prakriti.

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You know, I actually enjoyed reading this man. Totally in love. Well, I can relate to most of it as I love talking to new people and making some amazing friends like you ❤

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lol@ followers. I agree – the terminology needs to be changed. I feel the same way about supporting other blogs, then have no reciprocity. Stalker is a an excellent description!

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Thanks so much for saying this, VPub. It’s true that bloggers can only support you so far in terms of their beliefs and their tastes, etc. But seriously, when I started out here, it felt like people just waited for comments and then just gave me a pat on the head for doing a good job with that. It’s easy to miss people but I try to keep up with everyone. That’s why I am happy to have comments because they’re hard to miss. Be well. x

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Seriously? Should I take it down? I put it up there for you. I also told a colleague about “Piggy Chop” and she was so excited. She says it sounds very accurate to describe certain other similar beings. It’s already a thing. Thank you for that rant. x

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We’re already using it in the office as a code name so thanks very much. It’s spot on, really, as an adjective. We say it really fast and then do belly laughs. Aren’t you glad to be an ambassador for your culture? x

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I frequently struggle with comments- I think I’ve mentioned it before…. The problem is… When I enjoyed those few minutes reading something… Even if I have nothing to add I find myself wanting to go all Facebook- and say something akin to “you freaking rock!”
I typically manage to hold back.. Then I find myself struggling for words. The whole conversation part is still difficult for me.
Awkwardly yours…
Oh! And the term “followers” it sounds rather cultish- please don’t “follow” me… I’m afraid I would get paranoid… But- I am giddy when people read me. Eh.

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I love when people follow me. I immediately visit their blog. I’m usually happy with what I find there. Yes, comments can be tricky and I’ve cancelled more then I sent through, but the point is to write the comments from a positive place. Thank you for commenting. x

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That’s okay, LQ. We’re all friends here and comments from friends are always warmly welcomed. I am sure if you have fans, they’re very good looking and brilliant. x

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Oh. And I visit the blogs of anyone who somehow gives me a way to know they read mine. It only seems fair. Besides- that is how I find interesting things to read. WordPress still confuses me… I am still learning my way around.

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I am still learning the way around, too. I learned a lot just by reaching out to people I’d never met. Paint, photo editing software, all by poking around and just going with it. I hope you’ll have a good shift later, if you’re on?

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Thank you very much. One of my other readers said the same thing. For me, it’s about putting the other person first and giving them the benefit of the advantage. I’m so glad you commented on the post. I get very fan girl when I see your Gravatar pop in after I publish something. I appreciate your support. x

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Nooo… I’m a terrible person. That’s why I need to closely follow my list of instructions or all hell will break loose. I hope you’ll have a great day, today, NK. x

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Every time I receive comments like hey, read my blog and follow me, I normally ignore it because it sounds like a spam… and I vehemently hate spams.

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Yes, some spams are actually quite amusing in a stupid way. Though the spam filter of WP is as faulty as hell. It constantly mark legitimate comments as “spams” while I have to manually trash some spammy comments…

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I deplore such remarks as well. I have always resented homework, and already have a blog and what do these people want with me? They just want to amass an admiring audience, like fish in a bowl. Ridiculous. Like, what are you saying and why should I pay attention to you when I’ve got things to do?

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Agreed. Those people should just spend their lives more productively than bugging others with those nonsense.

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Bugging others. I’m screaming. I love your comments. AB. I just resent even having to acknowledge that by pressing the “delete” button. One woman who said, “please follow me on here” has not been back, by the way. I checked. It cannot be helped that some people do not believe that they should …I don’t know… not suck…. xox

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I’m not surprised, they usually don’t comeback since by the time that you followed them, they are already busying themselves by bugging other bloggers…

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Thanks, Nadia. Your support means a lot to me. You’re right. Being real with myself has its costs, but I am gaining a lot. Like wonderful light beings like you. See you soon, at the pond. x

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A beautiful mind and a beautiful heart. I am so glad for having met you and proud to have you as a subscriber. Much love, HC (an email about my whole life, marital status and sexual preferences will follow 😀 )

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That’s funny. I loved that rant, so much. I had to rush out to a dinner party and couldn’t comment right away, but that was an amazing exhalation from you. I hope you are feeling refreshed. x

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Thank you so much, HC. This means so much that this post was taken in a positive light. You know, I’d dumped it in the trash, and I thought. No, and then, yes, and then I thought, let me trust that I am trusted. I am very happy to be there with you as you journey upwards through the clouds. Thank you so much for supporting me. x

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