the rules of blogging

back in the day, jason, jean, marianne and i would discuss what we thought were the “rules of blogging.” then we’d poke fun at ourselves and others for breaking them.

as a result of talking about these rules, i sometimes get chidded for the unintended burden they impose on others. so i thought i’d just list them out–which was harder than i thought. turns out there are several kinds.

things that i blog about

  • i blog about events, news, music, food, projects, thoughts, ideas, technology, etc., involving or of interest to me
  • i don’t blog about blogging (with exceptions), my current emotional state, my job/coworkers, or my love life
  • i don’t feel obligated to blog when i have nothing to say
  • i try to include photos and other images with posts
  • i keep posts short with 3 to 4 sentences per paragraph separated by full line breaks

generally accepted tenets of blogging

  • post regularly
  • title each post
  • link to things on the web
  • provide each post with its own url (permalink)
  • allow full access to archived posts
  • allow comments
  • identify updated content with an appropriate label (such as “update” or “correction”)
  • provide a feed (rss, atom, etc)

some proposed ethical standards for blogging

  • respond to comments
  • don’t blog about blogging
  • don’t quote content without citing a url
  • don’t post to communicate indirectly with another person
  • don’t obfuscate a post with overly abstract language
  • respect the privacy of other people you blog about
  • don’t assume everyone irl has already read your latest post
  • don’t advertise a new blog–let it be discovered

it should go without saying that knowing the rules of a new medium or a new place is integral to being a good and conscientious participant. on one hand, ferreting out these rules helps to better understand the constraints people put on themselves and other members of the community. on the other hand, knowing the rules helps in knowing which might need to be broken.


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