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Blogging 101 for Newbies

posted 2/7/2011 11:19:42 AM |
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Yes, I know that this has been posted before, but as we have a lot of new people posting, I felt it was time for it to come out again.

Welcome to the new blog posters on AMD. I am posting this to help you out a bit with the functionality of the site's features followed by what could be termed "netiquette" or "best practices" in blogging.

Accessing the Functionality of the AMD

Reset your commenting preferences to automatically approve all comments. Myself and many others will not comment unless you do. By default AMD preferences are set to require approval before posting the comments. How you change this is to click on "My Account", all the way over to the right you will see "Comment Settings". You click on it and can change it there.

When you go to post your blog or comment on somebody else's you will see little icons below the text box indicating bold, underline, italics, and quote. Simply highlight the the passage and click the icon.

To make a Web address a hot link, copy the full address, hit the URL button, delete the highlighted "http://", paste the Web address in, click "okay", another dialogue box will come up, click "okay" if you just want to show the link. Otherwise type in the title you want to give the link and click "okay".

After you complete your message, click the preview button. From the resulting display you can see what your message will look like. Click on your URL hot link to be sure it works. It will open a new window and you will either see the site or an error message.

The image button only works for paying members.

If you want to edit your blog, go into you home page and click on view my blogs, they will all come up. If you then click on the pencil icon next to it, you can edit it.

If you want to block a user, you can do this from an email you get from them. If you wish to unblock somebody, you can click on my account and there is a link to the users you have blocked. If you comment on a blog and it says that the comment will be automatically approved, then you make a comment, only to see screen refresh and say, "Blog comment posted and awaiting approval", then you are blocked.

Blog searching a nice little known feature of this site. Let's say regarding a cool recipe blog, that a month from now, you remember who posted a blog that had a great recipe that you want try. The trouble is that you can't recall who wrote it. Well, this is the solution.

From the blog page, if you type the word "recipe" in and click search, it will display the blogs with the word "recipe" in the title of the blog. Tags has nothing to do with it. It is just like Google. Consequently, a year from now, you may need some Halloween jokes. If you type in "Halloween jokes", you will get a listing of all blogs with both terms in the blog title.

So if you write a blog that you feel may be of value to people later on, be sure to include some key words in the title.

You can also go back to edit your past blogs that may be of interest to others later and add key words to the title. I have done this as sometimes I want to reference one of my past blogs or copy/paste it as a comment. It makes it a lot easier for me to find it as opposed to plowing through my archives.

There is potential for people to use your blog as a flame war battleground. AMD management holds the blog poster responsible for policing their blog. If people get nasty you can click on the trash can icon next to the comment and delete the comment. You can also from your email, block people from commenting.

In order to appear on the main blog page, your posts must be at least an hour apart unless somebody else posts a blog after your first one.

Netiquette/Best Practices

It is considered by many to be ill mannered to post more than two or three blogs a day.

Mary Kay Ash was fond of saying, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." That being said, read a few blogs and the comments before posting one.

There is an old saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
Investigate and learn what the Romans do before you do it.

Asking questions like, "Any hot ladies want to get nekkid in Bumfuck, Egypt?" is a sure way to get women in Bumfuck to move to Saudi Arabia. It is also against the terms of service to post things like that.

Watch your spelling. It is a good idea on a longer post to do it offline in a program like Word that has spell and grammar check. Additionally, doing it offline is insurance against losing everything that you wrote if there is a glitch on AMD or your browser.

If get something forwarded to you in your personal email that you would like to copy/paste to share, there are two things to consider:

Skim through the blog posts to see if anyone else has recently posted it. Posting a rerun is embarrassing for you and annoying to everybody else.

If the piece is presented as being "true" or is a story involving or quoting somebody, verify that it is true or not distorted. This is easily and quickly done by going to a site like snopes. Your email inbox is the least likely source for reliable information. Failing to verify often means that you are sending out false information that other people believe because they trust you.

Continued in Comments

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post a comment!


Feb 7 @ 11:22AM  
For the person posting their first blog, or somebody posting their first blog in a very long time, they need to realize that they are presenting themselves to a significant number of people for the first time. Many readers will be curious and click on your profile. You can expect that they will also read your essay responses.

Many people are in a hurry and don't spend too much time on their essay responses when they sign up. It is understandable that they may have gotten tired of filling things out and not put too much into their responses at that time. Perhaps they intended to fill them out later and forgot about it. Some actually respond in essay questions with "I'll answer this later."

If the essay responses are misspelled, idiotic, or extremely short, people are going to get an impression of you that might not be the image you want to convey. So why not go back into the essays and go over the responses and amend them. Even for those who have been on this site for a long time, it is possible that the essay responses may be out of date in some cases.

Far too often, we see a blog, usually long that has an interesting title, but meanders and rambles so much without making a point that I blow it off, especially if there are misspelled words. If I get past the 200 words and I don't know what you are talking about, I will blow it off. Too many people get emotionally engaged and machine gun words with a complete disregard to communicating.

If a blog is one long rambling paragraph, myself and many others will just blow it off. Usually it is viewed as a rant.

Continued in Comments

Feb 7 @ 11:27AM  
An additional perspective is provided by KitKat.

It’s Called Common Courtesy…
posted 6/13/2010 2:36:21 PM |

Ever post a blog…or comment on a blog…and get in trouble for your words? IMHO…both are relatively easy to do if you’re not careful with your words.

I remember years ago when I was first introduced to internet etiquette (also referred to by some as “netiquette”). I was intrigued by how easy it was to be misunderstood in a short email simply because the person was not standing in front of you. It’s funny how our interpretation and another person’s interpretation could differ so dramatically.

For instance…who knew capitalizing an entire word or sentence could be misconstrued as yelling? Who knew using bold on a word could be offensive…or x number of exclamation points could be taken the wrong way? What if you use an emoticon out of context…like when you’re mad…but you use the ROFLMAO emoticon…or the worshipping emoticon? But that’s not all. Even if you grammatically watch all your P’s and Q’s…it’s still quite easy to be misunderstood if a person doesn’t know you very well.

There’s a certain decorum in real life situations…and all of our actions can and usually do have consequences (good or bad). The internet is no different. It’s just the audience is much larger. To me…the most basic rule of blogging or any other online interaction is to be just as respectful as you would be in real life. Treat your blogging etiquette just as you would real life situations…because it’s the real you that’s showing…not somebody different than the real life you.

When I started reflecting on a year of blogging, I thought of some of my more memorable interactions and it made me ask myself a question. What if I was writing a book about this topic? What etiquette should I include…and what should I leave out? With this in mind…I compiled the following list (with lots of help from a really cool website called “Blogging Without A Blog”) and I found it to be consistent within various blogging communities. To me…I would consider most of these list items to be common sense…but since we all look at life differently…this fact cannot automatically be assumed.

Blogging Etiquette - The Unwritten Rules

1. Write original articles. Do not copy someone else’s content or ideas. Putting a new spin on a subject is one thing…but downright copying someone else’s words is not right. I have had this situation occur a couple of times since I’ve been blogging in Pervia. I even had another blogger post a similar blog within a few hours of my original post. At the time…I chose not to confront the other blogger…but I still remember how this situation made me feel.

2. Give credit where credit is due. If another person’s blog inspires you to write a particular blog…make mention of that blog and create a link back to your current blog. It’s always nice to give credit where credit it due. Certain bloggers are really good about this…while others need improvement.

Check out this link if you get a chance. I really enjoyed the author’s take on this particular subject…which is why I kept some of their original content when posting this blog.

3. Check and recheck your grammar and spelling. Although some typos may slip through the cracks…try your best to provide a blog with proper grammar and spelling…since a blog is a reflection of you and your credibility. Now…if you prefer to do what I like to call “creative spelling” within your various blogs (like Ms. Skwirl), this step does not apply to you. Oh…and if you notice a glaring error within another blogger’s work…shoot an email to them alerting them of their error. I know I would like to know if I made a really bad boo-boo.

4. Let your commenter’s know you have read what they wrote. A short thank you within a private email…or at the end of the comment section of the blog is sufficient…as comment sections often end up being the “meat” of a lot of blogs. Note: I personally need to improve my game on this step as I’ve become quite lax during the past couple of months.

5. Be respectful when going “off topic”. If you want to mention a point that maybe considered by others to be “off topic”…be respectful and don’t forget to comment on the actual blog topic before posting.

6. If you leave a comment on a blog...try to add value to that blog. Saying “great post” is not of value. Elaborate and share your opinion with the author. This is the reason the author posted the blog in the first place. As RevDocLove would say…Duh!

Continued in Comments

Feb 7 @ 11:28AM  
7. If you comment on a blog…do not alienate the author with derogatory comments. Your comment is a reflection of you. Negative comments can decrease a blog’s success and possibly detour other people from commenting. When commenting on a blog…you should be adding to the discussion…not bashing the author or other commenter’s.

8. Prior to posting…check your links. There is nothing more irritating than a link that doesn’t work. Enough said.

9. If someone comments on your blog…make time for one of their blogs. It’s called common courtesy boys and girls. If you cannot identify with their most current blog (Like some of Straddle’s blogs)…dig through their archives and find one you can leave a short comment on. I feel strongly about this point…especially if the person is commenting regularly on your blogs. I feel Pervia is a community…and showing your support for other bloggers is very important to that community. I’m happy to say there are a few souls in Pervia who are simply awesome at this…and make the rest of us (Like me) look really bad.

10. If someone leaves a negative comment on your blog…do not feel obligated to leave it in your comment section. A negative comment can change the dynamics of the other valuable comments. If you don’t like a comment…you can delete it…it’s that simple. After all…it’s your blog.

However…there’s a big caveat. Don’t mistakenly think that you can actually control the conversation. A blog comment which gets deleted on your blog may turn up somewhere else in a more negative light. I like to call these “blog spin-offs”. Sometimes you have to make the call as to whether you need to defend your position on your own blog…or extinguish the flames elsewhere (Like a private email).

11. Don't make your blog an excuse to make a personal attack on someone. Remember the old saying "If you can’t say something nice…don’t say anything at all." If you’re troubled by something and would like to receive feedback on a particular situation…keep the persons involved anonymous. Remember…if you don’t want to be judged…then don’t judge others.

In other words…don’t tear someone down. If you can’t build them up…do something of which YOU can be proud of later down the road.

12. If you’re emotionally riled by a blogger or a commenter…pause before you hit post. You might regret what you wrote…and you might loose a friend.
There will always be differing opinions to yours. Remember to always respect other’s views and opinions. If you want to share your own…then do so in a mature debate. But bear in mind that you don’t need to change that person’s viewpoint.

Sometime agreeing to disagree is the way to go. Remember…we can disagree…but we don’t have to be disagreeable.

13. If you don’t like a blog…move on. If you don’t share a blogger’s opinions…don’t make it your mission in life to spam their blog with your personal attacks. After all…there are so many other blogs to choose from in Pervia…so move on.

Feb 7 @ 11:35AM  
You mean there are newbies around?

Just kidding, I've noticed a few newbies lately.

Feb 21 @ 11:33AM  
There are a couple of relatively harmless forms of cyber terrorism that can be encountered on AMD. One is getting numerous password requests in your private email and the other is having the number of views of your blog skyrocket to ridiculous levels. How the perpetrator accomplishes these is the same.

It is important to note that there is no effort being put forth to hack your personal email. It is just a nuisance with somebody pranking you.

Using Explorer as the browser, the culprit can go into the AMD log in page with automatic log in turned off. Then with the auto refresh feature turned on in Explorer to refresh every few seconds, the perp. enters your screen name and clicks the lost password button. This results in multiple password responses, often hundreds, being sent to your personal email. This same method works for running up blog page views also. This usually happens overnight as the creep sets it all up before going to bed to happen while sleeping before turning it off in the morning.

The solution is simple, just mark the messages in your email as spam. Then they will go into the spam folder and often can be disposed of in a single click.

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Blogging 101 for Newbies