Bloggernacle Etiquette for Beginners

September 13, 2005    By: Kristen J @ 2:14 pm   Category: Bloggernacle

As most of you know I’m fairly new to the bloggernacle. I’ve only been active in this little community since the beginning of summer, some of you have been around much longer than this. I’m curious to find out from my fellow bloggers of all experience (novice to veteran) what one would consider good manners when one is navigating around the bloggernacle.

When I first started blogging my husband told me that it would be polite of me to go and visit other blogs in the bloggernacle, read what they have to say, and occasionally make comments. He likened it to us having friends over to our house and then refusing to go to any of their homes. I’ve tried to do that and I’m sure made an idiot out of myself a time or two. It’s all good, I’m sacrificing my pride for the community right?

A few days ago Geoff and I were chastised on “Mormon Mommy Wars” for calling a fellow commenter an “insufferable jackass”. The founder of that blog didn’t take too kindly to those fightin’ words. It’s ok, now I know not to make any donkey references over there, I can hang with that.

I’m pretty sure that here at “the thang” you could refer to someone as an insufferable jackass if you felt strongly about it. Oh, except for me, in which case I would prefer that you stuck with names like Ms. Fantabulous, Heavensent, Luscious Lady, Goddess of Beauty, you know, simple stuff like that.

I also recall someone referring to another commenter as a prostitute once. That didn’t go over very well with anyone. I think that person got attacked by most of the rest of the commenters for a time and she surely lost the battle by referring to her opponent in such a derogatory term.

So tell me, fellow bloggers, what are some points of etiquette that one would need to be a graceful member of the bloggernacle community?


  1. Great question KJ. I think it’s got a lot to do with sizing up your audience appropriately. The epithets that fly at BCC would never past muster at M*, for example, and vice versa.

    Comment by Steve Evans — September 13, 2005 @ 2:34 pm

  2. “having friends over to our house and then refusing to go to any of their homes”

    Describes my ward to the T.

    Comment by Kim Siever — September 13, 2005 @ 3:25 pm

  3. In the faceless world of the internet, it’s very easy for me to forget that there are real people behind all this text. I think simply loving your blogger as yourself will solve most problems.


    It seems to me that it’s logically impossible for that statement to describe an entire community. :)

    Comment by Eric Russell — September 13, 2005 @ 5:34 pm

  4. Refrain from calling people totalitarians. Please! (I’ve been called that once or twice on my site, and it totally ruins my day! But I console myself by pointing out to myself that I’ve never deleted a comment that was aggressive to me nor banned anyone for any reason. Which goes to show what a totalitarian I really am…)

    Comment by RoastedTomatoes — September 13, 2005 @ 5:53 pm

  5. Don’t type anything you wouldn’t want ______________ (fill in the blank) to read. Because they might be reading it.

    Comment by Susan M — September 13, 2005 @ 6:26 pm

  6. Not really, Eric. The first part of the question is “our” as in “Mary and I”.

    Comment by Kim Siever — September 13, 2005 @ 6:28 pm

  7. What about correcting grammar? I really worry that I slaughter the english language when posting or commenting. Most of the time people let it go but ever so often someone lets me or someone else know when they are incorrect. What do you think?

    Comment by Kristen J — September 13, 2005 @ 6:43 pm

  8. If the person is being a jackass and it will make them look dumb, correct their gramar :) But if it’s your run-of-the-mill-J. Stapley-or-Nate-Oman-misspellings, I’d let it pass (even with said misspellings they usually make me look dumb).

    And don’t call someone by their full name, mid-sentence. It’s very off-putting.

    Comment by Rusty — September 13, 2005 @ 8:34 pm

  9. Cursce you, Rusty!

    Comment by J. Stapley — September 13, 2005 @ 9:08 pm

  10. Our policies grew as a result of various dust-ups. They’re now at . And there’s a story behind pretty much every one of the policies. With our readership (and our writership, for that matter), it’s not always easy to walk the line between “don’t attack the church or belittle believers” and “don’t accuse other commenters of being bad members of the church.” We try.

    There’s a certain amount of it that may vary, commenter to commenter. Frankly, I’m much more likely to be lax with someone who has a history of solid comments. An occasional slip-up by a Clark Goble or a Steve Evans won’t even register on my radar. On the other hand, if some yahoo shows up and starts insulting people right away, I’m likely to pointedly refer said yahoo to our comment policies.

    (Especially if said yahoo blogs at some joint with a crazy name like “New Cool Thang” . . . ) :P

    Comment by Kaimi — September 13, 2005 @ 9:44 pm

  11. And don’t call someone by their full name, mid-sentence. It’s very off-putting.

    Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

    And if someone insists you (and only you) refer to them as “G”, by all means do it.

    (It has apparently been a low patience week for me… )

    Comment by Geoff J — September 13, 2005 @ 9:50 pm

  12. Oh, and by the way, that dude was very much being a jackass on the MMW thread. But you know how it is. Sometimes you can call a spade a spade, and sometimes you have to call it a rectangular-shaped, shovel-like tool. It all depends on the forum.

    Comment by Kaimi — September 13, 2005 @ 9:55 pm

  13. I should mention that I was the one that informed the insufferable jackass over at the Mommy blog that he was indeed acting like an insufferable jackass. Of course I did it purely out of love and concern for said insufferable jackass — he probably hangs out with lots of Mormons who are just too non-confrontational to inform him of the glaring truth about his insufferable jackassness. ;-) I’m sure he’ll track me down and thank me some day…

    (And if not, nobody busts on my boy Rusty without a price.)

    Comment by Geoff J — September 13, 2005 @ 10:02 pm

  14. Oops, looks like we were on the same wavelength Kaimi.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 13, 2005 @ 10:03 pm

  15. The rules are totally relative to each blog. Some are more polite and evenly moderated than others, and thats all there is to it. You have to figure out the egos behind each one if you want to play in their sandbox and have fun. Here are some general tips though:

    Dont use the F-bomb, ever.

    Figure out who the owners and moderators are right from the start.

    Dont contradict the raison d’etre of the blog unless you want to get banned (e.g., dont call anyone a left-wing axe-grinder on bcc, dont bad mouth anything “orthodox” on M*, dont contradict BRM on Iron Rod, etc.).

    Comment by Kurt — September 14, 2005 @ 6:43 am

  16. She didn’t actually call me a prostitute, she said maybe I should become a madam.

    Comment by annegb — September 14, 2005 @ 7:09 am

  17. I know, I was just so annoyed when that girl did that, it seemed so juvenile I guess that’s why it stuck out to me.

    Ok, what about, as a host, handling comments? It’s kind of intimidating to actually make a comment (especially at first)and then to have it completely ignored is kind of a bummer. If someone makes a comment and they are engaged by another commenter then I won’t always comment back, but if no one else engages a commenter than should the host say someting to that commenter?

    Comment by Kristen J — September 14, 2005 @ 8:20 am

  18. but if no one else engages a commenter then should the host say something to that commenter?

    Yes. At least if at all possible. This points out the suckiest things about big-box blogs — more people are there yet you are much more likely to be completely ignored.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 14, 2005 @ 8:31 am

  19. Geoff, we ignore you because you’re boring, not because of the blog we’re on.

    Comment by Rusty — September 14, 2005 @ 10:51 am

  20. Oh, it’s not me that gets ignored, Rusty… You’ll notice I said “you are much more likely to be completely ignored.” …

    Comment by Geoff J — September 14, 2005 @ 11:04 am

  21. HA! Touché.

    Speaking of Geoff being boring, something should probably be said about appropriate sarcasm and making sure the intended audience gets it. When I’m saying something (like I did above) I always hesitate whether or not to put that stupid smiley face. Usually when I do so it means I’m not sure the audience will get the joke so I have to wink, wink to them to make sure they don’t take it the wrong way (which of course lessens the impact of the sarcasm/joke). Here at the Thang, we get it, so I don’t use so many of those smileys.

    Comment by Rusty — September 14, 2005 @ 11:29 am

  22. For me, I’d say anything on the blog that I’d say to their face. Truth, sarcasm, whatever. Sure once in a while I have to appologize, but that’s ok too.

    Comment by don — September 14, 2005 @ 12:15 pm

  23. So, I’m not sure how to take your comment, Geoff Johnston, since you said “you are more likely to be ignored”. So shall I take the hint that you and Rusty are calling me boring?

    Don, today I made a snarky comment to some guy at DMI and this I wouldn’t do to his face. Honestly now I feel like a jerk for making that comment. Do I just get over feeling bad about it or monitor my comments a little bit closer?

    Comment by Kristen J — September 14, 2005 @ 12:42 pm

  24. There are plenty of people in the ‘Nacle who sit almost exclusively in their permablogger ivory towers and rarely or never visit other ‘Nacle sites. It might have something to do with their busy work schedules though.

    Here’s just a random question and answer that occurred to me some time ago. [Admittedly it doesn’t have much to do with etiquette, but it does have something to do with blog participation and the like].

    Q: What is the difference between an LDS lawyer and an LDS medical doctor?

    A: The LDS lawyer has time to blog.

    Comment by danithew — September 16, 2005 @ 6:02 am

  25. Good point Dan. Who knew lawyers had so much spare time? No wonder so many people go to law school! (Of course obtaining more spare time is why I became an entrepreneur as well so I can’t fault them for their choice…)

    Comment by Geoff J — September 16, 2005 @ 10:29 am

  26. mmm, lawyer and doctor jokes …

    Which leads me to a rule: don’t threadjack.

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — September 18, 2005 @ 11:15 am