… In The Sandbox of Multimedia!
If you’re reading this – you are probably a blogger. And if you aren’t a blogger, why not? It’s fun, fulfilling and creative. Kind of like having your own sandbox where you can invite others to play, when you want! And you get to go to their sandboxes too. Woo-hoo!
So we’re all adults, but as it turns out we still have the same needs and desires we had as a child (only we use bigger words to express ourselves) – wanting to share, be interactive, make new friends, have fun, be cared about, appreciated and loved. Some things never change.
Are there rules when we blog socially? Well, apart from the obvious rules centered around technical “how-to’s” for getting your blog pages set up so you can publish and be “out there”, there don’t seem to be any clearly defined guidelines. Just a bunch of understandings you acquire as you start-up your blog, publish posts and begin to be socially interactive online!
Although there is a wider audience online and they may stop by (because they’ve entered a few words in a search engine and the “tags” for one of your posts matches up) – your audience primarily comes from other bloggers, or from one of your other social media connections. So, that being said, how do you make your blogging experience the ”best ever”?
I’m going to pass on a few thoughts regarding rules of the road, but I’d like to begin with breaking down the parts and pieces of how a blog is constructed and viewed!
- The Content
- The Comment Section
Okay, so only two things to think about … not really. You see, the content of your blog is also composed of several different things.
The content for all blogging posts consists of 4 types of presentations you share with others. A thought, a message, something creative (written words, photographs, videos, music, art) or “how-to” instructions, often a mixture of several of these – a wide variety of topics related to your specific areas of interest.
The content is written in a manner related to your own personality (interesting isn’t it?) For example some use humor, some use a rather serious educational approach, some are very personal and chatty. Some, quietly formal. Some are totally off the wall, original and fanciful. Each manner or style of blogging is you expressing a part of your personality (well unless you’re copying someone else’s approach, in which case I encourage you to be yourself – you are vastly more interesting that way.)
Content is always personal (to both you the writer, and the viewer – a fact), there’s no way around this. Whatever you’re presenting, in whatever way you present it; bottom line is that people will view your posts as representative of you! And some will share their opinions about your content (personal) and depending on what they say and how they say it, you’re going to emotionally react to it (personal).
The Comment Section - Let’s move on to the second part of the blog – The comment section!
First part – your presentations (published posts).
Second part – your readers engaging with you by clicking on a “like” button, passing your post along through other social media (twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.) and leaving a personal comment (well there are those rather impersonal 2 and 3 word comments which can mean they really liked your post but weren’t sure how to express it, or they are speeding through their daily “follows” as fast as possible, keeping their comments short and thrifty! Or a combination of both! Don’t dwell on it, move on.)
Third part – You engaging back by answering the comments of those who visited you. The key word here is “engage”. This is what all the “big boys and girls” in the commercial and government “online” world want their customers and perspective customers/voters to do. They know (through never ending research) that consumers/people who are engaged with them (giving opinions, entering a contest, etc.) are more likely to buy their product or message.
And whether you know it or not, you are selling something here on you blog - yourself!
Therefore, this also applies to you, the non-commercial blogger, When you engage with another human being, each of you feels a connection. We NEED these connections. They validate us. They’re important. ENGAGING is huge – in the blogging world and of course in life!
So the rules for our blogging sandbox:
Content – Be your own person. Be creative. If you’re presenting a strong message, okay, this can be good. Today we need strong messages to stand out from the overwhelming volume of content we’re reading and viewing, each day! Be true to who you are but be respectful of your viewers and readers. Your viewers may not agree with your opinions, but there is no justification for being offensive with either your presentation or your response to comments including how you respond in the comment section of other bloggers.
Comment Section – Engage! The comment section is there for a reason. But please, don’t hog another person’s comment section. It’s theirs – not yours. Blogging is a step up from the random trivialities that are frequently found on Facebook.The Facebook “experience” is a form of connecting and having fun, an expanded “Twitter” sort of thing. Think about blogging and commenting to other blogs as being more thoughtful and considered with your approach.
Summation and closing thoughts for playing nice in the sandboxes of bloggers.
- Share, engage, be polite, don’t steal or lie.
- Be respectful of others. Their content, their creations, their time and their space!
In many ways we are all just kids! The only thing that’s changed are the dimensions of our sandbox – the rules of behavior stay the same!
Thank you, have a great day!