Thursday 14 September 2006

happy talk....

I think I owe you all an apology. Well, some of you anyway.

It seems as though I have been guilty of a terrible breach of blogging etiquette. Apparently it is important that you leave a welcoming message to first time commentators. Blogs can be intimidating places, and it’s only manners to acknowledge someone’s first contribution to the debate.

I’m fairly sure that I have never done this.

Now I think about it, I don’t reckon that I even have a policy on commenting (and frankly, who does?). I like comments, certainly, and I’m pleased when anything I’ve written chimes with anyone enough that they are moved to share their own thoughts and observations. Surely there aren’t strings attached though, are there? Sometimes a comment will lead to a debate and sometimes it won’t. Sometimes a comment is little more than an acknowledgement, an affirmation or an expression of support and sympathy. Sometimes it’s nothing more than a hug or a virtual cooing noise. Some comments will get a reply and some comments won’t. If I haven’t got anything to add, then I won’t bother saying anything at all.

If any of you have been offended by my behaviour in my own comments box, then I apologise wholeheartedly. I’d be a little puzzled, but I’d be sorry to have upset you.

Who wrote the book on blogging etiquette exactly? I don’t know about you, but I do a fair bit of wandering around blogs. I have a set of regular reads, sure, but I also do a fair bit of “off roading” in the search for interesting people and interesting things to read. I am fascinated by the way that blogs reveal how ordinary people lead such extraordinary lives; how the apparent mundanity of everyday living can be so interesting. I get wrapped up in the lives and loves of people who I will probably never meet. Blogging is brilliant. Bloggers are brilliant.

But are there really rules? Of course not. There’s such a thing as good manners, certainly, but rules?

As I wander about the place, sometimes I’ll be moved to leave a comment. Sometimes that comment will spark a debate, often it won’t. Sometimes I wouldn’t even know if it had triggered a debate because I don’t methodically go back and check on all the comments I leave. Is that rude of me? Someone could be leaving me a perfectly lovely welcoming note to their blog and I could have buggered off back into the ether, never to return. How rude is that?

Anyway. To save me repeating myself in the future, and to try to make up for omissions in the past, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome all readers – past, present AND future. It’s great to have you onboard and your contribution is valued.


[I discovered this over at Troubled Diva, so go and read more about it there. If you decide to leave a comment there, I'm sure Mike will be pleased to personally welcome you onboard....)


  1. Hmm...guess I am really in trouble then, considering how LB and I got off when he first commented on my blog. Whoops. Apologies all around.

  2. I have a policy on commenters. They will be tolerated, as long as they agree entirely with me, or disagree ferociously. Reasoned argument is not accepted.

    I am willing to make exceptions for those people who know any of the songs in my first lines quiz, as my usual readers have both been utterly stumped.

    Actually, I find this fake sincerity and warmth rather grating and distasteful. Please don't welcome me.

  3. I don't get it.
    *scratches head*
    People would be offended, if you don't comment on their comment?

    I thought *I* was sensitive!

  4. Ian - you have no idea how tempted I now am to warmly welcome you.

    (and man - that's too damn hard. What kind of CDs are you loading in there man? Dinner parties round yours must be a riot!)


  5. Hello SwissToni, and welcome.

    (A recycled gag, but hey, sue me.)

  6. I don't think what you describe here is etiquette, ST. Rather, it sounds like some people take themselves too seriously.

    Another Mike.

  7. You can do what you like in your own comments box I reckon.

    I tend to welcome new commentors but then again I'm a complete comment whore and will do virtually anything to increase the number of comments I get!

  8. In the old days of Bulletin Boards, there was a sort of unspoken rule that any new posters should lurk for awhile, to get to grips with the atmosphere and mood, before posting their ranting diatribe.

    Mind you, having a comments section is an invitation from the writer to his audience isn't it? If you didn't want people's ranting on about things, one wouldn't have a comments section to comment in.

    When I first started commenting here, I remember I was warmly welcomed.

    You must have confused me with someone else :)

  9. I'm so polite - I always reply to comments. Sometimes I see it as a nice little chat. I need to get out more.


  10. I didn't realise there were rules either. I don't think I have ever welcomed a new commentator explicitly, although I occasionally write a post when I update my blogroll.

    I sometimes respond to comments in comments, sometimes I don't.


    Can't say I ever considered I would be upsetting anyone. Sorry if I have, like.

  11. Oh bloody hell. It was me who made the comment about "manners".

    when i wrote that, i was thinking mostly of blogs who have a "cliquey" thing going on, and while they will (and do) enjoy a lovely little chat amongst themselves, outsiders are completely ignored. and i'm not being paranoid about that. it's fact.

    i wasn't implying that everyone who doesn't do the "hello and welcome" thing was a rude bastard. although maybe they are... most people in "real-life" are.

  12. I know exactly what you mean pink - I have a kind of instinctive distrust of high traffic blogs. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that they always seem to have a core of people who are "in", and I always feel a bit like I'm excluded from that.

    I'm sure they're all very nice (and actually, I exclude Mike from troubled diva here, as he's always been very welcoming and inclusive). It's just, y'know?


    (suddenly a little aware that it's sometimes a bit cliquey round here too)

    oh, and I wasn't thinking of anyone's comment in particular when I wrote this - it was just the whole idea of it really.

  13. yes, and what sheer bloody madness it is too! :)

    (flipping blogging about blogging - i ask you!)

  14. What are these high traffic blogs of which you speak ?
    Most of the ones I see (including mine) never get much above five or six comments.
    Are you, therefore, a high traffic blog ?

    It's interesting to consider whether there truly is such a thing as blog comment etiquette. When you consider the huge and dispirate range of people blogging it would be a Darwinian miracle if a set of societal rules have evolved so quickly across so many cultures.

    "Hello, good evening, welcome and goodbye".

  15. I always mean to reply to comments and welcome people, but I never really do it.

    Maybe it's a Nottingham thing, we're just rude and ignorant eh? (I'm from Nottm too before you slate me!!! ;o) )