Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Blogger Etiquette Post (aka The One Wherein I Ramble Again)

Ok, I'm going to do something here. I've noticed a few things since Facebook started getting huge and it bothers me to no end. See, the blogging world has been around longer than Facebook and I was one of the first people to discover it. As a matter of fact, I was going through a terribly bitter separation and divorce and had to keep all of the horrible details to myself for many many reasons, and my only outlet was blogging. I was so embarrassed of having a failed marriage, I couldn't share anything with my family and friends. It was terrible. I felt so alone, and I put myself into a really dark place. I remember one day my dad gave me an "intervention" of sorts because the only thing they would believe about my massive trauma going down in my abusive home was that a) I was addicted to the internet (told to my parents by the crazy liar of an ex) and that b) I had a boyfriend who I was having babies with (hahaha! anyone know Mike? yeaaaah...that's exactly who he is, let alone who I AM)  who was destroying my Perfect Little American Family. Crazy. True, I knew Mike, but we were seriously just really amazing frineds. But to address the first one, the internet addiction. At night, when my kids would go to bed or while they were at school, I would blog. I was new to blogging and blogging was new to the world. I remember being a "Beta Tester" for blogger as a matter of fact. 

The format was crude (you can't believe how un-user-friendly it was) and it was really hard to manage, but it was exactly what I needed. My bishop suggested I keep a journal of my feelings and frustrations since I wasn't really "venting" to anyone, and this was the way to do it. I could keep it anonymous and open and really talk about my truthful feelings. It was my literal saving grace for about 2 years while my separation order ran out not once, but twice due to a certain someone who refused to mediate the divorce and also refused to do any kind of therapy. My blog was my therapy.

Before I knew it, I had followers. People tuned in to read my frank account of a 30 year old LDS woman going through a terrible divorce. I wrote about every gory detail (anonymous, remember?) and talked about my feelings, my fears, my frustrations, and to tell the truth, the comments made me feel less alone. When my (now) ex-husband would go to my parents house to spout unbelievable lies about me, I couldn't defend myself. So I cried about it, wrote a draft, then published it in the morning after I'd slept on it.  It worked miracles. Miracles people. I found myself in my writing. How could I not? I was faced with my harsh truth, the reality of who I really was...all in my blog. 

Back to the intervention. My dad called me and told me to suck it up and work it out with my husband. I understand exactly why he did it, he was only hearing one side of it and I was too hurt to defend myself over and over to him, so I just kept quiet. He'd had a talk with the ex, and had come to understand that I was a crazy person, my ex threw my past (like seriously 15 years in the past) in my face and guess what, it worked. It was easier to believe that I was suddenly crazy and just losing my mind for no reason to leave my family for some crazy black man. He told them that Mike was a sex predator talking to Tiffany, he even showed them some crazy email online from Mike (totally fake) and had Tiffany crying and saying that it was true. She came home that night and broke down and told me what happened, and my incredibly "in tune" mom suddenly saw the light that night. She said she looked over at the ex while she was supposed to be reading the "email" from "Mike" and saw him smirking. It was then that they realized that he was and had always been full of crap. Time, thankfully, has shown his true nature. He doesn't see the kids, he pays child support about 1/10th of the time  (I'm being generous here) and through the last 6 years, they, and everyone in my life, has seen who he is and always was.  And it wasn't because of my smack talk or my blog, it was because of his actions. (remember, actions speak louder than words?)

So back to the blog. The only way to vent my frustration without breaking every window in every neighborhood in Vegas was to blog. My dad, remember, the intervention, he told me that they thought I was addicted to the internet. Of course, they were going by what the ex said, but really...it was blogging that I was doing. Instead of being harassed by my ex at night, I'd lock my door to avoid the verbal and emotional abuse and hole kicking in walls and punching of walls and things and breaking in of doors that splintered into pieces, I'd lock the door and blog. Blog. My dad told me he thought I was addicted and what I said to him was "But I'm blogging". Blogging was so new and foreign to everyone still, he told me "I don't really know what that means, but we do know that it's a chat room. Chat rooms are dangerous and can be pornographic and people have affairs and do bad things in chat rooms." Bless his heart, but he didn't know. I WAS BLOGGING. I have about 20 followers still who can attest to this. I was blogging. They've been here the whole time. (I'm looking at you Deja, Dima, Sherri, Melanie, Leslie, Kristen, Brooks and Bethany to name a few)

So back to blogging. Now it's accepted. It's actually encouraged finally by the First Presidency of my church. Heck, the church has a blog or six!  

But here's where I hate what's happened to blogging. BLOGGING IS NO LONGER INTERACTIVE. It makes me want to quit. Seriously. I want to quit, or just go private to everyone but me. People don't react, they don't make comments, they don't share their stories in comments, they don't say anything. Now, I don't feed off of the comments, but I sure miss the friendship building that comes out of it. 8 years ago, I met some of my best friends through blogging. It was me sharing my life, and others sharing their thoughts about it. Facebook has made it so everyone can be lazy. They can click on my link and read, and then be like "cool. whatever." 

Life's so impersonal as it is...and the internet is so amazing, I've met people from all over the world. LITERALLY ALL OVER THE WORLD. Can I name the countries and states in which I have friends?  I could, but it would be boring for all of you.

Anyway, I came across a blog that I love a few weeks ago and she had a link to blogging etiquette. She's so spot on. There are many more rules to blogging, and I'd love to list them out but she did such a great job, I've copied and pasted the rules here for you. I give FULL credit for these for the amazingly talented Kristan from "Confessions of a Cookbook Queen" and while you're clicking that link back there, please go visit her blog. Seriously, if I could make cakes like that I'd give my right and left pinkies. For realsies.

Now on with the list:

1. Be yourself.

One thing I've learned since I began blogging is that people will love you no matter what, as long as you're honest. Are you a neat freak? Is your house a mess? Do you REALLY like bacon, or are you just a self professed "bacon addict" because it seems cool? In the blogging world, cool is being who you are and loving yourself, perfections AND imperfections included.

2. Be good to your readers. You were one once, too.

I was a blog reader WAY before I was a blog writer, and honestly, I still spend more time on OTHER blogs than I do my own. I cannot stress how important it is to never forget that fact. When my blog was barely a month old (and I had NO CLUE how to take a picture) I sent an email to Bakerella. And she replied!! I cannot even express what that did for my morale. It was like meeting a celebrity, in a way. These days, I get quite a few emails myself and I can only imagine how full her inbox must have been. It makes the fact that she took the time to reply mean that much more.

3. Leave a comment.

Let's face it. Bloggers thrive on comments. Our posts and pictures are the sunshine and water, but comments are the beautiful flowers that sprout up as the result of our hard work. If you have a blog, you know this better than anyone else. So when you visit a blog, do as you would have done unto you and leave a comment. I am very guilty of popping on various blogs and not commenting because I think that the blogger is so fabulous, they don't need to hear from me. But I should know better, and I am making a conscious effort to leave a comment after every visit.

4. Give proper credit.

If you see something on another blog and love it so much that you decide to spend hours of your time recreating, photographing,and writing about it, it deserves more than a footnote at the end of your post and you know it. We all feed off of each other's ideas and inspire one another and that's fine. But when you downright copy something from another blog, repay them for the fabulous idea by throwing a little praise and maybe a new reader or two their way. 

5. Do not namedrop.

Just like in the real world, we all have some people we are closer to or relate to more than others. But to use that friendship as a way of impressing people is just tacky. This isn't high school and you weren't invited to hang out with the head cheerleader. We're all adults here, and when you name drop simply for selfish reasons, it's completely obvious to everyone, name drop-ee included.

6. Do not correct a fellow blogger's spelling or grammar in a comment.

For real. If I was talking to you in front of a huge group of people and noticed your fly was down, I wouldn't loudly point it out in front of everyone. I'd find a way to pull you aside and tell you quietly. Same thing here. Send a friendly email, and let them know so they can fix it before anyone else catches it. It's the right thing to do.

7. Never say anything on your blog that you wouldn't say in person.

The only exception to this rule is "LOL" because I realize that no one, (besides my 12 year old stepdaughter and her friends) says that in real life. The Internet is not an invincibility shield. What we say is in print, and can be forwarded and printed out and saved for all eternity. So mean what you say and be willing to stand behind your words. 

8. If you feature someone on your blog, let them know.

I can't tell you how many times I've noticed a spike in my traffic, only to find out that I was featured on a blog and not notified. It's like throwing a party in someone's honor and not inviting them. Let them know so they can stop by and read your kind words and all the comments your readers left in response. It really means a lot and can totally make a blogger's day.

9.  Promote a blog you like.

Don't be a lurker. If you love a blog, visit it frequently, and know that they could benefit from you letting your readers know, do it. I have gained so many readers from bloggers like Cheryl (TidyMom) and Bridget (Bake at 350) taking the time to retweet my posts and letting their readers know that they like what I'm doing. We could all learn a lesson or two from ladies like them, and they are who I look up to and use as my own example.

10. Never, ever plagiarize.

Our words and pictures are our heart and soul. To steal them is to steal the small piece of our world that says, "this is who I am." Don't do that. It's really unforgivable.

K, so I know this was long and rambly, but really, the Facebook has made it so people can just look into your life and just know what you're doing and then there's no true interaction. A "like" or a comment on my Facebook link to my blog just makes me sad. I kind of take offense!  (Remember, I'm pregnant and emotional, and you can just mock me now...but do it in my comments)

My sweet cousin Rachel who's young and sweet and an amazing hair dresser made a post about this same thing the other day, and it inspired me to write this. I have been trying to figure out how to post this, and I've actually lost sleep over it but I realized that if I just explained how important blogging is to me, and how it literally and I do mean LITERALLY saved my life during those dark years of my divorce, it might just explain why blogging is such an important part of my life. I think I might even cancel my Facebook just because it's so two-thousand-and-late and I'm over it. Who knows. 

Anyway, you don't have to comment here, but I wanted to tell you how I felt about it. I will continue to comment on your blogs, because really...commenting is nice to do!

K, so don't take offense, and guess what we made for dinner. French Bread Pizzas. I know you care and that's why I told you.

That's  a picture of Harper being "Harper" and Lola being all "Wtf dude, step off. Mom wants to take pictures of me ...not YOU...mmm'kay?"

Remember, it takes time and effort to blog. The least you can do is say "Amen". ;) (Oh church, you make me laugh some times...)




Eliza said...

#6 made me LOL! ehem. ;)

Alli Easley said...

I know!!! I'm the worst offender. Crap. I need to pull it togevah.

FoFuSa aka Leslie ;) said...

"I WAS BLOGGING. I have about 20 followers still who can attest to this. I was blogging. They've been here the whole time. (I'm looking at you Deja, Dima, Sherri, Melanie, Leslie, Kristen and Bethany to name a few)"

Oh those were the days! Wasn't your blog something like popcorn tree? And I had SNAFU. Oh how angsty I was! haha!

But you are oh so right and I didn't realize it until I read it here in black and white. Facebook has sucked the fun out of the internet. It's made me, for one, lazy. I click -like- and don't say anything else at times. And there are a few people on my "friends" list who I don't even really LIKE and I still have to read their crap because it's there and if I delete them from my friend's list I'm horrible.

And do you know I almost forgot how to blog?! Seriously! I started blogging again, but forgot even how to upload a pic! See what facebook has done to me! But once I figured all of that out and remembered how to write something longer than 100howevermanyfballows characters, I realized I had lost my "following". No one read my blog any longer. And I was no longer clever. Facebook has made me boring!

So you have got me thinking...instead of spending hours reading updates of many people I don't even like, I am going to spend that time rebuilding my blog! It's a blog revolution!

Btw, I remember the very first pic you ever posted of Mike and also what my reaction was, "awesome dreads!" So happy that you two are happy and continue making mini-yous!

Brooks said...

You were already a blog star when I found you. I miss the community too. No one ever comments on my blog anymore.

Kimberly Davis said...

You are right, I have not blogged In months and I kind of miss it! You inspired me!

"The Aimonites" said...

Well if you ever quit blogging I might become suicidal.. soo yah hold it together for me "k". I remember you telling me to blog years back and when my hands became to crippled to write in a journal.. i took my 3 fingers and started blogging. It is my release and my saving grace through my journey. I wish I knew how to make more friends cause like you the little comments embrace me in a way sitting at home alone doesn't. Your comments and your blogs touch hearts so please don't stop.
k bye

Alli Easley said...

Les/FoFuSa, you lived in Sweden and were fascinating and I loved every word you typed. I love your guts! Ps, where the heck do you blog now???

Brooks. You are one of the best things to come out of me blogging. You're rad. Also, I'm being mushy but shut up, I'm allowed to be mushy sometimes. I'll comment. I just don't know where the heck you blog now!

Kim. What is your blog?!? People send me your blog addresses...

alli (dot) easley (at) gmail (dot) com

Alli Easley said...

Aimee, I sure love ya kiddo. I am following your journey here with M.S. and motherhood. You're inspiring. Keep blogging. I promise, it helps.

Leslie said...

Yeah, see that was my problem. I moved back here and suddenly I wasn't interesting any longer! ha! I think I actually wrote a blog post about that recently. I think I am going to have to start inventing stuff to be interesting again! ;)

I'll email you my blog address though!

Meri Dawn Thompson said...

You've almost made me think about starting a blog. You are inspiring!

Sean and Janet Eyring said...

Don't call me a hypocrite, but I totally get it now. I will try not to just read and leave (but Reader makes it sooo easy). If I read it I will comment! But I kinda don't ever remember to look back at the comments to see responses--that part hasn't clicked with me yet. Oh well.

Alli Easley said...

Leslie, you're always interesting and SO inspiring, you go getter you!

Meri Dawn...DO IT! It's a "journal" and much more fun that writing in a book!

Sean, you're awesome. Your blog tickles me to no end. I need to comment and read more too.

Sandi said...

I am doing pretty good then.... Since I have only known about this blog for two days and I have commented twice?


100% agree on blogging rules! I love having a tribe. Blogging has saved my life. SERIOUSLY saved my sanity.

Alli Easley said...

Sandi, you're amazing! Really, I think I might post about you and only you...if you don't mind. Someday. I sure think the world of you and your 100 kids. So inspiring.

Also, I know it saved your life. For real, like, it really did. Mine too. I'll always be grateful for my sweet little blogs.

Sandi said...

I don't know what the hell you would post about it.

But me and my 100 kids think the world of you too!


Sarah said...

I am so freaking non-committal. This would be why I stopped blogging. I miss it everyday, but for some reason can't start back up again. It was always super therapeutic for me. I'm sure I'll get around to it someday... after a LOT of therapy. ;)

Love your guts.

mrlyne@gmail.com said...

Funny thing about you, Alli, is I've had the impression you've been through a billion different blogs going at once... it's hard to know where you're at! :-)

I didn't know about you during the time you write about here (I believe you were maybe at the tail end of your separation when you were writing 63days.com?), but I've loved your writing style and the way you express yourself since I started reading your content. You have a way of writing that comes off as completely honest and genuine... presumably because it is... I get the impression that you write in the same "voice" as you would verbally talk with. It's refreshing and makes reading your entries that much more enjoyable.

I've gone back and read pretty much all of your stuff here, I read all of your 63days stuff (obviously), and I do also recall reading possibly two other blogs by you as well, waaaaay back.. (Popcorn Tree...? and something else non-related? Don't quite remember).

You're one of those bloggers that can grab a person's attention, I guess. A natural gift with words, if you will. Just calling it how I see it...

You keep writing, we'll keep reading. :-)

Kylie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carla said...

Alli, thank you for calling me to repentance! I so needed this.

I can actually see clearly, both sides of the fence. I didn't blog all last year because I thought no one was reading. What's the point if no one is reading, right? I became pretty discouraged. Even my scrapbook blog is suffering right now because I have about 150 followers and I have, maybe, a total of 3 or 4 people- the same people, who will ever leave a comment. It totally ticks me off... again, I think, what's the point?

Then there is the other me, the hypocrite follower of blogs. You are right. I have become lazy. I read and I'm inspired and just like the people who tick me off, I don't leave as many comments as I should. Carma is real.

I really do miss the interaction of blogging when I started a few years ago. I have felt the same way, as you, for some time now. Here I am reading your post and thinking to myself, "Why didn't I just say something!" I love that you are always ready to tell it like it is. We need it, keep it coming!

You are truly amazing. You inspire me and with your permission, I would love to re-post these rules of blogging etiquette, especially to my scrapbook blog.

I love ya, girl. Thanks for all your great comments on my blog. I don't if you've noticed lately, but you have really been the only one. I feel the love and I thank you. I seriously said to Richard the other day, "I think my friend Alli is the only reading our blog." He said, "Well, one is better than none." So for you, if you are the only one, I will blog...

I will go, hence forth, from this moment and read and comment. The two will now be like peas and carrots to me. Hugs♥

ashleyO said...

I was JUST thinking this today. Shut up. I can't make this stuff up. What sparked it was when I commented on Eliza's blog link and not her blog ONLY because I was on my phone and it takes too much effort to read on my iPhizzone. I then got on mom's computer and commented on her next post she posted today ON her blog.

It is hard when you do not have a computer of your own you guys.

Also, the Facebook is definitely the blech. This world is full of the blech. People walk around with metal beetles in their ears instead of sitting down and having a conversation on a telephone. People aren't aware of their surroundings because they walk around with earphones connected to music playing calculators. People do plainly do not know how to interact with others because they are too busy "liking", "poking", and "farmvilling."

I miss blogging so much. My blog is so lonely because no one seems to care anymore. I remember when you all made me get a blog and we would comment all the live long day on each others blog.


Also, also, my word verification is "unfingul." The end.

ashleyO said...


Chris and Kim said...

I have to say that I agree 100% with your blog. I also have to say that I, like the girl you got the rules from, think some people are just so popular that they don't need my comments because they have so many readers. You Alli are one of those people. I read your blog often and promise I will comment more often.

nate and amy crandell said...

I just stumbled across your blog, but wanted to say hello! And that I enjoyed reading this post :) You are a very talented writer! Thank you for all the tips!

Alli Easley said...


Sarah, love you too!

Mike, I seriously do type like I talk. It's not a good thing. I'm a lunatic.

Kim, I always love comments. Oh and go look, LOTS of my posts don't have ANY comments on them. True story! Comment always! It's nice to do!

KW said...

As an introvert who rarely has any sort of response to what i read, I take offense to this entire post.

Unless you want me to just comment with "...."

Amber said...

Whenever I see you've posted I get so excited to read! I love your blogging style! I agree with the blogger etiquettes. I always thought there should be a real list! I feel gypped when I spend so much time blogging about my life and then get like 2 comments! People really should start being serious about blogging and not care so much about what people are "doing" on facebook. Just sayin' Love ya Alli! I miss you!!!

Alli Easley said...

KW, you're a liar. I know you comment. I've seen you comment a billion times. Crazy person.

Amber, miss you too! And I'm so glad you like my blog. I'm crazy, and it's good that not everyone is scared of me!

March 2, 2011 4:14 PM

Tina said...

Okay, so if this works it will be my first comment on any blog EVER! So I am so far behind the times and dang proud of it somedays. I moved from Vegas to a SMALL town for a reason I think. I often blank out things that happened in Vegas... guess that ad campaign is true... what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That being said I miss some things more than one can imagine and some days I can hardly stand being away. So my point and comment, because I can ramble with the best of them... one memory of Vegas is your clan (or at least most of it). Since we reacquainted a bit on that wretched fb I have often wondered what happened and your blog today kind of filled me in enough to answer that question that was probably none of business thinking to begin with. I am sad that I did not stay in touch with you through the years and was not there when you went through all of "that", but I just want to tell you-- I was ALWAYS amazed by you, your talents, your attitude, your humor, your personality and your abilities as a mom, wife and friend. I love to see you happy and glad you are in a happier place! I love to read your stuff whether on fb or here, I think you say what we all feel so often yet don't or can't put in words. Keep it up and thanks for letting me ramble... guess it would be more proper for me to start my own blog, so I can ramble freely! Thanks for all the laughs, the insight and the consumer reviews!

Dani said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG! Is that wrong to "yell" that at you? I just love ya!!!!! I vow to do better. :D

Dani said...

Oh...and for the sake of a little laughter - just one of our convo's ;]

"Also, you sick cougaiz who is quidn before you say something inepro, I'm done talking now because "sumsconi" happen to us if I don't."

Kati said...

Alli, I really love reading your blog! You write some amazing stuff and I look forward to every new post you write! I wish people were more into blogging and leave comments and I'm trying to be better! And thank you for your comment the other day, it totally made my day! You are so sweet! Looking forward to your next post!

AnDe said...

Alli, I love reading your blog. I always go to it every time I see an update. I read this post when you first posted it but I didn't know what to comment on it. See, I'm not so good at commenting because I feel like I need to come up with something funny or quirky or clever to say. And well, I am none of those. I'm the kind of person that will type something out and then delete it all because I think everyone else will think its stupid or whatnot. Same way with my blog. I wish I could be more open on there, but I don't think my readers would get it (mostly because they're family and mine tends to be a little judgmental). I really admire how open and honest you are.

Megan@TrueDaughter said...

I just found your blog today, but wanted to say that this makes a lot if sense - the blogging etiquette. I have been blogging for over a year, and I only have a handful of followers, yet my stats indicate that lots of people are reading, or at least stopping by. I rarely get a comment, and totally savor them when I do.
Your blog is intriguing. The last couple of posts make me want to keep reading!

Greg Kerr said...

Well said...and agreed. I miss the details that blogging allows for. FB is fun...but it doesn't make me feel like I'm connected to my friends and family the way blogging does. On that note...let me know if you want an invite. I was sad to do it...but we went private. With Greg being a police officer and owning rental properties...I just didn't feel comfortable saying what I really thought about our non-paying tenants. Hope you are hanging in there with all you've got going on...

Amanda Thacker said...

I dont know what I'm doing, am I leaving a comment? hello?

Amanda Thacker said...

^^look at me I figured it out...Anywoo...Your blog was the first I've ever read and I just want to say I love it. Is this thing working?

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

ugh, I hang my head in same because I have totally done #6 a couple times. So obnoxious. Never again! And I agree with what you're saying about commenting. I normally love getting comments. But I don't like the super short "love it!" kind. It seems that everyone "loves" everything everyone posts lately. Love love love. Sometimes it's nice to read a comment that lets me know that the person *actually* read what I took so much time to write. AMEN!

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

shame* doh... there I go correcting my OWN spelling!