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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Food for thought (or whatever) in Blogging.

It is oh so rare for me to talk about blogging on my blog. But I'm going to do it today. These thoughts have been swirling around in my brain for a bit, and it's always just easier to get them out instead of let them sit up there occupying valuable space.

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I wish we could all be original. I realize that it's almost physically impossible to not be impacted somewhat by other blogs or writers. But, be unique to who you are.

Don't steal people's writing styles just because. It's okay to admire someone's writing, I do that. But, write from the person and perspective who you are. That is what makes blogging so awesome. It's your voice. Find it.

Also? Nobody likes a copycat. I have one, heck, maybe you have one, too. But, come on? None of us were born yesterday.These things are easy to piece together (and I have a lot of awesome friends watching out for me & vice versa). So if you copy me? My friends? You steal our post ideas, or even our aspects of our blog design? We see it. Besides it being a million other things I won't say right now, it's also not very nice.

And that whole line about imitation being the highest form of flattery? It sounds like something my mom (hi mom! love you!) would've told me in 5th grade when all the girls in class bought the same scrunchie from Limited Too as me. But? Imitation is just that...imitation. It really isn't that flattering. Especially when people steal without linking back to you as the source of inspiration, ideas, etc. That's crossing all sorts of etiquette in blog world, and it kind of bums me out, too.

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Please, for the love of all things that are good and holy---write because you want to. Not because you feel some undo pressure, or to maintain some status, or whatever. 

I've gotten emails before point-blank asking me "how to get followers". I wouldn't know the answer to that. First of all? I'm just a speck in this blog-world like everyone else. Secondly? I didn't go and "get" anyone, nor force them to come read this 'lil blog of mine. 

You know what my answer is? Love to write, first. Love to document. Or whatever the purpose of your own blog is. Do it with care, and because you want to and like to. People will see that and choose for themselves if they want to follow along for the ride. Like I've mentioned lots and lots of times...I've blogged now for almost 11 years (first livejournal, then blogger), with more than half the time having no one but my sisters & mom reading. You can't take things too personally on the internet. This is a lesson I am still in the process of learning.

***

If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you, too? Don't answer that. But, seriously.

Guess what? As humans, we have choices. We don't have to follow along, and that's OKAY. For a small (and silly) example, I'm not a fan of the southern smocked dresses/rompers, for girls or boys. It's personal for me. It's my opinion, and guess what? That's okay. We're allowed to have our own opinions, and I don't have to dress my kid in them. I'm also told it's a southern thing and it's to be expected that I don't particularly care for them. Maybe that's true. 

But, either way? Just because I don't like them (and think some of the pink ones on boys is a little...odd), I'm not going to beat other people up over it. That's just silly. And wrong. And even in a small way? A form of bullying, and I'm not cool with that.

If you don't like something someone says, or does, or writes on their blog, it's okay to disagree. But? Do it respectfully. It also takes no effort just to click the little X to leave, too.

***

And lastly? If you consider yourself a blogger, you should know by now that you NEED to have an email address attached to your profile. If not? No one can respond to your comments.

For instance, if you ask me a question? I would love to just reply to you via the comment in my email, but if it says "noreply@blogger blah blah"? It makes the task about 19302903x harder. And chances are, after chasing around my toddler, and juggling working from home, I just won't jump through the hoops to do it.

So, make it easy on all of us okay? Go to your dashboard. Next to your profile picture, click "edit profile", add an email address, and then click "Show my email address". 

Done and done. I know I speak on behalf of most bloggers out there on this one. Oh, and word verification? Turn that off, too. Talk about annoying. Typing words like Jgeragah, and Blermish 20x a day will send you (me) into a sea of disillusion. Help a sister out.

***

Phew. Now that that's out there. 

Happy Wednesday....and happy blogging :)

42 comments:

  1. I agree with you 100%. My blog started out as a way to help me document and lose weight (so far unsuccessful) but it's been really therapeutic in so many ways. I feel good that I'm getting things out and talking about my day. I didn't realize how much I missed writing. And while it's obviously not 100% private, it's still nice just to get everything out there. It helps take some of the stress of my day.

    As for copycats, they are everywhere. Unfortunately, they have no originality, and you've created a nice space here and you write well and it's entertaining. It irks me too when something like that happens, but you just have to let it roll off your back and ignore them. You have lots of friends and followers that would expose them anyway! :)

    Have a great day!

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  2. I love this!
    I'm relatively new to blogging... gotten much more into over the past 6 months or so and I'm really enjoying myself!
    My favorite part is looking back at older posts to see what I was thinking/doing/wearing at that particular point in my life.
    Thanks for this perspective!!

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  3. i'm glad i'm not the only one who hates those dresses, and i've lived in the south my entire life!

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  5. Too bad Blogger comment doesn't have a "like" button. :)

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  6. :) I agree with it all, but a big AMEN to the word verification!!

    New reader and really enjoying YOUR writing...and pictures.

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  7. Way to explain it, makes a lot of sense when referring to blogging styles and keeping it original to ones self! I love reading your blog along with others, but there are a few that I read and then stop following due to the fact that they try to fit in and it shows in a big way!

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  8. Love this post. I have taken ideas from bloggers, but I always check with them and link back. It's only polite.

    And I hate when people a) don't have e-mail addresses and b) have word verification. Are you really getting that many spam comments that you need those to stop them? I don't get it.

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  9. Oh gosh. I love this post. I think i am going to have to tell my readers to come read it! HAHA!

    The "no reply" thing KILLS me b/c there are some bloggers who have been blogging longer than me & i still see that dumb "no reply" thing when i want to reply to their comment! And i've even blogged about this but i guess not everyone takes the hint!

    I turned off my word verification thingie when Amanda (from KevinandAmanda) advised that & i can say i've gotten NO SPAM comments since then. I am just throwing that out there b/c i think that's why a lot of ppl turn it on.

    P.S. I'm from the South & while i like the smocked dresses OCCASIONALLY on girls, i HATE the boy ones! I have friends who put their boys in smocked clothing - & well past the newborn & toddler stage too - ICK! Haha. I'm not bashing... it's ok if it's your cup of tea. But yeah. I see where you're coming from on that one. :)

    I think my biggest peeve in blogland is people jumping thru hoops to get zillions of followers. And when they comment on my blog "love your blog. new follower. please check out mine & follow me back." Um...no... not unless i happen to love it! LOL.

    Thanks for this post! :)

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  10. Yeah, I hate the no-reply email thing too.

    But, I've gotta say, although I've taken off word verification, I HATE that it's off. I get 1,000 times more spam.

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  11. I love when you write posts like this!

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  12. AHHHmazing post! I haven't experienced copy-cats (I'm not that cool hehe) but that would be annoying/frustrating/the works.

    Blog world is awesome BUT at the same time, people take it as a popularity contest and that's just silly. Were here for us, our family, to make new friends, etc. and that's that. I think you pointed that out so well!

    oh yeah, and why are people rude? I still dont get it. Again, i haven't experienced it personally, but I've seen it on other blogs and its just crazy and unnecessary.

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  13. 1. I love your new layout! (Or maybe it's not new? Has it been that long since I clicked out of Reader??)
    2. My favorite e-mail is, "How do I get sponsors?" Nothing screams, "I WANT FREE STUFF!" like an e-mail like that.
    3. And you have a copy-cat? How do you know?

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  14. ugh I HATE word verification! so annoying people, just change it!

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  15. Very well put. I'm glad I read this b/c I'm new and quite unaware of proper blog etiquette. I put up my email and will definitely be sure to credit my inspiration! So thanks!

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  16. right on!! I hear ya! And I so have to put my thoughts out there and get them out of my head! I just did a post about things on my mind and after I posted I felt so much better :D How in the world do you make your photos where no one can copy them. i am getting paranoid and have tried a few things but none of it works :( Oh and I hate those dress looking outfits too! Noah will not be wearing them at all :D

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  17. Wait...did someone give you a hard time about the smocked romper convo we had yesterday? (It wasn't me, was it?) Because seriously, you have a right to your preferences, and why the heck would someone care whether you like them or not? (Plus, even as a Southerner, the pink ones on boys? Yeah, WEIRD.)

    But, yeah, blogging is odd. People are weird about it. I still have yet to understand why some people do it. Feel obligated to do it. Take other peoples crap. Get bothered when others don't agree. I've been called every name in the book on my blog. I've gotten NASTY emails. And sometimes, it hurts. But I don't change my blog or try and imitate someone else. Because it's ME. MY BLOG. I don't have to answer to anyone for that. And that's why I like it.

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  18. Word verification sucks! How do I get followers? Ahhh...you said it best!

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  19. You totally copied this blog post from my thoughts! :P

    I have had the unfortunate experience of having someone steal a blog design I did and then try and sell it!!!!!!!! (I cannot even begin to tell you how mad I was at the time) and also, there is a woman here in Australia that loves to steal peoples ideas and blog posts. You can always tell when she's done it because she doesn't post her sig at the bottom of the post.
    There is no link to the original post, no notification to the original blogger that she's used their material AND when she's confronted she turns aggressive!

    What I don't understand is, nobody does anything about it! We all know she does it, we all talk about it but no one says, 'Hey Lady, that's gosh darn rude of you to steal!' or something along those lines. I probably wouldn't be so polite......

    There is a copyright at the bottom of my blog for a reason! While I may not have a bazzillion followers OR make money from my personal blog, it's still my time and effort used to make a hilarious/depressing/insert whatever here/ blog post.


    Lubb your work sweets!

    xo

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  20. Oh and I am cking to see if anyone following me can see my new posts when I post them. can you see them? I imported my blog to a new address and I think I messed a few things up :(

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  21. I think it's hard on the copying front because there are SO many parenting blogs and most people write about the same things, which is kind of burning me out on blog reading these days.

    Something I hate is rude anonymous comments. I HATE them! If you are going to be rude, at least put your name on it, or just hit the X button as you have said. I'm a very new follower to your blog so I'm not sure if you've had any of that.

    I guess I need to check if I have word verification. I've never commented on my own blog so I don't know, lol!

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  22. AGREED on the email thing. It's so frustrating when you can't reply via email.

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  23. As a new blogger what you've written really helped me out. I didn't know about the e-mail issue, so that has been changed, and as time goes on I'm sure I'll figure out the word verification thing as well.

    P.S. As a fellow art educator I miss your work over at oodles of art :) That was a regular read of mine.

    I'm doing the same idea now, blogging about my classroom and my personal life in two separate blogs. I look to both your blogs as inspiration to what I want from my blog.

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  24. I'm glad you got that off your chest! Phew! I hope you feel a little better. :)

    Also? I don't like music on people's blogs just because I'm not usually expecting it and all the sudden this noise is blaring at me! ACK! ;)

    And I agree with you on the whole "imitation is a form of flattery" thing. What a bunch of poppycock.

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  25. For the most part, I agree with you. I think we should all be true to ourselves. After all, I'm the only one who will answer for my life-blog posts and comments included!- some day. I also agree that imitation is not the highest form of flattery. I am fortunate enough to not struggle with this in the blog world, but am unfortunate to struggle with it in the real world and my copy cat likes to take what I like and then act like she wrote the book on it. So infuriating!

    I also agree with writing what you want. I am not a mommy, nor am I trying to get pregnant so my traffic isn't as high as it could be. But I own who I am married, Southern, law student and working toward my life goals. I wish others would do the same much like you do.

    And you're right EVERYONE has a right to their opinion, whether we like it or not. People need to be respectful about it.

    I totally agree about the email thing.


    However, I'll keep my word verification. As my husband says, getting one spam comment that messes up your computer is like making a baby, it only takes one to get knocked up! So for me, I'll keep the word verification because like you said I have a right to my choices. And while most people don't have their entire legal career to worry about losing on their laptop like I do, I still am not going to take any chances. And if as you say the "majority" of bloggers don't like it and it is inconvenient for them to comment, then it probably wasn't worth my time to read it.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is I have my reasons for it being in place just like you have yours for it not being in place.

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  26. The whole "no-reply" blogger thing annoys me too! In fact I have been meaning to do a post on it myself, but I wouldn't want you to accuse me of being a copy cat. :) Oh wait, one of the other commenters of this post already did. Nice.

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  27. Thank you for writing this - such a great post! I think a lot of people get wrapped up in blogging for the wrong reasons and this is a great reminder to everyone about the real reasons we all do it - ourselves!

    And seriously, were people really mean about the smocking thing? I for one love smocking on little girls (and even occasionally on baby boys), but I don't fault you one bit for not liking it. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Good grief, people! :)

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  28. I hate word verification!!!! I wanted to start keeping track of all the stupid words that it's made up in order to post on someone's blog. But then I thought about how annoying they are in the first place and decided I didn't need to annoy others unnecessarily. lol

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  29. Great post hun! I hope you're okay and that you don't have a blog stalker/stealer or anything... sheesh!

    I always get the "how did you get so many followers" question too. Like... a lot. I never know how to answer that one...

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  30. I love this post. You are always so honest and that's why I love YOU and your blog :) Keep on keepin' on girlfriend.

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  31. I agree. I don't think I have nearly enough followers to have a copycat, although the ones I have seen (yours included) makes me so grateful I don't have to deal with that. The word verification thing? I hate it. I refuse to do it, even though I end up with spam from time to time. It also makes me not comment on other girls' blogs esp. if I'm in a hurry. And for the love...the noreply thing makes me twitchy. I hate that. Good post, sister.

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  32. I remember you saying something before about the email thing and I went and added mine a while ago. I agree that it is a must for blogging! Sometime emailing is better.

    I'll admit I have the word verification on my blog. Once I made the switch from Blogger to Wordpress I was overloaded with spam comments. I'll still get them every now and them but it was annoying getting so many in one day.

    I know when I made the switch I lost followers. I was worried about it at first but then I remembered why I blog. It isn't for other people, it's for me to look back at my life. If others want to read about my life then that is a bonus. I see "famous" bloggers and realize they are the same as me, just documenting their lives.

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  33. LOVE this.
    I had a livejournal too! :) It's always fun to go back and read those. It's like reading a different person's thoughts.

    And you know, every time someone does a post like this, I'm always like "Oh crap! Did I steal somebody's style/design/thoughts/etc and not know it??" I know, I tend to be a tad paranoid.

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  34. Oops. The husband logged out of my account and into his without me realizing it. Anyway, the last comment was me. :)

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  35. hahah! Love it all! You crack me up!

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  36. Agreed 100% Your blog is yours--be you :)

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  37. love this post! my first time visiting and I am of course a new follower. I love you ability to be "real". thanks for sharing darlin. :)

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  38. Katie, I'm relatively new to the blogging world and I'm certainly new to the mommy world. I must tell, you out of the many blogs I've read, you seem to be one of the best sources of inspiration. An inspiration not just as a happy momma, but also as a happy wife and woman who refuses to let her pregnancy weight win. This is just another one of your wonderful posts, so I thought I'd leave my first comment to your blog on this specific post to thank you for being such a lovely blogger.

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  39. Sharing your link today! Adding in the blogger commenting issue of not being able to sign in to comment on embedded posts. It's been driving me nuts along with the "no email listed" thing. Grr.

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  40. Found you through "My Thoughts-Uninterrupted..." I think we could be kindred spirits. LOL First time visiting, and I have to say I love your honesty. Your little introduction in the sidebar is what caught my attention. The fact that you love Jesus but tend to curse...that's REAL. New reader here. Hope you have a great weekend!

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