*with apologies to Meat Loaf
I thought I'd write a really tedious post about blogging. Are you okay with that? I had a conversation about blogs the other week with Driftwood, and this week I read Sue's post about online decluttering and a brilliant one by Eleanor, talking about how blogging has changed, and how money is increasingly involved. There's an increasing concentration in Blogland on how high your blog ranks, how influential you are. It seemed a good time to outline my own little blogging manifesto.
I know you don't really care. But as Ali has pointed out, no-one is around anyway, it being summer and you all having better things to do than sit in darkened rooms hunched over a screen. (Though it looks like I don't.) Anyway!
1) If you leave a comment, and Blogger gives me your email address, I'll email you back. Blogging wisdom says this is a big no-no. Blog popularity charts and PR people look for high engagement, which means everyone chatting animatedly in the comment box. Now I love comments - who doesn't? - and as you came over to my blog to find me, it seems only polite that I come and find you in return. (If Blogger gives me no email address I respond in the comment box, but I do wonder - does anyone ever come back to check?) A lot of my favourite bloggers do it this way, and I don't actually mind if that means my blog doesn't rank quite so highly. Some of my best blog friendships have been forged in my email account.
2) Being a popular person on Twitter also means A Great Deal to rankings. When I try to give out my email and blog url to people at blogging events, people look at me as if I've tried to hand them a Victorian calling card. "But who are you on Twitter?" they ask. Follow me by all means - the link is in the sidebar - but you won't find me constantly updating.
I read a very interesting thing online the other day, lamenting that people were throwing out all their best work in snippets on Twitter when really you wanted them to sit down and write a lovely blog post. I agreed so hard that I clicked away and read blogs and lost the link.
(I do find myself strangely drawn to Pinterest. The things linked to on Pinterest are fascinating, and you can make snarky comments. (This is my absolute favourite board.))
3) I don't mind the odd review on a blog if it's done well. We've established above that I do little to boost my attractiveness to PR people - I turn down most PR approaches. But I reserve my right to say yes to something I do fancy, and I'll always be honest about it. I've got the opportunity to sign up with an ad agency at the moment, but I'm letting it pass because I don't know if I'd be allowed to turn down ads with highly photoshopped women looking flawless on them. I've got a big bee in my bonnet about advertising images and their unrealistic portrayals of women. I'm bringing up daughters over here.
The important thing to me is choice - I choose very carefully, because this is something I do for enjoyment. And though it's my blog and I could just do as I like, it's also important to respect you.
What do you think? Feel free to chat animatedly in my comment box about this. Or you could go read Eleanor's post, which I linked to above, which is fantastic and probably a much better use of your time.