My grandmother believed very strongly in Etiquette. She said it gave everyone a solid base to work from. She said it was there so one needn’t constantly worry one had said the wrong thing, or sat in the wrong place…she spoke like that too. She said ‘one needn’t worry’ instead of ‘you needn’t worry.’ She said she had been taught etiquette from a young age, it was part of one’s education and up bringing.
I wish this blogging/advertising gig had some sort of guideline. You know, ‘blogging for idiots’ a guideline about blogetiquette, so I don’t post things in the wrong place..or comment when I shouldn’t.
I had not read any blogs in the past and certainly never had to sell myself. In our line of work, people come directly to us and we never, ever pressurise a client into using our services. Now I have to become known in order to sell my books. I have to create an internet presence, a footprint. Expose myself. I think it would be easier to take all my clothes off in Fife Street.
So I decided to look it up.
Some guides tell you to post regularly, that your followers (what kind of terminology is this???) want to hear from you consistently. They want to go to your blog daily or weekly or monthly and find your post, there, waiting for them. Others suggest you post when the feeling grabs you. Well folks…make up your minds…
I accept all blogs are different, but that is also a challenge for me. Some you go to, don’t have a *like* button. I hunt about, moving from page to page, and I feel such an incompetent. Some have the comments section *closed* Does that mean you can’t comment? Why are they closed? Are they only closed to me? Why? Who do you ask these questions?
Some blog guides say you must always answer comments. It’s blogetiquette. But when do you stop? Remember when you were in love – who was the one to put down the phone? He would say bye – I love you and then you say, no I love you. Neither of you prepared to stop…Also what if we are out of signal??? What then. Am I being politically incorrect. God forbid I break blogetiquette. Some sites say never ever write to someone’s email address. Oh boy. I only read that one recently and I have written stacks of emails to people….
Maybe I like consistency. I had the same problem recently in South Africa. Nothing is consistent – one goes into a ladies rest room (loo) and they have normal taps for normal people with dirty hands. The next, one need only put ones hands under the spout and the water comes out, just like in the bible. Next rest room I go into, I hold my hands under the faucet and wait for the miracle. Nothing happens, cos there is a little button hidden away on the basin top. Other women clip into the loo on their spindle heels and just know…I don’t know how, maybe they have a ‘guide to women’s loo’s’ in their etiquette booklet.
I hate feeling like an idiot as much as the next guy, but I wonder sometimes if things aren’t designed to make you feel like an clot.
I think one of the reasons I insist on remaining in this small little town is because I know what I am doing, where I am going. I know what to say to whom. I can go to the loo here without leaving in red-faced confusion. And if I booboo terribly I can run out to the farm and hide until my tail comes out from between my legs.
When I first heard about blogging, I thought it would be great. I could expound to my hearts content. One could read it or not. My poor family wouldn’t need to listen to my endless chatter – I could put it all down in words, and hopefully out there somewhere was someone who wanted to read what I wrote. I also liked the idea that out there in the cyber world no one knows me. No one cares one little jot what I think about a particular subject. So I could write whatever I wanted to. Make up a new persona, be whatever I wanted. Well, it didn’t work. Blogworld, for me, turned out just as bad as the real world, and I find myself as constrained. I write (great) stuff and about to press the *post* button, stop, re read it and think…hang on a sec……
I read a post, I’m all excited about it, sure I have something meaningful or witty to add. Poised over the keyboard about to thump out a *comment* I hesitate, I wonder who on earth would be interested in what I have to say? Or I think, do I want to get snarled up in a discussion about this topic? I have spent so much of my life trying not to say the wrong thing and saying it anyway. And one can’t delete a post. Your stupid inappropriate comment, posted in the wrong place, is there forever, for everyone to see. Cringe material, and surefire way to ensure I don’t ever go back to that blog!
For me, the worst thing is ‘everyone elses’ blogs. I havnt come across one which isn’t all organised. The pages allow tags (I can’t get mine to have tags). The pages have posts too. I can only get the ‘home’ page to accept posts and tags. The blogger obviously knows what a category is. A widget. WTF is a widget? – someone out there help me out here. Until recently my opinion of bloggers was they were lowlifes, quitters, people who have all the time in the world to sit in front of a computer and blog. Hey, I was in the ‘A’ stream. Ive continued my education…but I can’t work this lot out…so what does this make me?
So I decided to restrict myself to writer’s blogs. I searched on local writers – people like me who work and live in Zimbabwe or South Africa and write novels. Bad move. Very bad move. So right now people, I’m pretty rattled. My blog is not anything like theirs and I ask myself: if I came across Frankie Kay’s blog, would I buy her books?
I have one hope…when told my kids I had started to write a blog my daughter said, “Ok mum, at least you know one person will read your blog.” I assumed she meant herself. “No, mum. Not me. You. The only person who reads your blog is yourself.”
So I might as well have continued with the crazy ideas in my head, hey?
Fag the blog.