Blogger Round Table: Civility

   Recently at The Totality I published a well received post which opened up the debate on the topic of bloggers disclaiming payments and received products from companies. Since this went live there's been some interesting news that the FTC have tightened their online disclosure requirements and the topic looks set to run and run.

   For the second installment of the Round Table I'm once again very pleased to announce that I once again have Andy from Pampered Prince, Helen from The Love Cats Inc, Kel from Kel Loves and Liberty from Fade From Black contributing to the discussion. (If you haven't yet read Liberty's post on The 3 Rs of Working with Bloggers then I suggest you check it out!). Today's post is all on the topic of civility in the blogging community - please feel free to join in with the discussion by leaving your thoughts in the comments.


The “blogging community” is a peculiar concept which, at times, can fluidly shift from being a supportive network of like-minded individuals to reactionary, over-emotive and even abusive without much prompting.  What, in your opinion, should bloggers do to increase the civility in our community?


Andy
   The same as any other kind of community. Treat others with the respect you would want to be treated with. Remember that it is a community and you’ll only get out of it, what you put in.


Helen

   I don’t know how to answer this without sounding massively cliché, but people need to remember that blogging is mainly about personal opinion and not everyone will agree. Although people may have a different view to you, there’s absolutely no need to be nasty back to them as it just makes you look unnecessary. Accept that their opinion differs from you and move on. If you dwell on it, it will only make you bitter and you will come off a lot worse.
 
Also, the jealousy between ‘big’ and ‘small’ bloggers needs to stop. I’ve read some ‘big’ blogs that are rubbish and some ‘small’ blogs that deserve more attention than they get, so I personally think the content of a blog is way more important than the follower number.


Kel
   In blogging, as in any area of life, there will be people who are mean, dishonest, jealous, vindictive, attention-hungry, and just plain bitchy. And there's not really a lot that can be done about these people - you can't change them, you just have to not let them affect how you feel about yourself and your blog. Concentrate on the people out there that are genuine, supportive and lovely.


Helen
   I think a lot of bloggers need to stop worrying about how many freebies/readers/pageviews one blogger gets/has and maybe take a moment to figure out why they’re in that position. They’ve probably worked extremely hard over a substantial amount of time to have the readers that they do, and should be an inspiration instead of a source of resentment.

   And remember: ultimately PR companies are a business and they’re not going to spend £30+ (for example) sending something to someone who gets less than 100 views a day as it’s not economical for them or the company they’re representing. If the only thing you want from blogging is the perks that sometimes come with it (which I personally think is quite sad) then work at it, don’t just assume you’re automatically entitled and make bitchy comments about those who have spent their time making an effort.


Liberty
   This was the hardest question to me as I have to admit that I’m not very active in the “blogging community” – which is probably why my blog doesn’t have a great many readers. However the reason I’ve never really got into it is because there’s so much drama out there so the community can seem like a hostile place for a newbie. I think the name of the game is support; constructive criticism of each other’s work is what’s needed and I’m sure there are plenty of lovely people out there willing to give it but unfortunately they’re not as vocal as the uppity few.

   The problem is – as far as I can tell – that a few people take blogging far too seriously. At the end of the day, we’re all just girls (and guys, Kieron!) playing with beauty products in our bedroom. It’s not rocket science, it’s not life and death – no one is curing cancer here. Let’s all just chill out, allow each other to have differing opinions and talk about the stuff we love enough to write about on a daily basis. There’s really no need for politics and jealousy, which I think really is at the root of what perpetually keeps turning the community from a love-in to a war. 


Helen
   Ultimately, be a nice person. I guarantee you’ll gain long term, lovely readers through being kind, thoughtful and helping other bloggers out. It’s what makes the blogging community a amazing thing to be part of!


Me
   My personal thoughts on how to make the blogging community a more civilised place are as follows: act with personal dignity and gravitas. If someone says something you don't agree with question it but do so with moral righteousness but try understanding and empathy too. Never resort to unnecessary insults. Be fair to everyone else (bigger and smaller bloggers alike). Try and be Zen and act in a manner Confucius would consider becoming. Most of all heed the words of Bill and Ted.

7 comments

  1. This is a really great post. Far too many bloggers worry about follower numbers and freebies.

    I agree with Helen that some 'big' blogs are terrible and some smaller ones have brilliant content and need far more attention. If I could.offer any advice it would be to focus on content and nothing else. If what you produce is good and full of passion then followers will come! x

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  2. Thanks for your comment - I think that's a fair summary of my thoughts too!
    My thoughts are - as long as you enjoy writing then that;s the main thing!

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  3. I've enjoyed reading this post Kieron. It's also nice to see a male blogger in the blogging community as I haven't really seen any about.

    I've only just started blogging but haven't really come across any nastiness. Disagreeing with someone's opinion is fine but there are ways of doing this diplomatically without having to resort to being rude and disrespectful. Sometimes I think it's better not to say anything at all rather than risking offending someone. If you find a blog you don't like, you don't have to read it!

    I don't think bloggers should be in it for the freebies. I'm doing it as a means of being creative and because I like to write and would never expect anyone to send me anything. If I like a product or company I am happy to write about them simply because I like them.

    Donna :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Donna,

      Thanks for your comment - totally agree with the point you made that it only takes a little bit of thought to avoid risking offending folk!

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  4. Love love love this Kieron! Well done! I completely agree, it costs nothing to be civil and kind to each other. The purpose of a community is to provide support and advice so there's no reason why bloggers should mistreat each other. I've encountered this, especially from what they term as "experienced bloggers" who literally thinks the sun shines out if their backside and I decided that its just not what I need in my life as a blogger and removed myself from any form of association with them. (Besides, my blog looks much nicer and they'll just cramp my style with their nastiness! Haha!)

    At the end of the day, blogging should be fun. It's something you should do because you enjoy it - not to be a ruthless, vicious person that no one likes. Enough said. Marvellous post! :-)

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    1. Hi Ged,

      Thanks for your comments! Glad you like and it is indeed nice to see folk wanting to get along and support each other in the blogging community.
      Sorry you experienced some nastiness and you did right removing your association from them!

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  5. This is a great post. It's obvious that in life we can't be friends with everyone, but that doesn't mean we have to get under each others feet. I find the best way to deal with that is the block button. I have people blocked ex boyfriends, ex friends because I don't care for their drama but sadly the block button doesn't always stop them finding ways to interfere with your life.

    It's a shame because there really doesn't need to be negativity, bullying, harassment or bitchiness online, there's enough of it offline as it is. I find bullying online, harassment, cyber-stalking all incredibly cowardly acts. It's better to just keep calm and carry on than to let them bother you and hopefully they'll move on in their own time.

    The blogging community is huge but I'd never avoid attending a meet or speaking to another blogger just because they interact with someone I may not like. That kind of common courtesy should be paramount in this kind of field because no one should miss out.

    Y

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