Tips for Civilized Blogging: The Poll

Hi there.  My name is Eden Knoller and this is my first post for SL Blogger Support.  As I was recently added as a contributor to the blog, I asked Katy where I might be most helpful. I had a few ideas (none related to photo editing) and she suggested etiquette.  I am a bit of a Miss Manners when it comes to approaching this blogging thing so I embraced the challenge with enthusiasm.  This is the first I hope of many posts on the topic.   I have made my share of social blunders and oversights and hope that I can therefore help put etiquette in its correct perspective: helpful tips of the trade.

In early April a poll was administered here asking bloggers to give their 5 top “tips of the trade”.  I thought I would start this off by publishing the results of that survey since I am a wonk at heart and love playing with data.  The survey consisted of 5 response boxes rank ordered from 1 – 5.  20 people responded to the poll, so the data reported here is not valid for statistical purposes.  However, as I sat with the data I started to notice a few trends, which are shown in the chart below:

The responses seemed to group into 7 distinct categories: utilizing credits, a presentable blog, quality photos, courtesy, being an active and consistent blogger, including text and overall avatar appearance.  The simple graph above does not show where the item ranked from 1 – 5 on a response but interestingly while overall having good photos ties with courtesy as the most noted suggestion, it was not the most frequent #1 tip, which is reserved for credits.

I don’t want to get into length on each area (all wonks let me know if you want more data in comments) because that is evident in the graph but 3 areas were included in just about everyone’s responses.  The main highlights of Credits included the following things you may see as obvious but many blogs do not include such as making sure your post has them and as specific as possible.  Both designers and readers appreciate it as the main reason for most blog posts is to connect the two. Several people suggested spelling out the name of the store vs. using whatever shorthand moniker might be used in ads, particularly if you do not include a slurl to the store/event.  I loathe doing slurls on my posts because they take more time than anything else but I do it because I feel it’s my job.  The respondents also suggested using as much specificity as you can in describing the item. (Please refer to Why I Don’t Read Your Blog, recently published by Asthenia)

The other 2 large categories included a wide variety of responses.  Having good photos did not suggest that you had to be a Photoshop pro or Flickr royalty. It really boiled down to knowing basics like how to use Windlight and getting rid of the hated jagged edges to making sure your clothing fits and shows the item in it’s best light (for example, why mention or expect credit for earrings that are hidden under your hair?).  Courtesy discussed using it with two main groups of people: Designers and fellow bloggers.  The most loathed faux pax in regards to approaching designers was the SPAM approach where an individual sends generic forms to a multitude of designers, often doing so numerous times.   In close rank was asking for a sponsorship or review copies from a designer you have never purchased anything from or have no relationship.  Also important was not degrading the work of a designer, particularly until you are sure it’s not a broader SL glitch for which they have no control.  Courtesy to other bloggers was summed up very well by one respondent who said “Don’t become one of “THEM”, a rude, demeaning person who gets pleasure from discounting other bloggers, some of whom may not have the time you have or require a longer learning curve to develop a good blogging routine.

A lot of respondents, particularly as one of their final tips, talked about being active as a blogger as being important to their success.  Every single one of us had to start with a first post.  For many, participating in events, belonging to groups (like SL Blogger Support), plurking or becoming friends with other bloggers and offering help or looking up to someone, all made the learning happen faster and led to less burnout.

So what do you think, dear reader?  Do you agree with the people who responded or do you have another top tip? Are there specific areas you would like to hear more about? We can get input directly from designers or bloggers or send out focused surveys. Remember, I’m the person who likes to play with spreadsheets, so I need your input!

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5 Comments on “Tips for Civilized Blogging: The Poll

  1. Uh, how do I tailor my response to be spreadsheet-friendly? 🙂 I recently wrote about crediting sims that we use to blog, because I feel it’s important to get word out there in light of the decline of private estates (http://zeesl.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/first-impression-and-retention/). We take time to credit individual items…it shouldn’t take us long to add another line of where we took our photos in, if it’s not in our own platform. I have all my SLurls in spreadsheets, actually, and then just copy and paste it.

    As for the rest, I’m still new to the whole SL blogging thing, so I don’t have much opinion about it.

    • I love it when bloggers note the inworld location of their photo. I frequently add those to my folder of good spots! Thanks, Zee!

    • I agree, and I always link to locations when I blog. I appreciate the work of the people who design sims, and especially the ones willing to risk griefing so people can rezz on their land!

  2. I am very big on credits. When I see a blog that does not credit at all, I do not even bother to read it. Why bother because if I see something I like, I would have no idea who sells it.

    I blog because I like people to read my posts and get outfit ideas. I especially think it is important to credit because my blog focuses on gifts. It not only shows that I appreciate what designers do, but also gives designers advertising.

    I do need to be more consistent are giving info on where I take pictures, though. There are so many nice places and people do work hard on them. You’re right, I take so much time giving credits, one extra line isn’t going to hurt.

    I have noticed quality of pictures do help the popularity of a blog. I have to admit, I do not have the patience to put a lot of work into my pictures. Windlight settings are so helpful. My computer cannot handle very high graphic settings, so that is a pain. But I do post pictures that look nice, at least.

    • Confession time! 🙂 There were times when my computer refused to behave either, so I take photos on mid settings. As long as atmospheric shaders and the ambience options are on, and antialiasing is set to as high as you can go, photos can come out quite decent on less than high settings. 🙂

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