Okay, so here’s the deal…for the past few months, the Début blog has been nonchalantly telling you what to put in your blog and how to use it to your advantage. Well, now it’s alter ego time. Let’s shake things up a little bit and go down the untrodden path of ‘what not to put in a blog’. Just as worthy a topic I feel, especially as blogging is virtually another way to be heard.
There are of course the obvious ‘no go’ areas like using expletives. It’s not big and it’s not clever, plus you’re smarter than that so find another way to express yourself! Spelling and gramatical errors are also frowned upon and don’t even get me started on punctuation. What I am in fact talking about is more content related than just the odd offensive words separated by commas, or should that be a semicolon and commas?
So here is a breakdown of some mistakes that I have witnessed with my own eyes, they might seem obvious but I bet the person or persons that made them thought that at the time too.
Someone else’s content
One word. Plagiarism.
Using an abundance of information from other sites is just as much cheating, and besides, it’s much easier for both writer and reader to be directed to this information via a link.
Statements that are offensive or belittling
It’s the age old schoolground dilemma again, if you’re going to say it, say it to my face. Because of the anonymity of the internet people sometimes start to feel a little brave and are tempted to leave comments that are racist, homophobic or downright insulting. Don’t rise to it by responding, that will annoy them more than a clever response.
Screen your comments
This is more to do with your settings I suppose, but, scenario 1, if someone says you suck, do you really want everyone to see it. If it is in fact true, use it as an incentive to work extra hard at putting it right. Scenario 2. If someone comments using a string of expletives as the crux of their feedback…do you want to be associated with that? And scenario 3, You’re awesome, people keep telling you so. Don’t you want to share that? Not all feedback is good but it is feedback nonetheless.
Incriminating or illegal activity
Now, whilst I am pretty darn sure none of you would rob a bank or knock off a stately home so therefore would not be able to tell others how you did, it; you will be surprised at the amount of people that tell of how they downloaded films or have “shared” music.
You know what they say about assuming…it makes a donkey out of thee and me (or something to that effect) Plus, no one likes a know-it-all. Anyway, they don’t exist, do they? If you are unsure about making a statement then pose it as a question. Readers like the chance to be interactive.
Mention people specifically or give out their personal information
If I was to tell you that Mrs Jones, my old teacher at Hillhead School who used to live just down the road from me on Green Street in Englandshire, was mean and used to give me the belt…what do you now know? Well besides a small bit about my past that is not very interesting (and for the purposes of this blog entirely made up) I’ve given you a triple whammy example of what not to say. Not only have I told you the name and area in which my teacher lives, but I have called her old and made a personal judgement implying she is not very nice. Not cool!
Tell people what you can’t do
Would you hire me based on this?
…I am not very good with numbers, and my forte definitely doesn’t lie in being creative. I have been told that my language skills are not great…need I go on? I think I can preempt your answer – perhaps that should have been a rhetorical question, is there a symbol for that? Anyway remove those highlighted words (and amend slightly to make it grammatically correct) and I think I have made my point.
No, I don’t mean something akin to the format below:
Greeting – massive empty space – sign off
I mean something boring and unhelpful that just took five minutes of the readers’ time that they’ll never get back. Think what you want your blog to achieve and if your post does not achieve it then it’s back to the drawing board.
And now here is the part where I play the role of responsible adult. I toyed with the idea of even putting this section in as I did not want to come across as patronising but thought, what the heck it’s a simple mistake to make so probably best if it’s mentioned.
I think I am pretty safe when making the assumption that none of you are in the kind of business that divulges ‘vital statistics’ so I am of course talking about the obvious; your name and address, d.o.b and personal telephone number. The people that need to know those details will have them or know how to get them.
Right, lesson over, I promise that next week it will be all sunshine and light again…hopefully that will apply to the weather too! Hello, is anybody up there listening?
Have a great weekend everyone!