I have broken most of these rules myself. I present: Blog Don’ts. Most of you already know all of these already from years ago when it was called “netiquette” and no one followed it either, but I felt like writing them down because I am a bitter asswipe who is full of darkness.
- Announce your departure or hiatus to the world. “Goodbye my Internet Friends Forever” is always a mistake. If you want to leave or go on a break, just do so. When you announce it, people feel that you’re begging for compliments. Also, if you don’t absolutely mean it, you look like a total idiot when you come back the next day and post that “What Pokemon are you” quiz. And if you’re trying to avoid evil stalkers, you just gave them free information; don’t ever do that!
- Post opinionated material and ask people not to disagree with you. If you didn’t want people to disagree with you, why’d y’all post it on the Internet? You can get one way communication by yelling at your cat. If it’s on a weblog with comments open, you just started a conversation with primates, who are more ornery.
- Post stuff about your job without locking it. Getting fired is only one of a number of exciting things that will happen as a result.
- Ask the Internet for expert advice on serious matters (health care, food safety, wild animals, firearms, nutrition, the Law, explosives, taxes). Everyone has an opinion and no one is an expert and no one will be there for you when the coatimundi bites your epiglottis off or the Secret Service arrests you on 53 felony counts of interstate impersonation of a veterinarian. Either look it up somewhere real, or pay someone professional.
- Post a shocking or funny story without checking it on Snopes.com or another usually reliable third party first. You’re not helping anyone by spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt even if cutting and pasting looks so easy. Also, they’re all going to laugh at you, they’re all going to laugh at you.
- Post cryptic hints of some important or disturbing event. “And now I’m off to sob into my pillow about things that must remain unsaid”. “And my new crush on someone about whom I cannot reveal anything is making me crazy.” People will then ask you what is going on, and if you don’t answer you’re just being a tiresome tease. Eventually people will just stop paying attention to you even when your hair is on fire, because burned out. Coy is the lose.
- Ask for help if you don’t want it. If you say things like “If I could only make this thing better about my life I’d be so happy. Doesn’t anyone care?” you will, if you’re lucky enough to have friends, get responses full of advice. The advice may be dumb or dangerous or useless, but it’s not meant to be, and you just invited it. Be nicer to the people who respond.
- Post lists of things not to do, or people will quote them at you in the future, the bitches.