On blogging …

Damn! Never leave things too late.

I wrote a really intelligent response to a post on one of the WordPress blogs, which was incredibly complimentary, saying how I thought their ability to choose the most boring blogs possible to highlight, was seriously clever.

It hung in moderation for ever and a day, and now comments are closed, and it has disappeared. Sad Cloudyroughseas who wasn’t smart enough to copy her comment across before they deleted her.

Anyway, if you are having problems going to sleep – here you go:
http://wp.me/pf2B5-4dA

Recommended if you want to know how to write the most boring and long-winded blog ever.

WordPress is just as censorious as me.

And speaking of which, while I’m pretty flexible, I thought I would explain the recent deletion of comments on here.

Normally when someone writes something I disagree with I leave it up there. My golden PR rule is: Don’t reply to something that doesn’t merit a response.

But when it is rude and insulting, adds no value, then, on rare occasions, I will delete.

So this:

You probably don’t want my opinion but here it is – This is really nasty, intolerant and gender aggressive, in fact everything that I have come to expect of you by following your blog! Who cares? Life is for living not worrying about! Call me a gal – I wouldn’t mind!

got deleted. As did the subsequent comments. Nothing to do with the post and just a personal attack.

What about this one:

Call me what ever you like, I really don’t care that much.

I apologise that my comment was not what you like – a lot of people telling you how wonderful you are and how they agree with everything you say! That’s what you like isn’t it?

I am inclined to agree with the things you say but, crucially, not entirely, but that is irrelevant to you isn’t it – everything in your mind is black and white – you are grossly intolerant and interested only in your own perspective and narrow minded view of the World and quite frankly you are welcome to it!

Get a Life…

And let’s cut to the chase, when I deleted all our comments in that asinine exchange:

Ah, Censorship! Often used by those who cannot deal intelligently with a challenge.

Some time ago on blogger I got some pretty abusive comments on a couple of feminist posts. I deleted those too:

Here’s some real manly (also, scientific) wisdom for you: The majority of “radical feminists” who blame their problems on men simply suffer from an extreme victim complex (The majority of humans suffer this as well, however typically to a much lesser extent). The only problem in your life is that you aren’t happy about it. Of course, you automatically assume that if you don’t feel right, then something (other than yourself, obviously) must have wronged you. So, you blame men. And yet, you do nothing about it. Obviously, you are being oppressed! As well as victimized! Your entire life must be spend in recovery! It’s up to *someone else* to fix everything. Also, the fact that you blame an entire group of people (rather than a specific person or persons) implies that you have never experienced anything “oppressive”, “abusive”, or “hateful” by any man, or your instinctive thought patterns would instantly blame them. Since you have noone to blame, you blame people you have never even met.

I wrote about Telefonica (Spanish telephone network) and the same commenter came back and said my criticism about Telefonica was totally down to my feminist perspective. Um? I was writing about a poor and basically misleading public service.

OMG IM SO SORRY, THOSE PATRIARCHAL PHONE COMPANIES ARE PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY ABUSING YOU!!!!! WRITE MORE BLOGS ABOUT THEM, THAT’LL PUT AN END TO THEIR WOMAN-HATING POLICIES!

A discussion on a blog post is fine, but a personal attack is not. It adds no value to a serious post and leaves everyone waiting and watching on the sidelines to see how the spat develops.

I read on another blog (Gerry’s) a similar discussion about what to do with abusive comments. Most people said they deleted them. Only one said they would leave them up to show someone up for what they were. Censorship and editorial control have always been there and anyone who thinks otherwise is naive. You send a letter to your local newspaper and they reserve the right to edit, ignore and basically do what they want with your letter. Same rules apply on here. Actually I don’t edit comments, apart from spelling amendments by request. But it’s an interesting concept. Leave up irrelevant abuse or delete it?

And on different blogging policies, how about guest blogging?

I’ve offered/been asked to do a few. Being asked to guest on a blog with fewer comments than mine does raise a few questions. Basically why am I writing on someone else’s blog for no gain? What am I getting out of it? Cloudyroughseas is not that nice.

But still, if it’s a blog I like, then I’m interested. Some time back, Pippa (my dog) did an interview on a dogblog. And what did he get out of it? Jack shit absolutamente nada in terms of new visitors or comments. No engagement. No nothing.

My sticking points with guest blogging are people telling me how to write. Prescriptive rules. Word limit. Style. Spelling and grammar checks. Er, wait people, I’m a qualified journalist and YOU want to check MY writing? And that includes a guest blog post that I turned down for the Daily Post.

Recently I was asked to guest blog by someone who does get a lot of commenters and has a good blog. She helpfully pointed me towards her rules for guest blogging. I’d already read them. I’m not always entirely stupid.

I took the discussion to email. She would only check for grammar and spelling – aaaaagh! – and copyright was hers. For my work? For free? I don’t think so.

Apparently, if two people post the same crap on their blogs it sends both blogs down in the SEO rankings (Search Engine Optimisation, not Senior Executive Officer for those of us rooted in ancient British civil service days).

I don’t blog to get high in SEO rankings. I really do not care two hoots where I am. I blog because I enjoy writing and because I enjoy the intelligent comments I receive from people in response to my posts. But what I write is mine. No-one else gets that copyright and certainly not for free. Stuff SEO.

I might add that we are still – as far as I know – on amicable terms. We just come from different sides of the blog.

The exchange did prompt me to write a guest blog policy on roughseas. Where I say that what you write is yours, and your views are not mine. Or something like that. If someone spends time writing for my blog, I’m not prepared to put restrictions on them. Not that anyone will offer to write my blog posts for me in a hurry I’m sure.

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
This entry was posted in blogging, journalism, musings, thoughts, WPlongform, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to On blogging …

  1. Vicky says:

    There is certainly no need for personal abuse on any blog post, it does distract from the original subject, and exactly as you say, other readers often refrain from posting while they wait for the next spat comment, by removing any non related abusive comments normal service usually resumes.
    As for guest posts, aren’t they supposed to be just that ……….’a guest post’ written in the ‘words of’ and ‘owned by’ the guest.
    It sounds to me that if the blog owner states they wish to edit it, for whatever reason, that they want someone to write something, alter a few things and claim the credit.
    An author of a book wouldn’t take too kindly to someone altering a few words/paragraphs in their book, then that someone claiming copyright, so why should a guest posting blogger accept it.

    Like

    • It’s the whole idea of going for the person and not the views expressed in the blog that gets up my nose. I wouldn’t mind so much if the insults were accurate! For example, being feminist doesn’t make me gender aggressive (whatever that means – although men often describe assertive women as aggressive, it’s a classic put-down). What I’m criticising is a patriarchal system, not men per se. There is a difference, and the abusive commenter on blogger made the same mistake saying that I was blaming men.

      I think if someone is good enough to take time to write on your blog for free, then you need to be very flexible, accommodating and appreciate they are doing you a favour. Not the other way around. Which is exactly what I thought when someone was generous enough to write two very good posts on Pippa’s blog.

      I assume it’s all down to whether or not you are trying to climb the SEO rankings. And I’m not.

      Like

  2. cobbies69 says:

    You have hit on several points that I had mention and of course your lovely novel length reply. I do a guest post on Legends but there are no restrictions what so ever. Only that is a Sunday post, I have been doing it for awhile, but am thinking of not continuing due to my other blogs to maintain, and Camp story etc…Whilst doing these stories and have been researching publishing and editing, I find it hard to accept another, so called professional editor. because I get scared that the feeling and emotions I experience while writing gets lost,, so still struggling to on this part.. Three stories novel, and my Forest Tales and short stories I am confused,, Any I meander away.. and yes I love your points, if I didnt. then I would say so in decent way as of my opinion…Thanks,, πŸ˜‰

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    • Gerry, I’m so sorry. I totally forgot to link back to your post and I have put that right now. I do apologise for being so rude.

      I think the whole point of having guest posts is to have a different style, different topic, just something that makes a change and gives readers something new to read. Almost novelty value I guess. Slightly different in the case of regular guest blogging like Legends where there is a team of bloggers, but the whole concept is about variety.

      I remember I disagreed with one of your comments ages ago, and you were perfectly civil about it (as you always are). I think debate or disagreement is fine. I’m less patient when people don’t know what they are talking about and/or spout incorrect facts. And if people want to dish out personal insults my way, they could at least manage some half-way accurate ones, eg being arrogant and self-opinionated! πŸ˜€ I couldn’t really argue with that.

      Like

      • cobbies69 says:

        Appreciate your apology, although not really needed but thank you anyway.. Yes with Legends they have a good variety and it is that actually enticed me, however I am thinking of stopping, because it does affect my own blogs,, (but with changes happening in my life I might be able to continue)…in several ways, my topics get strained, and my own come first.. and will only do certain types as well.. I started to do Forest Tales, but it was sapping from my others. And we are different and cannot agree about things all the time, boring world that would be. But it is how we say things, and I was always brought to believe in politeness and manners.. I like to learn from people..
        Years ago while playing in bands, when coming upon another guitarist I wanted to learn from, but it seemed to many that it was a battle to prove who was better, faster and generally a bigger ego, I just then ignored them..Standards did not make one better or worse,, style and feel made a good guitar player..Sorry, rambling now but I hope I am being clear. thanks πŸ˜‰

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        • Thanks. I’ve written posts before and forgotten to link back but I usually go back and link when I’ve realised my mistake. Too fast to rattle off the words sometimes.

          I think we all need to put our own blogs first. I have actually written on other blogs (I’d forgotten when I wrote this post because it was so long ago) 1) as a permanent poster with the blog owner (I had total freedom to write what I wanted and post photos of my choice) and 2) as a news editor so was the main person writing the posts on the blog. But it is time-consuming, and as you say, style is a big issue.

          I seem to have missed quite a few of your posts 😦 so need a catch up but I am planning some off-line time. But sometimes it is easier to read backwards on particular blogs rather than try and keep up with them all at the same time.

          Different generation eh? Which is why I apologised for not linking back initially and went back to put it right.

          Yes, the guitar example is a good one. It’s always good to use something from a different medium to display the same behaviour.

          Like

  3. On censorship: it’s fashionable to dismiss it off-handedly as something that is bad, bad, bad. Some of this is based in solid reality. Numerous governments have (and still do) ruled by ensuring that no thought but THEIR thought was heard and much hated censorship was part of this (reason one). Furthermore we all know that, inevitably, those stupid, hated so-called leaders and their stupid, hated regimes eventually fell. You can’t stop the truth. Censorship does not stop the spread of good ideas whose time have come (reason two).
    Let me re-write the key words: “good ideas whose time have come.”
    Then there’s bullshit.
    And hate.
    And intolerance.
    And flawed reasoning.
    And stupidity.
    I’m fairly new to blogging. Not to writing, mind you, but personal blogging, where I get to make my own rules (well to some extent) is new to me. The majority of my writing has been to some institutional purpose. There were parameters; conventions.
    And, yes, rules.
    I was therefore taken aback somewhat when I got my first one. A post about relationships from some time last fall resulted in a rather well-intentioned but actually stupid, disrespectful, misogynistic point of view being made for how men and women should get along. Fortunately all of my comments require moderation and it will always be that way. Thirty years of working in the public sector has left me with some hard-learned lessons on not saying the wrong thing. So…I did what I always do: Nothing.
    Nothing in the short term, that is.
    I thought about it. I could just put it up there and let the stupidity speak for itself. That, though, would leave it so that people might think I agreed with the sentiment and thus, leave me guilty by association. I could come back at the post, stating my own point of view. Then again I’ve learned that there’s no point in arguing with some people and figured this would be the case.
    So in the end I just deleted the offensive thing. Right-Click-Gone! It was a stupid, insulting comment, probably penned under the influence of too much booze and while I don’t mind my blog being opinionated I certainly do not want it to be either stupid or hateful.
    Yes, that’s censorship too.
    My blog. My rules.
    So, too for Roughseas or Clouds.
    You and I do not have to apologize for THAT to anyone.

    Like

    • bluonthemove says:

      I agree with Maurice. Your blog, your rules. On the subject of Mr P, much as I find what he writes interesting on his blogs, he does sometimes show himself up with comments he has made on your blogs over time. I just know when to sit on my hands.

      Like

      • @ Blu

        I don’t actually have many rules. I can live with dissension and debate. However if people are going to start pulling apart what I have written about, I would prefer them to know something about it. There is a difference between having an opinion about something, which is valid, but not knowing enough about the topic to be able to sustain a strong position in a debate.

        Your hands must be pretty sore then πŸ˜€ I’ve done the same though on reading other blogs, mainly thinking a bit like Maurice (except in reverse), why bother commenting because I’ll make no headway anyway.

        By and large, people don’t like criticism on their blogs. So me pointing out that WP had chosen three insufferably boring long blogs (they would have been boring had they been short) was unacceptable. I wrote something on a blog a while back during the horse/beef dΓ©bΓ’cle that never got published. And again, something on a feminist blog that didn’t see light of day.

        I did write on a gun-toting republican one, and to be fair she did publish it – and told me perhaps I wouldn’t find anything of interest to read on her blog in future .. but at least she had the grace to publish and reply. I seem to remember it was a post about how America won WWII. You can argue for ever about the American contribution but a one paragraph post saying the cavalry came in at the last minute and that we should all be grateful was a little simplistic.

        This isn’t a fluffy blog. Nor has it ever been.

        Like

    • @ Maurice

      Censorship is an interesting topic. And there is also a fine line between censorship and restrictions on publication. D notices and injunctions for example. Or having to comply with the Blasphemy Act and the Race Act. They may well have changed since the days when I was studying law at journalism college but I was quite surprised at the wide remit both acts had. And then you can add the Defamation Act into the melting pot. Freedom of speech doesn’t exist per se, it just depends on how tight the restrictions are.

      Intellectually and politically I don’t agree with censorship – in theory. If we get given books that have graphic details of gratuitous violence eg loads of rape, GBH, slicing people up and apart, then it goes in the bin. I’m not passing it on. I’m not promoting so called ‘literature’ (which it isn’t) like that. And that’s censorship because if someone wants to read that sort of material they will do anyway. But I’m not promoting it.

      I find it interesting that in a world increasingly obsessed with curtailing individual rights, that there aren’t any rules for blogging. I probably break them because I haven’t got them categorised correctly. There’s obviously no porn or violence on any of my sites, but I do swear. As do most kids that I ever knew, so I think it would be disingenuous to think that delicate young ears are not used to the odd four letter word.

      As for your commenter, you don’t seem to attract particularly controversial responses, although you do get some thoughtful ones. Without having seen either the post or the comment, I obviously can’t say, although you have piqued my curiosity. Saying men and women should get along is a bit like saying Muslims, Christians and Jews should get along. Many of us do, but it is a bit more complex than that.

      I think leaving up a comment, which just makes you roll your eyes every time you read it, because it says more about the writer than you is the main reason people do leave up silly comments. It’s a fair point, some people even publish spam because they find it entertaining. Or maybe because they don’t get many comments πŸ˜€

      For me, I don’t think there is any need to insult either me or the intelligence of the people who read this blog. And suggesting that they all just write sycophantic comments is unfair to them.

      Like

  4. EllaDee says:

    To hear, both on this post, and the one you refer to that you have suffered personal attacks via comments makes me sad. I love the community I have found via WordPress, and found it to be positive in my experience. Just like in real life, everyone may not take the same view but there’s value in restraint and bearing in mind each person’s perspective, circumstance, life experience and sum total of same differs… and you do put it plainly “I appreciate any comments you leave, so long as they are relatively polite”.
    I never want to get to a space where I have to moderate comments on my blog. It’s interesting that your comment never made it to air on the WordPress blog.
    Also interesting re guest blogging. It’s never come up for me but I just assumed if you wrote the words, and were named as the author it was yours unless you assigned the rights, such if I submit a short story for a competition, I agree to terms to assign the rights if it wins. The rights aren’t assigned automatically. And so it should be for guest blogging.
    SEO rankings… that’s a whole other planet… that I’m not on, or even in the orbit of.

    Like

    • Don’t be sad. I’m pretty thick-skinned. And after all, I have made a blog post out of it πŸ™‚

      You don’t write controversial posts though. I don’t think I do but when you start getting into politics and ‘isms’ then other people aren’t going to agree.

      I wonder how many people who replied to your Monsanto post, check labels, and know where the local GMO crops are grown? Spain is sadly well into GMO, can’t remember whether it is wheat or soya. Soya isn’t a problem for me because I use organic soya products but the wheat is. It’s also in the north, or well north of us fortunately. In fact, a quick search shows it is the highest GMO grower in Europe. Mmmm, I feel a post in the making …..

      Monsanto was trying to get some big test crops done in the UK back when I was there, and there was actually a fuss. FFS, the place is tiny, apart from the fact that I don’t agree with GMO anyway (and don’t forget I worked for HSE and it was one of our responsibilities back in the 80s) it could end up in anyone’s back door organic garden.

      I digress, but I’m trying to say that had I written a Monsanto post, it would have a been in a totally different style. Your post was moderate. Mine wouldn’t have been. And therein lies the reason why I am more likely to receive personal attacks. If people think, on reading my posts, that I am criticising their lifestyle, and their decisions, well, quite frankly they are right.

      It’s like the stupid woman at work (who wasn’t stupid in work terms) who looked at me as though I was a green person from Mars when I was discussing organic food. ‘What’s it got to do with me? I want cheap.’

      I think I started off with first comment mod on some of them. Can’t remember where I’m at now. The ones above are the only ones I have deleted, although I left one out on the PC post because I didn’t want people to fall asleep. Must go back and see whether or not to add it πŸ˜€

      I do tend to criticise the WP posts so I’m sure they are well sick of me. But how boring are 75 ‘great post’ sort of comments? Of no value. They do go for some pretentious crap on the ones they highlight. And these were seriously soporific.

      Yeah but you don’t win anything with guest blogging! I don’t need to be published on someone else’s blog and actually, I have enough readers to keep up with who take the time to read my posts, often through other comments, and I want to be able to give a considered reply. The last thing I want is 100 or so people from out of the blue descending on me. Even I haven’t got that much time on my hands.

      I know where the planet is. I’m just not interested in visiting.

      Like

  5. The whole idea of guest blogging is a little of a mystery to me. Do people need a day off? (fine take one, no problem) Do some feel they can gain new readership with a guest blogger? Is it an attempt to be balanced and share opposing views (That’s confusing considering how so many blogs are one side or the other and not very tolerant of opposing views – it would be wonderful if everyone followed the “we have different views, but I can respect your opinion, we can still be friends and have civil discourse.”…but I see very little of that). Maybe some want to share their discovery of a writer/blog?
    In any case, why ask someone to guest post if you are going to demand they write in a certain fashion? Variety not welcomed? (preview material, maybe, but if you ask them to guest post, you should already know something about their style/ choice of topics? So I’m baffled. And another blogger copyrighting YOUR work? seriously? Nuts. Totally nuts. Makes me think it’s all about stats.
    WP choices are bland and dull. Not much else to say there. Corporate does not wish to hear about anything that disturbs their ideas. WP must dance to their tune.
    I do moderate and keep an eye on comments – no ugliness, character attacks, or fake info/made up “facts”. Mainly I watch for questionable blogs ( if they don’t have several “real” posts. Original ones written by them – and if the about the author page is still the blank WP form – I probably won’t post it – too much weirdness out there, so I try)
    GMO crops? A real concern is seed blowing into neighboring fields and mingling with that seed stock. Blowing pesticides is an issue, too (I lost a dog because my neighbor insisted on having a chemical company take care of her lawn. WInd, people. WInd!) Farmers are right to complain and get someone to notice the potential problems.
    Well, it’s been a nice visit – enjoyed the post and the responses. Now off to the weekend – hope yours is good.

    Like

    • Day off? I’ve just taken a few weeks off πŸ™‚

      I think you have covered the main issues:

      1) New readership

      But does that mean more hits or more comments? And how long do they last for?

      2) Balanced and share opposing views? A lot of my commenters do have very different views to me (I’m still working out why they read my blogs!) but I’m not sure of the value of posting something misogynist, capitalist, in favour of buying pedigree puppies, pro-pesticide etc etc etc.

      Haha. Maybe it would be worth a punt to see what someone wrote and what would be the reactions of my regular readers?

      3) Discovery of another writer/blog? That’s valid, I think.

      4) Write in certain style? I can write to style. But I wouldn’t ask anyone else to. No point in that, and as you say, you would know their style anyway – unless they wrong-footed you and wrote differently πŸ˜€

      5) Copyright is the sticking point for me. Even more so when writing for free.

      6) Stats. Presumably. Who cares about stats? Interesting from time to time but not what motivates me. ‘gosh, I have one more hit today!’ Actually I have probably gone shooting down the rankings after my glorious blogging inactivity.

      7) WP is very America-centric. I don’t think they understand Brit style. And the pretentiousness is beyond belief. if someone wants to say my posts are boring – go ahead, please say why and don’t forget to list your credentials …

      8) I don’t mind disputes, I rarely moderate, I don’t like people talking out of their arse when they know nothing about the topic or, at best, don’t display any knowledge. There is no need for personal attacks on other commenters, although I can handle it against me until I get bored.

      9) I’m always wary of the ones without some info. Doesn’t have to be much, but a little helps.

      10) GMO post will be coming up soonish. Big gardening time this last couple of weeks.

      Great weekends and great weeks two/too. Visit yours over the next few days. Pippa sends a snose to Molly, as ever.

      Like

  6. It wasn’t an attack it was a response. I think I said sorry and I thought you accepted the apology so interesting to find you dragging it up again here.

    I didn’t ‘pull apart’ what you wrote – I challenged your views!

    I have given this some thought – The problem with comments is that they can too easily be interpreted incorrectly. If we had had that conversation face to face then I don’t think that you would have been so offended. Direct conversation has the benefit of facial expression and intonation of voice which gives the advantage of being able to make a more rounded interpretation of what was said.

    Sadly I have a sense of humour that pokes fun or provokes and looks for a response and you can do it to me and I won’t mind. It works better face to face than in a an blank comment. I poked too hard and you didn’t understand me. I need to be more careful – thanks for the lesson!

    I apologise again for my mistake and your misinterpretation and I assure you that nothing I do in life is testosterone fuelled!

    Andrew

    Like

    • I’m not getting sucked into this one again!

      The point of the post was about blogging policies. Why posts aren’t published (WordPress not publishing mine), why I deleted comments (yours and the one from years ago on Blogspot), and differing guest blogging rules. No more, no less.

      I agree that commenting over the internet whether by email, on forums, or on blogs can lead to misunderstandings. I dislike using smilies, but sometimes they have to be used because someone will inevitably take something the wrong way.

      It’s also hard to understand people based on what is at best, a casual, flippant, brief encounter over the internet. Sometimes people can move on from disagreements, sometimes not.

      My views are made pretty clear on this blog, so people can choose to read them or not. Fine by me either way.

      Thanks for the apology, again, although not for my ‘misinterpretation’. Did you ever work in a complaints department? Classic put down. ‘I’m sorry for this if I offended you but it was your fault anyway.

      Like

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