My blog here is a little different from most, in that first of all, it’s a Christian blog centered mostly around current news events in the U.S. and world, as they relate to Bible Prophecy, but it is also a personal blog where I share bits and pieces about my self and life and family. That being said, as I address the topic of blog etiquette, please keep in mind I’m speaking only to blogs within similar scope, as I have no grounds to speak on other types of blogging.
The re-blog is an honor
When I hit the re-blog button, conveniently provided by WordPress, it makes the statement that I appreciated your post and thought it deserved a wider audience. Re-blogging doesn’t take away traffic from your blog, even while it adds traffic to mine. It is a win/win situation. Generally re-blogging is acceptable and appreciated by the original post-er or author. I often re-blog without comment. That is because I’m not really in the opinion business. I prefer to keep the focus on the facts.
Re-blogging from other sites is a little more involved. It is not really a “re-blog” if you simply copy and paste, without a link to the original post. It is possible to post the entire content, along with the link, but if the entire content of my post is in your post, then there is no reason for the reader to click on the original post. So if you frequently re-post from any blog, it is a nice courtesy to throw them a bone once in a while by only re-posting a (teaser) portion of their post, and then referring the reader to the original blog to “read the rest”. Still, if someone reads my post on your blog, and they like it, then they’ll probably be motivated to click on my link and check out my blog. So, really it is sort of a matter of “good, better, best”. Re-blogging is good for everybody, IMHO.
Some folks prefer not to promote other blogs that cover similar topics because they may consider them “competition”. And that is somewhat understandable. If I see a great “find” on another blog, but want it to be “original” on mine, then I probably ought to do my due diligence and add something to it that is, in fact, original, otherwise I am just harvesting leads from other blogs. (Technically not illegal, but not good form in blogville). Now, if the post I want to re-blog is, itself a re-blog, then it becomes a matter of “how many links does it take to get to the juicy center of a tootsie roll tootsie…er what I meant to say is, how many links will the reader be willing to pursue before he actually lands on the article? Better to skip the middle men, link to the original, and leave a hat–tip to the guy whose blog led you to the link to begin with.
Now even getting frequent leads from other blogs is not necessarily bad, but that does, in my opinion at least deserve an occasional “Hat Tip” or “H/T” or “brought to you via…”. Frankly I am more about promoting other blogs than my own, because I know for a fact that there are LOTS of other Christians out there who are much better bloggers, writers, and researchers than I am, and who put a lot of time and effort into study so they can add their own commentary to the news and make each post their own. I on the other hand, enjoy adding my commentary just “here and there”, doing occasional completely original posts, and then getting on with the business of just passing info down the pipeline by being a one-stop place for people to find the latest stories out there on the pertinent prophetic developments. No point reinventing the wheel. I can’t say I’m the Drudge Report of Christian news by a long shot, but I feel that passing along info is mutually beneficial in our common goal of being watchful for the return of the Lord. That is often most efficiently accomplished by giving you only the click-able headlines, especially on heavy news days.
I have considered changing my WordPress theme to one more conducive to the “teaser” type post that lets you scan more at once, and pick and choose between what interests you, but I’m a wee bit chicken. How does WordPress know how to take all this stuff I already have on my blog laid out in so many different pages, etc and know where to put it on the new theme? I’d like to hear from those of you who have made the change. I know it is probably easy-peasey like most stuff on here, but it’s that leap into the unknown. There is a lot of effort contained herein. I’d hate to give myself a headache.
I am just an armchair blogger. Not a pro. Yes, it does take a great deal of my time to do this, but I consider it a ministry of sorts, which sprang naturally from my own insatiable desire to match up the news with prophecy. News matched up with prophecy is something hugely lacking in church these days. Of the few pastors willing to address prophecy, they might tell you all about what is prophesied, but too many of them miss the fact it’s happening right under our noses. By the same token, what good is all that news if we don’t view it through the God’s perspective? No good, and very damaging in that it could get down-right depressing if you don’t keep the “end of the story” in mind, or for those who are unsaved and don’t know the story at all. Another reason I keep doing this, is the response from grateful readers. Every single time I have even considered giving it up, without my saying anything about it, I invariably hear from a reader who profusely thanks me for the encouragement they get from reading it. (Even though it’s all about how our world is disintegrating before our very eyes, lol). Well, that’s because as Christians we know this is not our home, and this life really is not all there is.
I. Love. Comments.
We all know that women were endowed by their creator with a huge daily allotment of words, while men are endowed with a daily allotment of 90% fewer words. By the time they say “honey, I’m home, what’s for supper?” they’ve used up most if not all of them.
And MY dear Hubby is even less talkative than the average guy, as are my 2 teenage sons, so….
Did I mention, I love comments and feedbacks (via the “contact STLloyd” button).
And even though in person I love to debate and often instigate it “in real life”, that is not what the comment section is about on my blog. In general I make it a rule to answer each commenter on each post, once. If a back-and-forth ensues, I may, with discretion go one more, but anything that gets adversarial is a waste of time, and frankly does disservice to the Lord, one another, and any unsaved individual who might witness the exchange. I’m not about fostering conviction, that’s the Holy Spirit’s job. I’m not about changing your theology, I’m still working on always being ready to give an account in regards to my own. All first-time comments are held for moderation. Once I get to know ya, I may or may not give you free-reign Lol. It all depends on what you’re peddling. (I said I wouldn’t try to change your mind. That doesn’t mean I’m going to provide you a platform. For that go HERE).
Linking to your own stuff
Linking to your own blog in the comment boxes of other blogs, is ok if it’s your first couple of weeks of blogging and you are trying to introduce yourself, or if you have written a post on the same topic on which you are commenting. Also, it is acceptable to leave links to other related materials in the comment box to lead my readers and myself to more info on a given topic. But keep in mind that links are often flagged as spam by Kisimet so if your comment disappears, that is probably where it went. I can easily build up a backlog of 250 spam comments in a week or so. At one time, when my stats were lower, I screened through all spam to avoid trashing a legitimate comment. I have found 7 or 8 (in my 11 and a half months of blogging) which were legit but ended up in spam, often due to links or because the commenter is verbose like me. I don’t know what the word-limit is for a comment, (word limit? What’s a word limit?) Anyway, now I screen through it just spot-checking and then empty the queue “en mass”. If you work hard on a comment and it disappears, you can always go to my “contact” tab and let me know before you go to the trouble of writing it all over again. I’ll check the spam box, and retrieve it if it is there.
Well, lets see. Does that cover everything? It is good etiquette too, of course, to credit the source when you use pictures. When I first started blogging I didn’t understand that just because it came up in Bing Image or Google Image, didn’t mean it was free to use. I now make a point to credit where the image was found. That one isn’t just a courtesy, it veers into copyright law.
Be a generous blogger. When I was starting out and learning, if I saw someone do something cool on their blog that I didn’t know how to do, I’d contact them and ask. I found that most bloggers are more than happy to share their knowledge and expertise on the basics of blogging with newbies. That was an encouragement and a blessing. Too many new bloggers think they have to upgrade in order to post video, and don’t even know about the kitchen sink. (I think I blogged 6 months before I discovered that second row of tools). It took me a while to figure out how to put up my contact page (and I am not sure I could tell you now how I did it, lol but if you asked me, I’d try), so I asked someone on a blog that I was following and they couldn’t quite remember, but gave me enough info that I could look it up in the WordPress tutorials.
Every once in a while I also like to promote new bloggers that I have stumbled upon. I do this by sharing a link, and writing a short blurb about what I like about the blog and what it has to offer. As Christians we live by a different standard. We should be generous, kind, a good reflection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even in our blogging. Whatsoever you do, do heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men. Right?
In closing, I again want to say thank you to all of you who are praying for us. Thanks for your prayers for Garrett and we can really feel them. Thanks for your prayers for this blog, and please continue. Through all of the turmoil in our life in the past several months, I have not gotten a good running start yet on my New Testament survey that I’m doing self-study. Pray for that if you would. Because of my medical conditions and how stress effects my mind (psychoneurological aspects of sleep disorder) it can be so hard to train my focus in. Once I get focused, I’m fine and can go for hours, but as anyone who functions that way will tell you, it is also then hard to pull your focus out from whatever you are “into”, to remain mindful of other things you need to not allow to slip past you. Like remembering to eat and take my medicine, lol. No, it’s not that bad, but it was at one time. I think that now I have sort of mastered the art of a controlled crash. Rather than something like a death in the family or diagnosis of cancer causing my symptoms to spin out of control, I pull way in from outside demands, and allow myself the mental and emotional space and stillness and quiet, to go ahead and feel my feelings but do so in a fashion where I don’t let them overwhelm me. Like turning the faucet on and letting it run after having it off awhile so all that sediment can wash on through the pipes.
HOW did I get there? Ok, that’s enough for this personal post. Write me a line in the contact form or comment box. A shout-out, something. (We are here, we are here).
Sorry about the shortage of posts yesterday. It was wash-the-clothes-and-call-the doctors day. I had to check to see if all the claims have been submitted and insurance has paid, so we know what the real bottom line is on the surgery and all. Then I had to make all my appointments I have put off during hubby’s turn to be sick as well as those for the kids. Here is how pathetic it gets. I used both my cell phone calendar and my home voice mail system, to schedule reminders in hopes I will remember all the appointments our family has in March Ten, so far! (That is not typical, just so many have been postponed for various reasons, and now they’re all hitting in March).
Probably God’s way of keeping me sane while all the big stuff goes down in March. Then again, Jesus may come for us before then. That would be just fine!