Blog Etiquette - The Art of the Duel
It seems I’ve been recently called out regarding my October 16, 2008 post about those dreaded, so-called “CSS Friendly” Control Adapters.
I’ve got no problem with this. I’ve even done it a few times myself. Hey, it’s a blog. It’s written for public consumption. If you disagree with something I’ve written, then by all means, I want to hear about it. I encourage anyone and everyone to leave any comments they wish here – good, bad, and/or ugly. And if you really feel strongly, feel free to point out my stupidity on your own blog. It’s the American Way.
Though I could refute the arguments made by the aforementioned rebuttal (I did so briefly in a comment), that’s not the point of this post. I would instead like to take this opportunity to point out a finer point of blogging etiquette I've never seen explicitly mentioned before.
Doing a Google search for “blog etiquette”, I turned up this interesting little nugget from Ward Jenkins regarding linking to other blogs:
About putting a link to someone on your blog without them knowing it -- I see no problem with that. It's free publicity as far as I'm concerned, and plus, if you do, the person being linked is bound to take notice if they have a stat counter and see visitors coming from your blog.
This pretty much sums up the consensus among the bloggetiquette-saavy. No one expects to be notified every time someone links to them. Who has time? Good Lord, this blog thing is enough of a time-suck as it is.
BUT – and this is a big BUT:
If you’re going to specifically and directly refute someone else’s post point-by-point, call the author’s claims “sensational,” insinuate that the author is “unaware,” or accuse him of having “conveniently overlooked” the facts, you have an obligation to let that person know.
This is nothing more than simple courtesy. It should be ensconced on a bronze plaque in the Blogging Etiquette Hall of Fame -- or, at the very least, given a mention by Bill Maher.
Leave a comment to the original post: “Hey, I disagree with some of your assertions… I’ve posted my own thoughts on my blog. I invite you to check it out.” Is that so damn hard? Hell, even a little ol’ trackback would be nice. A email? Smoke signal? Something. Anything.
There is a difference between dueling and sniping. A duel is face to face. A snipe is furtive and shifty. If you’re gonna take a shot at me, I want to see the flash of your muzzle.
The next time you decide to call someone out on your blog, do the right thing. Cowboy up. Look the dude in the eye. Be willing to back up your smack-talk. Don’t let them find your nasty-gram by trolling through their server logs. That’s just not cool.
There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone, and there's nothing wrong with writing about it on your blog. Just make sure you can see the whites of their eyes first.
Hey, I’m just sayin’.
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