Blogging Manners

Whether you are the center of attention or a shrinking violet, it is always important to be courteous. Here are some myths and oversights in linking etiquette:

Asking permission: Unless the blog owner specifically requests it on her/his site or it is required by the blog service, it is not necessary to ask permission if you wish to link to someone. Feel free to link at will. You are welcome to alert the blog owner that you have linked to her/him, in fact requesting a link from a blog author is sometimes met with confusion.

Linking to images: Directly linking to people's images on their servers is frowned upon. To right-click and save the image to your desktop and then upload it as your own is equally frowned upon, unless it is a photo in public domain. If you wish to link to someone's image, use a text link to the entry itself or email the blog author first to ask whether it is okay.

Tracking it back: As a new blogger, you probably would want to know if someone were talking about your entries. Other bloggers would too. Trackbacks can help. When you trackback to someone's blog entry, that person's blog software creates a link on her/his blog in that particular entry linking back to your entry. Thus, anyone visiting that blog entry can click through to your blog to read more. Google and other search bots can also pick up your link on the other person's blog, allowing you a potentially higher rank.

Posting direct quotes: Being quoted can be extremely flattering. However, quoting someone without proper credit is plagiarism. If you wish to quote someone else's blog entry, be sure to include just a snippet of the original entry, not the full entry itself. Also make sure to link back to that entry and trackback to it as well, if that feature is available. It alerts the blog author that you are discussing her/his entry and allows your users to click through to the full entry on the original author's blog.

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