What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Rules of the Blog

So a number of things have happened in the past few weeks/days that have got me thinking about this blog (No, relax. This is NOT a “I’m not blogging anymore” post). One, my decision to let the set schedule go. I’ve actually enjoyed blogging more lately, and if you notice, I’m still doing about two posts a week. The difference for me is I can now blog when something strikes me, and not hold back until it’s Blog Day or whatever. So I kind of feel rejuvenated as a blogger, if that makes any sense. I’m having fun with it again, and that feels great. So I thought this would be a good time to kind of renew my thoughts on the blog, and what its purpose is, and what I think about it.

I’ve seen a few times online in the last month or two people–people who should fucking know better, IMO–running contests where one of the ways to enter the contest is to post about the contest on blogs or message boards. In other words, don’t just promote the contest on your own blog or Twitter feed, but post about it on various message boards or in comments on other people’s blogs.

This is spam. It is spam, spam, spam. It is tacky and it is rude, and just as a general FYI–although I know none of you would ever do such a thing–it will not be tolerated here. I can ban IPs from this site, and I will do it.

Here’s the thing. This is MY blog. It’s MY website. And while I follow certain rules–which I’ll get to in a minute–the fact remains that at its most basic level, this site and blog are here to promote me and my books. Along with, of course, the books of anyone I mention in posts or invite to come do a guest post here. To “walk” into my blog and start dropping your own promo is the height of rudeness, akin to walking into my home and starting to redecorate without being asked. I don’t care what it’s for. Don’t do it. It’s rude to me and it’s rude to you guys, the readers of this blog, who do not deserve to be treated like rubes or fish in a barrel, just waiting to be led around by the nose.

As of this writing the blog gets anywhere from 200-600 hits a day, every day. On days when I post the numbers go up; no-post days, of course, have lower numbers (and some posts got much, much higher numbers, but those are obvious anomalies). And I’m aware that’s nowhere near the kinds of hits really popular blogs, really popular names, get. But they’re still MY numbers; you’re MY readers, and I’ve worked hard over the years to attract you and entertain you and get to know you a bit, even, and let you get to know me, and you and that work mean a lot to me.

If you have something to promote–be it a book or a charity–email me about it. There’s a good chance that I’ll invite you to guest post about it, or I’ll mention it. And if I don’t, it’s probably because I don’t think my readers would be that interested in it, frankly. And you know what? That’s up to me. because, again, MY BLOG. MY READERS. I owe them–I owe you guys–the respect of not being treated like some nameless, faceless gaggle of wallets.

Which brings me to the other thing. A long time ago now I did a post about why I don’t blog about politics, and the gist of it was, because I respect you all and think you’re capable of making your own decisions without my input. This is still true. But, as I believe I said in a follow-up post at some point, which I’m too lazy to hunt around for–there’s another reason, too.

What made me think of it is, I was discussing blogging with a pal of mine a couple of days ago, and she mentioned how she keeps to certain “rules” on her blog. I replied that I do too, and that it’s because I want my blog to be a place where everyone is welcome. Where everyone feels valued and included. To use politics as an example again, I know I have a few very conservative readers. I know I have a few very liberal readers. But I don’t believe I have ever had a situation where those readers got into an argument; I wouldn’t allow it to happen, but it’s never even shown an inkling of happening. And that, I think, is largely due to you, and what great, smart people you are, but I like to take some of the credit as well, for setting a tone here and sticking to it. A tone of respect and open-mindedness and willingness to learn, and of accepting everyone and their opinions.

That’s hugely important to me. And since it’s been a while since we discussed this I thought I’d bring it up again, and lay it out for any newcomers now and in future.

We respect each other here. If we disagree we do it politely. I’ve posted some…not inflammatory posts, but I’m a very opinionated girl, especially when it comes to publishing, and I will express those opinions, at least up to a point. I’m passionate about publishing, and have strong opinions, and will voice them–again, to a point. And people have come along and disagreed with me in comments, and some interesting discussion have been had. I’d certainly like to think I was respectful in my replies, even when, as happened once, the person leaving the comment was not particularly respectful to me.

The thing is, I want people to enjoy it here. I want you guys to feel like, even if you disagree with everything I say, you’re still valued (although if you disagree with everything I say I do kind of wonder why you keep reading here, but hey, far be it from me to spoil your fun). I want this blog to be a FUN place. I want it to be a place where discussions are had, and everyone walks away from it feeling like, even if they didn’t change anyone’s mind, they still had an enjoyable discussion. I don’t ever want someone to click away from this blog regretting that they even bothered to speak up, or feeling lousy about themselves, or like all they succeeded in doing was angering themselves and other people.

Yes, as I said in the politics post, I could probably win some readers if I started being politically outspoken (I’d probably lose some, too, but who knows?) But I don’t want the reading of my blog or the buying of my books to become a political act. I want the reading of my blog or the buying of my books to be about enjoying the posts on the blog and the stories in the books.

I have some general idea who some of you are. You regular commenters, I know some of you fairly well. But there are a lot of lurkers, too. I’d like to encourage them to comment, and one of the ways I try to do that is by not insulting them. If you choose to lurk, that’s entirely your choice, and you’re welcome to do so. But I don’t ever want someone to feel like they CAN’T comment because they’ll get beaten down or belittled for it. You’re entitled to your opinion, and whether or not to share it is up to you, but you have my promise that I will never belittle you for your opinion, and neither will anyone else here. And I hope everyone who reads here knows that, and feels that.

This is a fun place, at least I hope so. I hope it’s an interesting place, too. I hope everyone reading this knows how much I appreciate their reading, and feels welcome.

So that’s it. The rules of the blog. No spam, and be respectful. Neither of these have ever been a problem here. I intend to keep it that way.

And thanks, everyone, for reading. You mean more to me than you can imagine.

13 comments to “Rules of the Blog”

  1. Synde
    · February 10th, 2010 at 4:15 pm · Link

    Awesome post.. It’s wonderful to know this a spam free safe
    haven! I’m glad you don’t post on politics… It’s a very private matter that people think is public . Nnnnnoooooo!
    But how you feel about publishing makes sense since we are reading a writers blog!!!
    Looking forward to some great blog posts in the future!

    • Tatiana Caldwell
      · February 10th, 2010 at 4:25 pm · Link

      I appreciate this post. You expressed nicely a sentiment that I share, and which to a large extent has been preventing me from blogging more frequently. I constantly worry about accidentally insulting or offending people with my point of views, and so I often end up not saying anything at all. I like the idea of just establishing some rules for myself and stick to them, and I should be fine. No politics. No religious talks (discussions about spirituality are okay though, but no religious debates) and I should be good.

      Thanks for sharing this.

      • Stace
        · February 12th, 2010 at 4:42 pm · Link

        I wouldn’t worry too much about it, though. I think people can genuinely tell when you’re well-intentioned and not trying to be offensive. I figure as long as you refrain from saying people who disagree with you are obviously stupid, you’re probably okay. 😉

    • Stace
      · February 12th, 2010 at 4:41 pm · Link

      Lol, that’s a big part of it, too. Listening to other people’s political opinions is generally about as entertaining as cleaning carpets with a toothbrush. Unless you agree 100%, in which case you get to feel all vindicated. Either way, there are plenty of blogs you can go to if you want that sort of thing, but this isn’t one of them. I prefer to try to actually be entertaining because I’m entertaining, not because I can parrot people’s politics back to them.

  2. Natasha (Wicked Lil Pixie)
    · February 10th, 2010 at 4:33 pm · Link

    You know, I read the post in my feed reader and said maybe I’ll comment later. I go to another authors blog and see EXACTLY what you were saying about contest spam. The only comment on her post was some blogger begging her to enter a contest so the blogger could win something! WTF! Seriously, tacky. I hadn’t see in before and it had to be the blog I read right after this post. Geeze.

    I hardly enter contests now, because to me its like hoop jumping..do this, tweet that, fart here. No thanks! I promote the contests of authors I like on MY blog and wouldn’t even think to spam someone elses blog.

    Thanks for speaking up, or I wouldn’t have even noticed its being done!

    BTW LOOOOVE the UK covers!

    • Nadia Lee
      · February 11th, 2010 at 1:09 am · Link

      I see a lot of that now. I have no idea why people encourage others to spam, but I delete all spammy comments and/or ban the repeat offenders’ IP addresses. Also I put the instigators on my never-buy list.

      • Stace
        · February 12th, 2010 at 4:47 pm · Link

        Yes!! I know one of the spam-people-to-promote-me people has a boss, and if I get spammed here you bet your ass I’m writing that boss an email on top of the deleting and banning.

    • Stace
      · February 12th, 2010 at 4:46 pm · Link

      Yeah, it is incredibly tacky. I can’t see why anyone would want to join a contest run by someone so arrogant that they think it’s okay to use other people’s platforms in that fashion. I’ve been blogging for years, and I work at it. I’ve been writing books for years, and I work at it. The audience at this blog is MY audience*, and I don’t appreciate someone thinking they can swoop in and “capture” my audience without doing any of the work I did to gain it, if that makes any sense.

      (*Which of course isn’t to say my audience here isn’t welcome to read other blogs. Just that you’re here for me, because I worked hard to bring you here, and I don’t think it’s right for someone to try to swoop in and essentially shove me out of the way.)

  3. Tyhitia
    · February 10th, 2010 at 10:09 pm · Link

    Great post, Stacia. I agree. I don’t post politics either–except once when the president won. I don’t touch hot topics because I believe in what I believe and don’t like to debate about them–they’re private. 😀

    Why would someone encourage spamming to win a contest? 😐 That’s nuts.

    • Stace
      · February 12th, 2010 at 4:48 pm · Link

      They are private indeed. :smile: And like I said in a prior reply, there are plenty of other places people can go if they want political discussion. I try to be unique here and offer something you can’t get somewhere else, which is me. Lol.

  4. BernardL
    · February 11th, 2010 at 1:14 pm · Link

    I agree. If you’re advertising on someone else’s blog without permission – it’s spam. Yep, your blog, your rules. Good post.

    • Stace
      · February 12th, 2010 at 4:49 pm · Link

      Thanks Bernard! And yes, it is, and I cannot figure out why anyone would want it done in their name.

  5. Bernita
    · February 14th, 2010 at 6:36 am · Link

    Cheering – with pom-poms and cartwheels!

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