If any of you have looked through this month's Ensign, you probably saw the articles about blogging. Josh actually pointed the articles out to me. I found it very interesting that the church encourages positive blogging. It can be a great missionary tool and I had never really thought of it that way. Very cool!
Anyway, I really liked the article and thought I would share my favorite parts with you. There was a section called, "Better Blogging: Tips for Safety and Courtesy." I thought it had some good advice and some good reminders for bloggers. Here it is:
Better Blogging: Tips for Safety and Courtesy
Do you want to start a blog? You can keep in touch with friends and family or share the gospel by blogging. (Remember that you are speaking only for yourself and not the Church.)
“Better Blogging: Tips for Safety and Courtesy,” Ensign, Oct. 2009, 27
Chelsea Belton, who blogs to keep in touch with family and friends, never posts personal information online. She avoids mentioning addresses, birth dates, anniversaries, and other details that would make it easy to locate her family. Some bloggers also use partial or fictional names or general phrases like “my son” or “our friend” when referring to individuals in blog posts.
David Habben, who maintains both personal and business blogs, says that reviewing comments is an important part of safe blogging. While an author’s original post may be harmless, comments from readers may be less innocent. Some entities also use blog commenting to advertise or disseminate unwanted information. David uses a security feature that informs him by e-mail when someone wants to make a comment. He can then review each comment and delete those that are inappropriate or unwanted before they appear online.
Selectively Post Pictures
“Once I posted [a photo of] a birthday party invitation I had made [for my son],” says Rachel Davis, creator of a group blog for LDS women. “I used photo editing software to blur out the location of the party because I just didn’t want [to take a] chance. It was a small thing to do, but it made me feel safe.” Be aware of information you may be giving inadvertently in the photos you display on your blog. Wisely screening photos will allow you to share ideas while protecting yourself and your family.
Think before You Post
Search engines are the “conscience” of the Internet. They can call up almost any Web site from any period of time. So assume that what you post on your blog is permanent. The pictures of your children doing silly things as little kids may be funny or cute right now, but imagine those same pictures appearing when your children are 12 or 45. Carefully consider the pictures you post and the things you write.
“I have been surprised when … ward members or even old friends from high school read my blog,” says Kacy Faulconer, who writes personal and group blogs. Blogs should not be a “forum to complain or criticize people behind their backs,” she says. Instead, keep your comments positive. You never know who may be reading.
Respect Others’ Work
Sue Anderson, who began a blog because she loved reading her daughter-in-law’s, says it’s important to respect other bloggers’ work. Instead of copying and pasting something from a blog you like, “send friends a link to the blog itself.” She also recommends that “if you want to use something on your blog from someone else’s, [including photos], ask them first.” This protects others’ work and keeps you honest.
I thought that this was all great advice. Especially since it came from a church magazine. It gave me some things to think about-especially when Josh and I decide to start a family. I will probably decide to make my blog private someday.
The part that really stuck out to me was the "Be Positive" section. I love that it emphasized that blogs shouldn't be a "forum to complain or criticize people behind their backs." This hit home to me because I have been a victim of that. I had someone make a blog post criticizing me and some of my interests. My name was not mentioned specifically, but it was obvious that the post was about me. Thankfully, that particular blog is now private, but I am still aware of unfavorable things being said that are directed toward me. It is very hurtful and offensive that this has happened, but I'm not going to let it bring me down. I'm bigger and better than that.
Because of that incident, it has made me want to make my blog a positive one. I hope I never hurt or offend anyone because of what I post on my blog. I do understand that a blog is a place to share your feelings, ask for advice and even vent-BUT, if the venting turns into hurting someone's feelings directly, even if you do not care for that person, I think that is extremely inappropriate. Anyway, that is just my opinion! Here's to better blogging!!! :)
To read the full article, click here