First, I’m writing this as a sincere apology to everyone whose public blogs or Mybook/Facespace* profiles I have trespassed without an invitation.
Second, I’m also writing this as a formal invitation to anyone who happens to come across this blog: please read as much as you’d like, and are able to. (There will be some private entries with passwords that I mean to share only with my family & friends, naturally enough. And there will also be some written in Vietnamese which, like any other language, English included, not everyone can understand.)
The reason for all this was that I just had a conversation with a friend. Turned out I was “busted” for reading his friends’ blogs :). Which i hope they don’t mind. Being the sticky-beak that I am, it’s impossible to resist clicking on the nickname that wrote “I love you so much!” on your friend’s profile. Or how could I not check out another friend’s crush after she told me that he was the biggest crush she’d ever had? Even when she never officially asked me to check out his page. And of course, while i was there I saw that he actually had a crush on another girl and so click!, before I knew it I was on that girl’s page. But by then I sort of lost interest so click, click, back was I on my friend’s page again. Talk about short attention span. Anyway, so I justify all that nosy-parking business as a “healthy dose of curiosity”. I just have to make sure i don’t become “the cat” who overdosed, don’t I.
[Have to insert a big side note here: Having said that, (and painted myself in a rather negative shade), I must stress that the 2 Very Important things, to me at least, is that a/ I’m only curious when I care, and b/ I never use my knwoledge against my friends. Not an excuse, but a fact. Which explains why I never really give a toss about celebrity gossips, or some self-important persons in our community. (Save a lot from not throwing money on tabloids, or wasting time reading online celeb blogs.) Which also explains why I don’t bitch around & badmouthing about people behind their back. (I hate those who do that with a passion!) Which, in turn, is extremely beneficial because I don’t care much about what is said of me on the grapevines. I actually don’t even know what’s been spread through those Chinese whispers but I’m sure it must be quite bad. 🙂 End of note.]
Anyhoo*, so all this got me thinking, “What are the etiquettes when it comes to blogs & online profiles?”
Of course everyone knows that if you set your blog entries visible to public, then you’ll have to expect that strangers can also read them. And that even when you set passwords to some entries, your friends (who were given said passwords) could also give them to others. This very problem of blogging & online networking got me into so much trouble with my ex, who is a very private person. I agreed with some things he said, but not all. I write about myself & people around me, but never compromise their privacy or safety. For example, I too think that publishing your address online (or anyone’s address for that matter) is a stupid idea, or posting photos of other folks without their permission is just plain inconsiderate; but I don’t see how writing that you’re gonna go to China for 2 weeks is jeopadising your safety? Each to their own of course. But where do you draw the line?
For example, my friend said he doesn’t want photos of him & his ex gfs on his public blog any more. Which I think is reasonable enough. So I was about to scour my old blog to check if I have any photo of me & mine on there, only to remember that blog was hi-jacked (@#&%%@^$@!!!). But I’m pretty sure there wasn’t any. I didn’t post many photos in general, especially not personal ones.
Then I just asked another friend and she told me she took down all entries about her past relationships. Which I understand, but probably wouldn’t do. Hmm but then one day I may. Not sure.
And also, would it be nice to let people know you’ve read their blogs? By leaving a comment, or telling them in person? I for one have got taken aback quite a few times when people mentioned “Oh yeah I read this and that on your blog.”, and I was about to shoot back “You DO read my blog? Wow it’d be nice to let me know, you know!”. But then I remembered that I’ve also been guilty of reading strangers’ blogs (case in point: read 1st paragraph) without letting them know so I bit my tongue. But generally, I think although public blogs are pretty much an open invitation, it’s still nice to acknowledge you’ve read someone’s page. Not only because it’s kinda flattering to have people commenting on your writing. But also it’s like “Ok i have my front garden open and anyone’s welcome to come by & sit drinking Tea under the lemon tree. But it’d be nice to say hi to me. Or better still, give feedback on my gardening skills.” (Figuratively of course, because in truth, my gardening skills are categorised under “non-existent”.)
But that is not to say that you have to leave comments here. No, I’m not that demanding. (I may sound so, but I’m not.) You’re all very welcomed to just sit there sipping away your Tea under my lemon tree & enjoy the shade. *smile sweetly* (Hey don’t laugh, I’m doing my best “nice hostess” impersonation.)
Anyhow, so what do you all think? What are the do’s and dont’s in Blogville?
*All typos are totally intentional unless unintentional. 😀