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Reposting Blog Etiquette

A popular guy on Twitter recently asked: “Doesn’t it seem like poor etiquette to post a copy of a guest post you wrote on your own blog? You guest wrote it for someone else, right?”

Good question! I have done that, reposting here modified versions of guest blogs I wrote for other sites. But in all cases, it was at least six months after the blog had been originally posted somewhere else. And I noted at the top of the blog that it was a reposting, so if a reader had, by some chance, seen it they could skip it.

Do others bloggers repost material?

My thinking is that the traffic on the other blog site is likely to be different from the traffic I now have on my site. So if it’s fresh content to most of my readers, why not use it? Sometimes, it’s challenging to come up with new material twice a week! Reposting parallels like the practice of repurposing information gathered for an article your wrote for publication. As long as you modify the focus and/or arrangement, it’s acceptable (and common practice ) to pitch similar stories to other magazines with different audiences—using the same material.

What’s your take? Is it okay to repost guest blogs you’ve written?

Blogs: Opinion Versus Promotional

I started to blog this morning about McCain’s VP pick, then realized it was not a good idea. This is not that kind of blog. If you had to break down blogs into only two categories, they would fall into either opinion blogs or promotional blogs. As opinionated as I am, this blog falls in the promotional category—it’s about reaching out to readers and writers and letting them get to know me (with the idea that eventually they’ll buy my products).

And so, there are many subjects that are off limits to my blog, and many things about me that I can never share. There are many books that I will never review on this site. It is too easy to alienate people (readers) just by mentioning, hypothetically for example, that I don’t read books that have cats on the cover or in title. I would never say that here. There are too many cat-loving readers and writers out there who would be offended. (As info: PS Your Cat Is Dead by James Kirkwood is one of my favorite books.) So my goal is to be a gracious host and blogger and keep politics (and many personal opinions) out of the conversation.

Other bloggers blur this line, vacillating between opinion and promotion with occasional side trips into the too-personal. For them, anything is fair game and every opinion is worth stating. Some, I believe, would call me a hypocrite or a chicken for limiting my subjects. What do you think? Do blog categories exist? Do you have expectations that some blogs should stay nonpolitical?

Blog Surfing Etiquette

All this blogging and reading and commenting on other blogs has brought up a question about etiquette. Most comment sections identify the commenter by name only (whatever they’ve signed in as). My instinct (as Karen Syed has trained me now) is to always include a link to one of my sites after my name or some kind of reference, such as: Author of The Sex Club. If someone likes what I’ve said and wants to know more about me, my blog, or my novel, it seems logical to let them know where to find me.

But I wonder: Is this socially acceptable in the blogosphere? A random survey of the blogs I visit indicates that most posters do not even include a full name signature, they just let the comment box identify them. So it uncool to post a url? Does it depend on the blog site and how well you know the person? What is your practice? What is your opinion?

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