Silly Bloggers (Netizens)

What can we learn from the unfortunate female blogger about blogging? Don’t know much about the news that made headlines and even threatened police intervention? No problem, head over to:

http://sunrise.jolmy.com/2008/10/03/blogger-caused-furore-over-racist-posting-and-apologized/

http://malaysianshares.blogspot.com/2008/10/malaysiakini-sammy-chan-apologized-part_9470.html

One can hardly be unsymphatetic with the young lady (her picture and details e.g. work place are all plastered throughout the blogosphere). Why? Because the younger generation of bloggers are prone to express and vent out before thinking, especially in a medium which in their mind is ‘neutral and independent’. For that silly blogger (yes, it’s ‘silly’) that whole perspective took a dramatic turn after this event. 

To tell the truth, her situation is a bit of a ‘wrong person’ at the ‘wrong place’ at the ‘wrong time’… but I won’t be going there. 

I know there are many ‘young’ bloggers reading my blog, and let me just advice you with what I have personally learnt for the last 6 years of blogging on the Internet (from Blogger to Livejournal to self hosting to WordPress). 

1) This is not your private space unless you CONTROL who you give your password. 

Don’t even think that password protection is safe. One person (and yes, it takes only ONE) can reveal the password and it is open to a wider circle than you intended. Don’t be silly.

2) This is not a private space. 

Don’t want other people to read it… then DON’T POST on the Internet. Legally, the Internet is a public space. Anyone can stumble upon it. Don’t be silly over this. 

3) Don’t be EMO (emotional). 

Only if you are a celebrity or a wannabe, then should you put out your rants and stuff. MISINTERPRETATION happens, and it takes only a one person to not READ it as you want it… to find trouble following you. So, don’t be silly.

4) Unless you have GOOD english, DON’T try to be CRYPTIC!

Again, many people are misunderstood when they write either ‘allegorically’ or using vague, ambigous words. Always read your post before clicking the “publish” button. Ask yourself: is it clear enough so that it won’t be misinterpreted? If it is too controversial… then stow it. Put it away… it is best not to publish. Don’t be silly.

5) Don’t be ARROGANT and think too much about yourself.

Don’t think that your attitude can be translated into your blog and be safe. I people cannot take your attitude in real public life, they won’t take it on the Internet too. (Silly blogger put out a challenge, for those she knows who will be offended, to sue her. That’s way too arrogant before it became silly). Don’t be silly.

6) Be ANNONYMOUS if you want to neglect point 5.

Seriously, if you know (if you had thought of it) you will be getting flak for it, make sure you don’t post your pictures, details and other things on the Internet. Chances are these things are traceable. Facebook is no protection for anyone. There are scripts to bypass the security of anything and the last thing is for an outsider to have sufficient references on your life to make your life hell when the situation arises. Definitely, don’t be silly.

7) Prevention is always better than cure.

Be open to comments and what people are telling you. Now, I do not mean ‘accept’ every comment there is. I have deleted my share of comments that are just given by ‘difficult’ people who has no ‘ethics’. You should always remove what can bring controversies to your person (not the content). Don’t be silly.

8 ) Monitor your blog. 

Did you slip out the name of the company you’re working with? Did you mention names? Will that put THEM into danger? You should be very surprised that many people do not read and monitor the traffic in their respective blogs. Install a good software to do that… Don’t trust the Blogger and WordPress stats. Use one like “Statcounter” which also logs the IP address of the visitors. In the event something big DOES happen (it happened twice to me) you have valid LEGAL evidences to protect yourself. Don’t be silly.

9) Young aged bloggers, please please please have someone older monitor (or check) your blog.

The young and truly young. Some are in their early teens and do not think far enough. The lack of maturity in them makes them liable to cross each of the points mentioned. Therefore, have someone older monitor your postings for the sake of conscience. Don’t be silly.

10) Do not be too personal. 

To know a person well, is to know the person’s weaknesses. Too often, bloggers leave themselves vulnerable to a personality audit from their very blog itself. You can piece together a very good personality framework of a person from the blog itself. Isn’t that great? From a distance, what more! So be careful. Don’t be too personal. You do not have to tell people what routes you take coming home everyday, or where your favourite eatery is or where you hang out most of the time. Don’t be silly.

I hope these reminders (they are reminders) will make our lives more managable on the net. It has helped me over these past 6 years (yes, that long). 

There are more advices of course, like not to market your sites if you really dont want the publicity. There’s the technical side of things (how to be anonymous and really anonymous!). Etc. 

🙂

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4 thoughts on “Silly Bloggers (Netizens)

  1. EL, I’m really glad that you wrote this post. Hopefully bloggers who use their site as a form of ‘Dear Diary/Punching Bag/X Exposé’ will be cautious and think MANY times before publishing any entry. You do not know who’s reading your blog! And believe me, a number of ‘mature’ bloggers (i.e. older and more experienced in years) are no better than the younger ones; a reminder to us all.

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