Friday, February 11, 2011

Off-Topic: Tips for the Young Blogger

Someone asked me if Blogger was safe for kids. I would consider Blogger and my blog particularly to be PG-13. I think this is consistent with Google’s Terms of Service which state that you must be thirteen years old to author a blog. I feel like I dance on the edge a little bit with the Story Progression personalities, but what I can promise you is that this blog will never have nudity or strong language. Also, some blog authors do mark their blogs as mature content. Kids, if you see one of those, please stay away.

If you are young and you want to start a blog, here are a few tips:

1) Don’t reveal too much personal information about yourself. This is a good tip no matter what your age is. There are crazy people out there who may want to hurt you. I’m not trying to scare you, I’m just telling you the truth. Some bad people often pose as children, so please do not provide contact information to someone you do not know.

2) Do use comment moderation. You don’t want random people posting ugly stuff on your blog. Not only can you moderate your comments, you can set your blog so that only registered Blogger users can post. I would take that option. That way bad people can’t hide behind the Anonymous label.

3) Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your mother, your father, your teacher, your grandma, your pastor/priest/rabbi/imam or your dog to read. Again, I think this is a good tip for anyone regardless of age.

4) Do check your spelling. (Ok, ok, ok, I know I violate this one sometimes).

5) Don’t take credit for someone else’s work. If you’re going to write a Sims blog, it’s a good idea to give credit to the makers of custom content that you use. If you are quoting someone, make sure you indicate where the quote came from. If you borrow an idea from another Sims blogger, make a note of that too. The Sims blogging community is a great one, and people are more than willing to share ideas with you. Just be polite.

6) Do reply to your commenters.  Again, I haven’t always been the best at keeping up with the comments. It’s good manners to acknowledge the people that take the time to read your blog. These people chose to spend precious minutes of their day on your blog. The least you can do is thank them for reading. Who knows? You might make a friend, too. (But remember rule #1)

7) Do have fun! Blogging can take up a good deal time. Make the time enjoyable.


8) Do use Windows Live Writer. It’s a lot less painless than Blogger’s native editor. Also you won’t make the mistake of accidentally erasing your whole post because of Blogger’s autosave feature.

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