Sunday, November 01, 2009
Blogging Etiquette: Blawpologies and Self-Promotion
Thanks to Prawfsblawg, and especially Howard Wasserman, for the invitation to post some thoughts here.
I am a regular reader of blogs, but thus far have been only an occasional contributor. So I thought I would begin with two curiosities, at least to me, that may relate to bloging etiquette. The first is the blawpology (not to be confusd with the blapology). Some bloggers who fail to post for a period of time, typically several days to a few weeks, issue an apology upon returning. Some of the blawpologizers explain, on occasion in some detail, what it is they have been doing while they have not been blogging. Is this simply a matter of etiquette, as for example when one leaves a room or a conversation for a period of time and later returns ("sorry, I had to feed the meter -- you were saying")? Or is there a guilt condition of some sort relating to regular blogging, one that afflicts only some (perhaps small) portion of the blogosphere? I only occasionally read non-legal blogs, and have not noticed this phenomenon elsewhere. I have no reason to believe the apologies are anything other than sincere. And to be clear, I do not think those who do not account for their absences are rude or borderline sociopathic.
The second phenomenon is the attachment of the "shameless self-promotion" qualifier to one's self-promotion. This practice seems most prevalent on blawgs, although again my experience with other forums is somewhat limited. Is this too a matter of etiquette? Modesty, false or otherwise? Isn't one of the primary benefits of regular blogging that it provides a forum for promoting your work? Is there really any shame at all in self-promotion?
In light of the foregoing, let me say two things: Since I last guest-blogged about a year ago, it might be polite to apologize for my extended absence. For those wondering what I've been up to, you'll find out when I, without any shame or hint of self-consciousness, promote some of my work during this guest stint.
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