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Blogging Public Service Announcement #1 and #2

PSA #1

If you write a password-protected or invite-only blog, please, please, please send out a mass email every time you update.  I know it sounds counter-intuitive: people don’t like to receive tons of mass emails, but password-protected blogs and invite-only cannot easily be added to a reader such as Bloglines or Google Reader.  Which means that people need to remember to check your blog daily.  Which means that more often than not, they forget.  Please, I’m giving you formal permission to send out emails–at least to me.

Send out an initial email to everyone who has an invite or the password.  Add the addresses via the BCC function of your email provider so no one can see the other emails (for privacy) and place your own email address in the “To” line.  Give them a heads up that a new post has gone up AND LINK TO THE NEW POST OR THE MAIN URL OF YOUR BLOG.  Please, please, please include a link.  If you want to go a step further, you can include the password again at the bottom of each email (if you have a password protected blog).  And then add a note stating that if the person wishes to be removed from this list, email you back and let you know.  Keep the list current removing those who wish to be off and adding on people you give an invite or the password.

And send an email like this every time a post goes up.  I promise, the ones that come directly into my inbox are treated just like a post in Google Reader.  In fact, they may even be read faster than those in Google Reader.

Just a friendly, blogging PSA, because currently, I keep clicking on blogs that haven’t updated and forget to click on others.

PSA #2

If you have a blog with Blogger, please check your profile.  It should include a link to your blog either in the space where you can list your blogs with Blogger or under the “my webpage” feature.  It should also contain an email address so that someone can hit reply to your comment and reach you.  The only reason not to include these things is if you don’t wish to be contacted or have people return to your blog.  If that’s the case, put that statement in your profile so when people click over, they understand immediately.

If you don’t want to list your main email address, create a secondary one with gmail that forwards to your primary one so you know when you have a message and can check that secondary email account.

I say both these PSAs out of blogging love.  Because we want to be able to read your posts and email you.  This is tough love–for your own good.

Should a PSA #3 be in the works?  I’m trying to think of other things I’ve noticed this week.  Feel free to add your own.


1 Mrs. Spit { 12.05.09 at 8:09 pm }

Don’t hide your profile. It always creeps me out a bit when I click on a new person’s profile and it’s blocked. If you don’t want everyone to know everything about you, create a profile that has limited information.

2 HereWeGoAJen { 12.05.09 at 8:12 pm }

Agreed. I’ve given up on nearly all my blogs that go password protected because I just can’t keep up. And definitely add the email address. Nothing makes me more annoyed than when someone asks me a question, but leaves no way for me to answer it.

3 caitsmom { 12.05.09 at 8:18 pm }

I return the comment favor through the comments many times, meaning I click on the individual’s name to navigate to their blog, and when someone comments and doesn’t have a profile or blog, I can’t “return the favor.” It’s a bummer. Thanks for the PSA.

4 calliope { 12.05.09 at 8:24 pm }

great PSA’s!!
I of course wish the lovely folks that blog on blogger would allow people without google accounts to leave comments. I know it makes people anxious about a world of spam- but you can always moderate comments. I’m just lazy and am not always logged in to google.

also…music on blogs? Please don’t. (or is that just me?)

5 Palemother { 12.05.09 at 9:25 pm }

I love it when password protected bloggers email alert their new posts … quite the opposite of being annoyed, I am always very happy to see them in my in box and I almost always click through right away.

Thanks for the tips! I didn’t realize that you could do that with gmail. The trouble with my anonymous aol email box is that … I can go long periods without checking it for lack of activity. But then, just when I neglect it — that’s just when someone I dearly love to hear from will use that box.

6 Battynurse { 12.05.09 at 9:51 pm }

I have only 3 password protect blogs that I follow but every so often I will realize that I haven’t checked in with either of them for at least a month or more. Also so true on the whole reply thing for comments. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to reply to someone’s comment and I can’t.
I’m also with Cali on the music. I love music. Lots of it. But I know that not everyone likes the same music I do. Same as I’ve clicked over to a few blogs and the music is so obnoxious that I will click away without reading just to get away (especially if the player isn’t readily visible so I can’t turn it off easily).

7 VA Blondie { 12.05.09 at 10:05 pm }

I would have to agree with the music. For the most part, I keep my computer on mute, anyway. But hearing music on a blog is really annoying to me, and I also will click away without reading it.

I also like having emails and blogs on profiles. Sometimes I want to know more about who is commenting on my blog, and it is helpful to be able to access that from their profile!

8 Yo-yo Mama { 12.05.09 at 10:28 pm }

WordPress blogs will update readers if only individual posts are protected. A huge advantage to wordpress in addition to letting the author protect those individual posts and still have an open blog.

You forgot to include Do Not Truncate Your Posts! It makes it difficult for those who can only view blogs via a reader because they either A) are checking blogs at work; or B) have 200 blogs in their reader and don’t have the time to add each link to their “favorites” plus check each one daily for updates; or both.

Oh…wait…never mind.

9 Lavender Luz { 12.05.09 at 11:18 pm }


I would like to know if others feel the same way as YoYoMa, since I am a truncator.

10 jesspond { 12.05.09 at 11:36 pm }

I don’t like to have my blog listed in my profile for one reason: I also have a family-friendly blog, along wtih another blog to keep up with Ava’s birthdamily, and if I list them all, they’d know about my other blog, which is not ok, even THOUGH it’s invite only.

Furthermore, I don’t necessarily want everyone reading the family blog or Ava’s blog, either, since it contains more….identifying-type info.

That is a catch for the profile, for sure.

11 Tigger { 12.05.09 at 11:46 pm }

One of my private bloggers has an email that goes out, like Mel mentioned. Another created a yahoo group that you could sign up to and it will notify you. I like both ideas. I read at least one blogger who is not pwp or private, yet her blog WILL NOT show up in my reader – I don’t know why. It makes it hard for me to keep up with her because, yes, I have to remember and no, I’m not very good at it. When I had a dozen I had to check every day, I was better at it – but only one? or two? Not so much.

And no, Calli, you aren’t the only one. I’m not a fan of music on blogs…or any webpage for that matter. Have it, but make it so I have to click it to listen instead of automatically playing when I log in.

12 Chelle { 12.06.09 at 12:26 am }

PSA #2 cracks me up because I just put the ability for people to contact me via email this morning and then I read this post tonight. Glad I am doing a great service. 😉

13 Tireegal { 12.06.09 at 12:27 am }

There is a commenter on my blog who is very supportive and kind but I have no clue who she is as she has not made her blogger profile public. I would like to thank her or get to know her but I can’t! Sad:(

14 Kristin { 12.06.09 at 1:19 am }

Good tips!

15 mybumpyjourney { 12.06.09 at 3:07 am }

When I did my IF blog on Blogger I was a rule #1 breaker- only b/c I had my family IRL blog on there also. I blog IF anon. b/c of my husband’s work, etc. There was no way other than creating and logging into two different emails on gmail to keep them totally seperate. Unfortunately it wasn’t until after I created the IF blog (have been IRL blogging for years) that I realized this.
I kept my email available, and always tried to link my blog in my comment. It is funny though b/c on another blog there was a PSA about linking your blog in your comment as a rude and inappropriate thing to do. HA HA.
I have moved to WordPress so I don’t accidentally post on the wrong blog. ALSO- people that want to remain anon. on blogger and have two sites, may not realize that if you ‘follow’ someone with Friend Connect it will show up. People can find this. I was very luck in that my IRL friend that KNOWS of my IF blog caught it for me.

Music- gah. I have literally peed my pants a little tuning into some blogs b/c my speakers have been cranked up all the way. I think playlists are okay, but not on auto play. You never knew where people are coming from.

16 Angie { 12.06.09 at 6:56 am }

Amen on the music thing. Our house is a loft type house, so all open, and the computer is centrally located. I read blogs during naptime, during bedtime, and early in the morning, and the blasted music can wake the other people in my house and force me to socialize. Also, I agree about the email. Sometimes I’d love to followup with an email.

I also agree about the truncating, because I read blog on my blackberry in reader, and it sometimes jams things up if I read the original blog.

I have nothing original to add.

17 Half of a Duo, Raising a Duo { 12.06.09 at 7:06 am }

I don’t understand why people blog, reach out to get readers but then password protect. I mean, if it is private, then don’t reach out. It makes things more difficult.

At the same token… Happy Sunday everyone. My anniversary Japanese dinner (which was hysterical and no, we did not talk about the boys, we talked about every taboo subject, as usual, politics, religion, world peace and architecture — hysterical blog entry upcoming about that… and Frank Lloyd Wright, who we love).

Me: observing decor and having seen a zillion FLW homes in my travels and loving them all… but the Pope Leighy house in Alexandria, VA stunned me w/the similarities… “FLW ripped off Japanese motifs, much?”

DH: “snort”. “yeah. Haven’t you noticed during the arts and crafts era all the artists were influenced…?”

That’s how we roll. No talking about kids on date days… we’ve seen too many people talk only of kids and not keep the intellectual convos going…

Finished the blog entry. Very long! Hysterical. Am throwing up pics right now taken on the camera phone. Dang I look decent for 48, no work done, no botox either. Thank U for the genetics, S and R… (my ‘rents).

Read, laugh and cry. I will do a separate blog entry about our dinner, maybe. I have guest bloggers upcoming and a dual blog entry coming this week w/me and Jenn that is called “Hero to Zero” about being a mom of boys and how the daddy and friends heroworship feels….

18 May { 12.06.09 at 7:37 am }

I agree about the music. If I land on a blog and music starts pouring from my speakers, I slam the page shut STAT and never go back. Many reasons. Usually, I am listening to my own music as I surf, and the clashy clashy is not nice. Also, if I have several pages open at once, I can’t immediately work out where the music is coming from, which leads to flusterment. Also, for some reason, a lot of the music apps crash my browser (this REALLY annoys me). Also, I live in a city and get bombarded with music I don’t want, like, or am prepared for multiple times every day, and I don’t want my sanctuary invaded. And, for the catty denoument, and I KNOW I’m being catty, but I rather make assumptions about people based on their music tastes, and they may not want me to make those assumptions before I’ve even read a word of their blog. If I put my own preferred music of choice blaring out of my blog, I’d expect to be judged too, and quite harshly. I know my music tastes are… odd.

There’s also appropriateness. A tale of BFNs or invasive procedures or, G*d forbid, miscarriage, is NOT enhanced by a very loud rendition of Snoop Dogg singing ‘back up ho’.

19 Sam { 12.06.09 at 10:44 am }

I agree with everything you have said!! I have one or two private blogs that I follow and I regularly forget to read them!! (In addition to which, I was mortified when I discovered that because of something silly I’d done – my blog profile link went nowhere!!! I changed that back the minute I knew what was going on!)

20 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 12.06.09 at 11:35 am }

In the interest of not reinventing the wheel by typing my usual loooong comment: In July I had a Thoughtful Thursday on this topic, with my own ideas as well as those of 36 commenters.

21 mrs spock { 12.06.09 at 12:45 pm }

Agree with both of these completely!

I rarely remember to check private blogs, especially since I clean out my internet history after every use.

22 Kate { 12.06.09 at 2:28 pm }

Please no music on blogs! If you like a song then maybe hae it on the sidebar so we can play it if we want to. These days I have to keep my computer on mute because sometimes people’s blogs start singing to me and its late and people are sleeping and its just very inconvenient.

23 Bea { 12.06.09 at 4:13 pm }

Someone may already have put this but there’s an alternative to the mass email which I recently came across and am thinking of transferring to. You set up a public blog that people can subscribe to at will. On your public blog, you write up a post that contains the info you would be sending in an email (ie mainly a link to the URL of the post or to your private blog, plus any notes about the content of the post that you may have included in an email eg “birthday photos” or whatever). You can set it so this blog is not picked up by search engines or visible on your profile (although it will still be open and public to those who know the address or anyone who manages to find the address out, so you have to put info up there with this in mind). This way, people can use their usual reader to get a head’s up that you’ve put up a new post, and they can subscribe or unsubscribe according to their own whimsy.


24 calliope { 12.06.09 at 6:43 pm }

I can’t decide how I feel about truncated posts. It does add a step to my reading on some blogs, but most of the time I was already going to click on through to the blog anyhow…hmmmm. I do wonder what the purpose of truncation is tho. But that’s just me.

25 loribeth { 12.06.09 at 7:16 pm }

Agree with all the above. Re: music, I sometimes (sometimes??) catch on my blog reading at work. I’ve created a category in my reader titled “Turn off the sound!” for blogs that I know have music on them — but every now & then I will click onto a new blog (e.g., from the LFCA), forget to mute the sound first, & get blasted with music. (And let my coworkers know that I’m not necessarily working on the document I’m supposed to be working on.) :p

I prefer non-truncated posts in my reader, but (so long as you don’t have music blasting on your site, lol) I don’t mind clicking over to read the rest if I have to.

26 PandaBox33 { 12.07.09 at 1:16 pm }

One of the commenters said : “”linking your blog in your comment as a rude and inappropriate thing to do. ” Why is it rude ?
Maybe there is something I don’t understand about blogging so please explain it to me. Because, obviously, I almost always add the links to my blogs in my comments.

27 Kimbosue { 12.07.09 at 2:25 pm }

I agree with truncating, no music, and the Blogger profile issues.

Not so much on the pw protected stuff. I recently switched from Blogger to WP for the functionality of the pw protection. So it’s public with a few pw protected posts. I usually protect only on posts that speak about IRL drama that I don’t want IRL peeps to stumble upon and/or pictures of my baby. I read a blog who had a friend’s blog’s pictures stolen and used for commercial publication (advertisements) in a foreign country. Coincientally she had a friend IN that country and saw a billboard with her friend’s Christmas card photo on it! If you’re a regular reader, you have the pw. I never change it and like other people have said, at least in WP, you are still notified of the new post via Google Reader or Bloglines.
*End of soapbox

28 opposite of oops { 12.07.09 at 4:32 pm }

Amen to music – I’ve yet to come across a song on a blog that I wanted to hear.

I also can’t handle reading blogs that are a light type on a dark background (like for example a black page with white font). I don’t know if I have funny eyes, but it actually gives me a headache, so I won’t read blogs like that.

29 magpie { 12.07.09 at 4:45 pm }

Very good suggestions, and another vote against music. I love that Loribeth has a subset in Reader called “Turn off the Sound”, but she shouldn’t have to.

30 Kate (Bee In The Bonnet) { 12.09.09 at 12:19 pm }

I don’t know if it’s been mentioned yet, but if you have a password protected blog, and you want to keep your readers up to date, you can have an “Update” blog, where you post a link to your password-protected posts. That way, your readers can put the Update blog in their Reader, and see when you update, then click on the link to see the post (thus retaining your privacy by allowing anyone to see that your blog has been updated, but only allowing those who subscribe to actually see the real post).

Tracy over at Wondertwins does something like this, and she is one of the only PW-protected blogs I read because of it. I think hers is even automated so that every time she posts, the post title and a link to the post show up on her Updates blog in my reader. Very convenient.

And I second the notion: GET RID OF THE STUPID MUSIC PLAYER ON YOUR BLOG. Even if I totally have the same taste in music, most likely, I’m already listening to my own soundtrack as I surf OR I am greatly enjoying the silence.

And I also don’t care for the truncation in feeds, because I see truncating posts as a way to garner additional clicks on blog posts (or for tracking purposes or whatnot). I don’t want to be someone’s statistic. I just want to read and relate. I want people to post about what’s on their mind, not what they think will be the most popular and/or garner the most clicks. As a matter of fact, in my Reader, when I come across truncated posts, I click on the blog title (rather than the post title) so that I come to the blog url and continue to read entire posts without having my “click” credited to a particular post. If I decide to comment, then my “click” can be counted toward that post. I just don’t like feeling like I’m being used for research and/or for a “pat” on someone’s back. It’s like using me and my opinions without telling me, without consideration for the fact that I may not want to be used in that way.

That said, I understand why it can be useful. I just personally prefer to see full posts in my Reader.

31 Somewhat Ordinary { 12.09.09 at 12:36 pm }

Half a Duo, sometimes making your blog private becomes a necessary evil. I was very open IRL about our IF and my blog wasn’t hard for anyone to find. When I conceived via Donor Sperm, I felt my husband deserved privacy and the right for people to find out on our terms, not randomly through the internet. I knew an acquaintance of a neighbor read it from time to time and couldn’t risk having it spread all over my small town w/o our control. I was blogging for 2 years at that point and it pained me to do it. I didn’t want to lose the support and friendships I made through my blog so I made it private.

I’ve always sent blind cc emails out to my readers and maybe I will consider the update blog thing!

Thanks for the PSA-I know I’m a few days late!

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