I could never have imagined that my last blog article “Dear Supplier” would generate the interest and the controversy that it did when I wrote it late one night sitting at my laptop. Blogging is such a funny pastime – writing in the relative quiet and sanctity of your office or home and never really knowing how what you are putting out there will be received…fascinating actually.
My experience brought to light several points about online courtesy, conduct and manners that I would love to share for all you other bloggers out there. Standing in the frying pan is a quick way to learn some important lessons about not getting burned. I had some excellent advice and support when I called out for help. Let me share what I learned in the past few weeks:
- HUMOR: What you perceive as humor in your writing may well be perceived as offensive by others — this does not necessarily mean you need to avoid expressing yourself with humor that fits your personality and writing style, more just an awareness on your part that your attempt at levity might not be met with the same laughter that you had in mind when you wrote it.
- COMMENTS: When weighing whether to approve or disapprove a comment made to your article, unless it is either completely unrelated to your content or filled with obscenities and personal attacks, consider leaving it there — blogging is about starting a conversation. It would be unrealistic to think that there will never be a dissenting voice. Welcome the different points of view and take them for what they are (meaning no more than a different point of view). Sometimes a negative voice will actually amplify your message and get more readers to pay attention and get involved.
- GOLDEN RULE: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you — yes we have all heard this a million times but it is really important to your continued success in the blogosphere. Be as you want others to be to you: unfailingly kind, supportive and understanding. Extend this to anyone and everyone taking the time to comment on your article.
- KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS: My mom said this to me so many times growing up as I dealt with various tormentors and as it turns out, she was right (again). When faced with a negative voice on your blog post, recognize the person for speaking out, thank them for reading and sharing their point of view…invite them to further conversation if it suits you and the situation. But be sure to stay positive and even toned in your response. This is the best way to show yourself as above snarky, mean insults and as a professional who is unwilling to be drawn into further negative exchange. It’s all about the conversation, not about a fight or showing that you are “right.”
I have read several articles about good manners online and I have to say that basic common sense applies to this situation as it does to almost all situations in life. Act from your heart, be the highest, best version of yourself and remember that you are representing yourself, your brand and that of anyone else included or involved in your writing. “Just be yourself, honey, and always remember who you are.” Thanks Mom.
Lisa Kahn, author of this feature, is principal of Kahn Design Group, an Interior Design firm in naples, Florida. Lisa is top in class and would love to talk to you about designing a space perfect for you.
A full list of all our global mentors [ who are top professional interior designers ] on our Mentors Page.