Tuesday, 23 September 2014

To Share or Not to Share (That is the Question)?

There have been quite a few posts lately around the subject of blogging etiquette.  Although I am not intending to jump on the bandwagon, this issue does touch on what is acceptable when it comes to sharing other people's posts.

I have had a quick peek around the web for 'etiquette' posts on the subject of sharing but there is very little.  When I use the term sharing I mean via social media such as Twitter.

As you know I am more than happy to share the lurve.  I will generally promote new bloggers by media sharing as well as blogs owned by bookish contacts I have made.  If I feel I want to share a post because it speaks to me then I will do so.

So, onto the big question, how do I share?  Currently, I mainly share to Twitter either tweeting directly from the share button at the end of a post or a re-tweet.  If the buttons have Pinterest and Tumblr enabled then I will also share posts there.  I always link to the Twitter account of the person whose content I am sharing and if not able to directly link to them on Pinterest or Tumblr I will always mention their blog name or in the case of photography, the Flickr or blog name.

You may pick up that I don't mention Facebook and there is a strong reason for that.  I used to share posts from my blogging friends onto my Facebook page.  Not my personal page but the page devoted to my blogs.  However, it became apparent that this was not acceptable.  Now, nobody mentioned anything to me directly but I suddenly found that privacy settings had been enabled that meant that I could not share other bloggers posts unless I pasted the post URL onto my page.  But why do that when it is made quite plain that folks don't want their posts shown on my page?  I mention this, but on the other hand there are many glitches and changes on Facebook that it is a possibility this could have been something behind the scenes, especially as it did go across the piece.  I still occasionally share an author's post or the occasional give-away on that page.  I hasten to add that when I did share on Facebook I always linked back to the author of the post often adding a comment such as: "Check out "Blogger's" new blog" or "Read "Blogger's" review of..."

Anyway, I am not trying to gripe I just wanted to highlight that sharing to Facebook on your blog page may not be acceptable and may be frowned upon among the community.

What has fuelled my thoughts about potential problems of sharing posts on your Facebook page is this.  I came across a discussion on the internet among a group of bloggers who mentioned that they did not wish to be associated/connected/linked to a particular blogger.  The thread went on to criticise this blogger's reviews.  Now, I'm quite a sensitive soul and because I had been sharing posts across Facebook and suddenly encountered altered settings I started to wonder if I was the subject of discussion.  I showed the comments and my blog to a few people who were quite categorical in stating that this was not about me and that I was not guilty of the points of criticism.  And boy, did I feel better after that!  But, it has left me pondering about sharing do's and don'ts and what is acceptable practice.

Flickr is another place I will share to Twitter, Tumblr or Pinterest if the share facility is active.  Once again, I am not sure of the protocol.  I have shared one photographer's work and been thanked for sharing on Twitter.  On the other hand I have shared another photographer's picture on Twitter (someone I am in contact through other social media) and again, wondered if I had committed a social faux pas.  Once more, nothing was said to me personally but the sharing buttons have since been switched off.  This person is a far superior photographer than me and I felt the work was worthy of sharing, particularly as the works are of such a standard to be exhibited and entered in competitions.

If a blog does not have share buttons then as a general rule I will not share.  I accept that the blogger has deliberately not added the sharing option because they don't want others posting it elsewhere via Twitter or any other social platform.  If a blogger does not have a twitter account I don't tweet their post even if they have share buttons.  I realise that not everyone likes social media but if you don't have a twitter account then why have a share button?  How are you going to know if and where your post has been shared?

You may ask why share?  Or why do I share so regularly?  Firstly, these are not for reasons of self interest.  To be totally honest I am lousy at social media.  I have a Facebook account but I very rarely 'chat'.  I am a dipper.  I dip in and out of social media at various intervals.  I don't keep my mobile or iPad connected to the internet all the time so I am not permanently online. Sharing posts and photography is my way of connecting with you people of the blogosphere.  I do occasionally make a comment on a blog post or photograph on Flickr but that is only if I have something to say.

I have discussed the sharing of blog posts and where may or may not be acceptable but there is also another side of this.  Now, as I said my reasons for spreading the lurve are not to gain from it.  I am not after reciprocal sharing of my posts and I certainly have no expectations.  Of course, it is lovely when another blogger does tweet or re-tweet something of mine but it is not expected in any way.  However, it is nice to receive a thank you now and again or a favourite when I have shared A.N. Other's post or photo.  I don't expect to be thanked every time I share, but at the end of the week or month would be nice.  I have several blogging friends, authors and reviewers and many of these people show their appreciation regularly.  You know who you are and I thank you for caring that I share your posts.  Unfortunately, there are many out there who do not seem to bother or notice that there are people out there promoting them and are just too ill mannered to acknowledge or say thank you.  I put it down to plain rudeness but also I ask the question about blogging cliques and snobbery.  Here is why I believe this does occur.  Have you left a comment which has to be approved by the owner and then they decide not to approve it?  It happens!  Or, you comment on their post or respond to a tweet and they ignore it.    I am not going any further about commenting as that is a topic for another discussion post.

Back to sharing and to pretty much wrap up my argument.  I will happily promote other people's posts via Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblr providing there are sharing options on the blog.  I will always link back so you do know if I have shared your post.  For me Facebook is pretty much a no-go area for sharing.  I will continue to share Flickr contacts photos when I think they are worth sharing if that is an option and I do link back.  BUT, and I mean a big but, I will not spread the lurve again if you cannot be bothered to acknowledge a tweet at least once in a while.  I am keeping a note, I know who isn't paying attention!

Okay, you've heard my spiel and my reasons.  What about you guys?  Are you happy for other bloggers to share your posts?  How or where do you want your posts shared?  What are your views on sharing to Facebook?

Please join the discussion by commenting below.  I really would like to hear your thoughts on this subject.

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