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Let's face it: Blogging has become a cultural phenomenon. It seems everyone is blogging these days. Heck, just last week I'm pretty sure I read a blog written by my grandmother about her new tattoo (we're a modern sort of family).

In fact, blogging has gotten so big, there is now such a thing as blogging etiquette. Yes, there are approximately 82 bah-jillion blogs out there devoted to this topic (wait, scratch that, 82 bah-jillion and one).

Having been blogging on the Advocate site for awhile (Warning! Warning! Shameless self promotion ahead!) and even winning a Texas Associated Press award for my blog (I warned you), I thought I'd throw in my two cents on what constitutes good form in the blogosphere.

Now these are just my own rules I've developed for blogging and are in no way endorsed by the actual Victoria Advocate (just like pretty much everything else I do at work...Bah-Zing!).

And so, here we go:

1. In general, I'm not really finicky on the good spelling and grammar like some out there in Internet land are. However, I would like to understand you without straining my brain (Lord knows I lost enough brain cells in college and I'd like to keep the ones I have left stress-free). So please write above a 2nd grade level and please refrain from such delightful Internet speak and shorthand as this:

"INOSHO, it's str8 FUBAR how Bush is like doing stuff in the WH. NEway, it's TG2BT. 4COL, we're America."

2. DO YOU FIND THIS ANNOYING? HUH? DO YOU? ALL THESE CAPS RIGHT IN A ROW? FOR NO APPARENT REASON? DOES IT FEEL LIKE I'M SCREAMING AT YOU VIA THE INTERNET?

It does? Well, then, stop writing in all caps. I don't care how mad you are, how much you want to make your point or how much you want your blog read, stop, I repeat, stop posting in all caps. It's like you're reaching out through your monitor and punching everyone who reads your blog in the cornea.

3. If you have a question, one simple question, please do not use a blog to ask it. Or if you must, at least write more than just "What's everyone think about Iraq?" That is no way to get a conversation started, folks.

4. If you have a beef with someone, please don't write 17 blogs in a row about that issue. Keep it all on one nice thread. The last thing anyone wants to see when they are searching the newest blog posts is consecutive titles all by the same person that go like this:

"Sally Sucks"

"I hate Sally"

Sally is a liar and did I mention she sucks"

"Reason 39 why Sally sucks"

"Sally Sucks Part II"

Yes, we get it. You #$@! hate Sally. Now stop and walk away from the computer. Go and get your aggression out on Grand Theft Auto 36 (or whatever version they have out now).

5. Please post original stuff. None of this copying and pasting a 112 inch story from the New York Times on your blog. Link it all you want, but I didn't go to your blog to read the NYT.

6. And lastly, for those of you out there that comment on blogs, please do not use the comment box to endorse your own sorry behind, or your sorry behind product, or your sorry behind blog. You know who you are. Those people out there who respond to a blog with:

"Great post, Tim. If you like Tim's blog, you should go check out my blog at IdiotWorld.com."

Now granted, even I myself have probably broken a rule or two of my own from time to time. It happens. But as an avid fan of blogs and many of the Advocate bloggers, I think if we could all adhere to these rules a little more, the blogosphere will be a better place for all.