Life on the blog is life on the wild frontier. Bring your bravado. There’s no established etiquette, no paved roads, and often no rules.
How many posts per week? One, two, seven? How long should they be? There are no rules.
Should every post be announced on Facebook or is that annoying to your friends? What about your friends who only know about a post if you announce it? Should you ask them to subscribe? There are no rules.
What about RSS feeds? You can’t see them. How do you know you can trust them?
What about a Facebook page for your blog? Rihanna’s page has more than 42 million likes. What’s the harm in suggesting your kemosabes like yours? What good is it if you never reach 42 million? There are no rules.
Should you tweet? What qualifies me, a lone ranger, to have a Twitter account? What qualifies me to have a blog? There are no rules.
Speaking of lone ranger, should you join a blogging network? Seems helpful to form alliances with fellow cowpokes, but this desperado is right fond of her freedom. Will a network support or hinder it? There are no rules.
What if someone knowingly borrows your ideas or words without a link back, credit or notification? Should you challenge the outlaw to a shootout at sundown? Hope they ride off into the sunset never to copycat again? There are no rules.
What about photos? WordPress suggests using your own pictures or grabbing photos off the net and crediting sources. Copyright, anyone?
What about excerpts or ideas from other writers like Hope Edelman, Hara Estroff Marano, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, or Erica Jong? Is it okay if you credit and notify them? These authors didn’t seem to mind when I did it. They sent me kind emails, not cease and desist orders.
What about YouTube, that roving band of gunslingers wearing 36 black hats at least? Should you wait for the lawyers to draw lines in the sand?
And what comes of all this? Is blogging really a job if you don’t get paid? Is the next step to write a book? A screenplay? Secure a sponsor? Wrangle a doggie? Settle down in some quiet little town and forget about everything?
We drive on into the unknown for love of the great wide open. For breathtaking sunsets on the edge of civilization. There’s a lot to learn. Some of it we make up as we go. Have to because the landscape itself is in a state of flux.
So sidle up to the saloon and raise a toast. To the west, young woman, as far as this horse will take you.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:8 NIV
Happy trails, pardners. Before you go, check out Don’t Fence Me In by David Byrne of Talking Heads. You may find yourself humming it all weekend long.
Special thanks to my friend Kari for use of the photos of her beautiful horses.