If Emily Posted

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use. – Emily Post

The last few months I’d found myself making little notes. Notes about things I wanted to talk about on the blog about blogging. I soon realized that it wasn’t a post I was putting together in my head but an outline.

I love this cyber village, I really do. But sometimes I think it’s a bit of a wild frontier, which is both exciting and frustrating.

I’m a writer and editor. I’m a photographer and a calligrapher. I value my work, and I value that of the writers, designers and artists I know who put their heart and souls online.

I’m grateful that I do all of these things I love and call them work. But the more that my work moves from the tangible to the virtual, I find myself puzzled at times. As both a blog writer and reader, too.

Sometimes my netiquette seems practically antiquated – as though I am channeling my late great-grandmother, Fifi, who believed even a toddler should know how to properly butter a dinner roll.

As an editor, my mantra has always been that rules are made to be broken (thank you, Strunk and White), but we first have to establish them. That’s why every magazine, newspaper and publisher has its own in-house Style Guide. At one time, I worked at a magazine where my job as an editor was to create and implement just that.

I believe in coloring outside the lines, but we need to define those lines before we can get to work blurring them with words and watercolors.

Ordered chaos is a beautiful thing.

I love the creative energy pulsing through the ether – but I refuse to lower my expectations for work that’s online over that which is in print.

I believe in attributions and credit where they are due; that while most do not have editors and fact checkers and legal departments reminding people to play by the rules, those reminders shouldn’t need to be there in the first place.

I’ve written about this in various ways in the past, but I realize there’s more to this for me.

I’ve decided to create a weekly feature each Monday entitled If Emily Posted.

A weekly social media style guide here on this blog.

I won’t be arbitrarily making up all the rules myself, but I will be taking my experience, both online and in print, as a writer, photographer and editor and putting them to use. Plus, I’m looking to some of the most creative social media minds I know to share their wisdom, too.

If Emily Posted is as much for myself as anyone else who wants it. So, please do tell me what you’d always wanted to know about blogs, twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and all that jazz, but were afraid to ask. Leave your thoughts in the comments or email me directly.

It takes a cyber village. It really does.

With If Emily Posted, I’m imagining Elements of Style meets Proust’s Questionnaire with a dose of Diana Vreeland’s “Why Don’t You…” flair. (Do’s and Definitely Don’ts, Q+A’s with bloggers and a good dose of not taking ourselves too seriously.)

I do believe Fifi would approve. I hope you will, too.

xo Alex


8 thoughts on “If Emily Posted

  1. Andrea Howe (@fourflights)

    I don’t ever know how to credit some images I find on Pinterest that have been pinned from tumblr, as usually they have been re-tumbld so many times you can’t even find the original source on tumblr! it’s crazy confusing and I feel terrible at times just sourcing back to a pin if that makes sense?

    1. alexandrawrote Post author

      This is on the list! Pinterest is wonderful, and yet people aren’t using it in a way that’s always fair to the sources. (And there is some really bad behavior going in the comment sections, but that’s another story.) You’re doing the best to try and source but most don’t bother. So happy that you want to discuss this.

  2. Shari@Rain into Rainbows

    Agreed, I’d love more on properly attributing photos. I rarely use photos any more even, other than my own, because I’m so worried that I won’t properly credit a source.

    Sub’ing because I want to see more!

  3. Pingback: religion and politics and blogging, oh my! | alexandrawrote

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