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 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.