Monday, April 24, 2006

Blogging Courtesy.

Don't be offended if people you are having dinner with consider you a village idiot when you don't know there is such a thing as table manners. It's not a big deal to me if you don't know about such a thing as I would usually pretend not to see what you are doing. I was once like that too and decided to do something about it. I figured it was wrong for me to appear rude all because I was ignorance about something as basic as table manners. People are usually sympathetic. They won't look at you as if you have committed a grave sin. Afterall not everyone is born with the knowledge to know about which spoon to use first, or whatever. And you won't spend good money to learn about this at a finishing school. We learn as we go along. But I believe it is wrong for you to consider this a western culture and that you plan to abolish this practice by showing to everyone at the table that you are the champion of all things eastern and therefore it is okay for you to jab the steak with your fingers and jam it into your mouth.

I believe there is a set of manners for everything. There's a set of manners how to eat banana leaf rice. The same way goes for udon noodles, tajin chicken, tomyam, ikan bakar or ice-cream. I consider conforming to the manners a good way to appear humble. That's what manners are for. I believe in Fiqh it's called tertib. It doesn't hurt to appear tertib. In fact I think it brings out the artistic side of a human being, the hidden beauty in each and every one of us.

There is even a set of manners on how to dress correctly. How to choose a shirt, a tie, belt, shoes, pants, socks, dinner or sports jacket and so on. All this will make a man appear sharp. Of course you can be a rebel by not conforming to the manners but in most cases, it is not so much of a rebel in you that you are trying to bring out. More like your ignorance and you cover this up by appearing to be at war with the correct way of matching your belt, shoes and socks.

Same way with blogging. I believe there are manners associated with blogging too. Visiting someone's blog, to me, is like going over to a friend's or a stranger's house to listen to what he or she wishes to share. I either agree, or disagree with an entry. In most cases, I'd rather agree since the whole idea about blogging is to make friends, not enemies. Of course you can disagree and still remain friends but there is a set of manners how to disagree.

Since I have a lot of free time, I usually login the blogs I visited the day before to see if the host has up-dated an entry, or have taken the time to reply to the comments. It's nice to read the reply, really. I enjoy it. It gives me the sense that the host acknowledges my presence and he or she is kind enough to engage a stranger like me in a conversation. It may be a short one but it is a conversation nonetheless. Now this, to me, is manners. A common courtesy.

I believe it is good manners to acknowledge someone who has just said something to you. It shows you appreciate his or her effort to get to know you. I have stopped visiting blogs where the host doesn't bother to acknowledge your comment. I consider this rude. It leaves me with the impression that the host doesn't need my friendship. For all I know he doesn't even want you to read the entry in the first place. He might even consider you a pest for coming in and leaving comments as if there is a prize for doing that. I was surpirsed that famous people like Yasmin or Afdlin took the trouble to reply to a comment. That's humility and I have nothing but respect for people with such a personality.

To me this is the same as saying 'hello' to a stranger but instead of a smile, all you get is this blank stare from him as if you have just interrupted his line of thinking on the physics of how to turn water into fuel so the world doesn't have to depend on fossil fuel anymore.

It doesn't hurt to be courteous, friendly, warm and hospitable. It's a rude world out there.


Blogger Nobee said...

Very true indeed.

Not only that it doesn't hurt, it does not cost a single sen :)

Agree or disagree if you must but at the end of the day, common courtesy should prevail above all else.

11:04 AM  
Blogger EdRyNA said... r u today???

well said bergen... :-)

11:12 AM  
Blogger sya said...

I agree with you 200%, if the bloggers do not want to acknowledge or reply comments from readers they should just disable the "comments" feature.

One adik told me that she went to one blog where her comment never been replied by the host. The host did reply to most of her friends and never reply to this adik's comment. It really hurts her so much.

Some ppl.... sigh

11:13 AM  
Blogger Nour said...


My first time here. Interesting blog you have. Keep it up!

BTW common courtesy is a must.

11:21 AM  
Blogger nadya said...

hello bergen.

well said and couldn't agree more.
have a nice day yer.


11:31 AM  
Blogger pu1pu3 said...

I try to do that all the time, reply to the people who commented. But I suppose some don't even know that other bloggers left comments for him/her, esp for old entries coz they didn't set up the comment link to alert them via their email.But for some, maybe they r bz. I don't know. But I'm with you, I love leaving comments where the owner acknowledges my presence.

11:34 AM  
Blogger AuntyN said...

Agree with you on the tertib and blogging courtesy. I like people to comment at my blog not because I want high hits, but because I do want to share their thoughts with me. So if you arenot couteous, these readers willsurely not be comfortable to comment. Iusually re-trace comments to ensure each one of them are addressed accordingly.

Your blog will be one of the first that I will read in after I switched on the PC.

12:34 PM  
Blogger ubisetela said...

I'll second that.

1:28 PM  
Blogger AuntieYan. said...

Well said Bergen.:-)

1:31 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Nobee: Actually it doesn't take much to this world a friendly place for everyone.

Edryna: Hello. I'm good, thank you, ma'am. How about you?

Sya: I don't mind if the host doesn't reply to a comment once or twice. Maybe he or she is busy. But if it goes on and on that you can't help but come to the conclusion that he or she just can't be bothered, I got the message. Loud and clear.

Nour: Thank for visiting, ma'am. Good to have you here.

Nadya: Hello, Nadya. Love the pictures in your latest entry 'Balik Kampong.' Your dad's nasi goreng looks real good. Send my regards to him when you see him again.

Pu1Pu3: Like you, I like replying to comments. It gives the sense of connectedness that I am getting to know someone out there.

AuntyN: It is good to be courteous. I reminds us to be humble and respect one another. It's a good start to getting to know one another.

Ubisetela: Thank you, ma'am.

AuntieYan: Thank you, ma'am.

To everyone to came in, I appreciate your presence. It means a lot to me.

1:47 PM  
Blogger anggerik merah said...

Sir Berg, you are right abt blogging courtesy.

Deviate from topic. Last nite on naitonal geographic channel, abt megastructure. The business of oil rigvfabrication in Singapore shipyard. Also the story abt drilling op in north sea and the crew (eg. roughneck etc.). In my mind I was thinking abt yr earlier story - life in the rig. Then as usual every night I dropped dead on sofa in my living room until morning and my day begin again..Sorry I am out of topic of yr entry. Thought of sharing with you!:-))

1:57 PM  
Blogger A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

oh hello there!!!

2:29 PM  
Blogger dee3 said...

since ubisetela dah cakap "i'll second that", i'll just say "i'll third that" :p

courtesy, both in the blogging world and in real life is extremely important (to me, that is). it shows sensitivity to others, and more importantly, about the character of the person inside.

that being said, civic-mindedness and courtesy are being pratised less and less these days (common observation), eh? wallahualam.

good entry :)
to everyone else, it's only tuesday *sigh* have a good day

2:36 PM  
Blogger thinktankgal said...

And you use Food as the analogy heh ;) Very interesting Bergen!

2:53 PM  
Blogger Noni said...

why do i feel pedas ah? But as far as I can recall i always reply and respond to people's comments kan kan kan???

3:09 PM  
Blogger Mama Rock said...

reading comment is fun and reading replies to one's comment is double the fun! bergen, you said it right!

5:32 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

i feel the same way. it's only polite to respond..or else it feels like you're talking to a wall!

And to answer your question. I have barely started, already thinking of scrapping off the last few lines I wrote. Would you like to help? Gimme an intro line?? *pretty please?*

5:46 PM  
Blogger UglyButAdorable said...

i get all so excited if i see comments on the really ader org bacer tu!! i mean considering english yg berterabur and merapu still there's someone like mr berg sincerely commented. i do acknowledge that now if i haven't done so earlier.

6:31 PM  
Blogger maklang said...

True...very true. When you go to someone's blog the comments if possible should be said politely. I do not like harsh comments. Received one when I blog about a small misunderstanding with my Cik Abang. The Anon told me that I should seek the Ustadz. I was actually talking about it as a joke, but the Anon took it differently. I was mad about that. The same Anon also commented in fact condemning my entry about my visit to my aunt's place in Jakarta!

Apa nak buat. People have their own pendapat...and they are free to say what they want. Kadang2 macam lempar batu sembunyi tangan!!
(I think I know who he is!!)

Sorrylah Bergen for the long comment!I am not being rude ahh...for leaving such a long comment!!

7:11 PM  
Blogger Mama Sarah said...

I thought you were going to write

"Next entry: At the Taekwondo tournament & lamb cutlets."

keluar topic "blogging courtesy". Pandai 'thinktankgirl' said "And you use Food as the analogy heh"

I've been doing my blogging courtesy; ie saying hello or salam to blogs i visited UNLESS their blogs "nampak lain macam" or weird discussion about XXX, then I'd prefer not to leave any msg. And I'm sure they don't want to see a pegawai maksiat at their door.

7:54 PM  
Blogger BLaCkFeLiNe said...

Ummm...I totally agree with you on courtesy..
One entry of yrs..'That is not how it is in my book' or something like that...I replied to you but a Sayuti replied ..are you Sayuti?
I thot I was ignored..

11:02 PM  
Blogger Ms.B said...

Right on! But admittedly, I am sometimes guilty of this myself - mostly because I keep procrastinating and by the time I am ready to reply, the post is already so basi and no one's gonna bother anymore!! Haiyo!!

1:45 AM  
Blogger Restless said...


7:48 AM  
Blogger Queen Of The House said...

This entry and the previous one should be required reading for all bloggers :)

10:13 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

Anggerik Merah: It was a life I knew and enjoyed. But I've opened a new chapter now. A new page to move on. Don't know where all this will lead me to but so far, it's been good.

Xaviera: Oh, hello there too, ma'am. How are you?

Dee3: I second and third that too, ma'am.

Thinktankgal: I was hungry when wrote that. LOL.

Noni: I know you do, ma'am.

Mama Rock: Thank you, ma'am.

Anedra: I'll wait around for inspiration and then I'll let you know. Of course, by the time I've gotten the inspiration you'd have completed a third series.

UBA: Yes, it is nice to read the comment. I enjoy it.

Maklang: So far I haven't got something like that. Of course, that's because I have no one to have a misunderstanding with and write about it. LOL.

Mama Sarah: The entry you mentioned has been written. Will go over it once again to see if it's good enough.

Blackfeline: There must have been a confusion. You know how it is, sometimes while scrolling up and down to reply to each comment you eyes somehow miss something and before you know it, you reply something meant for someone else. I'm truly sorry, ma'am.

Blabs: You raised an interesting point. Maybe I can afford to attend to each and every comment because I don't have a day time job. LOL. Maybe I judge those who don't reply the comment too harshly. I am sorry if I do.

Anim: Thank you for visiting, ma'am. How are you getting along?

QOTH: Thank you, ma'am. It's a big thing to say and I feel good already. Thank you.

11:01 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

I hope I didn't miss anyone. Lemme run that one more time.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Restless said...

I've started writing again...

12:15 PM  
Blogger Restless said...

Oh yea, Berg, I'm still single and am an English teacher...

12:18 PM  
Blogger Lollies said...

and many other internet etiquette (sp?). I learn that by adding this smiley :-) or the likes will also give the impression that we are actually smiling. So a sinister remark with a :-) would mean as a joke

4:33 PM  
Blogger Sayuti said...

sir bergen and mdm blackfeline,

i'm sorry. i have that habit of replying to other people's comment on other people's blog. i'm so used to online forum, sometimes i treat blogs as such.

apologize for causing uneasiness for both of you.


10:44 PM  
Blogger BLaCkFeLiNe said...

Sayuti, no need for's oke and thank you bergen..

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've been reading your blog for quite some time now, but never left any comment.
totally agree with you on this. courtesy plays an important role if you want things to be harmonious.
like you, i've stopped visiting certain blogs simply because my humble comments were no longer acknowledged.


3:07 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Nefertiti: Thank you for coming, ma'am.

4:08 PM  
Blogger About Blogreader said...

About "blogging courtesy" and commenting: I have a blog also but I rarely respond to comments. I prefer to email. It's more in-depth and personal, and I get to know the commenter better. For people who don't provide an email address, I drop hints for them to email me. Generally people do comply, which makes me very happy :) If not, no loss for either party. Obviously, they're not interested in anything deep, and I'm not interested in anything shallow.

In addition to my blog, I also have an online diary where commenting is not an option, because I'm not trying to open a conversation or a forum. I'm just describing what my day was like and the things I did, and sharing it with people in order to force myself to improve my writing. My previous site on Blogger was called "On-again, off-again diary." Eventually, I realized I was not being consistent by keeping an online diary on Blogger (where comments are important) so I moved it to Diaryland.

Finally: the comments count gets blown up artificially every time the host replies. It's somewhat misleading to see "8 comments" at the bottom of a post when in fact it's just 4 comments plus my 4 replies. So I stopped that practice and began emailing replies instead.

10:41 PM  

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