Don’t be a Tagboard Whore

Tagboards are very useful for a beginning blogger for two chief reasons:

  1. They provide the blogger’s readers a hassle-free venue to give feedback or compliments; and
  2. They allow the blogger to easily build relationships (e.g. link exchange) with other bloggers by commenting on their  tagboards.

While there is nothing wrong with the latter – going around the tagboards of people and saying hello – this tactic is often abused (consciously or unconsciously) by many bloggers.

There are bloggers whose obvious purpose is just to advertise their own sites, leaving messages such as “Dropped by”, “Visit my blog”, or worse, just smilies. For regular visitors who are already known to the blogmaster, these are all right. But when total strangers leave these messages, they become irritating. Irritating, because:

  1. They don’t provide anything meaningful to the tagboard’s owner, and the messages’ worth is one-sided: they’re just there to get the blogger a backlink and some visits; and
  2. They simply pollute the tagboard.

A year ago, I had the unpleasant experience of encountering one such beginning blogger. He was a serial tagboard spammer – after victimizing my tagboard, in a day’s time he had gone through my entire blogroll and left the exact senseless message in each of my friends’ boards.

That fellow went on to have a fairly successful blog in my nation’s local blogosphere, but what he didn’t (and still doesn’t) know to this day is that quite a number of bloggers regard him lowly. (For the record, he also went on to launch a couple of spammy, made-for-ads blogs!)

The behavior above can be forgiven if the blogger is a high-schooler, but for adults, it shows bad ‘blog-etiquette’. If you’re out to gain some backlinks and return visits when you post on a tagboard, be fair and give something back to the board’s owner. Here are a couple of ways to achieve that:

  1. Compliment. Every blog has a good side to it. Whether it’s the quality of the writing or the color combination of the design, praise it. It shouldn’t take too much time or words on your part, so don’t settle for “Nice blog”.
  2. State your business. If you’re out for link exchange, then don’t get shy about it. Link exchanges benefit both bloggers, after all. It would be great if you can combine this with #1.
  3. Comment on the blog posts themselves. Do you know what a blogger appreciates better than tagboard commentors? Visitors who take the time to share their thoughts on the blog posts. The blogger will remember you better, too.