The Unwritten Bloggers' Code

3:06:00 PM

I have forsaken my much treasured afternoon nap (when you're insomniac you go to sleep at 2.30 AM and when your 7-year-old is being fussy you can't help but move your butt at 6 AM to make sure he's behaving and go to school in time. I NEED my nap!) to write this because i am oh-so-irked at the moment.
I am not a veteran blogger nor am i one of the most successful one around, i have only been blogging for less than two years (going to celebrate this blog's second bday on December!) but in those short but memorable almost two years, i have learned a few of the unwritten bloggers' code. There are more but that i might learn in the future, but at the moment for me all of the codes/rules boil down to one point and one point only : R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Half of this blog post is inspired by my fellow blogger's, Dewie's, FB status a few days ago (was it yesterday? I can't remember...) but more to that later (on the second part of this blog post)-it combined with another incident propels me to write this little piece. You might or might not agree with me, i don't really care-but if you have common sense then you should. LOL. There are not a lot of points, but every points really counts.

Point ONE :

For Bloggers :

1. Be courteous
Show your gratitude, when you're a blogger who attends events and do reviews then never fail to thank whoever sends you stuffs/invite you to an event. If you do not care about the product or event, then maybe you shouldn't accept the item/invitation in the first place. I personally would always thank whoever invites me (or even just mention me to the event organizer that in the end gave me the chance to be invited) to an event PERSONALLY. If the person gave you their name (which they would, 99% of the time), it never hurts to thank them again in your blog post. You might be thinking "Why should i? It's their job! (to spread the invitation)", then think again. It might be the brand/company who's having the event, but without the person sitting behind the table, typing an invitation letter for you, you would not be able to attend it.

2. Be respectful to your fellow bloggers
Blogging community is a small community, what goes around comes around. Especially in Indonesia, and ESPECIALLY locally. I don't believe in seniority or whatever, but you can always learn from those who've been in this (blogging) world longer than you-and most of them would gladly share their "wisdom" (except for the few super stuck up ones) IF you are respectful to them (respect is not a matter of age, i would try my best to show respect to everybody-who earns it-even if they're less than half my age!).

3. Always say thanks
It's the combination of point one or two, you need to always say THANKS (okay, not if you're an ignorant B, but if you are then you shouldn't be reading this blog post anyway) and that's not only to brands/company, but also to you fellow bloggers who did nice things for you. Some brands would send invitation to one blogger and then ask that blogger to bring her blogger friends (which is happening to me a lot for some reason), yes the invitation is from the company but your blogger friend has NO obligation to invite you. (And yes, some brands/companies never requires you to write a piece on their event, but isn't it why they ask bloggers to come? For coverage? We're not celebrities that can grace an event just by our presence *LOL*! If you continue to neglect giving coverage after getting free stuffs/been to an event where you're given free stuffs, don't be surprised if no brands/companies would ever invite you again. It's called being responsible of what you establish yourself to be. Dare to call yourself a blogger? Then blog!)
In fact, if they're the person who seems to always be "in charge" (Kathy calls me something like "Mother Hen" which i really hate because it makes me seem so old and let's face it, i look much younger than majority of people who are younger than me :p) they can easily CUT OFF your access. I know it's much cooler to write as if the brands approach you personally (in some people's minds), but that's being disrespectful to your blogger friend who went to all that trouble extending the invitation to you. Remember, if you neglect showing the overdue gratitude to them, they would think 10x before tipping you for another event/sponsorship.

4. Give credit
I occasionally take pictures from the internet but save from generic cartoon memes or those with lack of original sources, i would always mention the source, especially if it comes from another person's blog. LINK BACK, it's another form of saying thank you for letting you borrow their pictures. I don't always link my friends' names because i mention them over and over again (you know like Kathy, or Olin) and for some cases... I might know your personally but i am not familiar with your blog. And since i don't owe you anything, i don't really have to link back. I would when i can and remember to, but it's not a must.
5. Be sociable but never suffocating
Like i mentioned earlier, it's a small world. When you're friendly and engage with your audience/blogger friends people are most likely to remember you-which only leads to a lot of good things. Having said that, i am not one to "Follow back, please!" kind of blogger. Some might think i am snobbish/arrogant, but i want you to follow my blog only if you're interested in it, not because i want my follower's number to be great. If you compare this blog's traffic and the followers (we only have about 350 followers and all scattered in G+, GFC and Bloglovin, in fact you can see our GFC followers are only a measly 79 *LOL*) then you might notice a little discrepancy, but that's okay. Our blog's worth is not counted by numbers. I can now politely refuse requests to follow back, but once in a while people would go to all the trouble to personally message me and then i find it really hard to say no. Please don't do that...
That's all i can think of at the top of my head, if anything else comes up i'll update/do a part 2. 

Now on to second point (which should be a lot shorter) :

For Brands/Companies :

1. Don't approach bloggers if you have no fix deal/plan to see it through (or what we like to call PHP-Pemberi Harapan Palsu or False Hope Giver *LOLOLOL*)
It's not like i have plenty of brands/companies running after me to get their products reviewed or whatever (i seem to get a lot more event invitation or writing project requests than product review requests-i probably suck at reviewing products *LOL*) but i've gotten quite a few of unpleasant incidents (all involving big, famous companies) where they would approach me, even set up a little "meeting" (since i am not residing in Jakarta then the meeting would be over the phone or Skype), ask for my address and phone number (which i DO NOT give out easily. Well, except for our office's address coz i couldn't care less if it gets spread out!), give me time tables and deadlines and then... Nothing. Just disappear into thin air. It's super annoying and disrespectful to the blogger (see, it's all come back to respect! I should title this post RESPECT probably), just don't approach us if you do not have a fix deal and you can make sure you'll be able to pull it through. 
2. Treat bloggers like you would other journalists
We are journalists, we just have a different platform than those newspaper/magazine people. But guess what, our audience's wider and even people who are not into specific things might end up in our blog just by googling (trust me, my niece BB kept on complaining because my pics kept on popping up on Google search when she was searching for different things). I can never stress this enough, for brands/companies who are thinking of collaborating with bloggers-train your staffs to be aware of us and what we do. We have enough of undertrained staffs treating us like some gift/freebie hunter that should be bitched at. We do not get free stuffs, we get stuffs in exchange for all of our troubles-which includes being there and writing a piece about your product/event (and that would cost you a lot less than ads in traditional medias)
3. Bloggers' work is their property
Unless you have asked a blogger to sign an agreement (like in advert posts where the blogger should agree that the brand/company has every right to that very article and every pictures in that article), respect the bloggers' work. Even if they're covering your event/reviewing your product, if you want to use those pictures for different purposes (further advertisement, for an instant), ask for permission. They'd most likely to give you consent (if the picture/article's about your company anyway), but they would feel less robbed when you have the courtesy to ask. I must credit Jennie from Miracle for always making sure with us that every picture, testimonial, and article are okay to be used before actually using them!

I think that covers just about all, please feel free to add any points (be reasonable though!) in the comment section below! 

Feeling much better,

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  1. tahu gak sih ce ? aku benar2 translate postnya cece per point biar aku lebih mendalami makna blogger sebenarnya . thank u ce , this is nice post :)

  2. Di php sama company itu yg paling sering~ padahal companynya lumayan besar lho tapi hbs nanya2 malah ngilang hikz..nice post ce :)

    1. Iyooo sama Sha, aq curiga deh ini company yg sama yg PHP in banyak blogger!

  3. nice post Mindy :) yg paling sakit itu di PHP ama company huhuhuuu T_T

  4. So true! We should always treat others the way we want to be treated. Never mind if they do not reciprocate (at least we know whom to avoid) hahaha

    1. Yes! So true! LOL! I'll avoid them like a plague from now on!

  5. attitude emg paling penting ce, suka kesel juga kl company minta ini itu trs ngilang.. eh tau2 datang lg menanyakan kerjasama.. ckck uda terlanjur malas sm company hobi yg kyk gt meskipun yg handle beda..
    aku pengeeeenn diundang event huhuw solo minim sekali event nya >_< and point sbg blogger emg kita hrs jaga hubungan sm sesama blogger lain, jangan jaim n sok senior, sok populer trs milih2 temen yg sesama jkt saja bla bla bla
    thank you ci mindy postingannya membantu banget! seneng jg jd inspirasi ce mindy wkwkwk

    1. Huhuhu iya Wie... Di Surabaya kayaknya taon ini baru mulai rame juga koq, semoga makin rame trus makin banyak yg aware tentang blogger and segera menular ke kota2 lain seperti solo yahh!
      Huahahahah km koq kayaknya sensitive sama yg milih2 tmn sesama Jakarta itu, aq jd kepooo :p!
      Sama2, dan mungkin lain kali bakalan muncul blog post lagi insipired by you hahaha

    2. maksudku sesama kota ce wkwk kepikiran jkt coz banyak blogger yang dr jakarta *sigh hahaa event2 smua dijkt..wkwk bukan krn seseorang haha
      aku kemarin baca post cc yg event klinik itu..huaaa seruu banget! rame.. semoga solo mulai berdatangan deh.. amin hahaa

    3. Oh hahahahah km bikin aq kepo lho LOLOLOL... Iya, smg makin banyak event utk kita ya wie hihihihi

  6. Agree! Respect is the key.
    Udh sampe cape bgt dah sama org yg suka nyolong foto tanpa ijin. Gak tau kenapa banyak org yg gak tau etika banget ya...

    Dan Ttg vendor yg ngsh php trus ilang itu emg annoying. Lbh annoying lg yg udh sampe dibikinin draft tulisan tp minta direvisi terus karena requirements nya ganti ganti terus. Ini pengalaman pribadi nih.. Akhirnya sampe gw kesel trus gw cancel aja dah. Rugi waktu gw. Sejak itu kalo ada yg mau di review gw minta bayar DP atau full di depan baru gw bikinin draft. Kalo gak ada transferan, gak gw pikirin dah. Hahaha.

    1. Iya Man, apalagi gw sering baca d blog lu yg foto2 Emma sering d colong gitu *sigh* ngeselin bgt.

      HUAH yg bener aja kalo minta revisi melulu sih grrrr, buang2 waktu and energy kita banget... Bener Man, minta trf dl kita kan buka pekerja paksa hahahaa

  7. very well said ce XD nice post
    kyknya rata2 smua blogger prnh di-PHP sama company ya :p lol

    1. Thank you :D..
      Aq curiga company nya sama...

  8. Company PHP! :O

    Entah itu orang PR-nya emang sibuk banget sampai email aja nggak diurusin atau sengaja ditinggal karena nggak biasa kerja pake email, ada juga yang alesan ini-itu bla bla blaaa -_-" Pokoknya sampai sejauh ini, belum pernah deal sama company yang responnya cepet dan kadang juga ada yg goal-nya kurang clear waktu perjanjian di depan, padahal yg nulis ya orang PR lho. Komunikasinya kok payah -_-"

    Jadi hilang respect yaa sama company PHP, pasang muka poker face aja lah. Who knows if they bitch about your bad attitude to other PRs companies toward their "laziness to respond emails" LOL!

    Oh ya, soal invitation di event2 itu aku ga pernah bisa dateng huhuhuhu Soalnya kadang hari kerja, kadang juga Sabtu, kadang juga lokasinya juauuuuhhh. Aku bisanya keluar cuma Minggu T.T Semoga Surabaya makin rame event2nya biar nggak jutek mulu liat coverage event di Jakarta LOL :p

    1. Hahahaha... Kalo aq sama company yg PHP itu jstr responnya awalnya cpt banget lo, tiap aq bales e-mailnya dia bales lg dalam hitungan menit, trus ga lama telp utk deal. Tp ya sama aja ujung2nya ngilang hehehehe...

      Iya sayang bgt km ga bisa ikutan, pdhal the more the merrier nih :D