Monday, April 15

How to Blog During Tragedy

image via Getty Images

I was going to light heartedly blog about our weekend for my post tonight, but after the news about Boston, it just didn't feel right.

I thought I'd get a few things off my chest instead, like my thoughts on blog (and social media) posts written immediately following a tragedy. Not that I'm anyone who's anyone, or an authority on anything, but I do have opinions about how social media/blog posts are handled during difficult times. Here are my thoughts, do with them what you'd like.

DO:
+Offer helpful links like Google's people finder
+Offer information on blood donation
+Give sincere words of encouragement
+Set up or take part in a fundraiser to help those affected
+Take part in a blogger day of silence
+Reschedule or cancel regular posts, link-ups, Twitter parties, etc. (I'm not saying this is absolutely necessary, just do what you feel you need to).

DON'T
+Suddenly become  a news reporter and offer statistics (i.e. number of deaths/injuries). You're not a reporter, there's a good chance your information could be wrong, and if it is wrong you might stir up a lot of unneeded panic/worry. (Link to a reputable article from CNN, or similar news sources if you want to provide information on statistics).
+Sensationalize
+Post gory/bloody pictures. Sure, these are going to grab attention, but they aren't doing anything positive, and I can tell you that if I, or someone I knew, was a victim, seeing a picture like that would make me more than furious. The subjects of those photos are real people, with real lives, and real loved ones.
+Post about a current tragedy with a gimmicky title just to drive traffic to your blog. There are plenty of appropriate times to to try to drive traffic to your site, but a tragedy isn't one of them.

These aren't earth shattering words and I hope this is simply common sense for most of us. I don't have an agenda other than to share what's on my mind. Ultimately, we all have to make a choice in regard to if and how we will respond to current events, but if you want to retain a positive reputation as a blogger  or just as a citizen (since all of this applies to Facebook/Twitter postings as well) then you might want to think twice (or thrice) about what you are posting.

Feel free to leave your own thoughts on the subject in the comments.

4 comments:

Grass Skirt said...

Thanks for this post. I was literally JUST telling my husband that it didn't feel right to blog tomorrow. I usually partake in the blogger day of silence when a tragedy occurs which has been way too often lately.

http://thegrassskirtblog.com

Sarah @ Life, Love & Dinner said...

Oh, my heart is aching. Praying, praying, praying.

Kelly {Sparkles and Shoes} said...

SO sad, no real words. But blood donation is such a great idea!

xx
Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes

Naznin Azeez said...

This post is extremely thoughtful. Kudos to you!

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