Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Page on Sidebar: How Do I Join the Discussion?

This is the text of a page I've added to the sidebar of the blog, just below the Home page button:  I'm reprinting it here in case anyone has any other tips for those new to blogs.  Please comment away.

I've gotten quite a few messages (either in person on via FB or email) from people new or unfamiliar with blogs.  So I decided to write this page to make it easier for you to be part of the discussion.  All you long-time bloggers, feel free to comment if you have any other tips.  I will add to this page as I make changes or as I get those tips.

I want to stress here that while I have been blogging for nearly 5 years, I have not taken advantage of all the different features of blogs.  While I am not a novice, I am still learning the process, which itself is changing all the time.  So be patient with me as this is a work in progress, in some ways the definition of every blog.  Often changing and morphing and updating with newer technologies and new ideas.

First, you might want to consider subscribing to a feed of the blog, so that you get a message when there is an update.  My primary web browser, Safari, allows me to subscribe to a blog via email, so I get an email when my favorite blogs update.  I believe there is a way for me to allow people to even more easily subscribe via email, so I've got that on my list and will update this page when I do.  Your web browser/mail program may have a similar choice, so look around on it and see.

You can also bookmark the Catholic Post Book Group and then visit whenever you have a chance, and then jump in the discussion whenever you want.

When you are ready to comment, there is a button at the bottom of each post there is a link announcing the number of comments on a post.  If you click on that link, you can post your own comment.  You may have to register with Google, but you can do so anonymously.   

You can also, when you make a comment, click a box that allows you to receive follow-up comments via e-mail.  This is a great way to keep in the discussion.

I have comment moderation "on" which means that I have to approve the comments that you make, so your comment may not show up right away.  I have comment moderation "on" for several reasons, among them: 1. every so often on people's blogs,  strange comment-bots leave Viagra or Chinese character comments, so those do not need to be part of the discussion.  I delete them right away. 2. if we do get into a heated discussion about a topic or a book, sometimes people can violate a comment code.

Here is the comment code for the Catholic Post Book Group:

 Anyone planning to join the discussion here is expected to follow these guidelines when commenting:

*I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect, especially toward those with whom I disagree—even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

*I will express my disagreements with the ideas of others without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

*I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

*I understand that comments are moderated and will not be published if they are do not meet the guidelines. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)

In searching around for a comment code, I found lots of great ones, and adapted this from Sojourners, because it is short & to the point.

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