ELDER GEEK: The Big Mystery
Don't Trust What They Tell You

Attention Email Subscribers – and Others Too

Comments, conversation and community are the life blood of blogs. Many of us have become good friends having first “met” one another in the comments sections of our blogs. Plus, the comments provide a lot of additional information, ideas and thoughts without which this, and any blog, would be just another column of one-way communication.

Recently, there has been a large uptick in the number of email messages I receive in response to the stories published here – more than I have time to respond to individually. They are obviously intended to be part of the conversation, but they never appear in the comments section of the post because they show up only in my email inbox.

Here is how that happens: You receive Time Goes By via email. When you want to respond, you click “Reply,” write your message and click “Send.” What happens then is the same as when you reply to a personal email from anyone; your message is routed to my email inbox.

To appear on the blog, your comment must be entered on the website. As Virginia DeBolt's Elder Geek column made clear yesterday, it can be difficult to learn all the different things we need to know about our computers, the programs we use and websites. So here are instructions to get your messages into the comments section of the blog where everyone can read them:

  1. DO NOT CLICK “REPLY” IN YOUR EMAIL PROGRAM

  2. Instead, click the title of the story at the top of the email

  3. Your browser will open the page of blog where that story resides, the same story you just read in the email feed

  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the story

  5. You will see comments from other readers (if there are any yet)

  6. Below the story or other comments is a box labeled “Post a Comment”

  7. Write your comment in that box

  8. Fill in your name (any name you want)

  9. Fill in your email address (it will not be published)

  10. Add the URL of your blog; if you don't have one, leave the space blank

  11. Click “Post” and your comment will appear

There is also a “Preview” button which allows you to check your comment and make any changes or corrections you desire before publishing.

Many bloggers send only the first two or three paragraphs of a story in their email feeds which requires you to click “Read more” to finish the story at the website. This inflates page views, which bloggers like to have, of course, but I personally find it annoying to be interrupted part way through a story, so not wanting to inflict that on subscribers, I send the entire story in the feed.

But my inbox is so full of “reply” comments these days, that I may switch to partial feeds. If you would like to help prevent that move, re-read the above instructions for commenting. Most importantly, bloggers love to read what people say about their efforts and I know that many readers check comments throughout the day and often respond to one another.

I also field a lot of messages from email subscribers telling me I've forgotten to include the video, audio or photos that are referenced in the story. It is not that I have forgotten; audio and video are not embedded in the email so, like commenting, it is necessary to visit the website to see or hear these elements. Just click the title of the story and the blog will open in your browser where you can see the video or hear the audio.

Photos included in a blog post may or may not appear in your email feed. That is controlled entirely by you. If you do not see photos that are referenced in the text, it means you have set your email program to not load images “inline”. You can change that under “Tools” or “Options”.

I hope this helps you understand blog commenting and that you will now be able to join the conversation with other readers who have made me laugh and cry and taught me so much over the years. If you have any questions, just post them in the Comments below and I will respond there.


This story has been cross-posted at The Elder Storytelling Place.

Comments

Thanks for the help about posting comments. I thought we were going to have to go to Newsvine, which I didn't like AT ALL. Loved the post about Perceptions of Aging a few days ago, which is what "50ToDeath" is all about. Just finished shooting our first 22 minute episode and there are no mentions of pharmaceuticals in it!
You are my hero!

I don't have any trouble with the items you posted, but blogspot drives me crazy. My photo disappeared mysteriously. I have trouble trying to place the text where I want it. When I am able to do so after many attempts and post my efforts I discover that blogspot has changed it. I will never understand the confusing system of the computer.

thanks

Yes, the conversations your blog posts inspire in the Comments section are definitely worthwhile, too. I must commend you, Ronni, on taking such good care of us. What a lot of work blogging can be!

COMMENTS ARE FUN!! Just started following TGB looking forward to it in 2010!

Mike Looney

Please, please try to avoid going to partial feeds. I agree with you, they are really annoying, and sometimes the link gets mixed up and you end up somewhere unrelated to what you were trying to read.

Thanks, Ronni for the info. I will strive to do that!!!

I've noticed a similar tendency for some e-mail subscribers to respond to my blog posts with an e-mailed reply. Think I'll post something similar to this to try to encourage more comments instead. They do make interesting reading!

Hmmm...perhaps that explains some of the emails that I receive. Thanks for the education, Ronni. You are the best! (Still!)

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