Today's is not wildly inspiring post but it is about what we do here – you and me together – and some changes.
They come about as a result of your generosity during the first ever TimeGoesBy donation campaign last month for which I am deeply grateful.
The biggest change so far is the upgrade of the TGB email version thousands of subscribers receive. The advertising that previously muddied it up is gone now and as of Wednesday, the html version of the mailing actually looks like the web page:
A big thank you to Heather at my email delivery service, Feedblitz, for undertaking that improvement for me. It hadn't occurred to me when I upgraded to the paid version that I could recreate the look and feel of the website so it's a nice surprise to me and I hope for you too.
ATTENTION EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS
There is another improvement for email subscribers but first, some background about it.
Almost every day for as long as this blog has been going, I receive about half a dozen (and often more) emails with comments about the day's blog post which are obviously meant to be shared with all readers.
Although I don't always have time, I try to answer most of them to explain:
- When you hit “reply,” only I receive your comment via return email
- To comment so that others can read what you have taken time to write:
- Click the story title. It will then open in your browser
- Scroll to the bottom of the story and click the word “Comments”
- The page will reload with a form at the bottom for your comment
- Fill in your name (any name you want) and email address (required and it must be real but will not posted)
- Write your comment and click “Post”
Believe it or not, your not-so-bright blogger here never, over a decade, saved that list so she could copy it into an email reply. I type it out every damned time and I cannot tell you how tedious and time-consuming that is.
More important, however, is that many of these email-only comments are good, informative, fascinating or funny and worth the light of day.
So now, at the bottom of the new and improved email newsletter is a link that says, “Comment at Time Goes By.”
All you need to do is click those words – Comment at Time Goes By - and the story will open in your browser already positioned at the bottom of the list of comments left by other readers, ready for your pithy contribution. Please use this.
Because TimeGoesBy has such a high level of smart, thoughtful readers, there are few if any of the troll problems that have caused many commercial news websites to close their comment sections in recent years.
There are, however, two reminders worth making: All off-topic comments and all comments with outbound links are deleted.
For a long time I allowed links within comments to other websites if they were related to the day's topic. But in recent years there are so many fake comments that exist only to link to commercial and retail websites that I just delete any comment with a link. It's too time consuming to check them all.
However, you are allowed to link to a personal blog in your comment signature. There is a space in the form to fill in the URL of your blog which automatically turns your name into a link when the comment is published.
One last comment item: It goes without saying, I hope, to not use all caps in your comments and to leave an empty line space between paragraphs. It's hard enough to read on a screen, let's all make it as easy as possible for everyone.
TWITTER AND FACEBOOK
A few hundred readers subscribe to TGB via Twitter. The link takes them to this page you are now reading.
And some others subscribe via Facebook where there is a short excerpt from the day's blog post and a link to the blog page. A few people leave comments at Facebook (and on very rare occasions at Twitter) which are, of course, never seen by the majority of people who read TGB at the website.
Mostly, I use Twitter and Facebook as secondary distribution channels for people who spend their time on those services - which I generally don't.
I have gone to great lengths over many years to consolidate all my subscriptions, RSS feeds, Google Alerts, etc. in one place - my email/calendar program - so I don't often check those two social media sites.
I have so many subscriptions that they are about all the electronic input I can handle without losing my mind having to check Facebook and Twitter in addition to my email feed.
This may change soon, if only slightly. The wonderful Erin Read who is director of strategic planning at Creating Results and also a friend, spent more than an hour on Go To Meeting with me a couple of weeks ago.
She showed me how I can expand the usefulness of those two social networks for readers of Time Goes By without taking too much more time from my life than I can tolerate.
She also made it easy to understand for someone who has assiduously refused to learn anything about Facebook and Twitter beyond the automatic distribution.
So don't hold your breath but it shouldn't be too long before there are a few social media changes related to Time Goes By. And thank you again, Erin, for the generosity of your time and amazing expertise.
If you have been tolerant enough to read this far through today's housekeeping post, you deserve a reward – or at least a giggle. So for your patience, here is a bit of internet animal silliness: Cats stealing dogs' beds.