Friday, January 16

An open invitation

One of the ills placed at the door of social media is that it is eroding our social skills and  the ability to connect with other human beings.

In my opinion social media is what you make it. It's the same as any other innovation and can have negative and positive aspects depending on how it is used. 

I have found that social media and in particular blogging has widened my social network

Through blogging I have made contact with people that I would have never otherwise met. I have interacted with people from different backgrounds and societies across the world - many of whom I have come to think of as friends. Some I have met up with in person and others I would like to meet at some time.

I have learned about other parts of the world through the eyes of the people who live there. Language isn't a barrier as we can use utilities that translate into a form that, although at times  may be imperfect, is understandable. 
Communities of bloggers evolve that can offer support in many ways and provide a social connection to those who may otherwise feel isolated. I know many of you prefer just to read blogs and not get any further involved - which is absolutely fine - but I also know that there are some of you out there who would love to become part of the blogging community.

Some feel that to join in conversations would be a bit like crashing a private party. The commenters all seem to 'know' one another. We all started off feeling the same way but all the bloggers that I know welcome new commenters with open arms. We're a friendly bunch and won't write anything to make you feel uncomfortable or suggest that you are an intruder. You don't have to keep a blog of your own but if you do we are likely to pop over to have a peep at it.

Then some of you may just not know how to become involved so here is a quick help guide just for you. 

First click on the comments link at the foot of the post
A box will open as shown below

  1. Type your comment in the box
  2. Choose how to login ( If you do not have one of the accounts listed choose Name/Url. You don't need to have an Url and can use your own name or a nickname. You may be asked to click in a box to prove that you are not a robot. Try to avoid using Anonymous as many bloggers will consider messages from Anonymous to be spam).
You can them go ahead and publish your comment.
Some blogs are set up so that the author can read the comment before allowing it to be published. If you click in the Notify me box you should receive an email when your comment is published. With my blog comments to newer posts are published straight away.

Don't be afraid to have a go  as no-one will mind if you get things wrong. Comments don't have to be in English.

If you would like to have a go but would rather do so less publicly then feel free to use the page that I have set up on my test blog here.

NB: This open invitation does not extend to spammers who post bogus comments to advertise products that instead only serve to annoy. If such comments make it through the spam filtering they will be removed. I moderate comments for posts older than five days before allowing publication. Please ignore any links posted by spammers to avoid giving encouragement. 



29 comments:

  1. Spam, spam, spam, glorious spam! Spam and chips; Spam egg and chips; Spam chips and egg, Spam, Spam, Spam and Spam! OK, delete this one is you must, Sue. :)

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    1. No Mark I'd never regard you as spam. Nowadays we get it via the telephone too - the current one that us annoying us"I am ringing about a problem with your computer!"

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    2. You all get that same computer problem phone spam too? I would think across the pond you would have different ones.

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    3. I think that the calls come from India, Daphne. We get loads of other types too.

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    4. My MIL who is nearly 90 gets calls about computer support from people in India, and she has never even owned a computer. She is too polite (or wet!) to just put the phone down, and sometimes has a good chat with "Alistair from Bangalore" !

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    5. I too once had a long chat with someone where I played wet and it went something like, "Someone is looking through my window and giving my computer a disease?" After this went on for a while (the caller never twigged it was a wind-up) I was passed on to the supervisor,

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    6. I just ask them where the heck are they, telling them they were supposed to be here three days ago to start putting in my new windows and conservatory and I want my money back ~ that throws them good and proper.
      Or else, I speak to them in Welsh and they soon hang up! hehehe

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    7. You sound as bad as me, Deb pity I don;t speak Welsh.

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  2. I would like to say thank you for your blog and all the work and information you share. I don't always leave a comment, but I do read most of your posts, because as a novice gardener I love to see what others are doing.
    I don't know any of your followers on here, but I am getting to know many of my own small band of regular followers well. Not knowing the usual crowd on any blog does not inhibit me from leaving a comment. I hear your comment about social media eroding our social skills, but in my own case, as a full time and live in carer it does give me more contact with the outside world than I would have if social media did not exist.
    I hope you are making warming winter foods from your wonderful harvest as we shiver today. ~~~Deb in Wales

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    1. Hi Deb - thanks for this, I do believe blogs, forums and other forms of social media can offer a lifeline to many people who are isolated or housebound/ The critics latch on to the negative aspect and seem blinkered to the positive elements, I think one aspect is that we can learn so much about other ways of life and learn that over the world many of us have the same interests and can use them to make connections,

      I often visit blogs where I don't always leave comments. Some I visit very regularly and others I dip into. I am happy for people to treat my blog in the same way I just would hate to think that anyone felt excluded from joining in. I look forward to paying more visits to your blog too and seeing how you are getting on,

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  3. What a great post. I've felt exactly how you describe in the past, afraid to comment as everyone seems to know each other, but bloggers are such friendly people and every blogger I know is only too happy to receive comments, whether they know the person it's from or not. Leaving a comment on a blog is also a great way to encourage others to read your blog, not only the owner of the blog you're commenting on but other people reading your comment often pop by too.

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    1. That's very true, Jo I've found new blogs by following up on commenters to other blogs. Also as far as gardening is concerned I enjoy the blogs of new gardeners as much as I do ones who have been gardening for years

      I've also met people who have been regular visitors to my blog but never commented, It's strange when people know so much about you and what you have been doing but that you didn't know existed

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    2. You do wonderfully well Sue in making people 'comfortable' in commenting on your blog. Wish I had your touch. We really do welcome comment on our blogs.
      Had I never started blogging I would never have met you!. (Perhaps I have just destroyed my case!)
      I agree with not using the anonymous option, most spam is anonymous. I do find it wonderful how google filters out most of the spam!
      I am lucky at the moment that I have no need to check incoming comment.
      I have however recently had multiple adds flooding in from a wretched american pest control company!

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    3. Is that bit (destroyed my case) from yours or my point of view, Roger? I noticed that the pest controlling had attacked you - there's irony in that isn't there, These types often attack old posts and them their comments is shipped out by email to everyone who is following the comments - like me. This is why I moderate all comments on posts over five days old so that their spam doesn't get published, That's my method of pest control,

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  4. I couldn't agree more Sue, both on the social value of blogging and the exchange of comments. I was a blog reader for many months before I plucked up the courage to make a comment and get so much more out of it now that I do.
    Time is pressing for all of us I know, but I do appreciate it when the blog author responds to comments individually, as you do. And I love it when comments spawn further comments and a conversation develops.

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    1. I think we all started off in the same way, Jessica, Not working does help with the individual responses as you say not everyone has the time but I like to think of it as a two way conversation and always ask for notification of follow up comments when visiting other people's blogs,

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  5. Sue, well written! Very encouraging and instructional and with me trying to get back to blogging again, a "pick me upper". Thank you.

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  6. I started blogging to meet like minded folks as none of my family or friends are into gardening. As you describe I felt a bit awkward at posting comments at the beginning but now, I am a bit more confident of posting comments.
    Great post and very easy instructions, well done Sue.

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    1. At least when posting a comment no one need know who you are until you feel more confident Angie - it's not like meeting face to face, I think we all start off feeling that way and wondering what type of reception we will receive.

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  7. I read blogs for a really long time without ever commenting, but I've got so much more out of it all now that I do.

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    1. It;s good that many people are confirming that they felt reluctant to post comments at first CJ

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  8. Very well done Sue. I hope your post encourages people to comment. I have friends who read blogs but have never left a comment. I think most of them are afraid of somehow or other losing some privacy on the net.
    Like me, I think most bloggers would very much like to get comments from people who read their posts regularly but have never commented. For instance, I seem to have many Chinese readers - I would dearly like to see a comment from one of them one of these days.

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    1. You can control what you wish to reveal about yourself can't you Alain and use a pen name if you don't wish to be identified, There are some visitors who after having been commenting for ages who I don't know the 'real' name of and that is just fine, On the positive side I had a friend who emigrated 40 years ago make contact through finding me and an email address on the net.
      I have visitors from surprising parts of the world that I would love to hear from too and find out about their world, Language is no longer a real barrier is it?

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  9. Interesting post Sue. I don't leave comments on some of the larger blogs I read. It does seem that some & no way near all are quite clicky.

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    1. I think that I am sometimes put off when blogs have dozens of commenters, I think that when so many are commenting why would they be interested in what I am saying. Then I think of how I would feel if I was the blog author and know as much as I value regular commenters I also love to hear from someone new; If I am ignored that's life but many will respond to comments either directly or by popping to visit me and making a comment here. I may not comment on some blogs regularly just if I feel that I have something to add to the conversation. It;s a bit like having friends that you pop by just for a chat and the people that you speak to at a meeting when asked to give an opinion, Have you had experience of being shut out or is it just a perception? I know that I sometimes visit a blog and get a feel that it isn't for me and others I take time to warm to, others I take to immediately. One thing for certain is no-one will be shut out here.

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  10. What an interesting post and comments. I do hope it helps the shy overcome their nerves and leave a comment. I was amazed to find out one of my blogger friends used to be really scared to comment on blogs, I suppose I forget that bloggers come in many different types and some are quite reserved.xxx

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    1. Many of the people who write blogs or make comments are reserved in the 'real world, Dina

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  11. If you would like to try making a comment but don't want to do so publicly then I have set up this page on my test blog that you can use.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It isnot published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.