Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Living in Bloggerville

UGH!  A pictureless post!  I know!  What's come over TexWisGirl who tends to pepper in more pix than is sometimes reasonable, then adds insult to injury by posting a couple of times a day?!

Well, I'm coming up on my 1 year blogiversary next month, so thought I'd do a post about some of the things I've learned in this here virtual town we live in.  When other bloggers have posted tips on being a better blog host or visitor, I've really appreciated their knowledge sharing so figured I'd share a few things that ring true for me.

1.  LEAVE COMMENTS:  When you visit a blog, whether it is regularly or just a one-time thing, leave a comment to let the blogger know you were there.  Sometimes we can see in our traffic sources (available under Stats) or some other widget (like BlogFrog or FeedJit's Live Traffic Feed) that you were there, but a comment is so much nicer.  When I drop in on a blog I've not seen before, I try to leave a comment - showing appreciation for their blog or post.  After all, they put forth the effort to do a post.  I made the effort to view it.  Even if I'm not compelled to follow them, I want to at least say hello and wish them well. 

2.  FOLLOW PUBLICLY:  If you use Google Friend Connect to follow blogs, if you have a blog of your own, by all means follow publicly so folks can see you and find your blog in return.  In connection with that:

3.  INCLUDE YOUR LINK IN YOUR BLOGGER PROFILE:  So many followers don't show their own blog address as a link in their profile.  When someone follows me, I try to go back and visit their blog too, but if they don't provide a link, I can't find their blog when I click on their little follower photo.  It's only if they leave a comment that I can click on their name and "follow them home" that way.  Include your blog in your profile under Dashboard-Edit Profile-Show My Blogs.

4. MAKE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS PUBLIC:  I have comments delivered to my email inbox and usually read them there.  If you leave a comment on my blog that asks a question, I will often try to respond via email rather than reply with another comment on my post (I don't think many folks return to a blog to see if you've answered their question - who has the time?!)  Anyway, if you have your email address marked private, I can't respond directly.  You can change this to allow email replies to your comments by adjusting your profile settings under Dashboard-Edit Profile-Show My Email Address (make sure you've got the email address identified in the Identity section where you want your emails to go to).

I thought I had this setting in place, but I didn't for a long time.  It took some comments left by followers before I realized they were getting the dreaded Noreply-Comment@Blogger.com message when they tried to email me.  I credit Beth at be yourself...everyone else is taken as the first blogger that I read to explain how to correct this problem. 

5.  CONSIDER REMOVING WORD VERIFICATION - Especially if you moderate/approve all comments before they are posted:  It's incredibly time consuming for us blog-addicted readers to comment on each blog we read (my list currently tops 200).  However, I try to stick to my #1 point above as much as possible.  Word verification (where you type in those dreadful code letters and numbers in order to leave a comment) makes the process take almost twice as long.  And then it's very frustrating to be presented with the message "your comment will be visible after approval."  (What?  I deciphered and typed that miserable code for nothing?!)  Now, I understand security concerns.  I'm just saying two deadbolts might not be necessary on your blog's door.  And, yes, I had word verification set on my blog for a long time for fear of spammers etc., but I removed it after some other bloggers suggested it.  I've not had any issues since (knock on wood, that friendly comment world will continue.)  You can adjust features for comments on your blog under Dashboard-Settings-Comments. 

5a.  On a related note, I use Open ID so non-Google account holders can comment using other ID types but I've never allowed Anonymous comments (yes, I'm afraid of haters...)

6.  SET YOUR COMMENT BOX AS A POP-UP WINDOW:  For forever, I had my comments set up to embed below my post - I thought that setting was needed to display them there.  Duh!  Nancy at A Rural Journal recently posted a suggestion to set your comments as a separate pop-up window since she was having difficulty posting comments in Bloggerville and had read that the embed setting might be an issue.  I switched mine immediately to a pop-up.  I can't tell you how constipated my keyboard must be with all the word verification letters and numbers that never "took" to the screen because of blog page reloads occurring as I was typing them in.  You know how that works - our blog page of photos, blog reading rolls, links, buttons, gadgets, widgets, etc. resets when someone has disturbed the initial load by sweetly attempting to leave a comment and having to wait for the whole flippin' page to work through its issues before it allows it.  Kind of like ripples on a pond - you have to wait for them to stop before you can see (type) clearly again.  Folks, I apologize for all my blog ripples you may have encountered in the past.  I hope my pop-up comment box makes your life more pleasant.

I am not a well-heeled blogger.  I don't use Facebook or Twitter or upload posts from IPhones and the like.  I DO use the reading list under my Dashboard's "Blogs I Follow" to get the feed from your new posts so I hopefully don't miss any.  Oh, that reminds me, if you use this same feature, when a blogger changes their blog's domain address, your "Blogs I Follow" will recognize a name change has taken place but it will no longer pick up the feed of new posts.  I learned the hard way that I had to unfollow and refollow the new address in order for it to truly recognize the new site's feed.  If you DO change your blog's name and/or address, it's best to tell your followers/readers in a post that you're doing so so they can find you.

I hope at least one of these tips is something you find helpful, agree with, will try or will at least see what settings you've had in place on your blog that you never knew about (so you'll have more "Aha" moments than "Duh" moments).  I'm sure I've missed other good tips that some of you might want to share.  But that's enough from this Bloggerville resident.  My apologies to WordPress users or anyone I've bored to death just now...

As always, I appreciate you stopping by!  Refer to #1 above!  :)

75 comments:

Deb said...

Good tips, I'm off to check my settings.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

great ideas.We can all learn from each other.I receive new blog updates on Google Reader,which I have on my desktop.I find this is the easiest for me.Keep on posting,I want to read more of your thoughts.

Rose said...

I follow most of these myself, and have been thinking about doing a post about the pop-up comment form. Due to health issues in my family, I have been an on-off blogger this past wenter and the blogs I follow, I really follow. I don't have a huge list, but I usually try to go back and see all that I have missed and comment on much of it...and when they have the embedded comment, it is such a royal pain...plus I hate the one where you hit submit and think you have commented only to click out of it and maybe comment on another post and and realize that after you hit submit, up pops the word verfication in a fresh window. I hate to think of the comments I have made and clicked out before I realized another window would pop up.

Dawn said...

:)
This seems so strange...not to see a picture!
BUT very good points!
I TRY to do many of them....I may need to revamp on a few;))

Hugs....
I appreciate you!
:)

Farm Girl said...

Just lovely, I did go back in and take the letters off just today. I figured that if some spammer starts coming around again I will put it back but I really am tired of typing in the letters too. Not to mention how many times have I wrote a comment and then didn't realize I needed to do one more step and my comment lost.
Thanks I will refer back to this. Great post, which I had it when I first started. :)

Debbie said...

great info...i hope you know how much i really appreciate it. i am still somewhat clueless as to what i am doing but have managed to tackle a bit and i am learning more everyday. one thing is for sure...i am having a lot of fun and really appreciate all your comments and help!!!!!

Debbie said...

soooo i have checked a few things and made some changes, i think. did i have the word verification on?? i think/hope i turned it off. i would have never known!!! thanks again!!!

The Wife of a Dairyman said...

Totally agree about word verification! I've never received any spam comments not having the word verification. I would MUCH rather leave comments on a blog that doesn't have that as a chosen option:)
And I want to thank YOU for leaving all the comments you do! You are most definitely the comment queen! How do you know when someone has updated their posts, because you seem to be one of the first people to comment on all blogs! Great job:)

A Rural Journal said...

All great tips and ones I try to follow. I will say that I think Blogger could do some housekeeping themselves to get many of these bugs to go away. It's a shame we have to rely on each other to do their job. :P

Home In The Hollow said...

Thank YOU so much T for the tips! The one Nancy told us the other day about the pop up box , I did immediately. I already did the one to attach my blog...let me know if it's there!!! I had my email connected...:)JP

AJ said...

Thank you for the tips. I've removed my word verification some weeks ago, I'll agree it makes commenting so much easier. I will check out tip no.6 about the pop-up window.

bon bon said...

i should probably use the "blogs i follow" feature, but i'm almost afraid to make any changes, as when i do, hell seems to break loose! ugh, indeed.

and congrats on your upcoming blogiversary! (i like that word.) man, you've surpassed me ten-fold! ha! i believe that winning smile of yours manages to shine through even when no one can see it. xo...

Randy said...

Good points. I would love to get rid of the "word verification" but I had a person leaving smart a** comments on my blog for the longest time and I have been gun shy to remove it now.

Funny I was thinking about that before I read your post.

Looking forward to tomorrow's post!

Gone Country said...

Thanks for the tip on including my link in my blogger profile. I have been blogging for 3 months now and it seems I learn something new everyday!

Can you explain more what Open ID is?

Paula said...

I just wanted to leave a comment and complain about no picture. *JUST KIDDING!* hehe
These are great tips for everybody who blogs!

IanH said...

Thanks for the tips!

Laura~DancesWithTeddyBears said...

Wow, thanks! Really helpful info.
I'm off to fix my blog thingies.

Clint said...

I love your blog and am a loyal reader/commenter; BUT---this is one of your best posts yet. Very good advice.

And, I have been blogging only since last summer, but I have had only one rude comment in my open comments. It is easy to remove something offensive---just go to "manage followers...comments" and delete the offending comment.

Diane AZ said...

Great tips for living in Bloggerville, thank you!

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

I have learned from other bloggers, too, about settings. I hate it when I want to email someone about their comment, and they have not enabled their email...it is very frustrating!

Dar said...

Great tips! I need to seriously take time to make some much needed changes. I know nothing, like Col. Klink used to say.
Also, don't know how I missed your hawk and Egret pictures....you sure have a diverse array of birds and animals around your pond. Love it.
BlessYourHeart

Judy said...

Good post T...I have TypePad and do have word verification on only because I had so much spam. I'll turn it off and see how it goes...but I can't promise you ;0
I try to follow as much as I can to the points you hit on...But, there's room for improvement :)))

EG Wow said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts very much. However, I do not give out my email address to just anyone who come to my blog as I receive quite a bit of junk mail already. I'm sure I would receive even more!

However, I'll go back and see if my comments are embedded. I really don't know!! :)

Trisha said...

Congrats on your upcoming 1 year!
So many good points here. I'm still learning everything & need to look into all of this! :) Thanks for all the help!!

vickie said...

yOur not the first one to mention this about the comments -and I did it right away when I realized it was exhausting work. Thanks to this I realized I forgot a blog.
-you know I hate those ones that will be approved too -do they really publish them you think?

vickie

Louise said...

Amen! I have to check my email address thingie. I don't know if I have it set up that way or not. Thanks for the advice.

Sharon said...

Hi T!
I set my blogs up with the pop-up comment thing right away. With a seriously slow internet connection, I don't need all the fol-da-rol.
As soon as I follow someone, I get their url and put it in my reading list right away, right on the front page, as the posts come in, they go to the top. When I get the net to work - I start at the bottom of the unread ones. If it's crawling, I shut it down and do something useful or watch tv or whatever.
To make blogging faster and easier for the rest of us with slow connections, I don't fill my page with a bunch of bells and whistles, I may be a plain jane, but I like to think I am a get in, get read, get out, kind of blog.
I do have the comments sent on the silver blog, because it is new and I go to my email much faster and more often.
If anyone finds fault with the way I do things, I'm sorry.

Bob Bushell said...

Great tips, I will try it on somebody I don't like.

Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Great tips!! That word verification does slow a girl down while you're typing along. I didn't know about the settings - I'll have to check mine.
Thanks!
Staci

edenhills said...

I do appreciate the open ID for comments. Honestly-that's why Millie started her blog. I had to borrow it to leave comments on some really awesome blogs that wouldn't allow me to comment otherwise.

Millie is now bugging me to check for the word identification.

Teresa

Buttons said...

Thanks I am still living in Newbie land afraid to change anything. I will have to see if I can make things better here. So it took you a year maybe with your suggestions I can get it done before then I have been going just over six months. Thank you again. I am currently blogging on 1GB which is proving very challenging with all the blogs I visit I have had to scale down till I get this plan worked out.B

Robin said...

Theresa, Thanks for this post! Great advice all the way down. I particularily like the first suggestion. I have three different blogs and know I'm getting visitors but usually don't get a lot of comments. AND I do appreciate that you reply! I try to answer all my comments. Sometimes I miss the odd one.
You'll be busy just reading all these comments!
And I do enjoy your blog a lot!

Jan n Jer said...

You have learned alot in your first year of blogging. Good tip on the comment pop up window...I am going to chang mine to that! Its so much faster!!!Just never really thought about it!!!

Eyeliquor 2 said...

Wow that is a lot of text!!
I'd rather have you post your pretty pictures!
Just kidding :))

Cher' Shots said...

Thanks for sharing this great info. I have an award waiting for you over on my blog.
'hugs from afar'

Inger-M said...

Thank you for this GREAT post with great tips!

I shut off the word verification a while ago when I, via Inger at Desert Canyon Living, found a blogger who made a cute button that says exactly that, and lets you grab it: http://beatricebanks.blogspot.com/2011/03/cute-as-button.html (scroll down to the end of the post).

I like the comment pop-up window because sometimes I like to be able to refer back to a post or picture while I'm commenting; it saves me saving what I've already written to avoid losing it while I go back.


I've had a few days of blog break, spending time with cute little Helmer♥.

I love your blog, and I'll catch up with commenting soon :-)

Tracy said...

Hey Tex,
Good post...I do need to look at how my comments come across. Good points and well taken.

Joe said...

Great post and ideas. Congrats on your upcoming anniversary :).
P.S. I thought I took a wrong turn in cyberspace when I got here and there were no pics ;). lol.

from my front porch... said...

Awesome post!

Here is a great site to check out.
I have given the link to a direct post on it so everyone can view what Blogger is up to and watch a video they made for some upcoming changes!

http://www.bloggerplugins.org/2011/03/whats-next-with-blogger.html

xo, misha

Margaret said...

I am going to try to figure out the pop up window thing. I might be back to ask you how you did this...

Angela said...

Great tips! The non-reply things drive me nuts but I think mine does the same thing! I tried to fix it awhile back but I don't think it worked. I'm heading there to try to fix it again from your instructions!

Have a Great Day!
Angela

PS Thanks for all the comments you leave on my blog too! It does drive one nuts when you can see that someone was there but they didn't comment.

Farmchick said...

Some really great tips and especially about leaving a comment. They are so appreciated.

Shifan said...

Good tips. I am going to try to figure out the pop up window thing. Useful ideas.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Good post, twg. I read your blog all the time, but I rarely comment.

Dianna said...

I have to tell you that you have been SO encouraging to me by leaving comments on my blog. And I try to leave a comment whenever I visit someone's blog (but I don't always!).
I almost didn't leave one on yours today because you already had 44!!! If I ever have 44 comments on one of my posts, you'll probably hear me screaming all over the country!
Thanks for all the suggestions and encouragement and comments! Love your blog!

Comment1 said...

Yep, taking No. 1 into account I must say that there's some great advise here. I shall have to think about it, thanks!

Allison said...

Great advice - thank you for taking the time to write all that out!

Happy Blogger Birthday, Theresa! You have added a bit of unqualified joy to my life. ;) Hugs!!

Kathy said...

Great tips. I'm going to save this one and when I have time, go back and make some changes. If you're like me, you get your comments via e-mail, if you do get a scammer/spammer, you can go in and delete it. My biggest peeve: blogs that have so much content (widgets, gidgets, advertising) that it takes forever to load. I'm in a rural area and have satellite Internet and it's just a step above dial-up! those are the blogs I skip over when it's time to visit.

Sérgio Pontes said...

Nice tips =)

Regards

Michaele said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I am off to make changes. Change is a GOOD thing.

Sandra said...

i agree with all your points and hope i have complied with them, when you visit, if i have not let me know. i never go back to find an answer to a question i ask and love getting answers in email. i do the same thing, i view comments in my email and then try to answer or say thanks and it is a no reply. this is a great post. thanks

Jennifer said...

Nice post with lots of great blogger info. I went and changed some of my things too :)

Rural Rambler said...

I want to come back and read this when I have more time! I need to digest this :) Where has all my time gone lately?!!!

John's Island said...

Tex, This is absolutely a must see post. I started blogging about the first of the year and definitely consider myself a novice at this. You have consolidated a lot of experience here and if new folks, like myself, could get this one post as sort of a primer it would be most helpful. I am going to save this so I can refer to it in the future ... there is so much here that I can't absorb all of it at once. Thank you for taking the time to write this all up and share it. And one more thing ... All that you've said about commenting is so true ... The comments are the encouragement to keep me going. Just knowing that others are enjoying the blog makes it worthwhile. Thanks again and have a great day! John

Kerri said...

Great info!

Martha Z said...

Great post, it took me a long time to learn some of this. Perhaps I should drop my word verification though I have seen what happens to some bloggers who don't use it.
One thing I might add, I always try to visit the blogger who links before and after my linky post; that way even a new blogger is sure to get some feedback and encouragement.

Liesl said...

Oops,almost missed this post! Great tips,thanks Teresa!

Negerigeletschtempoit said...

I did! I just opened my dashboard, with your post on another tab and followed your instructions, one by one!

I am not very smart in the blogging matter and your instructions were precious. Thank you so much!
Love ya!

Kay's flowers said...

Thank you so much for the tips. I would love if everyone who visited left a comment. I will be much more conscious of leaving comments myself.

LB @ BulletsandBiscuits said...

more homework, seriously? haha.

Actually this was a great post because I totally fell for the whole embedded below the post thing too! It's been awhile since I looked at any of my settings so it was refreshing to go back and see what I actually selected and wanted to change.

Sharon said...

Great info! Thanks for sharing!

Joani said...

Great tips. Thank U. Have a great day.
http://mysouthwestramblings.blogspot.com/

Deb said...

great tips....love getting comments....

Deb said...

great tips....love getting comments....

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Good post T. and I will consider your suggestions when I get a little time to check my settings. Thanks a bunch.

Marvin said...

Good tips. I ESPECIALLY agree that word verification is a totally useless hassle, and moderation is probably unnecessary. Blogger added excellent spam filters a few months ago.

I "follow" via Google Reader. The Blogger follow feature may have been improved since it was introduced, but in the beginning, it did not work well with my super slow Internet connection.

Rain said...

These are awesome tips--thank you so much!! And it's always so nice to see your name (photo) on so many blogs-I know I'll enjoy them when I see it!! Have a great weekend!!

Kymberly Foster Seabolt said...

Absolutely appreciate and applaud this.

Will be changing some of my settings per your suggestion.

Could not agree MORE on the issue with word verification. Pioneer Woman may need it, the rest of us, probably not ;)

Wish there were a "jump to comment form" link right UNDER a post. (IS that possible?) Some of you popular bloggers can have 40+ comments under a post and scrolling down to find the "post comment" button can be a bummer.

The 4 R's said...

great tips, i immediately changed my comments to pop up.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

First congratulations on your year of blogging..from these 69 comments it looks like you are doing very well...and enjoyed by many.
Thanks for these tips I so enjoyed them and learned a lot.
Enjoying my visit here...I have been before and come back another time.

barbara l. hale said...

Great advice. My next challenge is to figure out how to do the pop up comment box. I move forward a little at a time...

Barb said...

Hi, I'm a "visitor" and read down your posts to here where I thought I'd better comment (see # 1 above). What great photos you share of your life in the country. It's been nice to "meet" you. Congratulations on you blogaversary.

Cherrie said...

How do you get comments delivered to your email address?

forestwalk/laura k said...

great tips...i do pretty much everything you've mentioned here...well...ALMOST. i don't leave my blog address, but clicking on my pic SHOULD take you to my profile...then blog...IF google isn't having glitches AGAIN!
i used to be VERIFICATION FREE...but got tired of the spam. BUT you've convinced me to give it a go again. but this time i checked 'Open ID'.
thanks!

Anne McCormack said...

I really appreciate the tips! I think I've fixed my email, but I can't seem to get rid of word verification with this new Blogger dashboard.

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