Happy Birthday to me! Today is my birthday and I thought it would give me the courage to ask… of all of you readers. After years of being taught to be self sufficient and not ask of anyone, I am going to. This comes after some simple banter I was having with one online community.
If you are unfamiliar with Gini Dietrich’s Spin Sucks blog, you should be. She is an amazing young woman. A comment was made on one of her recent posts how one particular gentleman “TheJack B” should have kissed the girl. It was light hearted and a few of us said that we had been on the receiving end; of not being kissed.
It got me thinking about all the times I have wanted to ask to collaborate with someone and thought nah, that would come across as too pushy. As Jack said, what is the worst thing that person can say?: No! So you risk a no or may get…a chance of a lifetime. Recently I put it out there about collaborative efforts with other like minded individuals. We shall see. The worst thing I can get is a No!
What I am going to ask is simple: enhance your online experience. I am going to share with you what I have learned in my first 9 months online. My motivation is simple. I want to show you how amazing it is once you tap into an awesome online community. Remember, I started this blog to try and recapture the fabulous community I was able to build in the office! I am told frequently how much someone “loves my website.” Here is how to show me that love!
This seems obvious but the first part of enhancing your online experience is to read the post and then subscribe. This allows newly posted content to be delivered directly to you without having to check the website. You can subscribe via email or RSS. Subscribing via email is easy. You just fill in your email address and hit the submit button in the top right hand corner of the website. Don’t forget to verify the email you receive in order to start receiving updates.
RSS for infrequent blog readers may seem foreign. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. In the most basic sense it is a way of publishing frequently updated works like blogs and news on multiple other sites. Subscribing by RSS is easy as well. Just hit the RSS button and choose your reader. You will have to sign up with a reader like Google Reader. If you already have a Gmail account then it is even easier.
RSS allows all the posts of the site or sites you subscribe to be delivered to one place. The best explanation about subscribing via RSS is found in this simple article with video by Dino Dogan. I have ½ a dozen blogs delivered to my Google Reader but haven’t gotten into the habit of checking it. Until now, I have been subscribing via email to all of my favorite blogs. This is causing quite a full inbox so I am going to have to switch soon. If you want an excellent post on how to organize your Google reader then read Kikolani’s (aka Kristi’s) post here.
Comment on the post
If you like what you have read, then say so! Have something more to add? Say so as well! We like hearing feedback and many an online relationship has been formed by readers bantering back and forth. It is really no different than real time relationships. And in my opinion sometimes way easier! If you ever want to engage in some great online banter, read and comment on one of Marcus Sheridan’s or Gini Dietrich’s posts. Be aware if you subscribe to all of the comments on their posts, your inbox will fill with 100+ comments.
Many posts have been written on how to comment. A good set of tips was published by Grammar Girl here. I used to listen to her podcasts, they are pretty darn good! But in regard to my website, I am not going to judge your comments; I simply enjoy the engagement with the community! So comment away!
One last word on commenting, I just installed Disqus commenting system. I am not certain why it took me so long to decide between Disqus and Livefyre but it did. The two systems allow your comments to post right away, help prevent spam (great for me) and allow you to reply and like other comments. I hope that you will find Disqus easy to use.
If you have nothing further to add but really liked the post then share. Don’t forget to share the post if you have posted a comment. Simply click on the appropriate social media share button located at the top of this blog post and off you go. If you choose twitter or Facebook, you can add a little more clout to the retweet or post by prefacing it with your comments. For example: adding comments like “Best post of the week” or “Must read” etc. So your retweet would look like this: Best post of the week via @Expatdoctormom www.expatdoctormom.com
If you don’t use twitter and would like to learn Mark Schaeffer’s Tao of Twitter is a must read.
Mistakes I have made.
I put up my blog out of a passion for what I do and a desire to build a community that I have in the office online. So I thought it was enough to just blog. I think I was asleep the first 6 months I was blogging in regard to really building a community.
All it took was one connection. That connection was John Falchetto aka Expat Life Coach. I am surprised he still engages with me after the mistakes I made which must have come off as standoffish if not rude. After I read the Tao of Twitter, I noted that he had sent me an @ mention on twitter 6 months prior. I felt terrible as I never responded to it. You should try to always reply to @mentions online. It was John who asked me to do a guest blog and led me to some important people to know and share with online. Thankfully he must have understood that I was a “newbie” and just didn’t get it.
Subscribe, comment, share! It is that simple.
Here is a simple instructional video I made. Try as I might, I could not embed this code into my site since installing Disqus… I noted my excerpt button was gone since I installed Disqus as well. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.
What has enhanced your online experience? What mistakes have you made? Do you like Disqus or are you annoyed at having to sign in?