Sara at Farming Friends has given me this award! Thank you Sara -I’m bowled over. Sara is very supportive of The Cottage Smallholder blog and we have had enormous fun with our Interblog guinea fowl breeding event this year.
If you write a blog, blogging friends are important. These are the guys that support your blog leave comments and get involved. This award made me think about my short blogging history and commenting in general.
My sister Sara had been suggesting for months that it might be fun to do a blog.
“You could talk about your bees. And the chickens and the vegetables.”
Danny was enthusiastic too.
“How about your fantastic sloe gin and fruit vodka? Not to mention your great Christmas cake and pudding?”
I was uninspired. They kept on needling.
In August 2006, almost 500 posts ago, I finally started writing this blog. Danny researched the software and I wrote my first post. I hit the Publish button not knowing what to expect. I’d hoped for more than the deafening resounding silence. After a couple of weeks I was longing for a comment.
Everyone had warned me that you need to make people jump through hoops to leave a comment. Otherwise you get spam.
Insisting that visitors register and login before making comments means that, except for the 0.1%, you will get no feedback. Even if you have written the ultimate post on how to be happy for ever, win the lottery, eat tinned peaches to double the size of your brain, you will be unlikely to get a comment.
The answer is to install the best anti spam software that you can lay your hands on. Generally this is free. Created by a generous spirited blogger who would appreciate applause.
Comments create a dialogue. This conversation should be easy. I discovered this after 8 lonely months through an email conversation with Judy an intuitive American gardening writer.
“I do hope that you don’t mind me contacting you through the back door, so to speak.”
I didn’t like to say but I did mind. I wanted comments on my blog. Then she set me straight and explained the complications of registering, passwords and the general palaver of not being able to leave a comment easily.
So I installed Askimet Spam and lowered the drawbridge. Askimet happily announces how much spam it has sent to jail every time I go onto the dashboard (the main operating theatre of the blog). To date it is over 17,000 spam comments. Every week or so I sift through the comments as occasionally a genuine comment gets caught in the net. These can be freed if I spot them.
Everyone needs feedback. My heart lifts when someone bothers to take the time to leave a comment. I appreciate all comments. Comments increase the knowledge base and most encourage me to continue to write every day. Someone out there is making contact and answering … — …
Comments transform a blog from a single voice into a community. On my blog there is a small group of virtual friends that regularly leave comments. Some of these are fellow bloggers and some are non bloggers. I have chosen a handful of these to receive this award:
I give the True Blue award to
There are also non bloggers that contribute enormously to this blog in particular
Mildred at The Mildred Mittens Manufactory
Virginia (fellow breeder of guinea fowl)
The list could go on and on so I’m going to stop there!
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