Social Media ConversationPerhaps it’s not clear to some of my readers, but I have purposely implemented a few automatic functions in my blog. All designed to promote conversation, interaction and the opportunity to take full advantage of what social media is all about. Sharing.

Firstly, all commenters can add their latest blog post to any comment they make on The Vandal, thus increasing the readership of their own blogs. For me this is a vital part of my blog. It’s not just about me, but a forum for all to share their thoughts. Secondly, all comments made on The Vandal are forwarded to Twitter and The Vandal on Facebook, further promoting conversation and opinion. In addition to this, it is possible for any reader to reply to comments already posted.

Lastly, I don’t close comments on any of my blog posts. Although this is a common practice, I believe many of my posts are as relevant today as when I wrote them,; as are the comments, so in my mind they also provide opportunity to continue the conversation.

When I started blogging, I as most, had the idea that it was simply a two-way street. I blog, you comment; end of story. But after some time I realised that a blog was not so simplistic. It can be a forum where interaction is truly possible without the heavy hand of a moderator (blog owner).

Of course there will always be an idiot, but I do monitor my comments and on rare occasions intervene. Not with the heavy hand of controlling the conversation, but foul language and abusive comments do get my immediate attention. It is a pleasant fact to report however, that to date there have been nearly 3,000 comments posted on The Vandal and I can recall deleting less than a handful of comments.

So, when you read The Vandal and feel that you would like your opinion heard (or read), please know that your words do go far and are read by many an interested reader.

Promoting Conversation and Interaction
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14 thoughts on “Promoting Conversation and Interaction

  • 08/10/2011 at 7:10 pm

    Derek, would you say that your blog has more functionality now that you are on wordpress? I have been thinking of migrating…

    • 08/10/2011 at 8:06 pm

      Only a quadruple in visitors Andrew! So yes, the move to WordPress was worthwhile. Painful also, but worth it. There are just so many things you can incorporate that increase the quality and functionality of your blog. But be warned, it’s a steep learning curve.

      • 08/10/2011 at 8:40 pm

        It can’t be any worse than crawling through reams of HTML at that other blogging place. I’m not naming them because i have no hard feelings. They’re free and you get what you pay for.
        I started to clue in when I saw how many sites offer HTML packets that will help you to make your blog resemble a WordPress site…

  • 08/10/2011 at 7:29 pm

    I noticed this when I first found your site about a month ago, and my jaw is still hanging open at how well you have everything organised here (although I do lead quite a sheltered life!).

    This is a very warm place for indie publishers, writers and people with similar interests; not only for the vast resources of advice you offer, but in the attention you pay to those of us who like to drop by for a chat. I for one feel part of a community of like-minded people here, and that’s thanks to you. As you say in your post, our words go far, and I hope you know that your time and effort is appreciated.

    • 08/10/2011 at 8:11 pm

      Thank you Chris. I’m very pleased to hear you are enjoying the blog. And yes, it’s a bit of work keeping it going as a daily blog, but I’m a glutton for punishment! lol

  • 08/10/2011 at 11:57 pm

    HI Derek. I’ve been following you for ages on Twitter and I’ve only just discovered the gems of advice on your blog and I’ve even followed some of them. Am now going to bed witha brain strain.

  • 09/10/2011 at 7:05 am

    I likes! Was this done utilizing some kind of application or did you hook it up yourself? I’d like to do something similar on my own blog. I tried Disqus and that other one, but both had as many demerits as merits.

    • 10/10/2011 at 9:33 pm

      Ho Loco. Yes, I looked at Disqus but they tend to take possession of a blog’s comments and no easy way to back up, so i’ve stayed with a relatively standard WordPress comments system.

  • 09/10/2011 at 7:57 am

    I love this site! You have given so much straight forward advice that I shall be referring back time and again.

    The fact that you take the time to respond to your comments is a big plus in my view. I am an avid reader and love browsing blog posts and leaving comments on those that I enjoy. But, most of the time I may as well just be posting them off into cyberspace for all the response that they receive. Feedback is so important, not only for the blogger but also for the reader.

    I’m a reader, not a writer, but I don’t want to be underestimated. My comments are pretty valid (most of the time) I like to think :)

    Keep up the great work, and I’ll be back again soon!

    • 10/10/2011 at 9:31 pm

      Well Maxine, readers are always most welcome on my blog! Please bring all your friends. :)

      And your comments are always welcome and valued. Glad you’re enjoying the blog!

  • 10/10/2011 at 3:38 pm

    This looks fantastic, Derek! I am going to try this out (I am right now, actually), and I will explore these functions to enable conversation.

    I think this is a very valuable addition for indy writers.

  • 10/10/2011 at 8:31 pm

    Hi Derek, add my voice to those who think your blog is super-fantastic. I hope you don’t mind my asking, but is your ability to list the last blog post a person has made, forward comments to twitter, etc., … is that standard with WordPress or did you have to do more than click a couple of boxes?

    I wasn’t before, but if that’s the case … wow, I just might have to change over to WordPress. Derek, you should get a commission! ;)

    • 10/10/2011 at 9:28 pm

      Well Karen, as they say, this is a long story. Some of the tools on my blog are pretty standard with WordPress. A plugin called Commentluv handles the last blog posting on comments and the reply to comments is also part of WordPress.

      Some of the other items though are a result of trial, error and coding. Lots of fun to develop, but sometimes a handful to keep up and running due to server load. But somehow I am managing to keep the balls in the air :)

  • 10/10/2011 at 9:19 pm

    Derek, I do love your blog in general, but, these features you have implemented make it even more appealing. I am going to look into adding them to my newly revised WordPress blog. Thanks for all your great advice! ~Anne

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