Monday, July 27, 2009

7-27-09 Comments are always appreciated.

I was receiving comments about my attire, or lack thereof, on the Crawford Path back in June.

I’ve been getting a flurry of good, solid comments from readers about the blog. It’s exciting, humbling, gratifying and, at the same time, really helpful. Up ‘til now I haven’t considered how to deal with comments. From the very beginning I wanted the blog to be interactive and inclusive. The comments I’ve received so far all contribute to the inclusiveness so I’ve been trying to think how to bring them into the content. There are three different types: exclamations (like: “Great Blog”) and then questions and information sharing. The exclamations are really appreciated but I will leave them out of the longer narrative. So it’s the questions and information sharing that are important because they inform and clarify.

Information sharing is crucial. For instance, I want readers to feel free to correct any mistakes they find. Here are two examples. A reader by the name of “Ari” has twice, now, corrected mistakes regarding geography and a trail name. So that’s crucial. “Elizabeth” pointed out that I had the wrong Latin name for the Beech fern and that's also crucial . The Latin names are important because they're the scientific names of the plants and contribute accuracy and I want the blog to be as accurate as possible. I can’t emphasize enough that I prize any and all comments that will contribute to accuracy and, by the way, thanks to both Ari and Elizabeth for being so attentive.

“Jon” wrote last week about the story I am beginning about bushwhacking up to a summit that doesn’t seem to have a name that may be an extension of North Twin Mt. Jon wrote that he had quite a bit of info about that peak and was willing to share it with me if I wanted it. He was concerned that I might want to explore it on my own which was thoughtful. My response, Jon, is that I would like to see the info you have when you have some time and can send it. That’s a good example of how I want the blog to function. Thanks for asking first Jon.

“Sandy”, another reader, sent a valuable comment on the Tannin in Stream Water piece. His comments are also scientific and contribute to accuracy but are a little long. So I’m thinking about how I can integrate that kind of material into what has already been written: do I save it in case the discussion is revisited, or edit it and insert it into the past discussion?

This is important. I’ll look and ask around and figure out a way to incorporate all of the material. One solution could be a “questions and comments” page as well as an “op-ed” page on a regular basis. If readers have comments they want to be personal they can simply tell me.


Ari said...

I guess I'll have to leave another question. This mysterious, so-called "Ari" is a friend of the equally-mysterious "Gulliver's Nest" and, if all goes well, will be working in a Ghoulish area this fall (he has to get time off from his "real" job first). If this is the case, he'd love to come see you on the slide on the GRT. He'll keep posting comments on anything he notices.

(Great blog, btw)

Alex MacPhail said...

Hey Ari, I heard from hut folks that Andrew's in Washington D.C. for the summer which is probably good for him and exciting. Anyway there's plenty of work to do on the Gale River slide project (plus let's not forget Red Rock Basin) so you're both welcome any time. Best, Alex

Ari said...

Andrew is up in Boston for a bit I think, and then back to DC to teach there this fall. He'll probably be up in the Huts at some point, too. I'm still working on getting the time off—getting closer…

Philip Werner said...

My take on comments is that they are part of the post, but I use a different blogging package (wordpress) that displays them on the same page as the article. Maybe you can change your layout to show them underneath every post. That way the corrections and questions are all part of the whole.

Is there any way you can change your blog comment settings to allow me to type in my name and blog URL. While I do have a Google Account, it's not really where I live. Thx.

Alex MacPhail said...

Hi Phil,

Thanx. I'll check and see. I'm a neophyte with this stuff and the learning curve is steep but I like the style, or template, you describe and I'll see if it's possible with Google.