New to reading blogs? Here are a few tips for you to help navigate ours:
1. Never Miss a Post When You Subscribe.
Bloggers love it when their readers subscribe, it’s like a badge of honor. To know someone not only is reading but wants to read whenever possible is grand and can help keep the writer going. We recommend you try the RSS feed (don’t know what that is? In Plain English has a great three-minute video all about why it’s a wonderful thing). If that’s simply too foreign for you right now, we have an email subscription option in our sidebar.
Real quick: notice there’s a link to subscribe to posts and a link to subscribe to comments. We encourage regular readers to subscribe to the posts for sure and it’s up to you if you want updates on when we receive comments. We only point it out to accentuate the difference and make sure you’re subscribing to what you want.
2. Know How Our Blog Layout Works.
At the time of this writing, our blog is organized in the following way:
- Posts – Individual pieces of writing revolving around a particular topic. Usually, it’s about a day or event on a trip or an announcement about this blog.
- Tags – These are prominent subjects and themes the writer has deemed important enough to “tag” in the post. You can click these tags, like subject labels in a library, and see other posts with the same tags. Your other option to find similar subjects is to use our “search” bar.
- Top Menu Bar – Look here for information on our trips overall, our current trip, our upcoming trip, and past trips.
- Search Bar – This is in our top menu bar, too. It’s a great way to look for specific entries and remember to use -minus or “quotes” to make your search even better. Don’t know what we mean? Again, In Plain English comes to the rescue.
- Sidebar – On the right-hand side you’ll find our email subscription option, our post archives organized by trip, links to recent posts, links to affiliated websites, and other subscription options.
- Body – On the left-hand side you’ll find all of our individual posts. In your RSS reader or links to specific posts, you’ll only see one post. Click our header, UTS Global Trips, to see all of the posts together.
You may see some posts that say “continue reading.” This is a link that breaks up a post which is really long so readers can scroll through posts with a little more ease. Test it out:
3. Be a Part of the Conversation When You Comment.
Bloggers also love your comments! To get my point across, I’ll use a preaching scenario. Let’s pretend the internet is the Church, capital-C. That means each independent blog is an individual church, little-c, that serves as a pulpit from which the preacher (blog writer) gets to preach their message (blog post). Now, in many churches, the polite thing to do at the conclusion of the message is something along the lines of… complete and utter silence. Maybe there’s an in-unison, “Amen,” but a little silence to soak in the message is often the case.
What one doesn’t hear as often is someone in the congregation standing up and saying, “That message really worked for me!” or another to say, “I think you were waaay off mark!” or one to ask, “Wait, wait, can you explain one of your points a little further?” If we all did that, the service would double in length!
But with blog posts, comments are welcome, appreciated, and responded to. It’s where the message gets processed, questions are raised, new ideas are added, and the preacher (blog writer) and congregation (reader) really get a great opportunity to interact. Your comments are always encouraged. As we access the blog on our trips, we’ll read your comments and enjoy them, like a letter from back home.
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Beyond that, we hope your basic web navigation knowledge will carry you through just fine. And if you have a question, well, there’s a perfect place to ask it (hint: it has to do with point #3).
Oh, and out of curiosity, if you have a story about a church with an interactive dialogue after the message like the hypothetical one I wrote about above, I’d love to read about it in the comments!