However, there was hope that the blog would also serve as a hub for community discussion of the important issues of the day. To date, that aspect of the blog has not had as much success.
One reason may be the odd way in which Google's 'Blogger' handles comments on posts. We have heard from some people that they couldn't figure out how to comment when they had something to say. And we suspect that many more didn't see an easy way to comment so just never tried.
There are also other interactive features that appear to be rarely used, including 'reactions' and social media buttons.
So, here's a quick primer on how to use the GCL blog's interactive features.
COMMENTS: At the bottom of each new blog post, you'll see the words 'No Comments:". This is telling you that no comments have been posted yet, but it is actually a link to the comment form as well - a bit confusing. To post a comment, just click on the 'No Comments:" link and you will see a comment box appear. Enter your comment in the text box and then click on the 'Comment as:' button. You will see a list of options for identifying yourself. Most people choose 'Anonymous', but we'd prefer you choose 'Name/URL' and at least provide a first name. From there you have the option to 'Preview' your comment, and then you may finally click on the 'Publish' button to submit your comment. That's it - easy! Since comments are moderated, it may take a little while for your comment to show up. And note that if a comment has already been published, the link at the bottom of the post will show up as '1 comment:', for example, instead of 'No Comments:'.
REACTIONS: This is an even quicker way of providing some interactive feedback on a GCL blog post. The options here are: 'Agree', 'Disagree' and 'Useful!'. Just click in the box to register your reaction and provide feedback. The boxes are located at the bottom of each blog post.
SOCIAL MEDIA: There are various buttons near the bottom of each post for sharing the post via email, 'BlogThis!', 'Twitter', 'Facebook' and 'Google +1'. Feel free to share posts with friends and colleagues!
POLLS: And of course, there are the popular monthly GCL polls. These are found at top right. Most polls provide a list of responses from which you may choose one. But in some cases (such as the current poll for April), you can choose multiple responses.
We'd love to see more interaction among the readers of the GCL blog, so we hope this primer will help. All comments and reactions are welcomed - both positive and negative, and everything in between! We only ask that you keep it 'family friendly' and respectful.