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If you’re one of our dozens of dedicated daily blog readers, and you’ve fretted – if only I could easily share all this delightful insightfulness with all my friends – you’re in luck! There are several ways you can pass the wisdom on to others:

Social Bookmarking. If you receive the blog by email or subscribe using an RSS reader, there are several sharing options at the end of each post. These include social link and bookmarking sites like del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Digg, and Reddit. All of these let you share links to what you’re reading across the intertubes with the wider public or your own friends. You can rate and comment on links, too.

Facebook. Let’s get real – you’re all on Facebook now (even Monica is). There are several ways you can share what you read here on your profile.

  1. If you read something you like here, you can go to the top of your Facebook wall, click the “What’s on your mind” box and select “add link.” Then just copy and paste the link’s post into the field and click Share.
  2. That’s a lot of steps. The quicker way is to add the Facebook “Share Bookmarklet” to your bookmarks bar in your browser. Go here and drag the button on to the bookmarks bar (just below where you enter in a website address). Anytime you’re reading one of our posts in your browser, just click this button and a box will pop up allowing you to share the link on your profile. Make sure you do this and not just send it to one person!
  3. If you’re an email or RSS subscriber, just click “Share on Facebook” at the bottom of each post.
  4. Social RSS. Add the Social RSS application to your Facebook profile so that our posts are automatically displayed on your profile. You can add this site’s RSS feed as well as any other feeds you want your friends to see. (Click here for what an RSS feed is.) Once you add the application, scroll to the very bottom of the page and add https://tulsainitiative.wordpress.com/feed/ in the URL box.

Twitter. Over the last few months, you may have heard “Twitter” and “tweet” being bandied about by all your savvy or wanna-be savvy friends. Twitter is a “microblog” where users “tweet” short thoughts (160 characters or less) about what they’re doing, reading, thinking, etc. I use my account* to share interesting links. There are several services that convert a very long link url to a much shorter one so that it fits in your tweet. I use http://is.gd. If you’re a twitterer, remember to share the interesting posts you find here with your friends in the twitter-verse.

LinkedIn. The preferred social networking tool for professional contacts, LinkedIn provides a lot of the functions of Facebook or Myspace but without the awkward photos of you partying in college. LinkedIn has a WordPress application that will display this blog’s content right on your profile for all the world to see. Type in https://tulsainitiative.wordpress.com as the blog’s url so all your contacts can see the blog you’re reading.

Commenting. While we’re on the subject of sharing, remember you are always welcome and encouraged to comment on our posts. At the bottom of each post is a box for commenting. You don’t have to have an account but if you’re a first-time commenter, your entry will be sent to me for moderation. Keep it professional!

*No I’m not going to link to any of my personal accounts, but I’m easily findable.

Images used under Creative Commons licenses from flickr users: photopia, AJC1, mfilej, and JerryLuk (from top to bottom).

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So after that commenter love fest you’re probably wondering how you, too, can be featured in a Tulsa Initiative post. Well, to leave a comment all you have to do is scroll to the bottom of whatever post you’re reading, enter your name and email address, and type in your comment under “Leave a Reply.” It’s that simple – no registration required. Go ahead and practice on this post. Tell us who you are and where you work.

Why comment? Because there are so many things that you all know that we don’t!

Of course, commenting on (or even reading) our blog isn’t your responsibility. So we need to do a better job of making this a welcoming place for you all. This list of 10 ways to manipulate you into commenting encourage you to provide feedback is what I will use as my guide for better posts:

  1. Invite comments.
  2. Ask questions, be open ended, and be humble – we’ll try not to sound like a know it all. (Because we most definitely aren’t!)
  3. Interact with commenters and be gracious. Let us know when we screw up or if you disagree, and we’ll be thankful for it!
  4. Reward comments – that’s what the previous post was all about!
  5. Make it easy to comment – hopefully, check. But I’ll try to remember to provide occasional refreshers.

What would make you more likely to comment? What kinds of conversations would be interesting or helpful to you? Why do you read this, anyhow?

Thank you all for reading this blog. I personally want this to belong to all of you, so I hope and encourage you to make it your own. So dive right in!

Image used under a Creative Commons license from flickr user Jibba Jabba.

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We <3 Commenters

When we started the blog last September, we hoped that it would become a place for people who share our interests, values, and vision to access new ideas and research, and to communicate our divers perspectives across boundaries. I guess I should’ve done even more research before setting expectations – only about 1 out of 100 blog readers frequently leave comments.

Well a couple of those rare and special people have commented recently and I wanted to acknowledge and thank them in a post: Bobbie Henderson of Camp Fire USA Green Country and Lisa Henley of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Camp Fire USA‘s mission is to “build caring, confident youth and future leaders” by providing youth development services that build assets, empower individuals, coeducate children and their families, and leverage the power of the natural environment to provide opportunities for leadership and growth. There are programs are geared to both boys and girls of all ages, which you can read more about here. The first Camp Fire group in Tulsa was organized in 1912; by 1938 the Council was re-kindled with the adoption of articles of incorporation. For seven years in a row, the Council here led the nation in the number of youths earning Camp Fire’s highest award – the Wohelo. Bobbie serves as Executive Director of Camp Fire USA Green Country. You can donate to the local Council here.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services “helps individuals and families in need help themselves lead safer, healthier, more independent and productive lives.” DHS served more than one million families in 2008 by protecting more than 100,000 children from abuse, licensing 5,000 child care centers, providing food stamps to 633,000 Oklahomans and Sooner Care to nearly 800,000, and offering child care subsidies to 72,000 children of working parents. Lisa Henley is Director of Electronic Payment Systems at DHS. Her department helps eliminate the stigma of the social safety net by transferring benefits such as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Food Stamps, and child care assistance through debit-card-like products. The program saves the state upwards of $1.2 million annually and has earned national recognition for collaborating across boundaries.

Thanks for contributing and I hope the rest of you will feel free to jump in!

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