How To Join And Comment On CSF

On this blog we're using a feature called Google Friend Connect. The purpose behind these gadgets is to help create a small social networking sites around already existing blogs and websites. We're using it on the blog for Chicago Spring Fling so we can get a good idea of how many people will be attending and we can plan trips and meals accordingly. To join the group you need a Google, Yahoo, AIM or OpenID account. The majority of garden blogs are on Blogger and if you're blogging on Blogger you should have a Google account. If you're a WordPress user see this post because your account is also an OpenID.

You can unjoin this group at anytime after you've signed up. We're using this "joining" feature to keep track of how many people are participating. Once you've joined when you're signed the box should look like this.

As you can see Carolyn Gail is listed as my friend because we're following each other on Twitter and I imported my followers from Twitter. You can make changes to your profile, picture and other things via the "settings" link at the top.

Here is a screen shot of one of the settings page. It shows my information I added to my Google profile and my links. As I mentioned above Carolyn was listed as a friend because I checked off the box for Twitter. You can send a friend request to other participants who you may not be connected to already via their profile. My Google profile is different than my Blogger profile but I've added links to my Blogger blogs so people can visit them. You should fill out your profile with (at the very least) links to your blog.

Click on the title of a post to see the comment box below. I opted for adding the "wall" gadget to this blog and use it as a comment form because it allows us to reply to comments directly below them instead of at the bottom of a long list of other comments below yours. An incentive is that we create a social networking site around this event because that's what this is ultimately about. Garden bloggers, making connections.

When you aren't signed into our "group" the box where you type your message reads " - sign in to post a comment -" If you look at the top arrow in that screen capture the box where you type your comment now reads "--CSF09 add your comment here--" and you can reply directly to other members by clicking the reply link. If a comment is too long it gets truncated and you simply click "read more" to make it expand. If you need to click the blue square in the top right-hand corner to make the comment form pop out for easier reading. In the bottom right-hand corner you'll find arrows to help you navigate back and forth once the first page is filled with comments.

I hope this isn't too complicated for people and if it is I'll enable the native Blogger comments below this box for those who have trouble with this. I hope it doesn't come to that because gardeners were the first "social networkers." We once did it over fences and technology now even lets us do it through "walls."

If you're interested in adding social networking features to your blog or static website you can see my tutorials on adding Google Friend Connect:

Google Friend Connect and your garden blog.
Threaded comments for Blogger with Google Friend Connect.

Chicago Gardeners Flickr Pool

Twitter Updates/Mini Blog

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter