Enhance Your Comments

Have you noticed that Ted Mackel and I are the only people with our pictures next to our names? You may see others from time to time, but most people don’t realize that you can have your picture next to your name in your blog comments AND have that picture follow you to other blogs that support a technology called Gravatar. If you’re interested in adding some legitimacy to your comments by showing people that you are a real person, Gravatar is a quick and free way to do that, requiring a little effort up front and then no effort at all going forward.

Ted Mackel, local technology guru, shows us all how in his latest how-to video. Check it out and consider giving it a try:

3 thoughts on “Enhance Your Comments

  1. Mike, I have been involved in online discussions of all sorts going back to the very early days of America Online.

    Anonymous dialogue has never been fun for any of those communities. It’s funny that the only online discussion groups that have large anonymous participation, all center around Religion and Politics. Both those groups have plenty of bad characters that lash out through anonymity.

    I have met some very interesting people all across the country over the last 16 years due to my participation in these forums. And I have learned a lot from these people through the exchange of spirited ideas and discussion.

    The great part of all this is to hear the differing opinions. The shame in all this is is when it gets personal.

    I have great respect for those that stand for something and are not afraid to voice their views even if I disagree. That is what makes our country so great. I have even greater respect for those that put their name to their belief even if I disagree. That is character.

    Unfortunately it seems the like those with differing opinions are being labeled city haters and complainers which could not be further from the truth.

    A dynamic community grows, changes and evolves for the better when we have open discussion even if it is spirited.

    The day we decide any change is bad or that the status quo is all we aspire to, then this city will loose it’s charm. I love this city, my job everyday is that I have the privilege to tell people how great it is to live here which now is a big part of the motivation for my 365 project.

    What I hear is that there are a whole bunch of people here that care deeply about this city and both groups have ideas to make this city even better.


  2. Ted,

    I hear you loud and clear. And I think you’re very right.

    I also believe that anonymous commenting cheapens the discussion. I’m not anonymous, not even close. But I’ve got a lot of anonymous people telling me how wrong I am. The only time it ever moves me is when you tell me I’m wrong.

    I don’t think anyone who is passionate enough about these topics to post their remarks here is a city hater. I think the reason “city hater” is even considered is because the conversations on these matters don’t heat up until an election period is in full swing, and by then everyone has “taken sides.” I wish I could find a more effective way to keep this discussions alive all year long, election or not. I think it would strengthen the relationships between participants and city officials and be a lot more productive. Of course, anonymity would have to go away…

    I fully agree that the status quo should be constantly challenged. What discourages me is the amount of anger behind the challenge. I used to be so hungry to see real challenges to Simi Valley’s “status quo” but the anger behind some of it seems so hateful that I’m hesitant to want to get behind or even explore the possibility of candidates with hateful messages. It makes me wonder, can someone so pissed off be good for our city?

    If the personal attacks and heavy emotions can be removed from it all, there are enough intelligent people involved and ready to make a difference that we could really get somewhere.


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