If you are over 40, you perhaps share my amazement at how the world has changed in our lifetime. I recently blogged about my journey parenting teenagers, but neglected to mention the additional challenges created by the fact that my kids can be connected to their peers 24/7 due to their access to cell phones and Facebook. Living life online is the only way my kids know how to be teenagers. It is a challenge that our parents did not face when we were making our journeys through adolescence, so we have no model to follow on this front. As I find with much of this parenting thing, we are making it up as we go along...even more so, in terms of guiding our children and their use of social media and technology. Perhaps a good addition to my list in that previous blog entry: remember that we as parents have to teach our kids that computers and cell phones are not a right, but a privilege...a privilege that can be lost, if not handled responsibly.
But I digress...I am not interested in talking today about my kid's use of technology, but my own. Although I ostensibly originally got on Facebook to spy on my teenagers, I have found myself to be every bit as enamored by it as they are. In fact, I love ALL of this stuff! I was thrilled by my first car phone in the early 90s...remember, they were actually installed in your car? You couldn't carry it around with you! No phone in the grocery store; how did we survive? And I remember when my girlfriend in Michigan showed me this cool Internet thing when I was there visiting her in the mid 90's. Funny how antiquated that first computer we had then would be now that we are a house of multiple computers. The phones got smaller, the hard drives got bigger, the internet access got faster and now I can access my email and Facebook from my phone from anywhere in the world! And don't even get me started on how much I love my IPhone...it is ridiculous! Frankly, it still seems like some kind of magic to me that I can be on my wireless home phone with my sister in North Carolina and email her a picture, either with my cell phone or my computer, while I am still talking to her and she can instantly see what I am referencing. Crazy!
I began blogging in September of 2005 after being introduced to the blogging world by my friend Neil (whose blog I still enjoy.) Initially, I blogged A LOT and found that it opened up a whole new world for me. I loved the creativity of writing and I have been blessed by the opportunity to share my faith journey with the folks who stopped by to read what I had to say. When I added Facebook to the mix a couple of years ago, I found that I backed off blogging a bit to play with this "new toy." In the last couple of months, I have begun to connect my Facebook community and my blog readers with some extremely cool technology that my blogging host Typepad has recently offered.
Please join me on a tour of the new features that we now offer here at Seeking Him :-)
- My blog is set up to automatically post my entries on Facebook. My friends on Facebook can then click on the link and be taken directly to my blog.
- Once here, my readers have the opportunity to "Like" my blog by clicking on the Facebook "like" button on the left side of the page. Besides making me feel validated (as in you aren't really liked until you are "Liked" on Facebook :-)) I think that it somehow gives the "fans" of my blog some additional notification when I post a new entry. For those of you who have "liked" my blog, thank you so much!
- There is also a Facebook "like" button under each particular blog entry. This gives readers the opportunity to express their enjoyment of a particular entry and thereby "recommend" it to their Facebook friends by it showing up on their Facebook page as something they "liked." Everyone still with me?
- This is my favorite one!! Under each post, there is a feature called "LinkWithin" that recommends three other posts I have written in the past. Through some kind of internet magic, this application scans the entry for key words and topics, then recommends three "you might also like." I have really enjoyed this one, as it has reminded me of things I have written in the past and showed me how God was working in my life at that point in my journey.
- Also under each entry, there is a "Favorites" button. Although I love the idea that readers could mark some of their favorite entries, I don't actually know what happens when you click that link. If you read something you particularly like, would you click on that button for me and let me know what happens? :-)
- There is also a "Reblog" button. I think this allows you to copy my entry and share it on your own blog....again, you can see that I didn't exactly read the fine print when I added this feature.
- Lastly, the banner across the top is another new feature that I love. That is a picture of flowers from my very own garden! I love that I can personalize my blog by using my own pictures, so stay tuned for seasonal changes!
So there you have it!! Before I added anymore bells and whistles, I thought I would update everyone on some of the cool stuff that is already there. I'm sure Typepad will come up with more fun toys to add to my blog and I will have to add them as well. Did I mention that I can also access my blog from my phone? So far, I have never posted a blog entry from my phone, but the fact that I could if I wanted to makes me giggle. So fun!