On Monday, July 21 and running until the end of August, I'll be posting several discussion topics about issues important to collaborative pianists and open to everyone to participate in (Hint: there will be several questions for non-pianists...) Each posting will be a springboard for conversations in which you can participate. Feel free to comment whenever you feel the need to chime in and take part in the discussion in the comments section of each blog posting.
In case you've never posted a comment on a blog before, there are a number of ways you can do this, either using your name, an alias, or anonymously. The Collaborative Piano Blog uses the Blogger platform, which gives you a number of options to both read and add comments.
1. Getting Started. Find the link that reads "Post a comment" or "[x] comments". Click on it and it will take you to the comment page, where you can write your comment and determine your sign in method to submit it. After leaving your comment, scroll down to the section that reads "Choose an identity". You can now use one of the following sign-in methods.
2. Google/Blogger Accounts. If you have a Gmail address, Google account, or Blogger account, you can sign in with that identity to leave your comment. These accounts will not be completely anonymous, but will show the name of your account. After clicking on this option, you can also click a box that will enable you to have follow-up comments emailed to you.
3. Open ID Accounts. If you have an OpenID, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, or AIM account, you can sign in here. If you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, skip to #4.
4. Name/URL. Many people feel very strongly about their privacy on the internet. For those who have no wish to divulge their real names, this is an excellent option. Just choose a name (either your own or a nom de plume) and away you go. For those who would like to list both their name and a link to their website, you can also do it here.
5. Anonymous. The most frequent commenter on the Collaborative Piano Blog. This setting will completely anonymize your comment, although readers won't be able to tell it apart from those of other anonymous commenters. If you're engaged in a conversation, it might be a better to think of a clever nom de plume and use #4 instead so you can assume the same identity from conversation to conversation.
Keeping Up With Comments
Now that you've left a comment, it's worthwhile to check back from time to time to see what others have said on the same subject. Here are some ways you can do that.
1. Bookmark the Collaborative Piano Blog. Using either your browser or a bookmark service such as del.icio.us or Ma.gnolia, create a bookmark so you can come back and check out the latest comments.
2. Bookmark the Collaborative Piano Forums 08 Page. This page will show all postings in the CPF08 series with the most recent ones at the top of the page and the older ones below.
3. Subscribe to the Collaborative Piano Blog. You don't actually need to visit this site in order to keep up to date with what's going on with new postings. One great way to have updates delivered to you is via either a subscription in a feed reader or an email subscription. Many feed readers also list the number of comments after every posting in order to find the conversations. in a blog. Subscriptions are free and a huge time-saver for those of you who like to keep up with the web but don't have that much time to surf from site to site. (Not sure what RSS feeds are? Here's an excellent site that explains what they are and how to use them.)
4. Subscribe to Comments. This is a subscription that will have the comments from a specific Collaborative Piano Blog article sent to you as they are submitted. Unlike the main site feed (which is administrated by FeedBurner), a comments feed requires you to subscribe from a feed reader. At the very bottom of the individual posting page, look for the line that reads "Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)", click on the link, cut and paste the url into your feed reader, and wait for the next comment. You can also subscribe to all comments from the Collaborative Piano Blog, which you can find here.
To give you an example of a fascinating and rather raucous comments thread from a previous posting, take a look at Should Accompanists Charge Clients For Practice Time? The 21 comments on that posting from last month give you a good idea of where a conversation can go in a blog.
In case you're not sure where the conversations are, I'll be posting a navigation picture at the top of the right-hand sidebar so you can go to the CPF08 series from any page on the blog.
See you Monday morning for the first topic!