September 19, 2017

Are We Building a Community Together?


Over the past year or so something has begun to happen on Satisfying Retirement: people are leaving comments not only for me, but for others. A comment on a post triggers a reaction from another reader who wants to share his or her thoughts with the original commenter. Suddenly, a conversation begins. A shared community begins to develop.

I couldn't be more pleased. This development is something not all blogs encounter. It only happens when readers sense a shared set of experiences with others. It only happens when there is a trust that comments will be treated with respect. And, it only happens when readers have been visiting the blog on a regular basis over many months, or even years.

This short post is really just a way of saying thank you. Thank you for caring enough to interact with not only me, but others. Thank you for being constructive, supportive, and educational. Thank you for helping to encourage a sense of community, of conversations that add something to all of our lives.

A blog has the potential for being a modern day equivalent of a conversation over a back fence, or on a shared bench in the town square, neighborhood park, or over a cup of coffee. It has the opportunity to become a collection of not only readers, but also friends who genuinely care about each other. 

The majority of readers will never comment; the national average is about 95%. But, even for all those folks, when someone else expands on an exchange and a conversation built around a particular post, everyone benefits. Everyone feels more comfortable spending time here.

So, I want you to know I notice the back-and-forth in the comment sections. I encourage that growth in our journey together. I deeply appreciate the trust you exhibit in your fellow readers by doing so.

A community of us, building a satisfying retirement journey together, is fabulous to watch develop.

If you have friends who you think might like what is happening on these pages, I do ask one favor: invite them to try this blog for a few weeks. See what is happening here, add their own thoughts if they feel comfortable in doing so. Expanding our community would add to our shared experiences.

Again, Thank you.

Bob


26 comments:

  1. You said it correctly, " a conversation over the back fence". Satisfying Retirement has become that rare conversation starter that ALL authors want. We are talking with people from " all over" because YOU had an idea, started a conversation, got others to buy into it, or not buy into it, and now there is a community of " satisfied retirees" who are engaged and thinking and sharing and talking. You love it: WE love it. WE have something to say and YOU are the catalyst.

    This is the idea as to Nirvana. People talking to people about ideas, beliefs etc. No name calling, no bellyaching just conversing over the fence. Exactly why I and so many return,eagerly, to Satisfying Retirement each day.

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    1. When I began the blog it was just as an excuse for me to write on a consistent basis. But, the blog has grown in a way I could not have imagined. Thanks, Jack. It is readers like you that are making something special happen here.

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  2. I'm glad you addressed this because I have been hesitant to address a question to another comment, wondering if it is somehow rude to go around you. Thanks.

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    1. Good, I'm glad I wrote this so you know you are encouraged to keep any discussion going or add your thoughts and information to any comment.

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  3. I love how you've developed this blog, Bob. I have connected with some of your readers, too. It's a great community and you should be very proud. A side not...my latest post is creating some conversation about term limits. Check it out!
    b

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    1. Term limits.....now that is a a post that should add some heat to the blogosphere. I am all for them, by the way. We were never supposed to have career politicians. I will take a look (and I see it listed on my blogroll).

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    2. I gather that term limits are popular in the USA- we don't have them in Canada. Up here, the voters decide when the politicians terms are up. Term limits strike me as very arbitrary- what if people are doing a good job? Should there be term limits on other folks, too- like, maybe, bloggers?

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    3. Term limits on bloggers? Well, maybe. Eventually, I think we just run out of steam.

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  4. Bob, I am a long-time reader/lurker and first time commenter. I am also a freshly-minted retiree, having walked out the door of my employer of the last 30 years on Friday. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and it has helped me immensely to gear up for my retirement. I have always admired the civility and thoughtfulness of the comments from your readers, especially compared to some other comment sections we all know are out there. I hope to be able to make some small contribution to this community as time goes by!

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    1. You are welcome with open arms, Dave. Yes, this is a place where civility lives! I have to delete very few comments for language or content, and that is a blessing.

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    2. Congrats on your retirement,Dave P!!!!!

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  5. Hi Bob ... count me in ... I read your Blog regularly up here in British Columbia and I have since I retired almost two years ago. Your Blog is a valued source of encouragementand community. Hello from Canada to everyone !

    Brent

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    1. My daughter goes to Canada a lot on business. So far this year she's been to Whistler, Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, and Banff. She loves it and from the pictures I see why.

      Hello, Brent.

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  6. I'll echo the sentiment that your blog is like a back fence conversation, Bob. And while you and I and others don't always agree 100% on everything, I want you and others to know that there is never any maliciousness intended. Too many other blogs are just a sounding board for hate in both directions. Your blog is anything but.

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    1. I am really sorry we couldn't personally connect during my trip to your part of the country last summer. I think we would have had a fascinating conversation, disagreements and all!

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    2. I am sure we will have that chance down the road, Bob. Let's make sure it is sooner than later.

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  7. Bob, one reason that people contribute comments to your blog is that you create such a welcoming environment. You take the time to respond to every comment, and do so in a thoughtful, encouraging way. You also model civil discourse. Readers are more likely feel comfortable responding to you and to each other, and so discussion flourishes. Researching/writing is only one half of your blogging role; facilitating the ensuing discussion is the other.

    Jude

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    1. I wouldn't have continued for this long if the readers and participation hadn't been productive and encouraging. I find too many blogs to be just a place to vent. I don't think that's what the world needs right now.

      Thanks, Jude.

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  8. I echo what others have said about creating a welcoming, respectful, and stimulating environment--a perfect recipe for back fence conversations. You have something of value to offer, and you have a genuine interest in your readers' responses. This encourages the cross commenting that continues and enhances the discussion. I'm so pleased to be one of your "neighbors."

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    1. ...and dear friend, met over the back fence of bogging!

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  9. Yes, this blog is one of my favorites. Always an interesting conversation, very civil, and I love discussing life with other retirees. Like another commenter, I appreciate the ability to discuss with other commenters as well.

    --Hope

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    1. Thanks, Hope. I know you have been a loyal reader for quite awhile.

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  10. I have enjoyed your blog for many years though never commented. I have learned so much from you and your readers! Looking forward and honestly scared that I plan to retire in 315 days.....but who is counting! I have worked since I have been 11 years old and by August of next year, in my current profession for 42 years. I so want to find out what it is like just finding out about me again as I feel I have forgotten who I really am since work seems to have taken over my whole life with unrealistic expectations and hours. Your posts are informational and reassuring. Time to take the jump and hope all goes well. Thank you for all the time you put into your blog. K

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    1. I promise you will absolutely love the experiences that are ahead of you. Retirement is like no other stage of your life.

      Stay in touch and thanks for the kind words.

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  11. You have indeed created a wonderful and caring community here.respectful too! Hard to find online!!!!! I've been back just a couple of days and immersed in some trainings at revelation Real estate..will be emailing you and Betty about cards in a couple of days--looking at OCTOBER already!!!!!

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    1. I gather your trip to cooler climes was everything you hoped it would be but anxious to get home. Welcome back, just in time for the weather to begin to cool.

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