Ask the Audience: Reader Poll

Heather says:

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their patience over the last week as I messed with the commenting system. It’s not perfect, but I’ve now installed Intense Debate, which seems to be less buggy than the previous system. We’ll get there.

Some of you may be wondering why I’m messing with something that was good enough. I have observed, I’m not alone in this idea, that the web is changing. I know it would be nice if we never had to learn anything new, but that’s just not the nature of the world. The web seems to be shifting to more of a real time entity and I want to ensure those who participate in our conversations are able to retain control of their contributions as part of their mangeable identity.

I would be lying if I didn’t hope that Home Ec 101 would grow. Even though we’ve recently had some set backs I still have high hopes.

My questions for you are:

What would you like to see more of?

What do you think of the guest posts?

What suggestions do you have in general?

There are 2700 of you, according to Feedburner, so I know someone out there has some thoughts. We can’t all be wallflowers. Can we?



25 Comments

  1. Susan on September 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    I like the how-to type posts (how to clean different things around the house, remove stains from laundry, etc) I also like topics on cleaning/chore schedules and home management. I am new to being a stay at home mom, so those "beginner" type things are helpful to me. I like seeing recipes, but we don't eat much meat in our house so I don't usually see something I'd make. I also like Fearless Friday!! Even though most of the things aren't things I'd do, I love to read about your trial & error with new things! It lets me know that no one is perfect and we all have things we are great at and others where we're just learning. 😀

  2. Diaper Cake Becca on September 4, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I've been away for a while and I love the new features on your site. I like the amusing stories about fixing things the most…and the fiscally sound posts regarding menus make me feel better about my less-expensive meals on nights when we are two days away from grocery shopping day. I really like the guest postings and getting a new voice but I still love to read your comments, most of all. I am never going to be much of a recipe gal….but I do look over them just to see whatis what. One day I will be a chef but that might be the NEXT life.

    I, too, love the post-its. I was actually motivated to dust today because of that (I set my timer for 15 minutes and actually got TONS of dusting done).

  3. Judith on September 4, 2009 at 1:32 am

    I'm enjoying your new "post-its"with your cleaning routine day by day. Don't do the same things on the same days as you do but it makes me ask myself if I did what I needed to today ………… good way to jog my memory and motivate me.
    Thanks Heather.
    GIve our best to Ivy. She's in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Sue on September 3, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I second Cristi's tips for people who work outside the home comment – I love your cleaning tips, and am inspired to introduce some structure into my housecleaning life, but I just can't do that much after work every day… but you're right, we 9-5ers do have the "stuff stays where we put it" advantage. I look forward to seeing guest posts in that direction, though!

  5. Stacy on September 3, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Well, I appreciate that you're making a printer-friendly feature. I'm mostly just interested in recipes, not so much the cleaning tips, but I can see that they're good tips and I have used a few–especially using white vinegar for so many cleaning jobs. I'd love to see more recipes with an international focus–many would fit nicely with your recent guest article on part-time vegetarianism. Personally, I love Indian, Mediterranean (Middle Eastern, Greek, etc.), Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Korean, and other Asian foods. Overall, I really like this site, and I like the personality you all bring to it. Oh, and I am not especially interested in Twitter or Facebook, although I recently set up an account on Facebook to see what all the fuss was about. However, I know people do enjoy it a lot, so I'm just a weirdo I guess.

    Thanks for all you're doing!

    • Andrea on September 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm

      I agree with Stacy. The print-friendly thing is important for the recipes (which I love when they are mildly vegan or I can adapt them to be vegan–no worries, I'm good at that now). But I really love the tone of the posts–funny, practical, with a bit of exasperation thrown in. Keep up the good work and use the guests posts to shake things up a bit or when you feel you need to call in an expert in one area or another (one person suggested a 9-5 post, for example). I look forward to seeing any new features.

  6. kathleen on September 2, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    I've loved everything I've learned here over the past 2 years or so. I can't tell you enough how much I value the work that both you and Ivy have put into creating a place for us all to learn, as you say, what our mommas didn't teach us. I am also so grateful to the commenters (I count myself among the wallflowers). It's like having a second resource, in addition to Heather and Ivy, to help me as I stumble along.

    I especially enjoy posts that include recipes, especially the ones that contain background information – like describing cuts of meat, or how to pick out a slow cooker. And I also love the posts about cleaning products, how to make my own products, which ones work in particular situations…

    I've enjoyed the guest posts, the fresh voices, and I'm sure I will continue to enjoy them.

    Again, thanks for all your hard work!

  7. blossomteacher on September 2, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    I love the very basic explanations to very common problems! I am a complete housekeeping bonehead, and I know I can come find help here! Plus, the recipes are easy, yummy, and do-able…love them, too!!

  8. @Milehimama on September 2, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I'll be honest – I really hate Intense Debate comments, always have. But, it's better than Disqus, anyway!

    There is so much info in your archives, it would be great if you had a "similar articles" widget or a way to feature random articles from the depths of your site.

    • HeatherSolos on September 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm

      That's something that has been weighing heavily on me. This blog is transitioning, with growing pains, into a full blown website. I'm concerned that I'm going to have to give up, move to Drupal, and hire out for a revamp.

      I really wanted Echo to work, but it just would not play nice with Facebook. I'm not permanently tied in any way to IntenseDebate. If Echo can get their kinks worked out, I'll go back in a heartbeat. I love that discussions on other platforms were pulled in, instead of only working as a broadcast. I don't believe I will go back to the standard WordPress comments, as I believe that commenters should have control of their idendtity, if that's what they want. I will be enabling CommentLuv for all the bloggers out there.

  9. Erin on September 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I like your blog just as it is :). I appreciate the variety. You provide different content everyday, and this truly keeps things interesting and keeps me reading. You know what else? I really like your 40’s-50’s/black and white retro look. You are not confusing me with overload, and its just so dang cute 🙂
    Thanks for all you do.

  10. Carol Shive Mirek on September 2, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I love the guest posts, and the new comment format, seems to be great. Specially for the non-bloggers in the world 🙂

  11. JimK on September 2, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I love the recipes most, but tips on cheaply and easily solving problem are a close secondary favorite. Also, I really enjoyed the guest posts, I thought they brought some info and a fresh perspective, not that I have any complaints with you or Ivy!

    My only suggestion right now would be to make this text in the comment box darker. I can barely see what I am writing!

    • HeatherSolos on September 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm

      I will look into that this evening! My other goal for today is to get a print.css sheet written up so printing out recipes isn't so obnoxious. I can't believe I overlooked that.
      I installed Intense Debate last night and let it import comments while I slept, so I haven't messed with the options, yet. I'll keep playing with the settings until it's something we can all live with.
      Thank you for your thoughts.

  12. Jaqui Floyd Bettineski on September 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Personally I love your blog as is. I have gleened many useful tips and recipes from it. I have also fashioned a blog of my own in a similar way.

    I love that you are now on FB and twitter. It lit a fire under me to do the same for my blog. I am trying not to be such a copy cat, but you guys have just done a great job teaching things that a lot of us home ec dropouts need reminding of or learning in the first place.

    My favorite segments are the "How to's" for making your own when we are just used to buying from a store stuff. Like making your own cream of mushroom and flavored oatmeal packets.

    I would suggest a way to promote your blog is to be able to grab some sort of banner for other people to post on their blogs or websites. I would love to advertise on my blog, but you don't have any grabbable banners that I could find.

    Just my 2 cents. keep up the awesomeness!!

    http://genxhomeec.blogspot.com

    Jaqui

    • HeatherSolos on September 2, 2009 at 10:25 pm

      Excellent, I have a few more of those, I just thought I was a fruitcake and no one was interested. Heidi, you don't count. 🙂
      I will work on the banners. Hey, Heidi, I'm sorry about the you don't count comment. . .

  13. Cristi on September 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Well, I am new to your site and am really enjoying it. One thing I would like to see are some tips for women who work outside the home. I was lucky enough to have a mom who (many years ago) taught me how to cook but keeping a home and working full time (oh and going to grad school) takes a lot of energy. Are there tips that work better for professional working women?

    Thanks for your work.

    • HeatherSolos on September 2, 2009 at 10:20 pm

      Offhand, organization will be your best friend. The one good thing about not being home (provided there aren't unattended teenagers) is that most things will stay where you left them. I'll consult some of my favorite 9 – 5ers and see if I can get them to squeeze in some guest posts. (I work, it's just hard to tell since I rarely leave the house.)

  14. Danetta on September 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I enjoy your site so much and have recommended it to so many people including my 3 daughters. I rarely comment since the extent of my homemaking is very minimal. I love the style you girls have of teaching and making the information available.

    I love the cleaning and cooking tips, the recipes, and the basics that everyone needs to know but just aren't taught much anymore in school or sometimes even in the home.

    It takes a lot of work on your end and I hope you know how much it is appreciated.
    Your guest posts have been great, thanks to all who are contributing.

    Best to you and Ivy

  15. Eugene Mah on September 2, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    The Fix-it category could use some attention perhaps. let's try this with FB connect

    • HeatherSolos on September 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm

      I have been wanting to get there, but as a foodie at heart, there's always another meal to prepare. The bathroom sink can wait another day! (I'll try to work on this).

  16. Christian on September 2, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I love everything! I found this site looking for ideas on how to clean…something….(can’t remember). I have learned alot! Had mashed potato soup last night for dinner 🙂 .Keep up the great work!

  17. imabug on September 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    geeks are always tinkering with things that aren't broken. it's their nature 🙂 i'm personally not satisfied until i've broken something at least once in the process of tinkering. I have turned many servers into smoking heaps of molten silicon tinkering with them 🙂

    guest posts are cool. i bet mr. heather would make a great guest poster 🙂

  18. ThatBobbieGirl on September 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    You're fixing things up again. So, is that why my comment disappeared yesterday? I was so sure I left one on the Rosemary post, then it wasn't there today. So, I did another one.

    I like the guest posts (I hope to do one myself sometime)
    but I still want to see you as much as possible.
    I like your style and that's why I keep coming back here.
    You'ze good people.

    I'm not too keen on "fixing it if it ain't broke" — but I know change is inevitable. I might take me a while to figure out a new thing.
    BTW, thanks for encouraging us to get on twitter. It's new and scary, but kind of fun.

    • Heather Solos on September 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm

      Well, it was broken, but not broken in a way that was apparent to everyone. Think of it as preventative maintenance to stay current with standards. The last few comments from yesterday are missing. I'm sorry about the collateral damage, I'll see if I can fix it.

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