How to encourage audience response

Every blog owner loves discussion and interaction with, and among, the blog audience. Interactions by way of audience responses show the blog is alive, and the blogger is not alone.

With a WordPress.com-hosted blogs, I found that you can (or at least WordPress.com has provided the tools) generate audience or readers’ responses with the Ratings plugin pre-installed in a WordPress.com blog and Polls using an interface with PollDaddy.

Let me share with you in this post my observations on the Ratings plugin. PollDaddy is my next post.

The Ratings plugin is located on the left control panel after the Comments section. When opened, the plugin has two sub-sections, the Settings and Reports. To enable the plugin, open Settings and choose where you want to display the ratings.

You can enable it for blog posts, pages or comments by selecting the corresponding tab and ticking the check box. You can also easily position the ratings either below or above each post, page or comment using a drop-down box. For purposes of testing, I have enabled the plugin for my other experimental site, When on the Road. The illustrations are sourced from that site.

The result of your selection is instantly available. When you view your posts, posts or comments, you will notice the ratings image (defaulted to 5 stars for the post or page) and the thumbs up or down for the comment if you also enabled the plugin for comments.

If you are using widgets to customize your blog’s sidebar, the ratings plugin also has a Top Rated widget. As usual, just drag and drop the Top Rated widget to where you want it to show. You can customize the Top Rated widget too by selecting the options you want.

That’s all there is.

*** Note: If you noticed the first screenshot above, there is that 1 Votes displayed. 1 Votes? Sorry, we don’t have access to the plugin file to edit it. But not to worry. With 1 more vote, that should be right. 😦

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