31 Day Comment Challenge Day One: A Comment Self Audit

It’s so often the way of it. I’m busy, or a should be šŸ™‚ , and something comes up that seems worthwhile on the blogs. There are soo many other things I should be doing right now! But I’ve been feeling annoyed with myself for hardly ever commenting on other people’s blogs of late.

The Bamboo Project Blog: 31 Day Comment Challenge Begins–Day One: Do a Comment Self Audit

How often do you comment on other blogs during a typical week?

I comment when someone new links to the Classroom Displays blog. So on average that’s once or twice a week. Then I also very occasionally comment on contacts blogs. I’m trying to say a maximum of three times a week on average but I’m avoiding it because it sounds so bad!

Do you track your blog comments? How? What do you do with your tracking?

I set up co.comments a while ago so I could track conversations more effectively and discovered that mostly I don’t comment! I feed my tracking into my RSS reader so I can see if there are new comments added, and so then in theory I can go back and join in the conversation. I almost never do.

Do you tend to comment at the same blogs or do you try to comment on at least one new blog per week?

The people who link to Classroom Displays blog are often trainee teachers, or, occasionally teacher educators. It’s not joining a conversation because they’ve mostly written the blog as part of a course and often I am the only person commenting who’s not on their course. They almost never reply. I suspect they’ve completed that aspect of the course and have moved on.

Otherwise I mostly comment on the blogs of a very small group of contacts and friends and then only occasionally.

2. Now review Gina Trapani’s Guide to Blog Comments and ask yourself how well you’re doing in each of the different areas.Are there any specific areas where you think you need to do some work? What do you want to do to address these issues?

The first thing she says is that blog commenting is like walking into someone’s living room and joining the conversation. Is this supposed to reassure me?? I’m the one that finds herself squashed on the uncomfy sofa, smiles a lot says nothing and then spectacularly knocks her wine all over the new carpet!!! Blogs are way less daunting than that šŸ™‚

I’m not good with metaphors at the best of times and I hate it when people make online things seem like an equivalent of offline ones . Sorry, slight rant šŸ™‚

Anyway, on to the meat of the topic, which is

  1. Stay on topic – ok I can do that, except occasionally when I manage to leave a comment on the wrong post by accident šŸ™‚
  2. Contribute new information to the discussion – I am really good at reading all through the comments and then deciding I’ve nothing new to contribute. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t comment! She doesn’t actually suggest a remedy for this….
  3. Don’t comment for the sake of commenting – OK, saying ‘nice post’ will get you tagged as spam. I wouldn’t do that but then that’s another block on commenting.
  4. Know when to comment and when to e-mail – personal stuff belongs in e-mail, got you. Someone needs to tell some new blog commentators that public stuff belongs on the blog not in my e-mail though.
  5. Nobody likes a know-it-all – got to be respectful when pointing out errors, typos or dead links. Erm. Ok. Actually I’d just rather people did it quickly šŸ™‚ I can use all the help I can get with spell and fact checking. Maybe that’s just me and my dyslexia.
  6. Make the tone of your message clear – I can do this. No sarcasm, in jokes etc. Use emoticons. I like smilies. OK.
  7. Own your comment – OH yes! I’m a firm believer in that.
  8. Be succinct – I like the bit about long comments being for college professors, she’s obviously read some of the people I read šŸ™‚ I usually blog it rather than comment on someone’s blog if I’ve got a lot to say. Does that count I wonder? Where do trackbacks fit into this challenge?
  9. Cite sources and link to them – OK good practice. Would you like those Harvarded? LOL been spending too much time writing assignments recently (which, BTW, is what I should be doing now!)
  10. Don’t post when angry, drunk, upset or emotional – Good advice, I’ll try to follow it.
  11. Do not feed or tease the trolls – leaving aside my feelings about labelling people as trolls, (Did no one ever teach these people to separate the behaviour from the person? Or to even think that there’s a person behind that text you are reading who might not understand why you think they are a troll?), I do know that it’s not a good idea to set out to upset or tease people. See 10 above for what to do if something someone’s written made you angry.

So that’s it then.

Day 1 Conclusions

I need some strategies to deal with my feelings of having nothing to add to the conversation and I need to find some different blogs to comment on.

I’m all set for day two, if I can get my head round whatever it is you are supposed to do with your co.comments. Some sort of group thing… er???

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3 thoughts on “31 Day Comment Challenge Day One: A Comment Self Audit

  1. I like your honesty, Linda! šŸ™‚

    Maybe one way to get around your fears that you have nothing to add with a comment is to try commenting with a question. Not every comment has to be a statement–you might want to know more about a topic or be curious about why the poster said something a certain way, or whatever.

    I also think I have to disagree a little with Gina. While “me too” may not be saying a lot, for many bloggers, they’re thrilled with that because it lets them know that at least someone is reading! Think of commenting as a way to let the blogger know that you’re there and you appreciate what they’re doing. That’s a huge community-builder, especially for new bloggers.

  2. @Andy – thanks for that. I have no idea why Akismet keeps holding comments in moderation šŸ˜¦ Sorry about that.
    @ Michelle – asking question is a good point, and one I’d sort of forgotten!

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