Three things I’ve learned about blog commenting

I’m a little behind with the 31 day challenge so this is my day 7 reflection.

Progress to date:

  1. Audited my own commenting behaviour,
  2. Commented on a new blog,
  3. Installed a blog comment tracking service,
  4. Asked a question in a comment,
  5. Commented on a post I didn’t agree with
  6. Responded to another commenter on a blog post.

Task 7 is to identify 3 things I’ve learned in the challenge so far. I’m to think about what I’ve learned about myself as a commenter, what I’ve learned about the act of commenting, and how I think my recent commenting activities have impacted me as commenter and a blogger. The idea is to quickly identify the significant learning. Familiar and not all together comfortable territory from Ultraversity days πŸ™‚ First the:

Reflection

I learned that I am a reluctant to post comments part because I worry about what people will think of me. I think I sometimes misjudge the tone of what I write and there can be cultural differences that make global blog commenting more difficult. Yet I have no problem commenting on lots of flickr photos, engaging in conversations about the images and their meanings, implications etc. I am more confident in that environment. I also discovered I’m quite likely to respond to a blog post from a contact on twitter rather than on their blog.

Recurring themes? Feeling safe, comfortable and ownership

About commenting in general I’ve learned that it’s harder than I thought. It’s given me an insight into why people might be reluctant to comment on my blogs. I read so many things and am interested and enjoy them but I still only respond to a small minority. It’s made me more aware of the need to get a response from the blogger, to be made welcome and comfortable even if I’m disagreeing with them. Hard! See the point above. I might just face the fact that avoiding conflict is a deep seated personality trait and stay in my comfort zone.

Recurring themes – difficulties, balance, conflict avoidance

Now for some quantitative data:

There seems to be a 10% responding to 90% reading balance now compared to 2% – 98% before the challenge.

Ok – that’s pleasing πŸ™‚ This is partly because I culled my feeds and removed a lot of stuff I skimmed and wasn’t relevant to my current needs and interests. Even so I think it’s progress. None of these comments were just “me too” posts and I tried to add something and engage with the poster and other commenters in all of them.

However – I still commented on 3 times as many flickr photos as blogs! These comments were almost never of the ‘lovely photo’ variety πŸ™‚

Themes – progress, engagement, visual stimuli

Significant Learning

I avoid even minor conflict – even on blogs,
Visual stimulus is important to me
I can change my commenting habits with a small amount of effort

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    4 thoughts on “Three things I’ve learned about blog commenting

    1. Most of the participants have expressed similar reasons why they are reluctant commenters on blogs but you are the first to talk about ownership. Do you think that “”Yet I have no problem commenting on lots of flickr photos” is because you’re more engaged by visuals?

    2. Good question Sue. My first thought was that engagement with the visuals might be the reason but I wonder if I need to dig deeper into this ownership thing. Even though it’s ‘your’ Flickr stream everyone’s is basically the same format. It feels less like someone else’s territory than a blog.
      Do you remember someone saying it’s like walking into someone’s lounge and drawing up a chair? For me that’s where the ownership comes in, maybe I’m more comfortable responding in my own space and using trackbacks.
      Still that’s often not where the conversations are especially comments from those who don’t blog. I don’t approve of turning comments off and insisting bloggers respond on their own blogs. I like a mixture.
      Hmm – today’s task will make me think this through a bit more. Thanks for the prod πŸ™‚

    3. Wow! I am so impressed by all you’ve learned in such a short amount of time!

      I also noticed that I need to cull my RSS feeds in order to more effectively engage in conversations. I have this crazy need to want to read everything, but in doing so, I end up leaving commenting out. After making an effort to do more regular commenting, I’m realizing that the commenting is the most critical part of the learning process – if I read too much and comment too little, I’m not learning, I’m just grazing. I need to read what’s really relevant and comment more to deepen the learning.

      Thanks for helping me clarify my thinking!

    4. Hi Kim
      Funny – I must have been reading and commenting on your blog as you were reading mine πŸ™‚
      You are spot on about ‘grazing’ not learning!It’s just that sort of skimming I sometimes do where I end up with a jumble of ideas and no clear notion of where I got them. Not good!
      It’s hard to cut back on feeds but it seems worth it so far. I am starting to feel slightly more involved in a blogging community again, rather than sitting watching from the edge.

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