Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Leaving comments on my blog

One of the main reasons I keep this blog is as a means of talking with people, especially anyone interested in education, eLearning, health care practice, midwifery and childbirth. I hope that this blog passes on interesting information, but the main aim is to generate conversation and discussion.

Whilst I start off the conversation with my own thoughts and ideas, I am really keen that readers feel comfortable to add their own comments. This may be a short 'I agree' or it may be a longer 'I totally disagree and think you talk a load of rubbish!'. I would invite you to say anything you would like, as long as it is not too rude!

Feedback or comments are really important to me as it gives me a feel for what you think about this blog; the way I write as well as the subjects I write about. Leaving feedback allows me to meet the readers' needs more fully as well as providing me with personal motivation. It is also a way to generate ongoing discussion which hopefully will spark off further reflection and questions, and may even encourage future collaboration. So have a go and leave me a comment about a posting.

All you have to do is look up at the top of a post and click onto the small 'comment' label.
A new window will open where you can read other comments as well as leave your own comment.
Write what you want to say in the box.
If you want to stay anonymous, just click where it says 'anonymous' or you can use your own name or nickname.

You do not have to have a 'blogger' account to be able to comment on this blog.
Once you are happy with what you have written, click onto 'publish'.

If you would rather email me compared to comment directly on the blog, click onto the envelope symbol at the end of a post. I respond to all comments and emails.

If you want to be really clever and keep a track of the comments/conversations, you can use a program called cocomment.

A special 'thank you' to Michele Martin who advised me to write this post as a way of encouraging people to interact with this blog.



Image: 'elephant talk'
www.flickr.com/photos/47968145@N00/325235488

25 comments:

Anji said...

good idea! i think you did a fine job of explaining how the comments work and why bloggers want to have comments made. best of luck getting folks to pipe up!!! :D

followed your comments from michelle martin's blog...

Sarah Stewart said...

Thank you, anji, for that feedback. One of the great difficulties I have (and traps I fall into) is assuming people know what I am talking about with little or no instruction. So I find writing 'guides' can be difficult - you don't want to be too simplistic for fear of insulting people's intelligence yet at the same time, if you don't put enough simple details, people don't know what you're talking about.

Anyway, you've made my day by responding to my post!! Goodness, I sound so needy!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, I also found you from Michele's post. Talking people through how to comment - and that they're welcome - is a great idea. It's easy to fall into the trap of assuming all your readers are other bloggers and will be used to leaving comments.

You mentioned in the comment conversation there whether to contact a commenter to let them know there was a reply. I tend to e-mail new commenters (to let them know that I exist and that I'm pleased to meet them), but wouldn't otherwise make direct contact unless someone asked for some very specific information. I guess you might have quite a few queries like that in which case you might want to contact them directly. Could be a lot of work though... and in general, especially if your commenters are regular bloggers, I'd assume they'll come back and look for a reply.

Best wishes with your blogging

Joanna

PS Can't remember how to log in so I'll post my url in case you want to find me! it's www.confidentwriting.com

Michele said...

Sarah--I agree with Anji--this is well-done and your personality really comes through in this. I'd certainly feel very welcome as a newbie to leave a comment. I'm using you as an example in the follow-up to yesterday that I'm writing. :-)

christytucker said...

One of the things I really like about this is how you're explicit that it's OK for people to disagree with you. Not all bloggers are really open to that, and I think that non-bloggers sometimes have a perception that we don't want disagreement. You're welcoming that constructive conflict with open arms though.

I'm glad Michele linked to this so I could find it. I think I might borrow some of these ideas, at least for my team's internal blog for our company. Information on commenting might be helpful on our "guide for first time visitors." Thanks for the idea!

Sarah Stewart said...

Thank you very much Michele for all your help and advice. This 'thinking' about my blog has led me another step and has got me questioning what this blog is actually about, so will get back to you soon with my conclusions.

Sarah Stewart said...

The thing I have loved about this experience of linking into Michelle's post is that I have met new people who I would otherwise not have known about. So 'thank you' to anji, Christy and Joanna for dropping by. I am really enjoying reading your blogs and stretching my thinking yet further.

Carolyn McIntosh said...

Thanks for this Sarah. Because of this post i have added a bit more about how to comment on my blog in the welcome section which always appears at the front of my blog. This means that anyone coming to my blog for any reason will always see that message. I hope if gets people motivated to comment. I am not as good at asking questions in my postings as you however and I wonder if that too is part of my problem.

C. Thompson said...

Hi Sarah,
I found you through Michele's blog. I like how you included how to leave comments in your 'About Me' section as well as in this post. I think it is also really important that you indicated that you respond to all comments and e-mails--why leave a comment if you're not going to get a response? The only thing better than having someone comment on your own blog, is someone responding to one of your comments! Now we're having a conversation!

I'm an educator with a Distributed Learning school in BC, Canada. Basically, most of our families are home schoolers who register with us (we're part of the public school system) where we provide support, resources, classes, and we report on the students' progress. I recently set up a group blog for parents in our program. I was very optimistic that this would be a great place for parents to start discussions where they could share resources and provide support to each other in what is a very demanding undertaking. So far, no comments. I've included a 'How to' in my side-bar, but I think I'll follow your lead and do a whole post on comments. Thanks!

Sarah Stewart said...

Thank you very much, C.Thompson for dropping by and leaving your comments. I have been challenged recently to think about this topic in greater depth and ask myself why I am wanting to encourage comments - is it an ego thing? Should I be trying to encourage to build a community around me - shouldn't blogging be about encouraging independent self-learning rather than trying to build an audience? jlubke has written a short post about this

C. Thompson said...

Hi Susan, wanting comments has an element of ego in it, for sure. But for me a blog is an opportunity for a conversation. I don't want my blog to be just a personal journal, I am actively seeking feedback.

Claire said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog, Sarah, I appreciate your comments! I noticed that I addressed my last comment on your blog to Susan, I meant Sarah--oops!

kanter said...

Thanks for this gem of a post! Excellent example. I'm also glad to discover you via Michele's excellent post on comments.

Claire said...

Sarah, I've modified some of what you've said in this post and included it in my blog for home learners. I have cited your blog and this post as the source. Please let me know if this is ok. Again, thanks for a great post!

Sarah Stewart said...

Looks good to me, Claire. Let me know if you find an increase in comments left on your blog.

Sarah Stewart said...

Thank you, Kanter - I am glad you found my post to be of some use.

Sunita said...

i think you did a fine job of explaining how the comments work and why bloggers want to have comments made. I really liked this discussion.
Leo F. Swiontek

Sarah Stewart said...

Thank you, Leo

Janet said...

Sarah,
came across this by accident, am interested as at present am working in Pakistan, and the hospital am working for is also hoping to start a midwifery programme (a proper one, not the current one)so would like to contact you professionally. Also have a lot in common, was a obstetric tutor at DPH, am a midwife and worked in QM (for a short period) and DPH whilst doing a BA at Otago. Also worked in Cromwell as a midwife and at Wellington Poly school of nursing. Managed eventually to get my Phd, and am working as a Director of clinical nursing in Lahore at present, my colleague is principal school of nursing.
Have skype, but the voice connection isn't too good, and have limited assess to the internet, ie during work time. so if you could email would be grateful janet.m.scott@btinternet.com
Janet

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Janet, would be very interested in hearing your experiences of working in Pakistan especially as my own links there are growing. I'll drop you a line to see how you're finding things.

Tania said...

Hello My Name is Tania Milne
I am currently working as a DHB Midwife for Lakes DHB at Taupo Maternity Unit.
As we only have 3 IMW for the entire area, we as DHB MW are covering the rest of woman, so run AN clinics, cover the 12 hr shifts to keep the unit open and followup PN care, our team is very small and at present we are struggling to cover the exsisting shifts, I am about to embark on a new role as Unit co-ordinator commencing in 2/52.
I am quite new to this technology, having used Blackboard for the first time with the STI paper. I hope to complete a 2 papaer dissertation next yr to complete my Masters.
I am a keen triathlete and have a passion for competing in Ironman distance. Rather a mad passion.

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Tania, great to hear from you, but I am wondering if you meant this introduction to be on the M503.7 Reflection on Practice course blog? I have emailed you the link.

In the meantime, I would love to get your feedback about how the course is on the blog compared to BlackBoard.

Tania said...

Hello My Name is Tania Milne
I am currently working as a DHB Midwife for Lakes DHB at Taupo Maternity Unit.
As we only have 3 IMW for the entire area, we as DHB MW are covering the rest of woman, so run AN clinics, cover the 12 hr shifts to keep the unit open and followup PN care, our team is very small and at present we are struggling to cover the exsisting shifts, I am about to embark on a new role as Unit co-ordinator commencing in 2/52.
I am quite new to this technology, having used Blackboard for the first time with the STI paper. I hope to complete a 2 papaer dissertation next yr to complete my Masters.
I am a keen triathlete and have a passion for competing in Ironman distance. Rather a mad passion.

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Tania, I've posted your intro over on the reflection blog. Go and have a look so you can catch up in what everyone else is saying. cheers Sarah

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