The 31 Day Comment Challenge has been kicked off by Michele Martin. Details can be found on Michele's blog and the Challenge wiki. The Challenge replicates the 31 Day Blog Challenge and has been designed to encourage people to think about how they comment on blogs and how they create a space for people to comment on their own blogs.
Day 1 of the Challenge involves running an audit of my comment behavior - what are my comment skills and strategies? To help in the audit, I have been asked to review an article about blog comments written by Gina Trapanui.
How often do you comment on other blogs during a typical week?
I honestly do not know the answer to this question. It very much depends on my workload and how much time I have to read blogs. I probably comment on at least one blog post every day.
Do you track your blog comments? How? What do you do with your tracking?
I track my comments with co.mments unless the blog post has an inbuilt facility for tracking. However, I only track my comments if I am really interested in the topic of conversation or if I want to check that the blogger has responded to me. If I leave comments on a blog and there are no responses from the blog owner after two or three comments, then I do not go back to the blog. The only exception to the rule is when I comment on the famous blogs. The owners are usually too inundated to respond to individual comments and I do not expect them to.
Do you tend to comment at the same blogs or do you try to comment on at least one new blog per week?
I have my favorite blogs that I comment on all the time such as those belonging to Michele Martin, Sue Waters, Carolyn McIntosh and Leigh Blackall. And the reason they are my favorite blogs is because Michele, Sue, Leigh and Carolyn put themselves out to respond to me personally. I also follow their blogs because the topics they write about interest me.
But I also make a point of commenting on new blogs in an effort to expand my network and also to try to attract people back to my blog. I do not know how successful that is as a strategy. Whilst the number readers is growing there hasn't been a noticeable reciprocation in my comments. The increase in readership could be more to do with my increased networking on Twitter and the advertising of my blog by other means.
Gina Trapanui's advice on leaving comments
On the whole I agree with everything Gina says about things like being courteous, keeping to topic and adding to the thread. On the whole, I am pretty good at sticking to the guidelines that Gina suggests.
The only thing I would disagree with is her rule: don't comment for the sake of commenting. Sometimes, everything that can be said has been said but I may say a few words to signal my appreciation of the post. Whilst it may add nothing to the conversation, it is important to me that the blogger knows he/she has contributed to my learning. One example of this is the story of Al Upton and the mini legends. Whilst I had absolutely nothing new to add to the discussion, I left a comment to indicate my support for him and his students.
When did you last leave a comment on a blog?
Image: 'Another Subversive Comment' duncan