Comment Challenge Day 16-19

So, I was able to stay on track daily with the Comment Challenge half way through the month of May. Then the final days of school, with millions of other typical "final days of school stuff" happened… and I dropped the ball. Since learning these days can take place asynchronous meaning anytime and anywhere, I am not going to feel too bad and instead of dropping the ball and leaving it there, I am picking it back up and keep going.

Day 16: Go Back and Catch Up on Something – Check

Day 17: Five in Five

You should be nice and relaxed after yesterday, so today we’re going to do something fun. Sue Waters pointed me to a cool little activity on Tony Tallent’s blog called "Five in Five ." The idea is challenge yourself to do 5 comments in 5 minutes, although no scrimping on quality by doing something easy like "I like this post" on five different blogs. This is harder than it sounds because if you’re going to read 5 posts and leave reasonably thoughtful comments on each, it will probably take you longer than 5 minutes (Tony ended up taking 28 minutes to comment on 8 posts). The premise is fun, though.

OK, I tried. In 5 minutes, I was barely able to read one post, let alone comment on five. The time ticker mad me even more nervous. I guess I am not the competition (even against a clock) mentality that many people seem to thrive on. In 5 minutes, I was able to comment on two blogs: Learning is Messy and Larry Ferlazzo ‘s blog. One one, I left an acknowledgment comment, while on the other a "Thank you for all you do" comment. Reasonably thoughtful? …from a thoughtful-polite point of view- Yes. Reasonably thoughtful- thought meaning idea point of view- No. I admit that I am and always will be a slow writing blogger and commenter. I cannot whip out a comment that is thought provoking, full of new ideas and connections at a moments notice. I will always write, re-write, change something here and there, double check and re-read before I hit publish or submit.

Day 18: Analyze the Comments on Your Own Blog- Did this one actually on the 18th of May.

Day 19: Respond to a Commenter on Your Own Blog

This activity is courtesy of Sue Waters who says: If readers have made time to comment on your posts, you should always make sure to respond back (ideally to each reader) in the comments on that post. This is very important for building your blog’s community as it demonstrates that you value your readers and their input.

Commenting back also increases community interaction. Look at how Lee is interacting with her readers on “What Posts Stimulate Readers To Comment?” and while you are there make sure you leave your thoughts on what makes readers comment.

This challenge is actually one that I have focused on for myself during this past month. I have received more comments than ever since this Challenge started. It was also for the first time that I was receiving comments that stirred more conversation. Before most of the comments left on my blog, were comments that were acknowledgments and thank yous for writing a review or tutorial or they were "dead end" (vs. open ended) comments. Few of them required a comment back. I don’t believe that a comments such as I left today for Challenge #17 on Learning is Messy and Larry Ferlazzo ‘s blog require a comment back from the blog authors.

Larry,
Just wanted to let you know that all your work in compiling these great websites is appreciated tremendously. I know how much work and dedication goes into this…

Just because these kinds of comments don’t seem to require a response, does not mean that they are not appreciated or valid.

I have enjoyed tremendously receiving open ended responses or questions that really made me feel I was part of something greater than just writing and documenting for my own pleasure. When I wrote a review of the FlipCamera by PureDigital , I was asked by Kim Cofino and Chris Craft to please try the camcorder out with a Mac. That spurred the following post Flip Camcorder MAC vs PC .