Thursday, 9 September 2010

The Value of A Comment

About a year ago I started “The One Comment A Day Project”. The purpose was to generate buzz and comments around blogs. My hope was to have every member of my PLN comment on one blog post that day, then post the link to twitter with the hashtag #onecom, and generate a conversation via blog comments. This project was short lived, however, it did produce some good conversations and comments.

The blogging community is rich with talent and resources; we blog to share, to inform, to educate. Many times blogs are simply read and passed over without any comments. While comments should not be a requirement for blog readers, it sure means a lot to a blogger to receive a simple comment.

A comment can generate a new conversation and provoke thinking for the blogger and the reader. Many times the blogger can gain constructive insight from a comment and see a new perspective on his or her blog. In short, the comments feel good. Comments are not why we write, but it is part of the learning process for all involved.

It is not always easy to post a comment, especially during the hectic schedule of a school year. Many times we can only fit a quick read into our day. Plus, if you are like me, your Google Reader can get backed up rather quickly and finding time to read more than one post is impossible. So what is a practical solution to this dilemma?

Here is one way in which you can begin to organize your blog reading and commenting habits.

1. Each day, set up 20 or 30 minutes (as much time as your daily schedule can afford) and plug that time into your Google calendar as BLOG. Use all caps, make it bold, and set various reminders. This is your time to read and respond to one blog.

2. After you have thoroughly read the post, leave the author a valuable, constrictive comment. Don’t simply say you liked reading it or it was neat, but give them some feedback as if they were sitting in a department meeting across the room from you. Personally, if I am offering ideas on a post, I love to hear how others will use said ideas in their own practice. Plus, it continues the dialogue and offers other readers new ideas that are now expanding in various directions.

3. Take the link and post it on twitter. Tell your entire PLN that you just left a comment on this great blog by Random Author and it is the must read blog of the day! If we highlight the talents of each other and continually spread the wealth in a focused manner, we all benefit.

Again, acquiring comments or followers is not why we blog. Bloggers write to share ideas, resources, and techniques that will improve our classroom and enhance our own learning. There are so many excellent bloggers out there and I wish we could create a new day in the week just to read them all. Until that motion passes, I will make sure I set aside my time each day to focus on one blog. If I have more time I will surely expand my scope, however, if we all commit to one comment a day, we all benefit.

**CC image by kpwerker via flickr