Sue Waters Blog

Commenting Counts (or does it?)

| 45 Comments

We’ve worked hard emphasizing that reading other people’s posts and commenting on posts are both a very important part of the learning process as a blogger.

Maybe we’re wrong?  Or maybe we haven’t helped you experience it in action?

But what I do know is some have reflected they feel that commenting feels like a burden or that once you’ve made a comment it often goes no further.

I’m hoping this is where you’ll help out?

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment:

  1. Has commenting helped your learning?  Yes or No?  Why?
  2. What advice would you give others on commenting?
  3. What else could we do to improve the process?

Author: Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

45 Comments

  1. Commenting is a generous way of letting the blogger know he or she is appreciated. It also gives the person commenting a chance to reflect on what was just read. Even if the person does not reconnect with the blogger for a reply, the conversation at least occurred. If a blog post is helpful to us, at least we can let the blogger know. Commenting also helps a blogger know that he or she is not writing to a silent audience or non-existent audience. Assume that you received no replies to this post. Would you know if it were read?

    • Good reasons for leaving comments, Judy. I think that during Sue’s first blog webinar (or 2nd?), I resolved to read more blog posts and COMMENT. Even though some would disagree, I think we can decide to encourage the larger educational communities efforts to share and encourage each other through simple commenting.

      • Hi JudyArzt and Glenn

        For me “It also gives the person commenting a chance to reflect on what was just read” on one of the more important aspects. I personally find that when I write a comment it makes me reflect more on what I’ve read and it also gives me other ideas of aspects I haven’t considered.

        Glenn – I’m glad my sessions did encourage you to read more posts and comments. Some have really struggled that aspect and maybe you only appreciate it when you realise by engaging in the process you have learnt more?

  2. I think commenting on blogs fosters communication and discussion about the topic. It can solidify a point of view or possibly influence a change in one’s thinking after reflection or a shared dialogue. I also feel that if something resonates with you when you read a blog, sharing your thoughts with the author is the same as sharing during a face-to-face conversation.

    • Hi Deborah Vane

      “possibly influence a change in one’s thinking after reflection or a shared dialogue” is another key reason why I encourage commenting.

      By reading and commenting on other people’s posts we’re being introduced to alternative viewpoints which gives us the opportunity to evaluate our own thoughts on topic.

  3. Hi Sue,

    I think of commenting like being in a study group or a room of colleagues. If someone says something that’s meaningful, colleagues recognize it by responding back. Sometimes they dig further and ask why I think that, or they have resources to share about it… In my opinion, when there’s not a response then it’s no longer a study group or a room of colleagues, but rather a big university class where hundreds of people sit in for the lecture. I chose a fabulous small college, 1200 students to be exact, and thrived on the small class sizes. I thrived on the discussion. So, I tend to find blogs that have that same feeling where we have conversations and grow from those conversations.

    I am no longer offended by comments not answered. I just don’t have intrinsic motivation to return to continue commenting.

    When I share with others about blogging, I share that there are usually two camps of bloggers: the pro bloggers who don’t respond and educational bloggers that do. I’ve found that if they are taught this from the onset, then they start off with the understanding that they’re supposed to respond, that’s the purpose of a blog. I also make sure they view Linda Yollis’ post about quality commenting, because it helps them realize the importance of the conversation.

    Kind regards,
    Tracy

    • Tracy, I kind of wonder if being a “professional blogger” means that they just share their ideas without interacting with anyone who agrees or disagrees. I mean, they don’t have to reply to every comment, but wouldn’t seem like a good idea to show some replies so that readers know the “blogger” is engaging the comments at some level? If not, then I guess the “professional blog” is really just a showcase for their own ideas. I really like your analogy of the large college lecture hall with humungous class sizes. I had a friend who went to UC Berkeley with classes like that and I wondered what the draw was. Not much chance of connecting there. Our high schools have small class sizes (only a few over 30 students), so the online discussions in our blended classes this year has seen an increase in student interaction with each other and the class content.

      I know blogs have different purposes and audiences. Some of the blogs with more technical style writing is sometimes hard for anyone to leave comments on. Some educ. blogs are that way, too…too deep for me :) Thanks again for sharing and the analogy is one I’ll use.

      • Hi Tracy and Glenn

        Love how you compare it to a study group or room of colleagues. Hadn’t thought of trying that approach! Not sure how I missed that? I use analogies for explaining Twitter but haven’t ever done similar for commenting. It is so important to build that picture of taking people from what they know so they can relate to it better :(

        Not sure it is as cut and dry as “the pro bloggers who don’t respond and educational bloggers that do.” There are some educational bloggers who don’t or only respond to some comments. Ultimately their decision but as you say those that don’t I have less intrinsic motivation to return to continue commenting.

        Glenn – the smart problogger does engage with some commenters but the biggest difference is they’re paid to blog. We’re blogging to share ideas and learn.

        Many of my posts are technical style writing due to the nature of my work. The different styles of writing, and what you write, do impact on whether someone will or won’t comment.

        • Hi Sue and Glenn,

          Glad you liked the analogy. ;) True, Sue, it’s not as cut and dry that all educational bloggers comment and all pro bloggers don’t. However, I’ve seen a small trend that I find interesting. As I introduce newbies to blogging in my district, and take them to blogs by Kathleen Morris, Linda Yollis, Sheri Edwards, Denise Krebs, … and after seeing those stellar examples, I notice they tend to do the same with commenting. I’ve found that some of the newbies who start off by reading pro blogger posts end up also not responding on their own blog posts. So, it’s a trend that I have come across with a small sample population. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but maybe there’s something to emulating the models you see.

          Kind regards,
          Tracy

  4. This has been something I have been thinking about for my students in particular. It seems easy to stimulate a little flourish of comments for some of their posts but the conversations, the networking that we promote as possible through blogging seems harder to achieve. I continue to try and help them do that by following established and newer classroom bloggers. And we use Twitter!
    We have to practice what we preach! We need to take the time to comment on the blogs that interest us, the ones that make us think, and share them.
    When I first started my own blog I wanted to know what others thought and while Clustr maps at least let us know someone dropped by, that’s no substitute for reading that
    comment!

    • Hi Patrica

      Developing a strong commenting community on your student blogs does take time. Things like getting family involvement and developing strong connections with other classes really helps.

      Jan Smith’s tip in the student blogging webinar of finding class blogs with a similar approach to blogging is really important and something I hadn’t considered. She was absolutely correct when she said the success of your connections with other classes is reliant on having similar goals and approaches to what you are doing.

    • I have pondered about this in relation to my students too, Patricia. Blogging is hard work and my students, as much as they enjoy receiving comments, can struggle with maintaining the focus needed to returning to past post to continue a conversation. I think that is why you are correct in saying that we must “practise what we preach” and make this practise visible to our students.

      For my level of students that is why I prefer to start with a class blog where commenting is the first level of participation and visiting our blog has to be a major focus for the writing that occurs within our classroom. Lots of modelling is required, even for adult learners, for beginning bloggers to start to see the conversations build. We have to read lots of posts and comments in the same way as we read lots of books to learn about various genre.

      When I first started to blog I did not even think about using it for communicating with educators. My first blog was a crafting blog where sharing a passion for creating led to receiving comments with queries about how something was made or a simple admiration style comment. There are many of these passion blogs around but the ones with more comments were the ones who shared ideas, techniques or tutorials. The comments may merely have been a “I have made this one too” type comment but there were also more serious discussions about copyright, answers to struggling creators and sharing of links to more ideas.

      I definitely read many blog posts before I started commenting and often was uncertain of whether I had anything useful to add to the commenting conversation. The blank page syndrome can hit even when the page is a tiny comment box. Even scrolling up and down the page to rescan the comment conversation is a skill that needs modelling.

      I also think that it was said in one of the Blackboard Collaborate sessions that it takes time to find your voice and even if you do not receive comment the act of reflecting can aid your own learning. I think this is true of a classroom blog as well. Children can revisit ideas, old work and sometime link the old with the new. So regardless of receiving comments the blog post has value. The comments are the “icing on top” and can become the motivator for some students to volunteer to write posts.

      All friendships require cultivation, and this is long distance – no body language communication, so in answer to Sue’s last question I think that we improve the process by having patience, having the courage to leave a comment and by reflecting on the whole blogging process with our classes or our colleagues. I also agree with Scott, just below, who reminds us of the 1% rule and to appreciate each comment we receive.

      Tracey

      • Sorry Tracey

        Thought I had responded :(

        With your students struggling with maintaining the focus needed to returning to past post to continue a conversation — I wonder if this is because they aren’t able to or aren’t using an option to be notified of follow up comments? That’s a hard one if they aren’t able to use email notification as it makes the process inefficient.

        Any one have any thoughts of how to make the process better for students to keep up with the conversation on posts they have commented on?

        I advise the same approach as you using the Class blog first. Strong scaffolding of the learning how to blog improves the outcomes and increases that chances it will be successful.

        • Yes, Sue some of the issues arise from the managing of emails and not making full use of notifications. The rest stems from being on a shared class where I only see them once a week and the other teacher has very different priorities. This has not stopped my desire to blog with my class but just slowed the process of developing connections down. One day can feel so short when there is so much to share :-)

          On the flipside I hope that the small experience they have me will help them sometime later in their journey through school.

          I woul love to hear from others about how they manage emails with younger bloggers.

          Tracey

  5. “Please comment about whether or not commenting is valuable.” Talk about comment bait! ;)

    On the serious side, I read and sincerely appreciate each and every comment that I get. I try my best to respond to every comment, or at least within a thread of comments. I don’t always succeed but that’s my goal.

    I also try to be sure that I comment on several other people’s blogs per day. I know how valuable they are to me; others deserve to receive as well. Again, I don’t always succeed but that’s my goal.

    Comments are where the learning occurs. The revision, clarification, extension, connection, and/or pushback of ideas helps me learn and helps my readers too. An active comment stream on a post is incredibly wonderful.

    As Judy said, comments also are a great way to let an education blogger know he or she is appreciated. That’s particularly important when you have someone who’s new and/or has a small audience. We want to nurture those folks so they don’t give up!

    Now, all of this said, the 1% Rule tells us that few readers actually leave a comment, no matter how much your post interested them. I’m grateful for every comment (and new learning) I receive.

    Thanks for sparking the discussion, Sue, and for my opportunity to leave a comment!

    • Hi Scott

      lol ” Talk about comment bait!

      On the serious side I debated this post for several days. I know that there are quite a few participating in ETMOOC who aren’t convinced of the importance of commenting. I did consider writing a post to highlight a specific series of posts and comments where you could see the whole blogging cycle in action.

      But would it work? Probably not because it is something we need to get them to experience. We want them to experience like you say that “Comments are where the learning occurs. The revision, clarification, extension, connection, and/or pushback of ideas helps me learn and helps my readers too.”

      I also like your daily goal of commenting on other’s posts!

      So I changed my approach to how I wrote this post in the hope that we could show commenting conversations in action.

      • I only wish I could get comments. Yes, I blog as a reflection, but also as an exploration. I want someone to tell me if they agree or disagree. I was my ideas to be challenged. It’s the best way to learn and grow.

        • Hi Brendan

          Comments can be a challenge. As Scott McLeod highlights the online participation rule indicates that only about 1% of readers actively comment. Building a strong blog community does help and some styles of writing are more likely to receive comments.

          But saying all that I think it is considerably easier to engage commenters nowadays than when I first started blogging. We now have a considerably stronger, and larger, educational community and communities like ETMOOC can really help educators connect and support each other.

  6. Commenting has definitely helped my learning. Not sure how it wouldn’t, to be honest about it. As I read the ideas/reflections of others in their blogs, watch embedded videos, read linked posts, and the comments of others (if there are any), I’m able to agree/disagree, affirm, and ask questions by leaving a written comment, and also to leave links for them to further explore their ideas. Maybe they will see things from another perspective.

    Sometimes I get replies to my comments and sometimes I don’t, but the learning has occurred for me regardless. When I put my thoughts down in written form, it solidifies my own thinking. I also find that when I post comments, it’s not just about my learning…well, maybe it is. I’m learning to encourage others to share their ideas and show appreciation for others taking the time and effort to do so.

    As far as advice for others, I think I’m trying to just be myself when I respond and I used the guidelines you (Sue) shared in the blogging webinar – especially the cute video made by the students in Linda Yollis’s class – How to Write a Quality Comment (http://goo.gl/F0w9c)

    I guess if it feels like a burden to write comments….maybe a person should view commenting as a gift and not put a burden on others to reply. I think each person has to evaluate that for themselves.

    • Hi Glenn,

      I like your advice of “I’m trying to just be myself when I respond”. One of the biggest reasons why readers don’t comment is the fear they have that they might say the wrong thing or what they say doesn’t add value.

      I think we need to let go of those fears and as you say just be ourselves. If anything I would say my voice is more distinct when I write comments, and you have a better feeling of who I am, than in my posts.

  7. When I think of the word comments, I think of constructive feedback. I like it when people respond to my blog because then I feel like someone is out there. I appreciate when they make me think or give me some questions based on my writing. I really like it when they quote or mention me in relation to something they are thinking about (like a remix) and I love when they disagree and tell me why.

    I don’t like it when people tell me that I made spelling mistakes, and nothing else.

    Verena :)

    • Varena, I agree that it’s nice to be noticed for doing something well and also for others to engage us in our thinking. To me, having someone just point out a few typos is …well, tacky!

      • Hi Verena and Glenn

        It’s usually me making the spelling or grammar mistakes.

        It doesn’t worry me too much if someone lets me know that I’ve made a minor spelling mistake so I can fix it.

        But it does annoy me when educators get too obsessed with spelling.

        There needs to be a balance; especially when blogging with our students. We’re trying to motivate them to want to write and not make it something more to hate.

        I’ve also known educators who have been too scared to blog themselves because they are so worried about making spelling and grammar mistakes.

  8. Hi Sue,
    I agree commenting is an important part of the blogging experience. Yes, as a new blogger I appreciate (a lot!) receiving feedback from others and knowing that others have read what I have written. However, I believe commenting plays a more important role for the reader than it does the writer. Active reading requires that readers engage with the text. This means asking questions, making connections, growing your thinking. Commenting on a blog requires you to take the time to formulate a response to what you have read. It is true that I do not have something to say about every blog I read – mostly because I don’t know enough about the topic to have something to say. However, I do have something for many of them. A quick comment at the bottom is a simple way to engage that only takes a few minutes of my time. And if it leads to further discussion, BONUS!

    • @Kirsten

      Your feedback of “I believe commenting plays a more important role for the reader than it does the writer” is really interesting and I would love to hear others thoughts.

      I think I’ll give others a chance to debate who gains the most in terms of learning from comments before I respond (hope that is okay Kirsten?)

      Thought’s anyone? – Who gains the most learning from comments ‘the reader or the original writer of the post?” or both?

  9. Hi Sue,
    I feel that commenting is a MUST! It extends the conversation, and thereby, the learning….for all! So in response to Kirsten’s comment: ““I believe commenting plays a more important role for the reader than it does the writer” , I respectfully, disagree (or perhaps I misunderstand the whole idea of blogging in education.) Writers and commenters alike are learning from each other. Both investing their time and energy into a shared topic. Which does go along with Kirsten’s take on the commenter. Commenting takes time and one needs to really formulate their thoughts. But the writer also needs to do the same!

    Posts I have written have been truly enhanced by the thoughts of those taking the time to comment. They add to the conversation, correct a misconception, offer solutions and ideas from different points of view.

    Posts I have commented on helped me become a Connected Educators and create a strong Personal Learning Network. Often, the people who comment are return commenters, which forges a bond. (Would this also be the case for our student bloggers?)

    I always go back to the Edublog’s KSYB 30 Day Challenge. I believe we were taught correctly – Make connections, comment on blogs & respond to those who comment back! These are the ideas that I pass on to my student bloggers as well!

    Commenting on a blog is a “Win Win!” for all.

    Thank you Sue!

  10. In my experience over the years, Twitter has replaced commenting directly on a blog. A large # of people tweet out blog posts and articles and then, subsequently, retweet, favourite, forward, and share. Commenting directly to a blog carries with it a (perceived) expectation of length I believe and this isn’t something casual blog users care to commit. I guess the same could be said of a newspaper. Only a few ever take the time to write in or comment to an editorial as well. I don’t think the change in medium changes the behaviour that much.

    • Hi Aaron

      I agree. We have seen a shift in commenting directly on posts.

      I would extend it further to say that readers may choose to comment on it using their preferred social network. Some will comment on Twitter, others prefer to provide their feedback on Facebook, others on Google+ and then some on the post.

      As a blogger this means if you want to cater to readers preferences you should be sharing across all networks. The challenge is by doing the conversation is a bit more disjointed and a bit more time consuming as you respond back using the different social networks.

      For example, this conversation is also happening in Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/101622013033771255565/posts/3aHgsru2f4Y Interesting to note since the two conversations are happening independently of each other that the ideas being discussed have some distinct differences.

      Although I am wondering if commenting on online newspapers is more active than number of comments sent to traditional paper based newspapers?

  11. Hi Sue,

    I’ve been reading some of the comments and responses on this post. I could have provided a comment I had prepared looking directly at the questions you posed (it was quite long) but I looked at your interaction with @Kirsten re who gains most.

    Looking seriously at the commenting I do, I admit I have a great deal of enjoyment preparing often long comments on students’ posts although more rarely on adult posts. It is my way of staying involved with classes now I am retired. Feedback shows my commenting also has positive effects on the children receiving the comments.

    Who gains the most? That would be hard to quantify so I would prefer to believe the blogger and quality commenter both receive the most. I don’t see much value if the commenting is critical rather than constructive, merely negative rather than seeing the positive or simple generalised comments.

    A blog post I visited today simply had the following…
    l. can. Mac. A. cuFflint. And. Nls Window
    When we consider this was from a five year old child making their first post using an iPad, I think this was outstanding. By the way, it translates as “I can make colourful and nice windows.” (The teacher helped with “cuFflint”.)

    My response was, “I like your post. Colourful and nice windows are nice to look at.”

    The response was in simple language with the words written and spelt correctly. Without directly pointing out the errors, the child has the opportunity to see the correct form.

    @RossMannell
    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

    • Hi Ross

      I’m the same. I think it is “the blogger and quality commenter both receive the most.” But to a certain extent it is also influenced by the individual and how they interact with the comments on the blogs.

      In my case I know I’m learning as much about this topic by interacting with everyone as there are aspects being discussed I hadn’t considered. I’m also learning more that if I had just written a post that highlighted an example of the whole blogging cycle in action because there would have been less comments on that post and I would have reflected less on alternative ideas such as Kirsten’s great reflection on who gains the most from comments.

      Thanks for modeling the great way of helping students without directly pointing out the errors!

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  13. Hi Sue,
    What a perfect example (you sneaky one!) of the power and importance of commenting. I appreciate and see the point of all the comments above.

    Thanks Nancy for you thoughtful disagreement, it has made me take the time to clarify my own thinking. I think perhaps what I mean to say (no equivocating there!) is that as a NEW blogger and blog-reader, commenting on other blogs has played a more significant role in my own learning.

    It has been a joy to read all the high quality, thoughtful and insightful blogs out there. I have variously been provoked, inspired, reminded, pushed, and delighted as I read what people about there are saying. And have often-ish felt the need to comment on those blogs. The bloggers have almost always taken the time to write back, and further pushed my thinking (as is the case here). This has not yet happened in my own blog space. Not because noone is visiting my site, but I think because my blog is not yet reflecting the kind of “high level” thought provoking writing I have seen in the work of others.

    I am new to blogging, and as others have said, still trying to find my voice. This is clear in my posts-to-date which have mostly been simply my own personal musings about my practice and what I have read. Other than a “good for you” I am not sure what kind of comments people could be writing on my own blogs. It is my hope that with more practice I will start writing posts that would engage extended discussions. see http://somewherefromhere.edublogs.org for what I mean

    So, here maybe is what I think, this morning,before I have had my coffee. As a reader of blogs commenting on them plays a very important role for my thinking. For much of what I read I am not content to simply read and not engage through comments. However, as a writer of blogs I am content to write and not necessarily expect comments back while I grow in my own writing style and topics I take up. Likely that will change with time!

    Interestingly, my thinking about the importance of commenting in adult blogs (ie in the ETMOOC community) is not necessarily the same as what I think about my students’ blogs. I will have to think on this further.

    Thanks for the thought provoking questions Sue!

    • Hi Nancy and Kirsten

      I’ve already answered some of this in my response to Ross.

      And I was sneaky Kirsten :) I was trying to demonstrate that there is a time to respond back and a time to bring a conversation to the attention of others so they can first share their thoughts.

      Sometimes if you step in too soon with your own views it can stop that aspect of the conversations.

      Whereas taking this approach meant that readers like Nancy and Ross provided a deeper insight into that aspect of the conversation.

      Nancy, it’s great to hear in the Edublogs Challenge we got it right with – Make connections, comment on blogs & respond to those who comment back! These are the ideas that I pass on to my student bloggers as well!

      I think it has been harder to convey this message with ETMOOC because we’re dealing with a larger number of participants with a wider range of skill levels. It’s hard to make sure you provide for the needs of those new to the skills while trying to ensure you help enhanced the more experienced.

      Kirsten – I honestly wouldn’t worry about “reflecting the kind of “high level” thought provoking writing I have seen in the work of others”. It isn’t me either. I write what I write, how I see it, and I’m generally more of a technical writer. Not sure if this is the right way to say it — but I write based on what I know works.

      And this is perhaps opening up an entirely different can of worms but I’m not convinced the discussion on voice has been good for everyone. Reality is some people have very distinct voices; not everyone is as distinct or unique. Being a technical writer I would say my voice is far more distinct in my comments that in the posts I write. That doesn’t make my posts any less valuable.

      Building your community helps when it comes to engage extended discussions.

      I’ll also confess — in case any one was wondering – that writing this type of post where you’re trying to make the whole post about being a conversation in comments is one of the hardest posts to write.

      But it can also be the post you learn the most from as a blogger. Key is asking questions that interest others, having a community willing to engage and supporting the discussion in the comments as it evolves.

  14. As therapeutic as just putting your words out there may be, it is nice to know that someone is reading those words. It gives you a feeling of significance. It also is extremely motivating. I see the excitement in students that their writing has the potential of being read by anyone in the world. The teacher is no longer the only audience member. (#comments4kids is wonderful!) I also have witnessed the quiet student who rarely speaks in class or participates in discussions can have such a powerful voice in comments. Blogging gives this student the chance to reflect and respond in his/her own time, creating dialogues and conversations with classmates and the teacher (and others?) that may not have happened otherwise.

    • Hi Lisa (lsanderson)

      I agree that comments really mean so much for the students.

      Besides motivation, engagement and learning about other cultures as you highlight you also learn more about your own students as individuals that you don’t always have opportunities for in a traditional classroom.

      I’ve heard so many teachers talk about the benefits of this especially for the quieter students.

  15. Hi Sue, good questions, my thoughts:
    Receiving comments—being noticed is affirming and encourages, like the icing on the cake, yummy but not really necessary; however on rare occasions when readers post thoughtful and challenging inquiries, or present an alternative point of view I am motivated to think more deeply; to either defend my premise or alter my point of view—and that is learning.
    I don’t think that I am very good at making meaningful comments. I feel awkward and gauche and find it hard to go beyond superficial observations. Perhaps I find it hard to step outside of my social norms. Commenting on a stranger’s reflections feels like telling the stranger on the subway that her outfit just doesn’t look good on her.
    Maybe those of us who want to engage in critical inquiry should have a badge for our blogs that say, Critical Inquiry Welcome Here!

    • Hi Linda

      Interesting reflection on making meaningful comments.

      Do you think it is a bit like @Kirsten with her feedback about “high level” thought provoking writing?

      But I understand what you mean about ” Commenting on a stranger’s reflections feels like telling the stranger on the subway that her outfit just doesn’t look good on her.” I really feel uncomfortable when I write on someone’s post if I am disagreeing and generally only do it if I feel it is really important to share an alternative viewpoint they mightn’t have considered.

  16. Commenting is a challenge to many educators just as the act of blogging itself is. On a staff of 100 maybe 10 faculty are frequent bloggers. With that lot, they use it with kids and colleagues as part of their daily toolset. I believe many find the added task just too much energy and time. They perceive that exercise as an add-on to the loads of marking ( which is commenting of a kind ) The specificity of feedback in commenting, just as good comments in evaluating children’s writing or productions is essential. thx

    • Hi Al, I can understand why they feel this way and there is a lot have this same feeling. But I really think it is also important for them to be reflecting what they are trying to achieve.

      Educators like Linda Yolllis, Kathleen Morris and many that have commented on this post spend a lot of time and focus on teaching quality commenting skills while integrating their blogging practices with their curriculum. They’ve found focusing on quality does lead to increases in a wide range of areas including literacy.

      The hardest aspect for you is you appreciate this aspect and it is hard to encourage other staff in your organisation. Lots of us face those same challenges. @Tracy Watanabe might have some tips that have worked with her teachers — if you are interested?

  17. I agree with many of the previous comments, and as a beginning blogger, I have found commenting is a great way to discuss things I care about without a premature commitment to maintaining a regular blog (in terms of the time commitment especially. By commenting somewhat regularly on what I read, I can figure out how much time it really takes me to compose a thoughtful response that carries the conversation forward (and beyond the “great post” sort of appreciation). I can even find the germ of an idea for a post I might compose for my own site later–whether or not someone ever finds
    my site. There is ,however, a feeling of sending the comment out into the ether if the original blogger doesn’t reply, and the result becomes parallel play rather than connected learning.

    • Hi Rosemary

      Many of my post ideas are sparked by reading and commenting on other people’s posts. It is a really great way of coming up with things you want to blog about.

      It is frustrating when the comment goes off into the ether with no interaction. Ultimately it is their loss and it does mean that readers are less likely to comment on their posts. If learning is important, and you want it to be connected learning, than you do what that interaction to happen in comments.

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  19. Ed Nagelhout has written two interesting posts that reflect on commenting and learning. I’m adding the links to his posts here so you can look at them if you are interested:

    http://ednagelhout.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/commenting-part-i.html
    http://ednagelhout.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/commenting-part-ii.html

    • Thanks, Sue. I saw a few people tweeting the links and had them on my radar to read. Glad you posted them here for us. Good day!

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