Comments Count!

Comments Count!

A lot of the learning from blogging happens as a result of commenting and interaction between commenters.   Comments that challenge views, ideas and thoughts or provide alternative solutions expand our thinking.

Trouble is most readers are reluctant commenters, not because of lack of time, but because they feel uncomfortable leaving comments.

Please leave a comment to demonstrate the power of commenting by sharing your thoughts on:

  1. Reasons why readers mightn’t leave comments on blog posts
  2. What makes a good comment?
  3. What are some of your tips for encouraging readers to comment?

93 thoughts on “Comments Count!

  1. Sometimes I don’t comment because I’m not feeling clever or creative. It’s boring to just write, “Great post.”

    A good comment reflects the spirit of the post and contributes to the conversation. (Which again, is sometimes the reason I don’t comment.)

    To encourage comments, I ask for input or feedback.

    1. At the same time, that ‘great post’ is encouragement to the writer-lets him/her know they are not alone in the blogging sphere. I know some people say you shouldn’t make that sort of comment, but I am happy to get comments like that because it is making a connection that I can then follow.

      1. @Kwizgiver and @Sarah Stewart It interesting how I agree with both of you. It can be boring saying great post for both the reader and commenter.

        And yet if you’ve spent considerable time writing a post that people find value in reading it is nice to be thanked.

    2. People do not comment because they may feel shy and do not feel comfortable running the risk of being criticized.

      I would say that a good comment would be a constructive comment that may encourage the writer to continue.

      I agree with Kwizgiver that to encourage comments it is advisable to have feedback on the comment sent and the motivation of the reader towards the subject that has been posted.

      1. Thanks @doloresjardim for sharing your thoughts.

        Totally agree with you regarding “a good comment would be a constructive comment that may encourage the writer to continue”.

        However there are some occasions when you write an amazing post, where people are less likely to comment, because it is an informative post and all they can say is great post. It’s a hard one, you like to know people really appreciate what you wrote, but you also know why they are less likely to comment.

        In these situations, I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I still like thanks and great post — wonder what everyone else thinks?

        1. Thank you for your answer Sue,
          I agree that it is always good to recieve a positive incentive to a post even if it is an informative post and there is really not anything a person can add to it.
          I have seen many of your posts and find them very interesting.

    3. I also think people do not respond to blogs because they can be intimidated. I think others feel inferior to the writer and may not want to write something that seems simple and plain.

      A good comment is often times another idea. Sometimes the reader may spark up a thought that the writer did not think of. I have seen that often on blogs. Readers add more to the writer’s post. This is for the good of the writer as well as the rest of the reading community.

      Go ahead and comment. It’s just like I tell my students in class. You never know: the question that you have inside of your brain may be the same question that everyone else is thinking but is afraid to share. Same goes for comments!

      1. Yes Katie it is amazing how many of my ideas come through the ideas that my readers share in comments.

        My favorite one is the two page guide which was like DUH for me; why didn’t I think of that. Funnily enough so many of my readers thought the same.

        I find often that I gain more ideas from new people starting out who write posts or leave comments; then more experienced people because they see things with fresh eyes (hope I haven’t said similar below but my apologies if I have).

  2. G’day Sue,

    1. Your post (not necessarily YOU Sue) might not be interesting to that reader so they don’t comment. They might be frightened to comment – eg staff at my school – still had no comments from any senior staff member despite some reminders from me about how easy it is.

    2. A good comment relates to the topic of the post whether agreeing or disagreeing and allows other commenters to carry on the conversation.

    3. Just get in there and have a go. Comments can be one liners or large stories, write what you feel comfortable with.

    1. Heya Sue, for people that aren’t online like us it must be hard for them to 1) appreciate how much a comment from them would encourage the students 2) realise the value in engaging with students this way.

      I suppose the answer is to keep working away at it and it will eventually happen.

  3. I try to leave comments when I can, however, sometimes time is the factor. If I am flying through catch up reading on my RSS, and not going to the blog page itself I may not comment.
    I have found too, that unless I also subscribe to the rss feed for the comments I forget to go back and see if there has been further comments, I guess it is just a habit I will have to develop further, like keeping up with reading.
    On the occasions when I have commented it has generally brought a much more interesting layer to the connections with the blogger and myself, further PLN links are often made, and it adds power to the connections – a theme of the post I am writing at the moment (have been for two weeks now in between kid entertainment on hols)
    OOps to answer the other parts of the question – what makes a good comment, somthing that adds value to the post, engages discussion and provokes thought. So that the blogger can feel that it hasn’t just been a rant into the nothingness of cyberspace (which can sometimes be cathartic in itself), but the start of a discussion with like people who are interested in similar things, not always sharing the same view can be interesting too.
    I think the old leaving an open question for readers to add their view works. Sue you often lead your readers into questions which can be answered in post comments. Some bloggers are more statemental, and do not appear to seek any further input. Input is good, and it adds to the positive connectivism we have available to us.

      1. @Suz I track the comments I leave using cocomment which means I’m normally notified of new comments on posts automatically. It does help and provides more incentive to leave comments.

        @Suz and @Leo Writing posts that ask readers questions can be hard. Bit like twitter in a sense. If you don’t have enough readers or you ask the wrong question, questions that don’t interest your reader, or make the questions too hard you will struggle to get responses. It is a hard balance to find.

  4. Hi Sue, Just a quickie cos I haven’t got time for a long response. Suffice to say, comments is what gives blogging interactivity & is key to ‘successful’ blogging – it is how we all learn, by entering into conversation and discussion on blogs. It is how I have made the many connections I have. Yes, you need to put in a little work but you get out far more than you put in. cheers Sarah

    1. And yet Sarah so many people fail to realise that the conversations and discussions that we engage in when we blog are where we learn. I suppose ultimately it gets back to why you blog in the first place.

  5. I agree with @Kwizgiver – something there is nothing to say other then ‘great post’, and what’s the point of that?

    A good comment encourages the author of the post, and also shares an opinion. A great comment ADDS to the post.

    Asking questions that your readers can easily respond to is a plus (like you’ve done Sue!). Also sometimes giving examples of responses is helpful, so that the readers know that you’re looking for answer relating to specific fields etc. This is obviously not applicable all the time, as you want your readers to have creativity and opinions, but is sometimes helpful.

    1. @Talia That is an interesting thought about how to give examples of responses. Would have to be a real balance between asking the questions plus examples without overwhelming with too much information. Can you give an example of where you might do this?

      1. Here’s an example of some questions I might put at the end of a post on using digital cameras in my classroom (question first, then examples in brackets).

        What kind of lessons do you teach before you use the cameras (settings, techniques, etiquette, etc)

        What age group would use this in? (lower primary, upper primary, high school)

        I guess this is only relevant when you want to know about specific things, or have particular things in mind of what you want your readers to discuss…

        1. Thanks Talia, that helps me visualise what you mean.

          Definitely agree. One of the challenges of asking questions is that you ask either too hard a questions or they are too broad which makes it hard for people to answer.

  6. I am one who rarely comments and I think it’s because I’m really just at “Web 1.2” status. I lurk and I learn but, selfishly, I don’t truly participate. I am ignorant to the benefits of leaving my thoughts behind and potentially initiating new conversations. So, in an attempt to end this ignorance, Web 2.0…here I come! (Just in time to be fashionably late for Web 3.0, I know!)

    1. Hi MkGoindi, I love that! ‘web 1.2’ status. Wish I had thought of that term.

      To be honest there is nothing wrong with lurking however I can assure you that when you take the time to leave a comment it often forces you to reflect on your thoughts more plus read the information more thoroughly — all of which increases your learning.

      I thought we were all still debating about what is Web 3.o?

  7. Reasons one might not leave a comment:
    1. scared to comment
    2. don’t feel worthy
    3. post was not relevent to the reader
    4. reader can’t form an opinion
    5. too busy
    6. reader doesn’t agree, but doesn’t want to offend
    What makes a good comment:
    1. adding to the discuss
    2. pointing to some resource the blogger might find useful
    3. stroking the blogger’s ego
    4. asking a clarifying question
    Ways to get readers to comment:
    1. ask for comments
    2. respond to the comments you get
    3. making it easy to add a comment
    4. ask questions in the blog
    Getting comments from readers makes me realize saying “Great story” on a student’s paper is not sufficient feedback. We all loves to get thoughtful, well flushed out comments.

    1. Hi Paula, have to say I totally love the way you have set out your comment in structure. Really easy to read while providing practical advice.

      I had never thought in terms of comments on post and feedback on student work — but definitely an important point.

  8. Thanks everyone so far – will start responding later but just checking comment avatar because Tasteach noticed hers ins’t showing.

    PS Digital Fair is going well even if Melbourne is cold.

  9. Sue
    I’d say time is the key factor. A good response via a comment – and don’t we know it – takes time to frame and write. Paula has bullet-pointed most of the others.

    PS I got here via your Twitter post re this topic, so just as a side-note, Twitter is another great way to get another part of your online community to respond via reading here, commenting here, and/or responding via Twitter with a link back.

    1. Hi Kate, twitter adds an interesting mixture to the whole changing nature of blogging. Quite a few people now choose to find their blog posts via twitter rather than by RSS, and some prefer to respond to the blogger on twitter than on the post.

      Is twitter complementary, enhancing or changing blogging?

      1. It’s changing blogging, but enhancing the conversation by the same point you are after: it’s easier to tweet back than post a comment. Why?
        – It’s a more social medium than a blog post (most people are used to reading web pages, but people on twitter automatically think of it as a conversation)
        – You are more likely to know the person you are twittering with. The mere acceptance of mutual following builds a relationship.
        – The formatting is restrictive. 140 characters actually helps take the pressure off a well constructed response because you simply can’t respond thoroughly in that limit. “Good post” or a retweet is acceptable in that environment.
        – The formatting is simple. A well presented website can actually stymy response because it places the reader into that passive reading mode. Twitter posts are almost identical in formatting, so there is a subconsious feeling of being at the same level as the original seed of the conversation.

        That said, the conversation that twitter enhances is a different beast entirely. Instead of having a page to focus the comments around and for people to feed off each others thoughts, the conversation fragments into a thousand different tangents. Twitter enhances a conversation through friend-of-a-friend exposure to the conversation, but without any backlinks / trackbacks the conversation bounces around the internet like a pinball. The conversation that twitter builds is a social gestalt; enhancing the community as a whole rather than the relative silo of a blog post.

        No-one owns the conversation, it’s free to spread. That’s why it’s changed.

        1. WOW VRBones, when I read your comment I think we could write an entirely new blog post and then debate how twitter has changed blog commenting.

          You raise so many valid points but there are so many levels at which the whole topic of twitter and blog commenting could be debated.

          For example I agree with “it’s easier to tweet back than post a comment” and you have identified many of the reasons why. But I would also wonder if it is ownership and fear that makes it easier to comment on twitter?

          Love how you call comments on a blog post “relative silo of a blog post”. Which in many ways can be true yet on twitter those conversations are often lost?

          I would argue that on a blog post that you can’t control conversations and it spreads; just differently from twitter (less instantaneous).

          So anyone want to write that blog post to start the discussion of how twitter has changed the comment conversations on blog posts?

        2. Sorry about assignment hell — that doesn’t sound like much fine! Yes there is definitely a lot of talk about Google Waves and I enjoyed reading your post.

          What interests me the most with Google Waves will be when it is released. My approach to any new technology is now let others, like yourself, do all the investigations, if enough people say it is really good then I start using it. So I’m looking forward to hearing about how you go when it is finally released.

  10. Kia ora Sue!

    I’ll try to be brief.

    1 – Ownership and the feeling of ownership in participating on a blog is what I feel is lacking in many of the 90 of the 90-9-1 ratio everyone talks about. People think the strawberries are not for picking even when they see the notice Pick The Stawberries.

    2 – Relevance, a bit of extra (interesting) information – whether it’s the opinion of the writer or a link to another site, and possibly a question all make for a good comment.

    3 – Writing a post that gifts ownership in some way to the reader and inviting the reader to participate seems to be the way. It’s not enough that the message Please Pick The Strawberries is there. The readers have to also feel that they own the strawberries if you want them picked. In a post, ownership goes hand in hand with relevance to the reader. A memorable poem has the same quality. The reader identifies with what’s relevant to them about the poem.

    Like the question in the comment, a question in a post stimulates engagement (yes that’s the buzz-word everyone uses today). If the question is relevant to the reader there’s more chance of a comment. It stimulates thought, which prompts the answer that the reader may then wish to enter in a comment.

    How’s that? Any use?

    Catchya later

    1. Your thoughts are always good Ken. You have me wondering… normally when we talk ownership we think in terms of the blogger as that is what drives them often to blog.

      I’ve never considered ownership from the view of a person that leaves a comment. If anything that would be a reason why someone wouldn’t leave a comment — as they don’t own the blog, and lose control of the comment once it is posted on the blog.

      You own your comment when you leave it on a blog but…. mmm what are your thoughts?

      1. Kia ora e Sue

        I use the word ‘ownership’ in a broad sense.

        When it comes to a potential commenter feeling some ownership about a post on someone’s blog, they must have some empathy (I call it ownership here) with the content of the post – they own the feeling that is shared in the post because they understand it and feel the sentiment.

        Good poets do this for they write in the tongue of their readers about matters dear to them. The readers own the sentiment in the poem so identify with it. Is this making sense?

        By writing a post that uses engaging language about the reader, the reader can also feel ownership as the post appears to be addressing them, and not someone else.

        For instance, most of this comment is written in a passive voice – it is not the engaging voice I’d use if I wanted to give others full ownership of what I’m writing about and in an engaging way.

        Did you like this comment? What did you think when you read it? Write your reply by using the comment space below this post.

        The above paragraph is written in active language. It is more likely to engage than if I’d written:

        People may or may not agree with my comment but they can always post a reply.

        Catchya later

        1. Heya Ken, do you think it is about ownership or making readers feel welcome and an important part of a community?

          What I mean is engaging in conversation, learning together and everyone working together as a community.

          Excellent examples of passive language versus active language when asking questions. But is active language encouraging reader ownership or sense of community 😎 ?

        2. Kia ora e Sue.

          My thoughts are that a sense of community will not be conveyed by a comment. A sense of community is brought about through the frequent presence of numerous and various interactions from a community, like, I guess, when you get 30-odd comments on a post. This one’s not doing that bad either 😉 .

          To feel ownership I have to feel involved. You involve me when you speak in a tongue that makes me think you are speaking directly to me. Active language in a comment does that. Passive language does not convey this to the same extent.


  11. 1. Reasons why readers mightn’t leave comments on blog posts
    For me time is the big issue.
    I also find with long posts it is too daunting to make a useful comment, if there are too many issues to cover.
    I like the “favourite” function of Twitter. I can come back latter, sift through and retweet to show I paid attention.
    I also like the “reactions” feature on Blogger. Very easy!

    2. What makes a good comment?
    Short, to the point, I prefer to be complimentary to anyone who has made the intellectual effort to post.
    Occasionally, I might do a “you could look at this also … ” comment.

    3. What are some of your tips for encouraging readers to comment?
    Short post, connected to a poll maybe.
    Have a scaffold, that links to content and doesn’t expect too many words.

    1. Hi Elaine, long vs short posts is always an interesting discussion. If you analyse many of the probloggers you will notice they often use a mixture of long and short posts blended with a range of different types of posts.

      What I find on the posts on The Edublogger is the different length posts hold different values to the readers — if that makes sense? The longer, more in depth posts tend to be bookmarked more.

  12. What makes a good post? Well, when I’m on the receiving end, I’m gratified when the commenter picks up on a point I’ve made, even if it’s to disagree. It shows the reader took the time to read the post. But really, I’d appreciate even a simple ‘well done’ -boring or not as it is better than nothing when it’s your first attempt at communicating.

    1. Hi Carole, I think the ‘well done’ is especially important to the new blogger because when you first start blogging it feels a very long place. That is why I try to make time to visit new people’s blog as I still remember that loneliness.

  13. Just a quick reaction – I think often we don’t comment because we feel unqualified to add anything, and that we ought to have something really useful to say, otherwise we are wasting people’s time. But I try not to let this stop me because who is to say that asking a ‘foolish’ question or just giving some positive feedback to the blogger isn’t useful enough?

    1. Some of my greatest moments for realisation, Leo have been when new bloggers have asked questions that I haven’t considered. I think — why haven’t I considered that and I then try to pass that knowledge onto others.

      Those questions help me help others and provide often greater insight than other types of comments.

  14. Sometimes a reader will not feel comfortable with the whole process.
    They might feel that the blogger is the expert and has no interest in what a “lowling” has to say.
    They may not want others reading their comments.

    A good comment addresses what’s in the blog post and doesn’t have it’s own agenda.
    A good comment continues or reinforces a conversation.
    A good comment provides it’s own resources if any are available such as links to related posts.

    Keep it upbeat and on topic.
    Keep it brief enough so it’s not a blog post of its own.
    Refer back to writer’s post and acknowledge their work presented in the post. It shows you were really paying attention.

    1. This is where Gail I try hard not to have my own rant (but will fail a bit). Some bloggers rarely ever acknowledge that their readers have taken time to a comment — which in my case makes me feel that they have no real interest in what I’ve said.

      Obviously running two blogs and having a busy life I can appreciate why it isn’t always practical to respond to all comments and there are valid reasons why you don’t. However I shall continue to follow my own rules of comment etiquette and let others choose theirs.

      Unfortunately I often fail the “keep the comment short” on other people’s posts. Trouble is it takes me longer to write a post than a comment. So if the blogger really wants to hear my opinion, and it is detailed, then leaving the longer comment has to be the compromise.

      Question though — do comments always need to be on topic? Sometimes they can be off topic but still add value — wonder what others think?

      1. Sue said…
        >Question though — do comments always need to be on topic? Sometimes they can be off topic but still add value — wonder what others think?<

        As a blogger, I would appreciate a comment that is a bit off topic because I know I have written something that gave them reason to think “outside the box.”

        I also think I may have a bit of an attention deficit because my mind will frequently go off in a new direction, such as, …
        …is there another way to quote text from the parent post or comment other than what I have done here?…

  15. Sometimes I don’t comment because I’m afraid that I really don’t have anything new to offer and saying “Great post” seems lame. When I first started though, I really felt awkward about sharing my opinions and views. So as a tip: You just have to jump in and start commenting. Once you start, it becomes easier and you feel more comfortable.

    1. Hi Pat, what I found most interesting last year in the Comment Challenge was majority of the people were prolific bloggers and twitterers — but reluctant commenters. That was eye opening for me because I thought the fear factor for all those activities would be the same.

      Jumping in is definitely the way to go!

  16. Hi Sue
    I wish my blog entries received more comments. Many times I know that people read my blog but don’t comment. I agree on the layers it adds to your own writing and new dimensions created – especially if your commentators are from another discipline/another country…
    One way I have encouraged comments is by adding a number of useful hyperlinks within the blog or by choosing something controversial or VERY topical.
    I think that Elaine and Paula have said it all 😉 Please send any hyperlinks (again) to ways of encouraging chatty traffic!
    I always enjoy and look forward to your blog entries (see Paula’s point 3 – stroke, stroke!!)

    1. Hi Carolynn , the truth re-comment numbers… is a numbers game. Obviously how the post is written does influence it however how many people read it impacts even more.

      If you apply the 90:9:1 % rule than 1 % of the people who read your blog may comment. So the more readers (and lets say those that subscribe to your blog plus those that follow you on twitter) you have the higher often your comment numbers will be.

      Always love to hear people look forward to my blog entries 🙂

  17. Hi Sue

    There are a number of reasons that I personally don’t leave comments on blogs, many of them already covered, but here we go:
    – sometimes its a matter of being in a hurry
    – not feeling that I have anything worthwhile (or new) to contribute.
    – sometimes I just have nothing to say
    – lack of familiarity with the topic (add here fear of looking stupid)
    – some posts do not lend themselves to comment (some blogs are more along the lines of statements than conversations)

    As to what makes a good comment; one that adds to the conversation or pool of knowledge and especially one that is new (almost as bad as the “good post” comments are those that seem to do nothing than summarise what has already been said. There’s nothing wrong in sharing the same opinions, but sometimes it almost seems as though the comment is only made to make a comment – if that make sense)

    1. Hi Lance, here is where I do go off topic. Just to quickly ask how are you going? Hope all is well.

      I frequently struggle with being in a hurry so no time to leave a comment plus wanting to leave a comment but can’t think of what I really want to say. Good comments can take time to write 🙁

  18. Why I don`t leave a comment,
    1. feel i`ve not been blogging long enough to be ‘expert’enough
    2. feeling insecure that what I say seems insignificant
    3. I tend to look and see if the author responds to comments
    4. some blogs can fill up the inbox if I do leave a comment and then subscribe to replies and it is a popular blog my inbox soon as 50 emails to read!

    Analysing why I blog
    1. I started just to get how I was feeling out there
    2. I like writing something everyday
    3. I don`t have a niche I just write whatever I feel like doing on the day

    How comments left on my blog make me feel
    1. someone cares
    2. hey someone read it!
    3. hey I`ve made a connection

    Yes I`m obsessed by how many readers there may have been over night and jealous of others who have hundreds of followers. Makes my 6 look insignificant.
    So feel free to drop on by, leave a comment I always follow up and check out their blogs. I have also made it a new policy that if I read a posting I will leave a comment.

    1. Hi Pam, my approach is now if a blogger doesn’t respond to comments, and they are a well known blogger, then I don’t bother to take my time to leave a comment on their blog. Harsh but I’ve limited time and would rather leave a comment on blogs where I feel my comments are valued.

      Sorry but my responses have filled your inbox with emails — I use cocomment via RSS so not as much of an issue.

      Reader numbers are hard. Google analytics is site visits and Feedburner is subscribers. But you won’t have accurate subscriber number if you don’t redirect all your feed to feedburner.

      1. I agree that I’ve given up leaving comments on well known bloggers who do not respond. I’d much prefer to leave a comment on a post of a person who is new to blogging.

        I get a real thrill when I see a comment on my blog. It lets me know if I am posting information that is of value to others.

        I remember the first time I left a comment on a blog. I was nervous. It was like appearing on stage for the first time. This is a possible reason for not leaving a comment.

        I think a good comment ties your experiences into the post content.

        I don’t have a set method to get people to respond to my posts. It doesn’t seem like adding a question at the end of a post encourages others.

        I’m late to this posting. Hope your session was a success.

        1. The session wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. I’ve made the decision that perhaps we aren’t doing any one favors with one hour hands on sessions if they are new to these tools.

          But on the other hand this post has generated amazing conversations about comments and ideas on commenting.

          “It doesn’t seem like adding a question at the end of a post encourages others” — this is a real skill. As I said above it is a combination of how the post is written, the type of post and the size of your readership.

          The other aspect also is my readers know that I do engage in conversation. While I may not immediately respond, due to time commitments, they know that I will try my best, where appropriate, to comment back.

  19. I think all bloggers love comments. I have quite a few lurkers who know I blog, are interested in this relatively new pastime, but have not yet adopted the practice of commenting. I am reminded of Seth Godin’s admonition which goes something like: Stay the course, post often and well, disprove the cynics out there, and they will eventually join the conversation. I am seeing some progress but it is slow. By the way, I appreciate bloggers like you who are reciprocal. That shows character which builds virtual friendships.

    1. Hi Paul, definitely all bloggers love comments. I know quite a few blogs who don’t comment.

      Interesting about post often. My views of posting frequency have changed a lot over time – I think we might have discussed this previously together but will add it again just in case I haven’t.

      Probloggers do find frequent posting works well for them to build up audience. Edubloggers are different. There needs to be a careful balance. There are very few edubloggers who can get away with posting prolifically. Most of our audience tend to prefer a few posts per week that are good posts as opposed to too many. A few people do manage to post several posts a day and get away with it but that is the exception rather than the norm.

      Thanks for kind words.

  20. My blog is in its infancy and and such the percantage of commenters versus readers is incredibly low. I’m not sure its a linear rrelationship, but with more readers, I am bound to have more commenters. Sometime I comment just to create a quick relationship with another blogger.

    I think a good comment should be creative and full of opinion. I read comments to determine different perspectives on a topic.

    I ask for feedback in hopes to generate comments.

    1. Definitely Brian the more readers the more comments. But it is amazing how the type of post impacts on how much interaction you get.

      Take for example the post I’ve just written on The Edublogger — Ideas For Student Bloggings From….How Do You Do What You Do”. This is an informative post packed full of tips. More likely that people will follow the links, bookmark it and are less likely to leave a comment.

      This post evolved from Student Blogging…..How Do You Do What You Do? post. Which is a short post but has lots of conversation in the comments. The follow up post was necessary because most readers weren’t going to take the time to read through the comments in the post.

      Question is which post is more valuable to both the blogger and the reader? Well both because they are serving different purposes.

      1. I agree that different posts serve different purposes. Some of my most “popular” posts tell how I did something in class. I can tell from Stat Counter what was typed into a search engine that led to a post. I’m pretty happy that it seems like people are coming to my blog for an answer or an idea of how to do something. It would be great if they left a message, but perhaps the people using my information don’t understand how blogs can be interactive.

        I think I’ll have to take some time over summer vacation to understand which posts generated the most comments and try to figure out why.

        1. Here is my take Ann if it helps:

          1) long how-to posts are more likely to get bookmarked and less likely to get comments
          2) if you have a reasonable audience, a short post with questions the readers can understand and relate to can get good conversations
          3) if you have provided all the information and it makes sense it makes it hard for people to comment as anything they say will just be great post
          4) if you post on an aspect that people don’t necessarily agree with — then you will get comments while people debate it. For example my post on pasting from Word into blog posts was heavily debated by the fors and againsts
          5) twitter posts often get comments as everyone has an opinion on twitter 🙂

          What have I missed everyone?

  21. I need some help and I think you’re the person to ask. Is there a way to upload multiple pictures to a gallery at one time?

    Thanks so much for your help!!!

    1. Yes @central11 when you click on the upload image icon it will allow you to select multiple images to upload using the Flash uploader. Trouble is this sometimes has problems and you end up having to use the browser uploader. That is the main reason why I haven’t written how to instructions on how to add photos to the gallery since the uploader can have too much attitude.

      When we upgrade to the next version of WordPress I’m hoping this won’t still be an issue.

  22. I comment to show my appreciation to the Blogger. And i also comment some suggestions if needed. I guess commenting is letting your reactions and ideas meet the authors ideas and reaction. Somehow we can call it communication or rather Interactions. Thanks!

    1. Yes Julya there is a certain amount of self esteem attached to comments which has both positive and negative aspects.

      For example, when new bloggers see large numbers of comments on other bloggers posts, when their posts are excellent but have few comments, it can be off putting and make them want to give up. My advice is always to remember it takes time. Most of my posts in my first three months of blogging had no comments. My other advice is to remember blogging is as much about your own personal reflections and learning as your readers; for me the most important aspect of comments is the engaging in conversations that helps extend that learning.

      Yes, your teacher asked me to check out your post 😎 . I have discussed mobile plugins with James Farmer, founder of Edublogs, previously as it would be popular with many of our users.

      The challenges of plugins is Edublogs uses WordPress Mu (WordPress Mulituser). Most of the plugins that work fine on WordPress don’t on WordPress MU, and some can cause lots of problems. Before any plugin can be added to Edublogs we have to do extensive testing on a WordPress Mu installation. If that works fine than we test on Edublogs test site before introducing to Edublogs.

      Unfortunately this makes it a lengthy process. If you are interested in speeding up the process you could read up about the different mobile plugins available for WordPress and let us know which ones you think are mostly likely best suited for you needs.

  23. I see by your picture you like Cadburys chocolate – Its my favorite too. Thanks for a well written blog, I’ll be sure to check back often.

    1. Oh chocolate – how hard you make this for me 🙂 Normally I will delete comment spam. But appealing to my weakness that just isn’t fair!

      But I have to say “Thanks for a well written blog, I’ll be sure to check back often.” That is as always my favorite line in a comment spam!

      So other commenters my twitter followers have voted on Yes/No for deleting comment spam. How do you treat comment spam. Should we let chocolate stay?

      1. Hi,
        I’m back – as promissed. I REALLY DO like your blog. I also build websites and built one on British food (because I love it). I will check back often and hopefully you’ll allow me to stay 🙂

        1. Laughing Lucy, so many of them on Twitter were voting for you to be removed. But I just couldn’t do it.

          Was extremely close to removing though as many spammers write “Thanks for a well written blog, I’ll be sure to check back often.”

          But how do I know you really like my blog? Besides off course knowing I like chocolate 🙂

      2. Sue

        there is very good reason why you could not delete a chocholate conversation… beyond your own weakspot (mine too!)

        The role of ‘the social’ in education and community/trust building amongst disparate and relatively unknown groups of people steers for inclusion and time set aside to ‘partake’… in both conversation and perhaps a coffee and some chocolate whilst chatting 🙂

        John Seely Brown and Ralph Young (Microsoft) agree :

        As do others:

        “it is important that ‘leisure use’ of Information and Communication Technology does not become seen as something to be eliminated in the interests of efficiency. In practice, personal and learning uses…..are impossible to distinguish, and universities should recognise the value of blending the academic with the personal.”

        Breen in Salmon, G. (2002 p 24.) The five-stage framework and e-tivities. E-tivities: the key to active online learning. (London, Kogan): pp. 10-36

        …including the Open University ( and fellow students on my distant learning MSC in elearning who also talk of chocolate and cats!

        What is your view on the role of ‘the social’ in education and community building?

        1. Hi Alison, I totally agree that social is a very important part of education and community building. Those that network with me on Twitter know that I use casual conversations, like arguing about chocolate, to help us all build relationships.

          But even my chocolate friend here (aka Lucy) will probably agree (maybe) that her comment isn’t necessarily about conversation (but I still love Lucy and her chocolate). PS we shall soon see if she comments back to discuss 🙂

    1. True a comment does help imply to some sense that you like my blog Lucy. Except those pesky spammers such as Ugg Boots etc really like my blogs enough to leave comments also.

      PS you aren’t Ugg boots in disguise as chocolate (cause I like to wear my Ugg Boots but not enough to keep as a spam comment on my blogs)?

  24. Hello Sue

    I am currently following the MSC Elearning programme run by Edinburgh University and my area of interest currently is the ‘role of conversation in education’

    I run a blog to track my interest and pull related topics/strands together where similar ‘conversations’ regarding participation and engagement are happening.

    I used this blog with some fellow students as part of a learning event – hence the attached comments and additional reflections. I have a few more thougths to add to this now (as yet unblogged) but your post strand here adds to this nicely.



    1. Thanks Alison. I read your post and written a response back. My question back was how do you manage to keep up with conversations when they are spread wide across different sites.

      1. Hi Sue

        I do it by setting up RSS feeds to blogs/comments, then tracking updates by linking RSS feed to my email via ‘feedmyinbox’ or by setting up email notifications to updates if offered by site instead. I then get notification prompts in with my mail (rather than having to ‘go to’ a reader or feeds folder in IE or Outlook) like:

        There is a new comment on the post “Comments Count!”.

        Author: Sue Waters
        Thanks Alison. I read your post and written a response back. My question back was how do you manage to keep up with conversations when they are spread wide across different sites.

        See all comments on this post here:

        How do you do it – have you posted a ‘how to’ blog post yet or is it in production? These are very useful. Thanks


        1. Hi Ali, yes I have posted about it quite a few times. Unfortunately my preferred method co.mments is no longer available. I’m now using a combination of cocomments and email notification.

          With Ning communites I use RSS feed from their forums — depending on the Ning.

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