Is There A Late Policy? Getting Caught Up On the 31 Day Comment Challenge.

Ok, so I’m a little behind in the 31 Day Comment Challenge. This post should really be for the Day 7 Task; Reflect On What You’ve Learned So Far, but I’ll see if I can cover all the tasks I’ve completed to date.

Ahead Even Though I’m Behind

So far I would say that the Comment Challenge has been a huge success for me. For the Day 1 task, I said that I probably commented on blogs about five times a week. Flash forward to today and my coComment account tells me that over the last 17 days I’ve tracked 23 conversations–on some of these I’ve left multiple comments. In addition, for the first 10 days I didn’t realize I had to click ‘Track’ each time I left a comment (I thought it would automatically track when I commented–oops). I wish I had a better idea of how much I’m commenting, but I would estimate that I now make at least 3 comments a day, which is a big improvement for me, though I know it pales in comparison to the commenting heavyweights.

Not only am I commenting more, but I am trying to connect with the people who comment on my blog, or leave trackbacks. As a result I’m being exposed to a lot of new people and ideas.

Is It Cheating If I Peak At What They Wrote?!

I’ve been learning a lot by reading other ‘challengers’ posts on the different daily tasks. It is interesting to see how others are dealing with the Day 11 task, Write a Comment Policy. Some folks, like Kevin, didn’t have a policy before this task and now do. Others, like Sarah, had a policy and have decided to change it a bit. Still others, like Sue, are wondering if they really even need a policy. I haven’t written a policy yet, but I think I’ll take more of a ‘how to’ approach, rather than a detailed policy on what I’ll allow and not allow on my blog. Something to the effect of “play nice” and “spam will be deleted” may suffice for the policy part.

Homework Check Time

Days 1 – 3: done and posted here.

Day 4: Ask A Question In A Blog Comment–I’ve been doing more of this lately. My questions haven’t been very deep, more along the lines of “how do you _____?” It has helped me to engage more with bloggers and commenters and hopefully some deep questions will start to spill forth…

Day 5: Comment On A Post You Don’t Agree With–I found a post by Clay Burell; I didn’t disagree with his post, but I did disagree with what some commenters to that post had to say. I really was torn as to whether I should comment or not. The post and comments were discussing science, in particular Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection, and religion. I hemmed and I hawed, but I eventually decided to stay out of that particular quagmire; in a debate like this I just didn’t feel that I was going to change any minds. There are some issues that people don’t just don’t flip flop on.

Day 6: Engage Another Commenter in Discussion–I’ve sort of melded this task with Day 4’s and have basically asked other commenters questions relating to their comments. Again, this has helped me to connect with and learn from others.

Day 7: Reflect On What You’ve Learned So Far–this task asks for three lessons learned. Lesson #1, check out the blogs of the people who take the time to comment on or trackback to your blog. Lesson #2, try to engage the blogger and other commenters by asking questions. Lesson #3, remember to click ‘Track’ when leaving a comment πŸ™‚

Day 8: Comment On A Blog Outside Of Your Niche–ok, so here’s where the wheels start to fall off the bus. The thing is I like my niche (and I don’t even mind if you say it neesh or nitch). Having said this, I have written about stretching my world view. However, it has been much easier to add a range of news outlets to my iGoogle page than it has been to find a blog outside of my niche and comment on it. I do comment on a triathlon blog, and I am not involved in the sport. Is it cheating if the blog is my sister’s? Ok, must work harder on this task.

Day 9: Should We Be Commenting On Blogs?–done and posted here.

    Report Card

    Claire needs to learn to apply herself. She tends to focus on those tasks which appeal to her, and minimize the importance of the tasks which put her outside of her comfort zone. Yes, she is commenting more, but at this rate it will be July before she is done.

    The Wrap Up

    For most of this post I’ve focussed on the commenting aspect of this challenge, however, I’m finding that my posting is improving as well.

    Prior to the challenge my post mode was 3 posts a month; this will be my fourth post this month and it is only just half over. My writing is also improving. I’m trying to convey information in an organized, thoughtful and sometimes humorous way. Knowing that there are 126 other people doing this challenge, I’ve tried to make my post titles enticing. No straightforward ‘Day 7: Reflect on What You’ve Learned So Far‘ titles for me–I need a title that draws you in. But beware! My first post It’s Day 1 Baby! got me my second only spam trackback and it was to Pregnant Celebrities (or some such thing). The celebrities part must have been all the fabulous bloggers I linked to in the post πŸ˜‰ The pregnant part must have come from my title. Lesson learned–no babies in titles.

    So yes I’m behind, no I’m not stressing, and yes I am learning.

    Final Question

    If you are doing the challenge too, which task have you found the most difficult, or the one you’ve dreaded the most? Thanks for reading!

    Images: Crossing the finish line with my sister, Homework by Gollygeedamn, Albert Bowles report card E. St. Louis Juniour High by Liz Castro

    Blogged with the Flock Browser

    Tags: , ,

    15 thoughts on “Is There A Late Policy? Getting Caught Up On the 31 Day Comment Challenge.

    1. The most challenging task was the 5 on 5, as I felt as I were blasting through the blogs just to get to a comment. The idea is that it gets you writing. But I found it too be too quick a ride.
      Yet, I did it anyway.

    2. The smartest strategy is to do exactly what you are doing πŸ™‚ . What I’m doing is I spend the week visiting the blog posts and sharing my thoughts. Then on the weekend working through the tasks and pulling together thoughts I’ve gained from other peoples posts on the task. By referring to others posts as you do the task it enhances your learning.

      I’m confused because cocomment should be tracking your comments automatically if you are using the cocomment add-on. My comment policy will be my “First time visitor” or “New to this blog guide” which I will put on my to-do list for later.

      Good idea to shy away from a conversation on Natural selection and religion–always a heated topic.

      I’m not necessarily sure I comment enough outside my niche but I can live with that because of my blog subscription level.

      Totally loved your report card and it cracked me up (wish I had thought of that). Now in terms of your report card I would mark you really high πŸ™‚ . I think you are doing really well. Your writing style is developing well and you are engaging more with commenting conversations. Plus you have written some really good posts this month.

      Most difficult task was definitely the comment award.

    3. @Kevin, I haven’t tried the 5 on 5 yet, but there’s no way that I could read the blogs and make 5 quality comments in 5 minutes. I do like the idea of setting a number of blogs to comment on in a day–ensuring that I actually interact with the people I’m reading.

      @Sue, it’s in great part due to your encouragement and help that I’ve been able to grow as a blogger, so thank you for your kind words.

      Regarding the Comment Award, I like the approach of Danielle who you sited in your wrap up of week 2. Danielle provides a monthly linked list of all the people who have commented on her blog for the month as a thank you for their input.

    4. Great post, Claire – good to see what you were up to. Loved the report card. I’m sure I have one somewhere – must dig it out.

      I am still in 2 minds about the policy ie do I need one and what it should contain. On the whole I do not think I need one so it will be interesting to see if I stick to it if ‘trouble’ arises.

    5. @Claire I liked the concept of 5 in 5 for 2 reasons. 1) I spent a lot of time commenting so was wondering if setting a time limit (obviously no 5 minutes) would make me more time efficient. 2) It may be a way to help reluctant commenters overcome their concerns. Definitely prefer Danielle’s approach because you are thanking all.

      I’m just repaying all the help I have had from others πŸ™‚

    6. I am having trouble just posting what I have learned about the comment challenge! At this rate, I will have to sum up a whole months worth at once!
      You are doing so well! I need to get caught up! Of course, I picked up new blogs to read through the challenge and have expanded my reading in other areas.

    7. @Sarah, regarding the comment policy you said “On the whole I do not think I need one so it will be interesting to see if I stick to it if β€˜trouble’ arises.” I’m thinking along the same lines, and I’m wondering if I’ll be wishing I had a policy if things go awry in my comments section.

      @Sue, I see what you mean about setting a time limit to comment. Maybe 5 in 15 instead?

      @Louise, it has been great being introduced to new blogs, eh? I’ve found that since the challenge began I haven’t been able to get my unread blog feeds below 30 (usually I can get it down to 0 at some point in the week, not counting my e-mail subscription to Stephen Downes’ OLDaily)

      Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting!

    8. Claire,
      So far I have been refusing to do the 5 in 5. It just doesn’t seem possible to leave any kind of meaningful reflection in such a short time. Yet as I have been thinking more about it and reading others ideas, I realized that I often don’t comment if I am short on time. So now I’m thinking about who am I really commenting for? Through the challenge, I see even more how much comments mean to almost everyone. Wouldn’t a quick acknowledgment be appreciated too? Hmmm.

    9. Christine, you bring up a good point. I’m sure that I wouldn’t mind a quick “I’m enjoying reading your blog” type comment here. There are times when I read a great post and either don’t have time to comment, or don’t feel that I have much to add. But I do want to let the blogger know that I am reading and thinking about what they’ve written. What do others think? Would that type of quick comment be useful, or just more noise?

    10. @Claire I think it gets back to the blog and the blogger. If the person doesn’t get many comments but writes really good posts it is nice to say thanks for the help. However if I decide to leave a comment I will re-read the post and see if there is something extra I can add to the comment to enhance the conversation.

    11. Kia Ora Claire!

      I’ve been in The Challenge since about day 2 or 3 (I forget which) and I still feel I’m behind. But I’m learning a lot – that’s why I think I’m behind for there is still a lot to learn. But we all have different ideas about what is important and that’s something that contributed to diversity.

      You have an amazing number of comments on this post so far – I admire that, for it shows that your post has a quality that we (The Challenge participants) would all like to have in our posts.

      You spoke about the quick comment possibly just being more noise. I wonder about that. I think it is always better to support and participate than to stand on the side-line and suck a lolly. But I know what you’re saying.

      I was one of the commenters in Clay Burell’s post and managed to have the last word on that long discussion – at least I was last to speak the last time I looked. πŸ™‚

      If you feel that you really should say something supportive, then why not comment on some aspect of the post that really takes your fancy. It will make you feel good and give the poster a smile too. πŸ˜‰

      Ka kite
      from Middle-earth

    12. Totally agree Ken. I try to write longer comments, especially with this challenge, but a comment is a comment and I like seeing them,especially if there’s even a line from my post that someone liked.
      I had a hard time thinking 5 for 5, so I turned off the timer and spent what time I needed to spend.
      Nice spending time here on your blog Claire, but the way.
      I actually found many of the challenges, challenges and that’s a good thing.
      I haven’t done them all, and that’s okay too, no?
      Bonnie K

    13. @Ken, thanks for your kind words! I know what you mean when you say, “I think it is always better to support and participate than to stand on the side-line and suck a lolly.” I guess I always feel behind on my reading, so that when I come across a post that has a lot of comments already (eg. more than 20) I just move on.

      @Bonnie, it is totally ok to not have done all the challenges! I plan to get to most of them, I’m just not sure when… Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

    14. @Claire – If you haven’t raed this already, Andrea Hernandez started off a discussion on Bonnie’s post about commenting. I just thought I’d flick you the link.