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Blog Improvement Project Week #8: Leaving Good Comments

I am so sorry to be posting this late! I’ve been playing catch-up from the Read-a-Thon and end of the semester and an interview today and just plain forgot. I hope you’ll forgive me!

2009bip-150x210Last week in the BIP we focused on trying to make our blogs more comment-friendly (wrap-up coming later this week). This week, I want to focus on the other side of the equation — leaving more quality comments on other blogs.

My first impulse with this week’s task was to do something about leaving more comments, but I decided that wasn’t my best idea because, let’s face it, not all comments are equal. There’s a difference between leaving comments and leaving good comments, so I want to focus on that part.

I didn’t find a lot of articles this week (see excuses for posting late), but I like the one I did. It’s by Grammar Girl and is called “How To Writes A Great Blog Comment.”  She has many tips about length, clarity, and being helpful — check it out!

And now, here’s the task:

There’s one thing about comments I’ve never been good at — finding ways to go back to posts and threads I’m interested in to continue a conversation with that blogger. So, the first part of this week’s task is to answer a few questions in the comments section of this post:

  • Do you keep track of the comments you leave on other blogs? How do you keep track? Do you think this is working? (If you’ve answered these somewhere else already, sorry for the repeat!)

The second part of the task is to start leaving better comments. Here’s what we’re going to do:

  • Take a tally of where your comments are today. Compare this number to the total you took at the beginning of BIP #7. I just realized this might be totally skewed because of the Read-a-Thon, but we’ll just try and deal with messy data 🙂
  • Read article about leaving quality comments and do some online searching for other useful articles. Link to those articles on your blog or in the comments here. Think about how you might implement some of these ideas.
  • Set some goals about leaving better comments, then implement those goals by leaving as many high-quality comments as you can.
  • At the end of the next two weeks, task stock of how your comments have changed — has our focus on comments this month gotten you more visitors and good comments on your blog?

Sorry if this post is a little disjointed; happy blogging and commenting!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • thatsthebook April 20, 2009, 9:49 pm

    This looks like a great project you have going here. I’ve noticed it on a few other blogs as I’m bouncing around in the blog-o-sphere. Looks like something I’d like to get involved in if that’s still possible.

    As for the questions you pose:
    1. Sadly no. There have been times that I’ve checked the “notify me via email of discussions happening on this post” or something along those lines but I found the following emails annoying.

    It’s interesting that you mention this because I was just thinking about how I comment and thought I need to leave better comments. And today to improve my commenting I made sure I left a comment for everyone that participated in the final meme of the read-a-thon. I noticed some just stopped at each blog to say good job. I wanted to ensure I left a meaningful comment for each person.

    Anyway this is a very long comment. If I can still participate in this project could you email me at thatsthebook at gmail dot com?

  • monnibo April 20, 2009, 11:25 pm

    I also dislike the notifications of the comment threads. I prefer to reply to people directly, as most people ask questions and I email them back.

    Don’t worry Kim! Everyone understands that life tends to get in the way of blogging some weeks!

  • Jodie April 21, 2009, 1:12 am

    Do you keep track of the comments you leave on other blogs? How do you keep track? Do you think this is working? (If you’ve answered these somewhere else already, sorry for the repeat!)

    I wish there was an easy way to keep track of comments without getting bombarded with stuff. I suppouse I could subscribe to the comment RSS of any blog where I comment regularly, but it seems like a lot of work for the occassional comment. It would be great if there was a searchable comments tag cloud where I could just put in my blog name and find all the comments relating to me (hey IT people I have a project for you).

  • Kerrie April 21, 2009, 6:01 am

    I’ve decided to join the project this week and will publish my post in about 12 hours. I’d like to believe that a blog post is the beginning of a conversation, but sometimes it does feel rather one sided.
    I do have a number of blogs that I visit often and try to leave good comments on.

  • Alaine April 21, 2009, 6:32 am

    Stop by my blog when you have time, you have an award waiting for you. http://alainereading.blogspot.com/2009/04/thanks-for-awards.html

  • CoversGirl April 21, 2009, 7:29 am

    I generally don’t keep track of the comments I’ve left on other blogs – it has the potential to be very time-consuming and I’m too absentminded to remember where I’ve left them! Occasionally I’ll be particularly interested in responses to a comment and make a mental note to revisit that post, but otherwise it’s a case of write and forget.

    This is going to be a fun couple of weeks – the geek in me enjoys the number-crunching!

  • Rebecca Reid April 21, 2009, 7:41 am

    I love the notify me by email. I only find it annoying if it’s for a giveaway because then there are dozens of entries with no interesting comment; and then I can unsubscribe. I do have a separate email for blogging. I find it strange that so many people (in this comment thread) don’t like it!

    I love to hear conversations I’ve commented on; it’s one of my favorite parts of blogging: to continue book talk beyond one comment.

    I don’t really like it when people email me directly unless it’s a personal thing; I feel like the conversation stops and I can’t go back to the webpage and add to it so others can add to it.

  • Dorte H April 22, 2009, 7:48 am

    This BIP week I have decided to follow the principle I posted about yesterday: showing, not telling.

    (No, afraid I am showing off – horribly busy, but after I wrote my last BIP post about commenting, my readers have left so many fine & engaged comments – so one side of it works).

  • Dawn April 22, 2009, 8:05 pm

    Kim – I’m two assignments behind on the BIP – sick kids and, well, STUFF happens!

    I wanted to write a (hopefully meaningful) comment to let you know I haven’t dropped out and abandoned your guidance 🙂 I’ll catch up … Thanks for all you’re doing to spur us on!

  • Julia Smith April 25, 2009, 9:01 pm

    I do keep track of comments I’ve left on other blogs. I pop back later if I know they tend to respond to comments, see what they’ve said, and sometimes keep the conversation going. I also seem to blog with people who comment on other commentors. When a good thead gets going, it can feel like a party!