It's here! Today is the first day of the 31 Day Commenting Challenge and we're inviting you to play along. The goal of the challenge is to encourage all of us to become both better blog commenters, as well as to help us create a great atmosphere for commenting on our own blogs. You can get all the background information and ideas on how to document your learning from Sue Waters, with whom I'm coordinating this project, along with Kim Cofino and Silvia Tolisano. And thanks to Christine Martell of VisualsSpeak for the awesome logo!
Some Brief Instructions and an Overview
How you participate in the Challenge is up to you. We're planning a series of daily challenge activities that will be posted both here at The Bamboo Project, as well as on the Comment Challenge wiki we've set up for all the participants. You're welcome to use those activities or to come up with your own. Just like with the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog challenge, we want this to be a learning experience that works for you, so feel free to adapt the plan to meet your needs.
There will be a lot of teachers and several classes participating, but I'd like to expand this out into as many networks as possible, so nonprofits, business, whoever--we can all benefit from commenting and the cross fertilization of ideas. You can see all the participants at the wiki, where you can also sign up to participate. You'll need to do that if you want to be in the running for the prizes from our generous co-sponsors, Cocomment and Edublogs. Kim’s Prizes & Awards post explains our reasons for using prizes.
The four categories will be:
- The most comments on a wide range of blogs (not just the “top” edubloggers)
- The most high quality comments that thoughtfully reflect on the topic
- The comments that provoke and promote the most learning
- Category for students only — to be decided
We are building the plane while we're flying it folks, so get ready for a great ride!
Day 1: Do a Commenting Self-Audit
One of the goals of the 31 Day Comment Challenge is for us to improve our commenting skills and draw more people into blog conversations. So to kick off the 31 days of activities we're going to start with a commenting self-audit. You can use this to get a better picture of your blog commenting skills and strategies.
For this activity, do the following:
1. Answer the following questions:
- How often do you comment on other blogs during a typical week?
- Do you track your blog comments? How? What do you do with your tracking?
- Do you tend to comment at the same blogs or do you try to comment on at least one new blog per week?
2. Now review Gina Trapani's Guide to Blog Comments
and ask yourself how well you're doing in each of the different areas.
Are there any specific areas where you think you need to do some work?
What do you want to do to address these issues?
If you'd like, it would be great if you blogged about your comment audit to share what you've learned about yourself and your commenting behaviors. Be sure to tag your post with "comment08" so it will show up in the Comment Challenge Wiki.
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