Combating "Birds of a Feather" Syndrome
31 Day Comment Challenge Begins--Day One: Do a Comment Self Audit

The 31 Day Comment Challenge: Becoming a Better Blog Citizen

Love_comments One of the things that I love the most about blogging is comments. Yes, I usually enjoy putting my thoughts out into the ether, but even more than that I want to hear back from people about their thoughts, ideas, etc. Comments are the lifeblood of blogging and for new bloggers, they can be the difference between sticking it out for the long haul and throwing in the towel.

One of the most prolific commenters I know is Sue Waters, so I was not surprised to get a tweet from her yesterday asking if I'd be interested in joining her latest project, a 31 Day Comment Challenge, similar to last year's very successful 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. Edublogger Kim Cofino is also joining in and has posted a nice description of the project here:

We would like to have a month of focused commenting for those of us that are interested in becoming better blog citizens (thanks to Martin Weller for the phrasing) by actively participating in conversations and sharing your learning, especially with those new to blogging.

We would like to challenge participants to be better blog citizens tracking who is the commenter with:

  • 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

Sue has even managed to secure monetary prizes from coComment and other sponsors (more details on the prizes soon).

Silvia Tolisano of Langwitches is also helping to organize and you can check out her post on the challenge here.

This is an evolving project, so please feel free to share your ideas and feedback about how it should look. Here's some of what I'm thinking:

  • I'm assuming that we'll have activities similar to those we had for the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog challenge. Any thoughts people have on commenting activities to include would be great. We've  set up a wiki for the project here.
  • This is a great opportunity to expand beyond existing networks to combat homophily (you didn't think I could do another post without mentioning that, did you?). We can use this as a way to start to create new conversations across networks, so we'll want to have some activities to encourage that.
  • CoComment has agreed to sponsor some prizes for participants. If you aren't already using a tool to manage your comments, you may want to go sign up with them and start practicing. Sue has a great post on using CoComment to get you started.

Commenting is a great way to expand the learning benefits of blogging. It's also the best way to build your personal learning network and to create a readership for your blog (if that's your goal).

I hope you'll join us in the challenge. If you're interested, please let me know in comments or, better yet, sign up here. If you're artistically inclined, please feel free to create a logo for us (we'd love that!). I'd also ask that you spread the word through your own blog--the more people we have participating, the better!

Photo via Morbit Photography


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I'm pretty new to blogging and think that this is a great idea to connect with the others on blogosphere.
Oh and I love your posts!

I feel bad saying this, but I truly just started leaving comments. I get a little self-conscious about trite.
Just yesterday, I set a goal for myself to comment on at least three blogs everyday. It's scalable, measurable, and attainable.
I'm also going back and returning comments on m own blog. I knew I should have been doing it but wasn't. I have a good friend who always comments on my blog, on flickr, facebook, and twitter whose model I'm trying to follow.
Thanks and I'm in.

I'm in! This sounds fun!

This is a great motivator. I'm in!

How perfect, Michele, to follow all of the wonderful thinking you have been sharing with and igniting in us about homophily and expanding our shperes online. I think it's a great idea and am totally in! I enjoy having posting days and commenting days and am looking forward to this project!

Thanks everyone--I'm so glad that this is sparking such excitement. I think it will be fun, although I promise for those who participated in our first challenge that it won't be nearly so crazy!

I've joined ... does any one know if you can persuade Co-comment not to have the scrolling ads showing?
I used to use it quite a bit, but found that it slowed the PC down a lot, so removed it. (I also found that not all blogs would integrate, so I got into the habit of bookmarking those posts I wanted to go back to see if anyone had answered my comments). I've now re-enabled it & the ad is annoying - I've had a look in the list of blockable adverts via Ad-blocker (for Firefox), but can't work out which cocomment thing I have to block. (The one that says "adv/cocobar_banner ... doesn't seem to be it; though seemed the most likely!)

As to comments; I find I quite often comment on other people's blogs, but don't tend to get many on my blog. But, that doesn't really worry me; (perhaps that's reflective of some deep pyschological thing of prefering to speak than to listen!) ...

Hi Emma--I'm passing your thoughts about coComment along--not sure if they can do anything, but will definitely share. Thanks for bringing it up.

I've been pondering whether to join in... and yes, would love to! I can only commit 100% for first half of the month and looking forward to my journey of commenting!

So do we need to tag each comment we make (as I'm going to try and do here?)

I'm a little confused about using coComment for this. I get how it works. I just don't get how it works for this new group? TIA!

I've been using for the past year with no ads anywhere, not on the tracking web page, RSS feeds or emails. Having tried all three ways of viewing comments I'm tracking, I'm liking emails the best.

It's so nice to get comments. First of all you get the feeling that people really read your blog, but next to that I think it's very important to get some feedback from people who know what they're talking about!

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