Comment Challenge Day 10: Do a Comment Audit on Your Own Blog

For today’s task, review this post on 6 Reasons People Aren’t Commenting on Your Blog. Then audit your blog to see if you’re falling into any of these traps. If you’re feeling particularly brave, ask a fellow blogger or even your readers to give you feedback on how well you’re doing at making people feel welcome to leave comments on your blog. Then reflect on what you’ve learned and try to address any of the issues you identify. Be sure to tag your post with “comment08.”

According to post suggested above, there are at least six possible reasons that people don’t comment on blogs:

  1. It sounds like a press release. (I don’t think my voice is formal enough to fall into this trap.)
  2. It sounds like an infomercial. (I certainly haven’t tried to sell anything, though I did recommend Diigo over Del.icio.us in a post.)
  3. It sounds like the author is a know-it-all. (I’m to ignorant to be a know-it-all, but maybe I do sound like one.)
  4. The author hasn’t shown them how. (Maybe I’ll do something like Michele Martin’s Newbie Guide for her blog.)
  5. The author hasn’t created the right atmosphere. (I try to invite comments on some posts by asking questions, but I haven’t given much thought to my blog’s overall atmosphere.)
  6. The author doesn’t seem that into it. (I don’t think my writing captures my passion for the subject.)

I only started this blog a few months ago, so I have a small readership. In general, I’m pretty amazed that I get as many comments as I do (that is any comments at all). However, I have to admit that I sometimes feel a little let down when a post that I put a lot into doesn’t get commented on. I may be guilty of some of the traps listed above, but I suspect that the main reason for the lack of discussion on my blog is that I’m not yet creating posts that my fellow edubloggers want to read, let alone comment on. While I wish that my writing were so compelling that everyone in the edublgosphere wanted to respond to it, I know this is not the case. To make a connection to Lave and Wenger, I am experiencing legitimate peripheral participation (with emphasis on the peripheral). I expect that if I keep at it, in time, I will learn enough to be able to contribute posts that are more central to the larger conversation. In the meantime, I welcome any readers that do visit to make suggestions on what I could do to create an atmosphere that is more inviting for conversation. Also, what kind of things would you want to read a newbie post about?

About Kimberly McCollum

I'm a former middle and high school science teacher and current stay at home mom.
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6 Responses to Comment Challenge Day 10: Do a Comment Audit on Your Own Blog

  1. inpi says:

    Thank you for your site: the title is very attractive and the content goes with it. I’ve read about your love of reading since childhood and the perception of web as an endless library whose dynamism is fueled with interactivity.
    I have just started this endless e-learning quest, but what is definitely inspiring me is precisely this unique sense of community that irradiates from our on-line shared activities.
    When our comment challenge will be over, it will be time to revisit all these “treasure-blogs” we have discovered in a quick, but admiring glimpse.
    Ines

  2. Sue Waters says:

    As you said your blog is young. If you look compared my post when I first started blogging (April, May and June) with my current posts (excluding my last two posts for the Challenge — because they aren’t a good example of posts that will provoke people to comment) you will see how much my writing style has changed. Its all a mixture of blogging technique, content and community building which all take time.

  3. Sue’s right–it definitely takes time to build up a readership and, therefore, commenters. I didn’t start getting regular commenting until I participated in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog, which led to me gaining readers and forming a much stronger community around my blog.

    I feel your disappointment when you put a lot into a blog post and then don’t seem to get comments from it. I’ve had that happen on numerous occasions. You can also get the reverse, where a post you thought of as a sort of quickie post generates a lot of discussion. One thing I’ve realized is that there’s no telling what gets people’s attention in the blogosphere!

  4. kamccollum says:

    @Ines – I feel the same way about the feeling of community from these shared online activities.

    @Sue – I went and took a look at your early posts and I can see that your writing style has changed. I also noticed that even as a beginner, you had good content.

    @Michele – Thank you for taking your time and blog space to provide us with the activities for the 31 day comment challenge. Hopefully, this challenge will help newer bloggers like myself the same way that the “31 Days to Building a Better Blog” challenge did for you.

  5. I blogged for about 6 weeks before I got a single comment on my blog. I just went back to look at my old comments and realized that Maggie from Diigo was the second commenter ever on my blog, back in Feb. 07. It took a another month after that before I started getting any real discussion from comments on my blog.

    As I look back at my archives, I see that my comments picked up quite a bit after I learned how to track comments I left elsewhere. I know that before I started using a comment tracking service, I didn’t leave many comments on other blogs. Once I started being more active and visible elsewhere, the discussion on my own blog improved too. I think I had to give more to the community first before I could get that level on my own blog.

    I agree with everything said above; good content, time, and the right balance are needed. Being out there moving the discussions forward on other blogs is also a factor though.

  6. Sue Waters says:

    Agreed I did have good content when I first started blogging however changes I’ve made to my writing style makes it easy for people to engage with my posts. Initially most comments on my blog were from friends (often f2f friends). Like Michele the 31 Day Blogging Project increased comment levels on my blog – due to improving my writing style and knowing how to track comments which meant I commented more.

    Christy’s also right about the community. I spend a lot of time helping others and have made the decision to that I would rather spend more time commenting on other people’s posts than writing lots of posts.

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