Yesterday, I decided to try out the 31 Day Comment Challenge, and I am so glad that I took the plunge. I already feel as if I have connected with entire new worlds of educational bloggers that were outside of my comfortable circle of “regulars” (cue: theme music from the old TV show Cheers) but are worth the connections. One blog mentioned around town was The Bamboo Project and so now, that blog is in my RSS.
It was interesting to read through their Comment Audits, and notice some themes. Many of us do visit a handful of blogs per week, make comments, but don’t track them and rarely return to further the conversations. It’s like a hit and run. If commenting is an integral part of blogging, I know I am guilty of not doing enough on my part as the reader/viewer/commenter.
I also used Co-Comment for most of the day. Other than the annoying advertisements (which I know are necessary for a business, but still annoy me), the platform for tracking comments on blogs is pretty amazing. I use Firefox, and CoComment is now embedded right in my toolbar and browser. I just click on the little blue CO and I am at my homebase in CoComment, looking at the trail of comments I have left, and any responses. This tool makes so much sense and I am kicking myself for not using it before. But I guess that is yet another reason why I am glad for the Comment Challenge.
Here is one example of connections.Over at Kate Foy’s blog — Spinning a Learning Web, she posted a video welcome to the Comment Challenge. It was neat to have some multimedia as part of the challenge, and I wrote a comment, saying that it might be cool to have folks use video to reflect or even to comment (although not all blogs allow that, I think). She agreed (I saw this via CoComment) and now Kate has set up a Flickr Group for Comment Challenge, and she hopes folks will upload videos (you can do short ones via Flickr now, with Pro Accounts) as part of the challenge. Great idea! If you want to join this Flickr Group, you can ask Kate through the invitation at the Flickr site. I’ll work on a short video reflection later today.
Meanwhile, if you are visiting here from the Comment Challenge, I would like to invite you to consider a weekly feature called Day in a Sentence, in which teachers boil down a day or the week into a sentence (or some variation) and share it out as part of a reflective community. This week’s Day in a Sentence is on VoiceThread but you can also just leave your sentence as a comment, and I will embed into the final VoiceThread later.
Peace (in connections),
Hi Kevin – glad you’ve been enjoying the Challenge so far. Kate’s video is excellent and a great way of people connecting with you. Hope you embed your video into your blog — you add the embed code to the code tab (then immediately press publish).
Will have to think about the sentence but I’m sure it will be “Why is technorati trying to drive me crazy? — they’ve succeeded”
I’ve been getting off to a slow start with the Comment Challenge, just trying to keep with the daily activities but you’ve lit a fire under my ass, so now I’m off to find some new blogs. (And thanks for reminding me to plug DIS on my blog. 🙂 )
Thanks for such a full reflection. I had fun last night just checking out different blogs and playing with the cocomment blue thing once I got the hang of it. I also loved the Bamboo Project and the dramagirl. I kept leaving comments after you not realizing that you were there first. How about that? Stacie’s too.
I added the Flickr challenge as well, although I think I had a problem uploading video to Flickr.
Voice thread later to come. Easier this week you don’t have to do much to get them published.
The best part of the first challenge we did was meeting people like Michele at Bamboo and Kate at Spinning a Learning Web. They certainly have inspired me in many ways.
I’m trying to get over my thoughts that video has to be a big deal, so I look forward to learning from all of you who have integrated it into your toolkits. Teachers seem to be more adventurous than those of us who are trainers!
Hi Kevin–I really like your little video tour of the blogs you visited yesterday. Any way you could include links so that the rest of us could find them? Or did you get them through the comment challenge wiki? (Notice how I’m asking a question here on Day 4 of the challenge). 🙂
Thanks for dropping by, friends.
Michele — I did notice that your comment was a question. OK — I did come to most of the blogs in my video tour via the Wiki and I did not bookmark the blogs on my own. Instead, I just used CoComment, which saves links to all the blogs that I comment on. That’s pretty nice, I think. Why use multiple tools when one will do?
Christine — it is true that initial entry into video is a big hurdle but it has so many possibilities for creative expression that I would encourage you to consider it. And this type of activity — safe, nurturing and in a crowd of supporters — is a possible entry for you. If you want …
Bonnie — You follow me. I follow you. You know how it goes.
Nancy — I would still like for you to host Day in a Sentence one of these weeks. Possible?
Sue — Can’t help with Technorati. I did add the video to my blog (see new post). I like the Flickr video, although the limited file size and time may make it impractical for some projects.
Well Kevin it looks like I may have had my revenge on Technorati last night since not long after I asked everyone to ping them it went down. Now video 🙂 . You need to check out my holiday video on my personal blog. From my research I worked out they aren’t able to restrict time (i.e. 90 secs) but they do restrict length (size). So if you take you video put it through MovieMaker and compress it you can upload larger files – it also makes them a lot easier to upload. For example one of my 90 seconds video shot using my digital camera was close to 100 MB; I was able to combine several into 3 minutes compressing to around 10 MB and upload no problem (Flickr Loves ME).
Thanks for the reflections, Kevin. I agree, I didn’t quite get the value of CoComment until I started using it, but I now find myself ‘involved’ in conversations, and connecting with readers and writers in a reciprocal manner. Hooray for the comment challenge!
Looks like the comment challenge is a real success: if people start to like the value of commenting, blogs will become more and more interesting and interactive !
Regarding coComment features, did you noticed the browser side bar ? (Shift + Ctrl + Q) You can use it to directly browse your last active conversations, or directly see conversation added to the comment challenge group.
Glad to hear you find cocomment platform amazing, and helpful. Also to remind you that integration is easy, so spread the words among your blogger friends.
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