Comment Challenge: Where to comment?

Comment_challenge_logo_2There are daily prompts/tasks as part of the 31-Day Comment Challenge and I am enjoying the various directions these hints have taken me. Yesterday, the task was to move outside the comfortable sphere of the educational blogging community and that allowed me to find some local blogs in my own city and begin some discussions with others. (Of course, one of those discussions veered into the topic of education — in particular, the state of our city’s school budget)

Today, the question for the Comment Challenge centers on the idea of where people should actually comment when inspired by a blog post. Some folks like to comment directly on a blog post via the comment function. Others, however, like to create their own blog post in response to something they have read and create what is known as a trackback — linking their post to the one they read. Over at the Bamboo Project, Michele has provided an interesting article that talks about why some bloggers disable comments altogether on their posts.

In an effort to keep experimenting here, I used Seesmic to reflect on which avenue seems most engaging for me. (Seesmic is a webcam capture site that some people are using for posting video blog comments) What do you think?

If you do a video response, please provide a link (I don’t have the Seesmic plugin here at my blog).

Peace (in comments),

  1. I think the video comment is another great idea and gives depth and impact to the comment. However, I am always camera shy so I would probably be the one who would continue to reply by text. My co comment plays up on my computer so much that I have had to delay my participation in the cocomment activity.

  2. Anne
    That’s OK.
    I think we all need to find some comfort with what we are doing.
    And too bad about CoComment – although you are not the first to be frustrated with it.
    Thanks for always reading and leaving comments.
    Will you do Day in a Sentence this week?

    The link (for you and anyone else reading) :


  3. Kia Ora Kevin!

    This is problably the most innovative blog I’ve seen so far.
    Well done!

    I hope you maintain your innovation! 🙂

    Ka kite
    from Middle-earth

  4. Kevin, I tend to agree with you; I prefer to add my comments to the original post. However if I feel I have something to say that might change the focus or veer off in another direction, I’d rather post on my own blog and leave a trackback. I’m careful not to hijack someone else’s blog to make my point.

  5. Hi Diane

    That concept of “hijacking a post” is interesting, isn’t it?

    I wonder about the concept of ownership of posts in the blogging world. If I start a post that sparks a conversation, should I just let it take its course or veer it back to the original idea?

    My guess is that you let the ideas flow and follow it with interest.

    Thanks for stopping by

  6. Hi, Kevin,

    In the past I’d totally agree with you that keeping comments on one’s blog was the way to go, but as I started to experiment with different ways to bring conversations together, I’ve been a fan of the writingmatrix concept of distributed conversations which we successfully tested on a workshop on blogging 4 educators. In this post by one of our co-moderators, you’ll see her account of keeping track of these distributed conversations via technorati tags. The idea is that you create a unique tag for a specific conversation you want to see develop and others joining the conversations would just tag it with this unique tag and every blog post would be aggregated in technorati. Fun! We had one of the activities in the group called “5 things you don’t know about me”, and the conversations developed from it were just great.

    Trackback is also interesting because you can develop your idea better in a blog post, but still dialoguing with the person that sparked the interest to write the blog post.

    Consider how we’re aggregating conversations using the Cocomment feature, as well. So, I guess conversations on a blog simply don’t take one path, they can take as many as bloggers creativity. And that’s the beauty of it! If you think of memes being created all the time, they encourage conversations and the creation of just incredible online posts, artifacts, for example.

  7. Greetings Carla
    Your point about the many possibilities for comments is a good one for us to keep in mind.
    My first impression is that the activity you describe might be complicated for many folks, but then, on second thought, maybe not. And it provides a better understanding of tagging.
    I’ll have to check out your project when I have some more time.

  8. Hi, kevin,

    The interesting thing about it? I was skeptical at first when Vance Stevens told me about the writingmatrix concept, but once you start using it, it’s just so much fun! The good thing is that it’s really simple for students, for example, as they just need to learn how to tag properly. The only trick thing in the technorati search is to use the search “with any authority” because then technorati will not look only for the popular blogs with lots of traffic.

    If you have any questions about it, we can keep sharing on it, but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the concept of distributed conversations.

    I’ve been really expanding my views on commenting lately. We can’t be restricted to the comment box. Otherwise, we might become frustrated as there are so many other ways to enhance conversations. Twitter, for example, is another space for comments and feedback, isn’t it?

  9. Oh dear I’m behind 🙂 . I know I one blogger who said he would like to turn off comments; I believe his view were based on people writing posts that link to you are a greater honor than receiving comments. What can I say? I disagree comments are an important part of the blogging conversation — as you say it’s considerably easier to follow the conversation with comments than track backs and a great way of learning about other bloggers excellent work. I agree with Carla that there are so many other ways to enhance conversations but don’t feel twitter is ideal because as you it’s disjointed and not as reflective as writing a comment on a post.

  10. Dear Sue and Kevin.

    You’re right, Twitter is somewhat chaotic, disjointed, but conversations happen there all the time, and we’re even invited to eavesdrop! It is certainly another means of establishing conversations, but in a very specific mode. I don’t think we could compare it to a blog post in which we’re really reflecting, discussing, analyzing, speaking up our minds, but it’s certainly another means by which we’re connecting. Many times, we reply immediately back to a tweet, we talk to others, we reply to queries in that fraction of time constrained by 140 words. Sometimes we get comments on out blog post because someone twitted about it, so if it’s not possible to really expand our ideas there, it can be, at least, where they start!

    I’m really enjoying the conversation here.

    By the way, Kevin, very interesting Twitter poem! Thanks for sharing.

    I’m part of an online group of educators, and one way we found to keep the conversations and ideas being twitted in the group is by using crowdstatus. Have you two heard of it? At least, it makes the group tweets more visual. Interesting. The group has been discussed that it’s a great tool to use with a group of students.

  11. Hi Kevin,
    I brought a laptop home from the office to do video comments, and I’ve figured out how to answer on the blogs with the plug in. Can’t figure out how to do it from the seesmic home page. Any clues?

  12. Hi Christine
    When I go to the homepage, I need to log in.
    Then, it shows a video (it must be the last one posted on Seesmic)
    In the upper left corner of that video is a red “New” sign.
    Click on that and you get started.

    Not exactly intuitive to click on that button, but there you go.

    I hope that helps.
    Let me know when you have posted something and I will try to reply.


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