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).
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!