Comment Challenge Day 13: Write a Blog Post Using Comments
Comment Challenge Day 15: Give a Comment Award

Comment Challenge Day 14: Turn Your Blog Over to Your Readers

Comment_challenge_logo_2 Yesterday you wrote a post reflecting on comments you received on your own blog or that you read elsewhere. Today you're going to turn your blog over to your readers and ask them to write a post through the comment section. This is something that Chris Brogan does frequently. He'll ask a question in a post and then have his readers respond in comments. Take a look at this post to see what I mean. According to Chris, this usually results in a better post than he could have written himself.

The best way to do this is to come up with a compelling question that people want to respond to. It might be to ask for people's ideas on how to handle a particular situation. Or you could ask about their favorite tools or their favorite blogs related to a particular topic. Just come up with something that people tend to have an opinion on and then put it out there. Be sure to tag it with "comment08."

THEN. . . go find a few other Comment Challenge Participants and comment on their blogs to help them build their posts. Remember, this is all about community.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ultimately, when I say things like that, I'm admitting that other people always know more than me. : )

Interesting I was going to write a response about posting a question which has to do with how Chris writes these questions and he has dropped past. Hope Chris you are tracking comments, see my response and come back to add your thoughts.

Creating a post based on a question that provokes readers to respond takes quite a bit of skill. Well that is my belief -- do you have similar thoughts Michele?

Lets be honest Chris is really good at this for several reasons. He's an excellent blogger, using a range of techniques to mix up the types of posts he writes. Plus his high readership and established community helps ensure that a post based on a question gets responses.

In many ways I think these types of posts are the hardest to write and take quite a bit of blogging skill. But U think it is important that we learn to be able to write these posts better. I would love to hear yours and Chris's tips on the best approach to writing these type of posts.

Hmm. . . that's interesting. I agree that having a high readership definitely helps make it easier to write these kinds of posts. I was hoping that since we have a lot of people interacting through the Challenge that we'd build up the necessary "juice" to fuel that.

The issue you're talking about, though, is how to come up with a compelling question that people will want to respond to. When I've done this (which admittedly hasn't been THAT often), I've used reader questions to get things going. I think there's something about people helping another person that draws them in. So the example I gave about starting a career in a nonprofit was a question I got from a reader and I think people felt compelled to help her out.

The other thing I've done with questions is to try to pay attention to trends I'm seeing across blogs to formulate a question from that. For example, right now I notice that through the Comment Challenge, people are discussing the issues of comment moderation and having a blog comment policy. That might be a good way to do a reader response post by asking what impact things like comment moderation and comment policies have on blog conversations--basically sort of reformulating a discussion that's percolating across several blogs.

This also opens up the issue of being a questioner. One trap I think bloggers can fall into is not questioning enough. There's something about the medium that suggests it's about statements, rather than questions, at least to some people. There's that desire to be the "expert" and somehow we think being an expert means knowing everything. I actually think that experts should be people who keep generating more questions, but that's just me.

I also think that we're taught NOT to ask a lot of questions and breaking that habit is difficult. Even on our own blogs we may not feel empowered to ask questions because we never got into the habit of asking them in the first place.

A complicated issue that probably should have been a post, rather than a comment. :-)

Agreed re-long comment but it takes longer to write the post than a comment. And you are correct that too often bloggers don't ask questions in posts.

I suppose what I was talking about is how Chris skillfully writes a question that hands over his post. Often very short, grabs the readers attention immediately and well worded to get a response. This is an example of where I've done it which worked ok but no comparison to his skill.

Hi Michele,
I don't know if I've left you a comment here but we have been passing each other on other blogs.
I am enjoying this experience and even though I don't have hordes of commenters on my blog it's okay.
I was hesitant to do this exercise but again, I sucked it in and went for it no matter what. And I got a few responses and that's okay.
It's been a great challenge and I will continue.
Time to give out some awards.
Glad I found my way to your blog.
Bonnie

Michele
I'm undecided about leaving a statement for discussion or asking a provocative or open-ended question.

I ended up leveraging off some some recent posts on the pros and cons of video blogposts/comments and posted more of an invitation to contribute. We'll see how things turn out at day's end.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)