Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The ART of Blog Comments: Day 14 of The Comment Challenge!

The "Art" of Commenting on a Blog

I woke up this morning to 4 new comments to moderate. 3 of them were topical and appropriate, made my heart light and the birds begin to sing, and I approved them right away.

1 of them threw me. It was a comment on a post I did back on June 20th, 2008, about why the Ring Finger is the RING finger, what that has to do with Reflexology, and, of course, tying it all into Same-Gender marriage. (At the time I was still calling it "Same-Sex" Marriage, not having yet had my epiphany about that...)

It read:

Nice information. I really liked it.

Okay, so far, so good.

It continued:

You know I've used this site at [They gave the URL and No, I'm not going to put it here] for sexy lingerie, lingerie, corsets, bustier, costumes, sexy costumes, fantasy lingerie, plus size lingerie, lace lingerie, sexy dresses, leather lingerie, and hot lingerie.

I thought they had some nice things.

Um, NO.

This is NOT how you go about commenting. This is EXACTLY how to turn people off - It's basically an advertisement for something the commenter is interested in, or is selling. The long list of hyperlinked synonyms, while showing me the commenter has a grasp on optimizing their search terms, felt ridiculous in the context of a comment.

And the comment was left with an unlinkable screen name pseudonym which not only prevented me from knowing who left the comment, but made it impossible for me to contact them to explain why I was not going to approve their comment.

Teachable Moment: Even if you are passionate about lady's undergarments (a search term they seem to have missed) if it has NOTHING to do with the post, and there's no strong compelling connection to the readers of the blog, don't be so blatent about self-promoting.

Trust that if you're contributing to the conversation in a meaningful way, the original blog poster and the people who read your comments will become curious about who you are - even if your screen name is ladysundergarments - and will click back to see what you're blogging about. And there, on your OWN blog, you can self-promote, run ads, and be as shamelessly commercial as you want.

Comments, ultimately, are about continuing and joining in the conversation. Letting people know about what you have to offer to the conversation is great. It's an art, and I thought this was a great example of a comment that went outside the frame.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, let's get

Back to "The Comment Challenge!"

We're 2/3 of the way through! Congratulations on having made it to day 14, and heck, congratulations even if you've not made it to your goals, but are more aware of commenting and how it builds community!

Comments seem up Up UP around the kidlitosphere (have you noticed it on YOUR blog?), and blogs everywhere are buzzing with energy!

There are so many great posts going up all around, and special events at different sites that make it easy to find new blogs that you might not already know about.

I got a special shout-out yesterday, with "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?" being featured in the new video podcast: "Best Children's Lit Blog Posts of the Day" over at Jon Bard's Childrens' Writing Web Journal.

Colleen Mondor's Chasing Ray gives us the master lists of who's interviewing who and where, for this week's 2008 Winter Blog Blast Tour, with links and quotes from interviews with authors all over the kidlitosphere - there are some real gems to discover!

And don't forget to check out the list of "The Comment Challenge" participants over at Mother Reader, which is clickable and can easily get you to 5 comments a day!

Honesty Time: I'm one day behind (the weekends are proving a gigantic challenge for me) and need to post 10 comments today to stay on target!

Wish me luck - and hey, you can do that in a comment! (That'll leave you with only 4 more to go!)

Remember to have fun with it!




MotherReader said...

You know you're going to get tons of searches for "ladies undergarments" now. Boy, won't they be surprised.

I had two - two - off days this week. But I'm commenting like a fiend today, so it's all good.

Terry Doherty said...

I've often wondered how people sneak up and comment on posts that are so much older. Now I know.

I am with you on the weekends. They are killers for my comment Mojo.

Jen Robinson said...

Hope you had good luck catching up, Lee.

Oh, and I spammed 2 comments today that I deemed overly commercial. I didn't even bother trying to contact the people, though there was an email address, because I didn't want to waste my time.

But my "real" comments are still up. Not so much this week as last week, but up.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Okay, I did it. All caught up - after 12 comments (and no, I'm not counting this one!)

And I could'a gone on, there's so much great stuff out there!!!

Ooh, it really comes down to time management and finding some balance, doesn't it?

But maybe balance doesn't mean equal every day - maybe we work to achieve a balance over time...
hmmm. gotta think about that one!


David LaRochelle said...

Congratulations on your Comment Catch-up, Lee! (Can you tell I've been teaching alliteration to elementary students this week?)

David, who is taking a break from working on illustration samples to comment on blogs

holly cupala said...

I have to thank you again, Lee and Pam, for this idea - because of it, Jolie and I mutually cracked the whip and helped each other write 5k on our works in progress, and we're back for a rematch today (Thursday). Anyone is welcome!

Anonymous said...

I did really well commenting for about a week and then slacked off.

Have had some wonderful comments on our blog. We've also seen spam increase quite a bit lately.

Kyle said...

I'll be honest I have not done wll with the comments, but I have found some great new blogs. I am not a writer so even commenting can be overwhelming.

I enjoy reading your blog, and figuring out ways to take some of your topics and apply them to third graders. It is not always easy, especially when one boy is singled out becasue he will read what ever he likes regardless of the "cover". You know the old there is a girl on the cover so it must be a girl book!

David LaRochelle said...

Hi, Kyle,

I empathize with your boy reader. When I was in elementary school, I read titles such as Carolyn Haywood's "Betsy" books and all the Little House on the Prairie books while the rest of the boys were reading about drag cars and monsters.

I also empathize with you - I used to be a fourth grade teacher. It can be tough to address issues of bullying regarding perceived gender issues, but oh, I wish one of my elementary teachers would have stepped in when kids were calling me "fem-boy" and "faggot."

Are you familiar with Tomie DePaola's "Oliver Button is a Sissy" and Jim Howe's "The Misfits"? Both are titles which address this issue in a way very suitable for elementary kids.