It’s more than a “yeah, me too”

It was this line in a comment from Aviva Dunsiger on my post yesterday that got me thinking about blogging.

the never-to-be-underestimated, value of a reply

When I started in the blogging world, there were only a few others that I knew about or cared to read.  It was not uncommon to post a comment on every blog that you would run across.  After all, that’s what the ability to reply or comment is all about.  Who remembers the excitement of the hashtag #comments4kids as a way to get comments for class blogs?

Things, most certainly, have changed.

I don’t dwell on statistics but every now and again, I take a peek to make sure that there’s at least one or two people reading my thoughts here.  I’m always humbled when I see the numbers – there are good days and there are not-so-good days and that’s to be expected.  Since I’m rather random in thought sharing, not everything appeals to everyone.  I write because I enjoy it and, just as we are convinced it’s good for student’s memories, I find that by putting thoughts down  I’m a little more likely to remember things.

And, in the beginning comments were very frequent here.  WordPress lets you know who your most frequent commenting visitors are.  It’s a confirmation that there are regular readers/commenters and for that I’m grateful.

I’ve mentioned in the past why I think people are getting away from commenting.  Probably the biggest reasons that I can think of (short of just a bad blog post) are that there is just so much to read these days and people are finding ways to read blog content without actually visiting the blog.  For whatever reason, people do what they do and that’s great.

I was reading a technical blog post this morning dealing with a Windows 10 issue from a few weeks ago and the author was pretty much begging for comments at the bottom of the post.  Nobody had when I read it.  When I left the post, there still were no comments.  Even now as I type this, I feel a bit badly that I didn’t respond.

Then, I turned to the local newspaper, where “every whacko with a keyboard” posts a comment, it seems.  The paper uses the Facebook plugin and it’s very easy to see the people that have a legitimate Facebook account versus others.  If nothing else, the comments are entertaining.

But I go back to Aviva’s thoughts.  “The value of a reply”.

Most certainly, there are values and connections to be had with replies.  The original blogger extends her reach and makes new and important connections when people comment.  The blogger may realize that they absolutely have nailed a concept, they may find that there are other ways at looking at a topic, or they might be convinced that they were completely wrong.  Without that feedback, the blogger might just go through life thinking they know everything about everything.

Constructive thoughts continue and extend the conversation and can make new connections.  There are many folks who don’t blog for whatever reason and that’s their choice.  But, if they’re reading other blogs, they can do their own mini-blog by sharing their thoughts.

What do you think?  In one way or another, you’re reading this.  Does any of this make sense to you?  I don’t mind being proven wrong if you think I am.  Do you see the value in replies?  Or, is it something else?

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7 Replies to “It’s more than a “yeah, me too””

  1. Based on my comment from yesterday, I guess it’s no big surprise that I’m a big believer in the value of a comment. Sometimes this happens through comments, & sometimes through blog posts themselves. It’s often these continued conversations that help me think differently. I’m curious to know what others think. Hope people leave some comments and share their thoughts. 🙂

    Aviva

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  2. I totally agree! I have been blogging for about a year and half but had done blog type posts in my weekly memo to staff when I was in a school. After leaving a school, staff would email me and ask if I would share my memo with them as they missed my writing. When I went to a centrally assigned position, I guess I craved that connection and started posting online but it is different because it is so anonymous.

    When I get the odd reply it is heart warming for me, encourages me to keep going and at times, challenges my thinking which I really appreciate.

    Sometimes, when I am asked to speak somewhere, people come up to me and say which of my blog posts they have loved and it is incredibly humbling for me. One woman even asked her friend to introduce us because she was shy around me and blushing which was shocking that might have that affect on someone.

    Ultimately, I write because I want to learn and we learn best when we connect with others so for me, comments are gold.

    Thanks again for being the connector Doug!

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Prediction: this will be your most-commented-upon post 🙂

    Comments are conversations, and interaction is always valuable. I’m frustrated when a post or site disallows comments or has a service you need to sign up for in order to post a thought (I never do, so it’s their loss, I suppose).

    I’ll admit that sometimesI have something to say yet I don’t post a comment to a blog (not yours, of course) because I *don’t* want to engage in an ongoing conversation. There’s a cost to participation in time and in cognitive and emotional resources that I’m not always willing to pay. So I try to not feel badly when my posts go “unanswered”… but feel free to comment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Doug,
    I read many blogs. Commenting is something that requires my patience. Like you, I try to narrow in on people who value my comments and read my blog. I also consider those who have given me much to think about.

    In reading your post, I have considered how important replies are. Many sites have disabled comments due to the inappropriate nature of some replies. As teachers, it is yet another example of the importance of setting an example. We live in times that inappropriate comments have become routine. Our PLN models effective collaboration.

    Through conversation, we push our thinking. The most important part of PD is the conversation we have with others. I encourage readers of this blog to make the extra effort. You have encouraged me to make that extra effort. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I read blogs on feed.ly but I will hit a link to add a comment to blog posts when I have something to say. I don’t often just add an “I agree” type of comment. I want to add value to the conversation. If I can add more information, a supportive or contradictory link, or anything else that adds I will do it. I think that is fair exchange for the work the blogger did and they value they contribute to my learning.

    As a blogger myself I find that comments from readers are extremely valuable. They help me take things to a next step and to refine my own thinking. I average just over one comment per post. Of course many have none and a few have many. I always feel better when there are more comments. It means I did something write or very wrong. The first is encouraging and the later means I learn a lot. So win/win.

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  6. Thanks, Doug, for the thought provocation. I am a commenter. I know that about myself. Reading a blog post, for me, is often the start of a conversation, and I can’t continue that conversation without commenting. I have regularly joked with people that Twitter is/was my gateway drug, because it was the deeper connections/conversations that I was seeking. Getting the chance to dig into my own thinking, and that of the poster and other commenters is a major gift for me.

    That said, I very much relate to Brandon’s comments on limited time/emotional resources. My commenting, tweeting and sharing have all fallen off immensely this year, as I struggle to keep new balls in the air.

    When I wrote for Powerful Learning Practice, one of the most important reminders I got from my editor (thanks, John) was to regularly check for comments, and respond to them, in order to extend the conversation. Aviva is the queen of that.

    Liked by 1 person

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