How to comment like a king (or queen!)

Commenting has truly been the fuel that has fired readership for my blog and opportunity for me. It is also part of being a responsible blogger in general.

If one is an expert, I guess they may just want to keep their “wisdom” on their own blog, but the true conversation participants are those who contribute to the discussion wherever the blog posting is.

There are several techniques for effective commenting that I try to follow.


1) Write a meaningful comment.

“Yeah” or “Right on” may make the author feel good, but of more interest to conversation participants is “Why do you think it is right on?” If you don’t care, don’t comment, but if something truly resonates with you and you have something to share, do it!

You show the blog author that “you hear them”

Sometimes authors (like me) feel like they are only posting to themselves. You can actually influence those you admire with a meaningful comment, blog writers change their opinions all of the time. You can also reinforce opinions you agree with when you have real world examples.

You cast a vote on the importance of a topic

I think that as an edublogger, I think commenting is one of the most meaningful tools that we have to show experts where they need to focus. It is like having a vote and when you comment you are saying, “This is important!”

You’d better believe that when a blogger receives an incredible number of comments on a post that they are going to be writing more about that topic! If you want more from them on that, tell them!

You draw attention to your own blog

Remember this, most bloggers (like myself) read the blogs of those who comment on their posts. I want to know more about the person. I want to see who they are, what motivates them, what are they writing?

But remember, although the blogger and other readers will read your work that is not why you comment. You comment because it is part of joining the conversation! It is the right thing to do when you care about a topic!

You become part of the life of the blogger you are reading

Many people like Karyn Romeis, Liz Ditz, and Jen W and others are near and dear to my heart. They comment. And their comments aren’t just your run of the mill, they include amazing nuggets of truth that inspire me. These and other good commenters are also in tune to the emotions I portray in my blog and often comment just to encourage me. They are part of my life.

As a blogger, you often scratch your head and say “Where are these readers coming from?”

As I added up the counts of my feeds last night, I realized that I’m approaching 400 subscribers (I just hit 300 two weeks a go). “Who are these folks and am I making a difference?” is always a self-instigated question that I ask.

I love knowing who people are. When I know who the audience is, I can think with them in mind!

(Editors Note: I have found some exciting new bloggers through their comments on this post: Mr. P is an amazing, innovative elementary principal in Tuscon, AZ and Kelly is a new blogger and technology specialist in Illinois. I already knew about Andrew Pass (Current Events to use in class), Langwitches (ESL), and Brain Based Blogging (current educational research as it relates to blogs). Blog-expert, Jo McLay from Australia remains a favorite of mine because she gets in there and participates, thus modeling the strategies she advocates.)

2) If you have written about it, hyperlink to your post.

I have posted several comments on Kathy Sierra’s amazing blog, Creating Passionate Users. She is now a top 100 blogger, but I read her way back when. She has a box on the right of her blog that shows the recent comments of those who’ve said something on her blog. I and other readers look at them.

Each time I’ve worked to make a meaningful post on Kathy’s blog, I’ve received hundreds of people following the trail back to my blogs. I would like to think that my comments have hit on a vein in the readers of those comments and they’d like to know more about me.

But remember the motivation, I don’t comment on Kathy’s blog because I want traffic. I comment because I have something meaningful to add to the conversation and I care about the topic. (Sploggers a/k/a spam bloggers comment to get traffic to their blog. Bloggers comment to converse.)

Back in April, Kathy wrote about my blog,

“One of my absolute favorite teaching blogs is frequent-commenter Vicki Davis’ coolcatteacher. “

I think that was when I woke up to the impact that commenting was having on others. Meaningful, relevant, real world comments add power to the blogs that you frequent. You give those blogs credibility and you also give yourself credibility as one who participates and truly cares about your topic and doesn’t just have selfish aims.

How to hyperlink
Many times, you have to type in the hyperlink by hand. Read my post explaining how to do this in detail, but, here is a “cheat sheet” for those of you who have already read the article.


3)If you have a blog, shar
e some about yourself when you comment

This is so important! I have accounts on typepad, wordpress, and a multitude of other blog engines. When you take the time to set up a profile, you create a “live link” to your blog. When you post anonymously or without a name, you lose so much potential benefit for you and your blog and for the conversation you care about.

So much of my traffic comes from commenting that it is amazing. It took me quite some time to realize this, but it is a fact. You will totally miss out on it if you do not set up profiles.

4) Use a comment tracking service

This is for more advanced bloggers who really want to harness the power of the conversation as well as to keep copies of comments that they’ve made. If you click through on this post and look at my blog, you’ll see a box on the left that says “comments of coolcatteacher.” It actually has an RSS feed. This is all of the comments that I have made that I want to track.

CoComment
Have you ever made a comment and checked for days to see if the author or someone else replied? I can go to my coComment site and see all of the places where I’ve commented and I can read recent comments to those posts.

Tag Cloud for your comments

I also create tags for each comment and cocomment creates a tag cloud (a paragraph of words with the larger words being more frequent in my comments and the smaller ones with less frequence) which makes it easy for me to go back to all of my comments on a certain topic (All of my DOPA comments, for example.)

Are you my neighbor?

When I log in, it shows my “my neighbors.” These are people who are commenting on common articles with me. My neighbors currently include: Jeff Utecht (No surprise there), a fellow named Dennis, Madeline, acidzebra, Dajbelshaw, and edublogger. If the commenter includes their blog, I can read their blog. (This is done in the profile by just typing in the full URL of your blog, no HTML is required.)

CoComment integrates easily with Firefox

It was very easy to set up my coComment account and I installed a plug in in firefox so that it tracks my conversations and I tag them automatically. I can also opt to not track a conversation if I don’t want to share it on my blog.

Adding a comment box

I also added the box on the left of my blog with the tools they have on their site. I think there are some other commenting services out there, but CoComment really has their act together and I love using them!

5) Don’t be afraid to comment.

It is common for a beginner to think, “Well, I won’t comment until I know more!” You have an important perspective (see my post: The power of a newbie) that should be shared. When you’ve been blogging for seven months (like me) your perspective changes as I’m sure it will when one blogs for a year.

I firmly believe that beginners who comment, will receive the feedback that will keep them blogging, push them to excellence, and will make them the Technorati Top 100 blogger of tomorrow. I honestly believe that there is someone reading this post who will far surpass me and will do amazing things, but it all starts with a comment.

6) Teach commenting

Children have a need to converse and will improve their performance when people comment on their work. As Dylan, a third grader, says (hat tip to his teacher and new blogger extraordinaire, Kelly):

Blogs are good; people, kids, or other people in the world can send you a comment. And when somebody sends me a comment I just get happy and send a comment back to him or her. And when I get out of school I feel happy and sad. I feel important to my blog because I wrote things that I wanted to share I with EVRYBODY.

7)Remember the power of words

Editors Note: This section was added after receiving a comment from an ESL teacher in north Florida and demonstrates the power of commenting and how they affect both the person who is the reader and the person who is writing the blog.

I believe that words can hurt worse than a broken bone. (The false sing song we were taught as children is not true!) Each of us as an educator has the power to build up or the power to tear down. Oh, the harm we can cause in our classrooms by a misplaced word.

Beware of Darth Commenter!

I believe that there are some people who are so abrasive and unhappy with themselves that they retreat to the Internet to reak havok on unsuspecting souls. They are like Darth Vader with a light saber. They like to play mind games and newbies are great targets. They know the psychological stress that unkind commenting can cause in a new blogger and I have no respect for such people.

I say this to warn newbies of the villain you will soon meet if you are a prolific blogger: “Darth Commenter.” (I’ll call him DC.)

My first encounter with DC, was really an eye-opening soul searching experience for me. (I’m glad I did it or I wouldn’t have been ready for the debate that ensued after my DOPA posting.)

When you meet DC, as any prolific, meaningful blogger will, you will be forced to ask yourself the central question of blogging: “Why am I blogging?” Much like the “why am I here” questions that all humans ask, this question is literally a “why am I here on the blogosphere” question. Ultimately it is the blogger who decides if they will indeed remain a blogger. We have the ability to leave the blogosphere as quickly as we entered it and many do.

I took a several day sabbatical to ask myself these questions and reemerged with a purpose and a calling that non bloggers simply cannot understand.

My Calling

God (I cannot pull out my beliefs here) has given me a calling to share the things I’m learning in technology and other aspects of my life.

I believe in the importance of every child and the importance of every teacher.

I believe that teaching is a noble calling and that educators need to be encouraged in a world of people who really do want to zap us with their light sabers.

Never in history have teachers been expected to do so much and afforded so little respect and that has got to change. We will create our own respect because we are professionals here to do a job.

It is time for us to share across boundaries, continents, and hemispheres. It is time for us to put our collective heads together and learn from the pockets of innovation that spring up in the strangest places. And it is time for me to be a part of it!

As you meet, DC, you will emerge with your own calling. Without a calling, it is difficult to keep up with the blog and it just becomes a nuisance.

Blogging, if you truly inhale its essence, will give you a calling, renewal, and purpose, as you’ve never seen before.

Darth Commenter is out there and his goal is to steal your enthusiasm for blogging with his light saber of unkindness. Do not feel compelled for some “noble” reason to post his comment. Delete Darth and never look back.

Criticize Kindly

All this said, we have a need to disagree with one another. We have a need to discuss things of importance. While I delete almost all abusive comments and every single comment with profanity, I do allow people to disagree with me on my own blog. It is important that we model for children the right way to disagree on a topic and to show that we can do it while remaining civil and not attacking the other’s right to their opinion.

Here are my guidelines before countering a blogger’s perspective:

  1. Will it make a difference?

    Is this a blog that encourages meaningful debate not excessive profane babblings by lots of DC’s and that is read by others. Think and remember that they can visit and attempt to comment on your blog as well. Do you really want to establish that relationship?

  2. Is my perspective already shared in the comments?

    If so, you can echo the comments of others. If not, I feel that I must post if it is a topic of meaning.

  3. Start by genuinely complimenting the blogger in some way and point out where you do agree.
  4. Point out each area of disagreement and why in a brief, non-rantish, professional manner.
  5. NEVER: Be sarcastic, rant prolifically, curse, or personally attack a person.

Thank you again, Langwitches blogger for pointing this item that needed to be included!


Commenting

Commenting is part of this global conversation. People who make meaningful comments understand that this new Internet is about discussing our common concerns and coming up with solutions in a more expeditious and helpful manner that does not exclude anyone.

I think some people are afraid of commenting because they don’t want to give away their secrets.

Well, guess what?

If you died today and don’t share “your secret,” it will die with you and you will miss the chance to leave behind something far more important… a legacy.

I love students! Best teacher blog winner * Mom * Speaker * author * HOST 10-Minute Teacher Show * @Mashable Top Teacher on Twitter * top #edtech Twitterer

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

144 thoughts on “How to comment like a king (or queen!)

  1. First, thanks for your insightful post. When I was a grad. student it was often very difficult for me to limit my comments during class discussions. I always like to share my ideas. The wonderful thing about commenting on blogs is that I can speak out as often as I want. I’m not sure why I have this need, but blogs enable me to fill it. Hopefully I’m also saying interesting things and simultaneously pointing people towards my own blog. Since, I’ve noticed that people sometimes reference my comments on their own blogs, it both makes me feel great and encourages me to keep writing. Now that I know about tracking comments, I’ll be able to follow my own comments.

    Thanks.

    Andrew Pass
    http://www.Pass-Ed.com/blogger.html

    Just a thought.

  2. I admire your ability of pointing out (by blogging) little things that others don’t take the time to mention

    After reading your post about “commenting”, it makes so much sense to talk about and make other bloggers (especially newbies) aware of its importance.

    I’d like to add something to your post though. I read about a presenter a few weeks ago and how discouraged she was when people were a blogging awful things about her and her presentation:

    Be kind.
    Think before you respond to a blog post, especially when the post contradicts your belief.
    Be professional.
    Don’t attack a blogger personally.
    Say what you want to say, but use polite and professional language.

    Thanks for pointing us newbies into the direction of commenting…

  3. I love comments… I just started my blog a week ago, and have already received comments from a few people. (TechnoSpud and Cool Cat Teacher, of course) Wow!! How rewarding is that??

    I have been doing a lot of reading and adding feeds to my http://www.Bloglines.com account. Bloglines has been a huge timesaver as a way to organize all of the feeds. I can’t wait for the school year to start and read about what everyone is doing via their blogs. Thanks!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about how to make your readers better bloggers. I am pretty new to this and I want to get better at making my blog more conversational. I will use your tips with much success I am sure! I am an elementary school principal and I want to help other principals get into blogging. I will point others in your direction.

  5. Vicki, what a great post. I was first attracted by your picture – I just love it – it picks up the immediacy and yes, even intimacy, we get from participating in the conversation you speak of. Such good advice about tracking comments. I tried to install CoComment but something happened and I didn’t go through with it. But I will try again now. I just found out about del.icio.us netwrok badges we can put on our blogs and I think this would also add to the value of the connectivitiy

  6. Andrew – Thank you for commenting and I too have a need I didn’t know I had that is met by blogs!

    langwitches – I am going to reedit the post and add commenting to it. It seems that linking has begun and that is an important aspect. Thank you for reminding me to include the most important things — Words CAN indeed hurt worse than a broken bone. Again, in the power of commenting, an author can reedit a blog post to make it more accurate.

    Kelly – This is an exciting time to live and teach! I love it too!

    Jeannette = Good job with the hyperlink. I’m still a newbie too and I’m always learning something new and saying to myself, “Now why didn’t someone teach me that.” Technocrats create obstacles to every day folks using new technologies but techno-advocates like me (and hopefully you) build bridges of understandability between the average person and new technology!

    Mr. Polling – Great comment! You will find that as you read the latest in innovation that you will become a more dynamic, exciting, and visionary leader. You are also one of the only elementary principals I know that is blogging so you have a great opportunity to influence other with your willingness to learn and try new things!

    Jo
    I tried cocomment a while back and had problems. It is a more stable system now, I think. You also are a great commenter that I should have added on my list!

    Thank you commenters. I will go edit my post now to include reflections on your thoughts as my intention on this article is to demonstration the dynamics of commenting and how they affect both the commenter and the blogger.

  7. Vicki,
    I have been so inspired by what you write that I felt compelled to contact you today and talk in person. There are limits to what blogging allows and sometimes face-to-face or phone conversations fill in those gaps. The reality is that blogging is the way that we are introduced to each other and connected in a way never before possible. It IS an exciting time to be an educator!
    (and please check out my blog – I linked to your LD post from January)
    Karen

  8. Interestingly, Wes Fryerblogged about statistics from Technorati about the rate at which blogs are being created. So, I’m guessing there are lots of people who want a voice in this world. In terms of educating our students in responsible and ethical uses of that “voice”, educators need to find good role models and need to educate themselves about using blogs. I’ve bookmarked this posting so that, as I learn and help teachers learn about blogging, I can come back to this as a resource. We need the practical tips and the personal insights in addition to the curriculum connections/classroom examples. Thanks so much for this posting!

  9. Thank you for another insighful post! As a new prof-o-blogger, I find commenting tips helpful. It is sometimes hard to find the time to comment, but I fully intend to put your advice to the test this fall. Do you have any tips for managing volume? I teach 5 sections of 24 students. Thanks!

  10. Hi
    I read you thanks to a French Blog thanks to user ERASER of http://www.docencia.es (a digg like web but only for news in education world, great page). So you ‘re right, comments can lead you to great blogs which are commented to…. to the infinite. Pitufo

  11. Glad to be of service!

    Thanks for the pointer to CoComment. I am constantly commenting on posts that I find “via via via” and then forgetting where I have commented. This means that I have been unable to continue to follow the conversation any further. Hopefully you have just put me in touch with a way of fixing that problem.

    I totally agree with you on the subject of Kathy Sierra’s blog. I started reading her before I even knew what a blog was! She just says it like it is, and you get the feeling she writes the way she talks, which is why she is so readable.

  12. Your ideas have been perculating in my brain. I have been using them at BrainBasedBloggin

    I was on holidays when I noticed that you had referenced my site here. I did not have access to my e-mail and I began hoping for several comments to moderate when I got home. (Actually, I had better admit that I was hoping for LOTS!) When I got home, I was surprised at my disappointment when I discovered there were NO comments to moderate.

    It was a lesson for me. I need to leave “footprints” on the sites I walk on.

  13. I have enjoyed reading many of Cool Cat Teacher’s posts over the past several months. In fact, it was her (and several others) who inspired me to start my own blog.

    I have had a few people drop by and leave comments on my site. It truly is amazing when people start commenting on your blog. I enjoy reflecting on and writing the entries and it is nice to know that I am not the only one reading them (which would be ok since I mainly do this for myself). But, oh the feeling you get knowing that other’s are with you.

  14. Vicki, I read this post when I first started blogging. At the time I didn’t know how to keep track of interesting blog articles but I remembered this article and I so wanted to find and read it again! So, today as I was going through material (I’m a doctoral student looking at “web 2.0” adoption among graduate students… particularly those in graduate programs) I kept looking around until I found it again! Thank you for the good work you do. I am learning a lot by and from your work. Thank you!

  15. Hi Vicki:

    Great post and thanks for writing about cocomment, which I just finished installing.

    A lot of what you say, with some modifications, applies to conversations outside the blogosphere as well!

    Thanks and best wishes,
    Sunil

  16. Hi! I’m a newbie blogger and have gained some valuable insight into the “rules” of commenting from this post. Commenting seemed a little daunting because I wasn’t sure of the etiquette. Thanks for the confidence-booster to post my first comment!

    best,
    Juli

  17. Hi, It’s been a while since you posted this, but I am new to blogging and stumbled upon it in doing some research.

    First, thank you for the information. It gives me some perspective about the “blogosphere” which is pretty new to me.

    Second, I appreciate your attitude which welcomes us all into the dialogue. You made me think about the responsibilities we bloggers (is that really me?) have to participate by “listening” and contributing.

    Ms. Sheldon
    And now, my first-ever attempt at HTML
    Second Bell

  18. Wow, what a great practice of commenting as shown here on this post! This is one of my most commented posts (imagine that!) Each of you have given great insight and encouragement to a person who still feels like a beginning blogger (me). This also shows how it is important to look back at the older information of bloggers to find some gems. I think every blogger should include an “MVP” list of sorts on their blog! As David Warlick says, “Information doesn’t travel in straight lines.”

    Kudos to each of you for commenting here!

  19. Thank you for another insighful post! As a new prof-o-blogger, I find commenting tips helpful. It is sometimes hard to find the time to comment, but I fully intend to put your advice to the test this fall. Do you have any tips for managing volume? I teach 5 sections of 24 students. Thanks!

  20. There was a lot of useful information in there for us “newbies”! You seem to know what I need to hear just when I need to hear it :-).

    Okay, I’m not sure if I’m doing the html thing right, but I’ll give it a try.

  21. Great article – very inspiring. Interesting how much of your traffic is from comments, I would never had thought it a worthwhile thing to do.

    Thanks

  22. What has surprised me is the amount of civility usually shown by most commenters on the internet. Communities often police themselves and shun those who are rude or offensive without any global requirement to do so. I guess there is hope for humanity after all.

  23. Thanks for your excellent suggestions. I recently saw them in the April issue of Technology & Learning. My class left comments on several blogs that reviewed a book we were reading. Imagine our thrill when one of the author’s posted a comment on our class blog. Let the conversations continue…

  24. Thanks, i do get sick of meaningless comments on my blog i must say.

    I say one plugin that made a tickbox that the poster had to tick… it said something like “I confirm that my post is not spam”

    They say it reduced the amount of spam posts ! – guess maybe some spammers may have a conscience!

    Cheers for your blog post!

    spanish

  25. THis is a wonderful tutorial – it will be very useful when I introduce blogging to my students, be they adult students or still in the public schools. It’s also given me several tips to help improve my own blogs.
    Thanks for your time in writing this up.

  26. Thank you for sharing your wealth of information on this blog. I feel like I’ve had the etiquette rules nicely laid out and am ready to give blogging a go.

  27. Hi Vicki
    I met you on a skype screen while sitting in a New Zealand conference featuring keynote speaker Miguel Guhlin earlier this year. Thanks for the cocommenter which I have noted for future reference. I teach high school and want to get an intranet blog going for my classes. I agree with the importance of the learner and therefore that we must value and respect our teachers so that the best learning is delivered to our children. I love your blogging style and hope to visit your blog more often in the future.

    Bubbles Reedy

  28. I really appreciate this post as a newbie. For a recent grad computer technology course I was required to post one comment to a blog that interested me. I honestly was very nervous about it and was very fearful of saying the wrong thing. I didn’t want to sound ridiculous! This insightful post has given me the courage to go for it. It has also given me a better understanding of how commenting is properly done. Thank you so much!

  29. @anonymous — Yes, sometimes when you comment, you just need to jump in and get your feet wet. Thank you for reminding me on this Sunday morning about the importance of encouraging beginners – sometimes we don’t all know where to start!

  30. Thanks for this extremely helpful and well written post. Your passion for teaching and helping others is clear. 🙂

  31. I think it’s important to teach kids and adults to review what we’ve been taught with a more inquisitive mind. There are many incidents in American history that are not anything like school teaches us.

  32. Thanks for so many great tips. I am new to blogging world but I am sure your tips can improve anyone`s blogging experience. I have many blogs but no one is in good condition. But now I am hopeful for my blogging future.

  33. Hi~I am the student from Taiwan.
    I’m really inspired by your great advice about commenting.
    I learn how to give people more meaningful comments on his/her blog after reading your suggestion.
    Thank you a lot!!^^

  34. Your comments on blogging give a good insight. I can see that you are more experienced at it than I am :-). I have the special case of trying to get a very specific audience to blog at my site (workers at German metal working companies) which makes it a bit more difficult to get anything relevent going. I will still keep your useful comments in mind.

  35. Thank you so much for this post. I have never commented on blogs before this week 🙂 and I only started to because I am required to by a class. At 46 (long-time teacher and administrator) I feel like I’m pretty good with technology but I am definitely not up-to-date with the newest developments. I have felt quite squeamish about adding a comment (what could I possibly have to contribute?) and this post addressed all my fears and made me feel much better, and much braver, about the whole thing.

  36. As a newbie to blogging, I found your blog to be very helpful and informative. It will definitely be a must read for my students before they begin blogging in the fall.

  37. It IS an exciting time to be an educator! Say what you want to say, but use polite and professional language.
    Thanks for pointing us newbies into the direction of commenting…

  38. Thanks Cool Cat, for providing such kind guidelines. I enjoy commenting in conversations with other professionals and have found different groups (listservs) fun and informative. A wonderful place to vent, contribute creative ideas for teaching a topic, and “stealing” ideas of others. I now will be using a blog to do the same thing. I am a newbie but check out what I have done in just a few days….Mrs. Holder

  39. This was a very helpful blog to read. It gave me great insight about the proper etiquette for blogging. Although I always remember what my mother taught me that “if you don’t have anything nice to say than keep your mouth shut”. Now I am off to discover CoComment. Take care and thanks!

  40. Thank you for this blog and several others which I have read over the last few days. Your philosophy of blogging and teaching are thought provoking. Since this is my first ever comment to a blog, it seems like an appropriate place to express my appreciation.

    I am a new teacher and a new blogger. With 35 years in engineering and engineering management, I am pretty much embody the not-too-socially-adept stereotype. You are giving me something to chew on. Thanks.

    Its only my lack of understanding of the process that prevents my from (I think) identifying myself.

  41. Thanks, good information !!

    Who ever controls technology,
    controls world.
    Roman emperors ruled the world because they built roads.
    Britisher’s —— built ships
    Russians —— built spaceships
    Americans invented Atom bombs and Americans stills rules the world with Information technology.

    Study the latest tech news and tips at http://mothertech.blogspot.com/

  42. Yes this really explains the commentor how to comment in a right way, I had seen many people write very short comments and fill up the blog with spams and short silly comments. Comments should be meaningful as you mentioned. Thanks for the content – Siaar.

    My Blog

  43. i thank you for this useful and complete post, i was looking for post like this. I like your blog, even its only hosting on blogspot but you still get many subscriber.

    By the way, how about responding on people comments, is it really important? I mean, for posts like this, with many comments come, is it necessary to reply to them? Maybe responding your visitor’s comments will increase more people to commenting?

  44. @imhaya – If you’ll notice there are a lot of responses from me here – been out of the country a bit and typically I focus on engaging in conversation on more recent posts just due to time constraints. But yes, to answer your question, commenting and responding IS very important – this is one reason I’m transitioning to disqus for comments as it is easier to post a reply – I can reply by just responding to the comment.

  45. I’m just emerging into the world of blogging and I love it. I’m still learning and can’t wait to use this in the classroom next year. Thanks for all the ideas on commenting. It’s helped me to be more insightful.

  46. I got great ideas about how to post of the web. This is my first week as a blogger. I feel like with your advise I will encourage other bloggers.

  47. I just came across this article and found it very interesting indeed.

    This is the first time i have come across someone who has provided helpful advice regarding blog comments

  48. Hey really interesting post.. Very nice piece of information. This post will be useful for newbies like me. Thanks for the post.

  49. It is immensely helpful to have a veteran help with the etiquette of blogging. I am truly a “newbie”, and I feel like I am roaming around in the dark. Your blog offers tips and techniques that fill in the innumerable gaps that exist in my blogging knowledge;thank you.

  50. great article!I used to think for a very long time before writing a comment and sometimes I end up with no comment at all

    Now I know how to do it ..thanks a lot.

  51. Dear Vicki,

    Thanks for a fabulous post about commenting. ☺ (I found it through the 23 Things…)

    I’ve been teaching for twenty-three years, and blogging is the best project I’ve ever encountered. Our third grade blog has been up and running for a little over a year and the comment section is my favorite part. For me, the comment section is that magical place beyond the walls of the school. It’s a place that connects us and our learning.

    Students have to be at school, and they have to do the work I’ve assigned while there. When I see children choose to visit the class blog in their free time and contribute to it with a thoughtful comment…as a teacher, I know I’m onto something.

    I thoroughly agree with all of the techniques you provide, especially #6 – Teach commenting.

    As a class, we evaluate comments that we receive on our blog. We start by checking the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. However, after a little guided practice, they are able to evaluate the content of a comment.

    A student will say, “Well, they said they liked the post and thought it was funny, but it would have been better if they gave a specific example of what was so funny.”

    Another will add, “The person keeps using the same words over and over. They should try and vary their vocabulary a little.”

    One technique that has really been helpful is for students to give a point value to incoming comments. A 1-pointer is a comment that is fairly error-free, but doesn’t add much to the conversation. A 2-pointer adds new information, offers a specific compliment, or asks a question. Even though my students are only in third grade, they have learned how to evaluate and compose quality comments that add to a post. They continue to impress me everyday. 🙂

    Thanks again for all your help, Vicki! I love following your blog!

  52. @dsmith – Thank you for coming by. You know, I think perhaps it is time to update this list! Thank you for dropping by and reminding me.

    @Linda – Your comment is an example of what a good comment should be! It is very clear, gives some background and includes a hyperlink as well as some very interesting perspectives and thoughts on how you apply this in your classroom. Great comments make excellent blog posts. (That is something I need to include in the update to this post.) For example, you could copy this comment and mention in the blog post beginning that this was a comment you left (and then hyperlink here) but that you wanted to expand on it on your own blog – I do this all the time, particularly when I’m afraid I’ll lose the comment (I may forget where I made it.)

    Thank you for modeling good commenting! You get an A+++!

  53. Thank you so much for the encouraging words and knowledge of what to expect and how to handle it. As a newbie, this is important food for thought. Thanks again.
    Kittens Corner-Kitten

  54. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom to the newbies (myself). It is truly helpful information to me. Thanks again.

    Kitten

  55. Thanks for the information you have passed on regarding commenting. This is very interesting and crucial to anyone blogging. When I first started blogging a few weeks ago for a class assignment, I often wondered about encountering a negative comment. Now, I know what to do and how to handle it. Thanks again!

  56. Blogging is a new concept for me. I am aware of blogging due to a requirement for my doctoral degree. I have so many questions and am learning how to navigate through the process. I would enjoy sharing my experiences with other bloggers.

  57. WOW! what a great site. My professor suggested that I make a posting to your site. I am new to the concept of blogging and have found it extremely enlightening. I would like to meet others who could help me to become better in the use of blogs. You article helped me to formulate a response to other bloggers. Thank you for the insight.

  58. Wow. You have tackled so much about blog commenting. For me, blog commenting is a kind of talking with the posters some issues that were not clear enough to you. That’s really cool. 🙂

  59. I am Rhea S. I have visited your website and I would like to congratulate you on building such a valuable online resource. I am sure your visitors find your site as useful as I did.

    Have a great day.

    Thanks and regards,

    Rhea S.

  60. Hi, I afraid to comment before. Reading your post, I understand now that I should start make comments.

    Thanks for useful info.

  61. First, thanks for your insightful post. When I was a grad. student it was often very difficult for me to limit my comments during class discussions. I always like to share my ideas. The wonderful thing about commenting on blogs is that I can speak out as often as I want. I’m not sure why I have this need, but blogs enable me to fill it. Hopefully I’m also saying interesting things and simultaneously pointing people towards my own blog. Since, I’ve noticed that people sometimes reference my comments on their own blogs, it both makes me feel great and encourages me to keep writing. Now that I know about tracking comments, I’ll be able to follow my own comments.

  62. Thank you for sharing your wealth of information on this blog. I feel like I’ve had the etiquette rules nicely laid out and am ready to give blogging a go. Cheers – Cannock

  63. I really like your idea to teach students how to comment. We are teaching them how to navigate through all this technology and they need to know how to make meaningful comments.
    Thank you,
    L. Nalepa

  64. I am just now going through Library2Play 23 Things, and one of the things is to learn about the importance of commenting. I truly appreciate the advice you gave in your blog. I also appreciate the cheat sheet for hotlinks. I did not know how to do that. Now I know. Thank you for the information!

  65. As a person new to the blogging community, I found your words quite insightful and inspiring. I tend to be quiet and keep my thoughts to myself, much more of an observer than a commenter. I look forward to utilizing your advice, opening my mind to possibilities, and trying not to be too scared in the process.

  66. I don’t really look at “pagerank” — I don’t know that I’ve ever checked
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  67. I am a newbie and this is my first comment to a blog. Thank you for your help on Hyperlinks and CoComment. I will show gracious professionalism when commenting.

  68. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about how to make your readers better bloggers. I am pretty new to this and I want to get better at making my blog more conversational. I will use your tips with much success I am sure! I am an elementary school principal and I want to help other principals get into blogging. I will point others in your direction.

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  70. As you have said through this excellent presentation, commenting is wonderful behavior and tool to share our points of view and learn from each other.

  71. I am a newbie. I have a tendency to be negative and your post has helped me see that might be counter productive. Thanks.

  72. Thanks for your article. I am slowly coming around to seeing the importance of blogging for students. I mean, I don’t blog, myself. I have a sincere distrust of putting ANYTHING out into the ether-world. I’ve read too many stories of people having NO sense of boundaries getting into all kinds of trouble. Reluctantly, I have a Facebook page, but I rarely visit it. MY problem, and please answer me if you have an answer, is that I feel that blogging is REMOVING the boundaries we need to have healthy self-esteem. I feel that this technology REMOVES us from people even MORE. I see parents with their precious children with them, but they waste that opportunity by being on their cell phone! Instead of driving cross town to visit a live human being, too many people would rather call, or email or text. Have people forgotten that 85% of all communication is NON-VERBAL (ie body language)? I am concerned that we are raising a generation of socially inept people who are dynamite online and total duds in person. I am all for using this tool as an extra resource. I’m afraid that people use blogs, cell phones and texts to AVOID the difficulty of actually engaging in human interaction and relationships. I will model to my students the use of blogs as a teaching and learning tool, but I will probably strongly caution them about “losing” their humanity by being online instead of inlife. Am I overreacting? I have a Philosophy MA; I am a philospher by vocation, teacher by passion. But I want fervently for my students to BE in the world, to be aware of their environment and save it, to have human support systems that will be there to hold, hug and lift them up. It’s hard to see that being acccomplished by blogging. Please comment. Thanks! Cielo in Houston

  73. Thank you for writing this. I’m one of those newbie bloggers who is unsure of the blogging world. You here of children or adults who have met someone on line and then fall into a bad way. Years and years of hearing this, I’m sure, has shied away many of those who may have something to contribute.

  74. There is no way to say I am Lost or I am alone against the world, There are a lot of people, teachers like us eager to communicate new findings, old experiences and enriched findings to continue developing and enhancing our skill to teach and benefit our students. But personally I need to work hard on my communication skills to avoid talk and talk with out walk…so if I will ask for help, in other words, I need to present my “request” with laser precision.

    Blogs I will be visiting: Mary Perez, Alfredo Delgado, Eric Zulaica, Maribel Guzman, Elyse Vidrine

  75. This helps a lot, but sometimes the problem is that the author talks about everything, so he won’t let you comment and then he wants readers to comment???

    I think doing so will make readers only say “thank you”
    actually I’m facing a lot of problems on my blog where I teach them to speak English even if it’s more attractive to comments (you know teaching…)

  76. Thanks so much for your advice on commenting. As a new blogger – our school in Houston is just initiating this as a summer professional development assignment – I can definitely use some help to bring me up to speed with the whole idea of a blog. I especially liked your “criticize kindly” idea. So many times when I see negative comments I am totally turned off. To disagree respectfully is one thing, but sarcarm is definitely off limits.

  77. How useful, not only for myself as a blogger, but even more so for me as a writing instructor. I think I am going to try a blog commenting session (using this post) as a way to get the students to start thinking of meaningful feedback. This will work as a great introduction activity before beginning our first peer revision.

  78. Thank you for your advice. I am just getting started on following blogs and it is helpful to read the do’s and don’ts of commenting. I am taking a class which requires me to create my own blog and follow others. It’s outside my comfort zone, but I am learning. Thanks again for your advice.

  79. For someone new to blogging, I found your information very useful. However, the sentence that spoke to me the most was the very last one. “If you died today and don’t share “your secret,” it will die with you and you will miss the chance to leave behind something far more important… a legacy.” How true!! For example, just think of all the pictures left behind by the very first cameras. Although cameras seem quite simple compared to the technology we have today, we would have never known how some of our ancestors looked, dressed, lived, and etc. All that information would have died with them. I suppose we can think of today’s technology as a means to leave our own imprint on this Earth! Thanks for sharing this wonderful comment!

  80. Thanks for sharing your blogging experience and why it is critical to comment. It is exciting to see that others read what you wrote and extended that to responding. I see blogging as my new email inbox and when I see a new comment I shout “I’ve Got Mail”!!!! I agree with you that everyone has something to contribute. I enjoy gaining new perspective on what I write and am able to look at the other side when others pose an opposing view.

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  82. Thank you for this blog and several others which I have read over the last few days. Your philosophy of blogging du hoc and teaching are thought provoking. Since this is my first ever comment to a blog , it seems like an appropriate place to express my appreciation.

    I am a new teacher and a new blogger. With 35 years in engineering and engineering management, I am pretty much embody the not-too-socially-adept stereotype. You are giving me something to chew on. Thanks.

    Its only my lack of understanding of the process that prevents my from (I think) identifying myself.

  83. When doing this {try to|attempt to} give away {something|one thing} of {value|worth} and {it is|it’s} {a good idea|a good suggestion} to announce who the winner is. {This will|This can|It will|This may} {enable|allow} others to see that {the contest|the competition} is legitimate. {You may also|You might also|You may additionally} {include|embrace|embody} the winner’s testimonial {to provide|to offer|to supply} validity. {Discussion|Dialogue} boards are {also|additionally} {a great way|a good way|an effective way} of Promoting your website online. When {visitors|guests} come to your {site|website|web site} {using|utilizing} this channel {they are able to|they’re able to|they can} freely {discuss|talk about|focus on} your {products|merchandise} and services. {Maybe|Perhaps|Possibly} there are

  84. I GoT that.As you have said through this excellent presentation, commenting is wonderful behavior and tool to share our points of view and learn from each other.

  85. thanks for posting nice informationn .i would to say that Writing a meaningful comment along with no signature in the blog comment is all that it needs to prove that yu are not that dumb in the blogosphere.

  86. Hi Vicki! Our instructor for my graduate course, Digital and Social Media, suggested that we check out your site. This week we are learning to comment and were directed to this page. It is very insightful! Thanks!

    • Welcome Kayla!Yes! Commenting builds connection and if you’re blogging and you comment well, people will follow the comment back to your own blog as well. Thanks for sharing! Vicki Davis
      @coolcatteacher
      http://www.coolcatteacher.com
      Host – Every Classroom Matters Show

      :: This message is off the record unless specified otherwise. Pardon my brevity. Message sent via mobile device.::

  87. This is my first official comment on someone else’s blog. After reading your blog above I felt very comfortable blogging back. I have always been nervous to blog back or to even have my own blog, because of reasons such as the DC’s out there that you talked about.
    I am working towards my masters in technology and one of the classes I am in right now is Digital and Social Media (DSM). Our teacher has encouraged us to get out there and read different blogs and to comment on ones that we feel passionate about. After reading your blog it made me more comfortable in the blogosphere, as you referred to it. I hope to someday use blogging in my own classroom, but before I can do that I need to be comfortable with using it myself.
    I love your guidelines and hope to someday use them as guidelines for my own students. Thank you for posting such an inspiring blog. The last part about leaving a legacy behind really struck home with me!

    • Hi Amanda! Welcome to the blogosphere!! I think you’ll find most people are very friendly. I started my blog back in 2005 so I could learn how to use it before teaching my students, so you are right, it is important. I kept blogging because it changed my life and made me a better teacher. My second book is coming out now! When people comment and read, it helps give confidence to classroom teachers like me that spending our summers writing is worth the effort. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Let me know when you create your own blog! I’d love to return the favor and comment there.

      – – – – – – –
      *Vicki A. Davis @coolcatteacher * Author, *Reinventing Writing *(2014) and *Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds*
      – – – – – – –
      BLOG https://www.coolcatteacher.com
      FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher
      GOOGLE+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me

      *::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::*

  88. I haven’t joined the blogging world much yet, but hope to incorporate it in my classroom soon. As Amanda and Kayla said, I’m in the Digital & Social Media class and am looking to implement new technology as much as possible. I think your blog will be a great tool to use to learn new ways to do that. Thanks for sharing!

    • Welcome Linsey – there are lots of private places you can take your kids to blog. Edmodo, Kidblogs, Edublogs are all fantastic places to set your students up to share. I have a private Ning for my students.

      Thanks for commenting and I’m so proud of your professor for nudging the fledglings from the nest. I’d love to know who your prof is so I can say Hi on Twitter.

      – – – – – – –
      *Vicki A. Davis @coolcatteacher * Author, *Reinventing Writing *(2014) and *Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds*
      – – – – – – –
      BLOG https://www.coolcatteacher.com
      FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/coolcatteacher
      GOOGLE+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/115916382183421477315/posts TUMBLR vickidavis.me

      *::This email is off the record (blogs and tweets too) unless we agree otherwise.::*

  89. Cool Cat Teacher – I, too, am in Dr. Zeitz’s Digital and Social Media class and am dipping my toes in the blogosphere for the first time. I am very detail-oriented and really appreciate the specifics in interacting with others in this platform! I especially liked the tips on including a hyperlink and using a comment tracking service. I think these will become handy as I start writing my own blog and reading/commenting on others’.
    I like the idea of an opportunity for a global conversation about issues that are important to me as an educator. I sometimes feel like I’m going it alone in my school because a lot of people get comfortable with the way they are teaching and don’t stretch themselves to be better – not that I blame them! It’s hard to find time (especially as a high school English teacher with research papers to grade) and energy to consider the need for and to make change. I haven’t done this myself until very recently. But now that I’ve found that desire, I can’t always find the people to have the conversations that I’m ready to have. Blogging (and Twitter) have opened up a whole new world for me on that front.
    Finally, another comment that really struck me was of the desire to keep our secrets to ourselves. I think you’re right. It’s interesting that people do that. If our goal is to help students, then wouldn’t we help so many more students by sharing our good ideas with other teachers so they can use them and help their students and so on?
    Anyway – I hope I’ve added something meaningful to the conversation. I’ll keep practicing! (I’d add in something about my own blog, but it’s still a work in progress!) Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah!Tell Dr. Z hi for me! There’s a great picture that has gone viral among educators on Twitter and Facebook that shows two Lego guys dragging a car with square tired telling a guy standing in the back “we don’t have time to learn about new technology” and the guy standing has round tires in his hands! I have a new book about writing called Reinventing Writing which gives teachers grading research papers the round tires to be more efficient. You are taking the time to learn how to be more efficient and will be a happier and better teacher for it! Vicki Davis
      @coolcatteacher

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