105 Ways to Give a Book

The Comment Challenge: 21 Days To Community

What if I told you that for the cost of a few extra minutes a day, you can boost your blog readership, foster a feeling of connection, and make someone’s day? I’m talking about commenting. (Wow, with all the boosting, connecting, and making someone’s day, it’s like Viagra for blogs.)

At the KidLit Bloggers Conference, my-new-best-friend Lee Wind and I came up with an idea to get the community moving and grooving with a Comment Challenge. We held off to give you time to participate in the Cybils, to obsess about the election, and to Blog the Vote. But now it’s time to join us in The Comment Challenge.

Since it is said that it takes twenty-one days to form a new habit, we’re going to run the Comment Challenge for the next three weeks — from today, Thursday, November 6, through Wednesday, November 26, 2008. The goal is to comment on at least five kidlitosphere blogs a day. Keep track of your numbers, and report in on Wednesdays with me or Lee. We’ll tell each other how we’re doing and keep each other fired up. On Wednesday, November 26, we’ll have a final check-in post for the Comment Challenge. (Actually, it will go up on Tuesday night to catch all you Thanksgiving travelers.) I’m thinking that a prize package will be involved. Perhaps awarded by drawing from the bloggers who reached the 100 Comment Mark (five comments a day for twenty-one days with one day free of comment charge).

Seriously, this is the perfect time to make commenting a habit. Think about it. We have all this free time now that we’re not following CNN. We have writer friends doing National Novel Writing Month that could use our support. Maybe we are writers doing National Novel Writing Month who could benefit from supporting others. We have a series of author interviews coming up during the Winter Blog Blast Tour. Oh, and there were some amazing posts written for Blog the Vote that still deserve your attention.

Every comment doesn’t have to be insightful and intellectual. I know sometimes it’s hard to think of something to say. But what I’ve found is that when I’m in the habit of commenting, the words do come easier. I find myself reading posts with a bit more focus because I’m thinking about what is connecting with me.

Also, when you make yourself heard, that blogger may check out your blog. Can’t hurt your stats. Plus, you’ve made that blogger’s day a little bit brighter. Maybe you’ll make a new BFF — Blog Friend Forever.

I know, the whole thing sounds awesome. Ready to join us? Then get started by commenting on this post. And tell all your friends, because that’s kind of, like, the point.

77 comments:

Lee Wind said...

"Viagra For Blogs" is AWESOME! I'm so happy to be doing this with you!
Hurray!
You explained it beautifully, my post is up as well, and I can't wait to see what happens as our kidlitosphere gets it's commenting groove on!
You ROCK!

Lee

Tricia said...

I'm so glad the two of you cooked this up. Google Reader has made catching up on blogs easier, but also lulled me into comment complacence. It also means fewer people are commenting at my site.

I am SO in. Three down, two to go (today, anyway). Thanks, MR!

JenFW said...

I am an avid and enthusiastic lurker on many kidlit blogs. It has long been one of my goals to comment more, but I am averse to inane comments. When I see a long list of "Funny!" or "Good luck!" comments, I skip them all.

I am also averse to appearing as a "suck up" commenter. One who posts on the same blog day after day, without anything new, relevant, or insightful to say.

So, I am going to embrace your challenge, but one strategy I will employ is to comment five times a day on more than five different blogs--more like thirty.

One reason I don't comment more is because I use a news aggregator and have to click through to the actual blog to comment. Does anyone know of a news aggregator that allows commenting or at least makes it easier? What are people's favorite news aggregators?

PS - NaNo participant at 10,382 words. Support away. I need all the help I can get.

Teacherninja said...

I'll give it a shot since I read many of these blogs. I teach K-5 and am working on my Media Specialist degree, so am always on the lookout for great kid lit insight. The thing that keeps me commenting more is the dang "word verification" and other hoops.

Great idea, thanks!

Kathy said...

I ditto what Tricia said - especially since I read most of these in short breaks at school. So this will make me at least remember to come back and comment after school.

Now if I could just get better about posting to my own blog more often!!

Linda said...

Great idea. I read blogs everyday, but get a little lazy on the comments. So, I'm in! Thanks for getting us started!

jama said...

I'm in! I usually comment daily anyway, but I'd like to use this challenge to seek out new blogs and expand my horizons. Thanks for the motivation!

Charlotte said...

Here's my second comment! (Lee's blog was my first stop). I do hope this works--I know that people are reading my blog, but it is still sad to have post after post go commentless....

mama reads! said...

Well, what a great challenge because as a new blogger I would love to see more comments on my own blog...great way to set an example. Now I have all this free time since I am not down at our local Obama office making phone calls!!!
Thanks for bringing it all together.
Michelle

Jen Robinson said...

I'm definitely in (though travel might get in my way of commenting every day - I can read blog posts on my cell phone, but commenting is a bit trickier). But I think this a great thing.

And, in a moment of synchronicity, right before I saw your message about the comment challenge, I put up a short post that ended with a question. Comments are already flowing in.

Libby said...

JenFW, googlereader lets you comment on the post through your reader. Or it usually does; for some reason, not every blog seems to work the same way.

And, yes, Pam, I'm in, and I'll post today as well. This is already my second comment today...

Abby said...

What a great idea! I'm totally in. :D

Z-Kids said...

With our own review blog just launching this week, what a perfect time for us to join into the commenting challenge! We look forward to meeting lots of you!

Z-Dad

Laini Taylor said...

Great idea, Pam & Lee -- just the push I need to leave more comments :-)

TadMack said...

You're outing lurkers? Oh, dear.
Well... I think this is a good thing; comments encourage people to blog AND to think, which is always a good thing. And now I'm going to go bug Lee...

MotherReader said...

All right, people! That's what I'm talkin' about!

See how easy it can be to comment. I'm doing it right now, here, on my own blog. La la la la la. What fun.

Too bad I can't count this one.

bookbk said...

What a great idea! Five might be more than I can manage, but I'm going to give it a shot with *one* comment per day.

Blog-Nerd said...

I never get any readers on my blog, but here's to hoping! I think what you two are doing is great...creating a sense of community, encouraging fellow bloggers, and just making someone's day because they know someone, somewhere cared enough about what they wrote to comment. Kudos!

Peace&Love.
Emily

Carolyn said...

I love this-and I am determined to participate. I love the kid-lit community, in person especially, but also on paper and cyberspace... Thank you for all that you do. You're super.

Terry said...

Y'all are amazing. I'm so glad that comments don't have to be intellectual. I'd be ... stuck.

Off to blog 4.

Mindy said...

I love this idea! Commenting more has been a goal of mine for a while, and it will be nice to have an excuse to focus on it. Thanks!

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

Well, I'm not an exclusive kidlit blogger, although I do blog about a lot of kidlit stuff. I've wanted to be more a part of this community, so I'm going to take this challenge! Thanks!

Andrea -- Just One More Book!! Podcast said...

Thanks for the nudge, Pam & Lee.

I'll do my best -- although I'll be offline for one of those weeks, schmoozing with my illustrator-Idols on our long-awaiting children's literature pilgrimage Woot!!

C. B. James said...

Is kidlit the same as YA lit? If it is, please count me in. I read lots of stuff for middle schoolers whom I think of as kids.

MotherReader said...

Answer time:

CBJames, YA Lit is totally included in the kidlit world. We just haven't been able to come up with a catchier term for Kid Lit Bloggers or Kidlitosphere.

Natasha - you don't have to be exclusive to kid lit. We'd love to have you be part of the conversation.

Andrea, you asked about voice mail comments for podcasts - cool with me. As for bonus points for branching out in your blog reading and commenting, we're not that complicated. But personally, I find it easier to spread my comments around among lots of blogs because I find I have more to say.

Bookbk - how about one thoughtful comment and two "I can't wait to read that!" a day? ;^)

For all the thanks and blogger-love - aw, shucks.

hollycupala said...

Thanks, Pam and Lee, for organizing this! And for getting everyone fired up to support each other. I know I would LOVE some comment love to buoy me through my November NANOWRIMO/Golden Coffee Cup goals. Finished first draft or bust! You both ROCK!

Melissa Wiley said...

Look at that! You got me to click through from Google Reader! I'll try to get back in the habit. :)

Sherry said...

OK your challenge sounds like a great idea. I'm in.

Melissa said...

I'm in. This is a great idea. (I've become really lax about commenting lately...)

gail said...

Pam--Do we get extra points for commenting at blogs that are more successful and high-toned than our own? Can we, like, take the rest of the day off?

This is, btw, comment four today.

Alyssa said...

I think this is a fab idea. Count me in on the process

shelburns said...

I'm so excited about this!

adrienne said...

Pam, I'm totally in. I've been trying hard to do this since you mentioned it at the conference, because I was missing that connectedness that I think used to be a lot easier to maintain in the olden days (you know, maybe two years ago) when there were fewer kidlit blogs. It's been great, though, to feel like I'm a little more up on my blogroll and tuned in to everything. Honestly, until you said something about it, I thought I was the only person who felt badly when no one commented on something I wrote, which, well, DUH. It was immensely comforting to know I am not alone in that, incidentally.

Karen said...

Count me in! What a great idea, and the perfect nudge to encourage me to comment more often. I so love it when Bill and I get comments. I will try to help do my part for others as well!

4 more to go!

Liz in Ink said...

So. I am absolutely in -- we forget, when READING blogs, how much it matters to people that we are reading. I will be a comment fiend. (Keeping track of them and being a good contest entrant, I can't guarantee. I'm sort of a rebellious student about things like that. But, I figure, that's gravy.) Moving on, right now, to read and comment...

Lindsay said...

Well...here's post number one... :)

Cloudscome said...

You know I am feeling so terribly overwhelmed right now I almost want to cry at this. I have two major papers and two projects in grad school and report cards due in the next three weeks as well as several new curriculum units to research & collaborate on with teachers. We also have new Smartboards in the labs which I have to learn to use and then teach others. I am afraid blogging is in the back seat.

That said, I am going to try to comment more than I have been, starting with you! :)

Three cheers for you doing this. Spread the love!

jone said...

I am hoping to do this. Must say am a little overwhelmed.

Cuppa Jolie said...

I LOVE this idea, Pam and Lee. But I'm already a day behind. Funny that this comes up. I just sent in an interview to another blogger late last night (I'll post the link on my blog hopefully later today) and credited you with giving this very advice...perfect timing!

Vivian said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I'm in.

Bridget said...

This is such a great idea! I'm so glad that you two became BFF's and are combining your super brain power.

Allison Fraclose said...

Great challenge idea! I have to admit, I usually stick to commenting on LJ only just because it's easier for me to check those blogs, but that's probably because I'm lazy. <^u^> This'll get me to look around at some of the other blogs I'm missing.

Christine said...

I'm going to give it a try. I know comments give my day a little lift and keep me motivated.

Michele Thornton said...

I'll bite...it's time to start a new habit...a good one for a change. Thanks MR!

kim baker said...

I'm a day late (sigh. Always.), but I still want to play!

jama said...

The incredible Carrie Jones says she's in!! She'll pop in as soon as technical difficulties are straightened out . . . :)

Kelly said...

Great challenge! I already have some author blogs that I check on daily...will expand to even more!

Little Willow said...

Hurrah for sharing the love and appreciation! I probably comment on an average of ten or twenty blogs a day, if not more. I'll continue to do so while you do the Challenge here. I am lucky to get one comment a day on my own blog.

Bibliovore said...

Okay, I'm in! Hopefully I can create a habit for myself!

caribookscoops said...

Hi there. I am new to book blogging and was tipped off by Natasha Maw. My sister and I started a blog not to long ago. Okay we started last month.

I am excited to get to know other kidlit blogs out there and didn't know where to start so I was glad to see this challenge, which I am starting right now.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Fifty comments?! I was tickled when I saw that. Way to go, MotherReader!

Sara said...

Look at this tsunami you've started! My goal is to comment places I haven't before. And to come up with a way to use the word Viagra in one of my posts...

Mary Lee said...

I'm in! I got started a day late, but I'll make up for it along the way. (This is #2 for today!!) This will make me stretch to new blogs, or ones I don't visit as often.

Cheryl Reif said...

Okay, you convinced me :). It's true--the occasional comment on my blog can make my day! It's time for me to let others know how much I appreciate their writing news and thoughts, too. ~Cheryl

Solvang Sherrie said...

What a great idea! This is post number three for me today, so two more before I get back to NaNo...

Sarah Laurenson said...

OK. I'm going to try and make 5 comments a day on blogs I have not yet visited. Not sure there are enough to do that every day, maybe every other.

Karen S. said...

Ooops! I am already a couple days late. Maybe I can get caught up this weekend.

D. said...

I'm in. God bless.
dina

Carol said...

I'm definitely in the lurker category about 90% of the time! ! I want to try this!

a. fortis said...

Oh man, why does the Comment Challenge have to be taking place during National Novel Writing Month?? I'm in, but I'll set myself a slightly lower goal of commenting on two blogs per day. I know; I'm a wuss.

Anonymous said...

My lj openuser won't let me comment here for some bizarre reason but I am in.

http://carriejones.livejournal.com/

I'm sorry I have to comment anonymously.

You guys are AMAZING. This is the best idea.

_Carrie Jones

Suzanne Casamento said...

Hi! I read about the challenger on Lee's blog. Fantastic idea. I'm thrilled to take part. Thank you both!

Erin said...

Ooh, I'll do this!

Sarah Rettger said...

I'm such a slacker - meant to say before this that I'm in too!

Ms. Yingling said...

It is good to visit new blogs, so I try to go through my favorite bloggers blog rolls-- I've started a few days late, but I will do my best to catch up!

Jill said...

I'm a few days behind, but I'm in. Thanks to you and Lee for this great challenge!

Steven at Book Dads said...

Hope it's not too late to join in.
Sounds like a great idea.

Dejah Leger said...

This is wonderful! I have only just begun realizing how important commenting is and how much community-building means to the blogging world. Please check out my site, too! I would love a comment!

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow! What a terrific idea. It actually gave me blog envy, because I don't currently have a blog! (I do have an author web site) I guess I'd better get a blog up and running by Nov 26th!

Janet said...

This is a brilliant idea and I accept the challenge--and will post a link later in the week on the PaperTigers blog so the contagion might spread a bit more...

taralazar said...

I'm in.

Off to read your many fine links.

Sheila Ruth said...

I can't commit to five comments a day, because I'm just so overloaded right now. But I am trying to comment more, and I'm slowly working my way through the back posts in my blog reader. Thanks so much for organizing this. It seems like everyone is so busy these days that we've lost some of the community spirit we used to have, and this seems like a great way to help bring it back.

Corey Schwartz said...

My new blog is up and running (albeit, very short at this point) It's only two days old so please come visit.

minerva66 said...

This is a great idea. I've looked around the community a bit, but not managed to really break into it. I've been trying more recently to comment and try new ideas. Can't imagine doing 5 a day, since I don't use the computer daily. But I will try to do 5 when I am on, and maybe go longer to make up for hearing about it late.

I did, BTW, hear about it by checking on ms. yingling, who had left a comment on my blog. She had a link to the challenge. Thank you.

rathacat said...

I've been doing this informally since Blog the Vote, so I figured I'd sign up. I'll just have to count up all the comments I left.
Luckily I set it up so that I get emails from the sites I comment on, so I just have to go back through my emails.

Kim Kasch said...

I love this! Way-to-go!!! And, I'm in. You can check out my blog here:
”Kim Kasch’s Blogspot”

Janet Brown said...

Although I'm not checking in, I am reading and commenting on five blogs a day--and truly enjoying it. We have a post about your challenge today on the PaperTigers Blog at papertigers.org
Janet