105 Ways to Give a Book

Comment Challenge: Final Check-In

We’ve reached the end of the Comment Challenge, but I think we all know by this point that it’s really the beginning.

(Technically, it’s also not really the end, since participants have all day on Wednesday to comment — and frankly, if people want to use the long weekend to catch up on their commenting, that’s really fine too. Back to the point.)

Starting today and running through Saturday, check in with your final tally of comments — a total or an average. You can even take some extra time to run through the list of Comment Challenge participants or WBBT interviews to bring up your numbers. Check in even if you didn’t average five a day or hit more than a hundred comments. I’ve been known to give random prizes just for playing along. Truly, it’s never really been about the numbers, but about using the target numbers as a way to discover commenting all over again.

Lee and I hope that by setting aside a period to be conscious of your commenting, you’ve gotten better at it. Reading blogs with the intent to comment lets you read with more focus. Commenting on a blog makes you feel more connected. Writing several comments a day makes them flow easier, so they become less work. As you keep it up, you may find more readers checking out your blog based on your comments.

What have you learned about your reading, time management, or blog focus? Are you seeing the kinds of posts that get the most comments? Does that change the way you will write? Did a daily schedule of five a day work for you, or were you more of a binge commenter? What worked best for you? How does this change the way you will blog, read, and comment? Feel free to answer in the comments, or write your own post about it and I’ll do a round-up on Sunday — perhaps with prize announcements.

Yes, we’ve reached the end of the Comment Challenge, but I do hope it is just the beginning.

38 comments:

Tricia said...

In the last six days I've commented only 23 times. I had a hard time keeping up the pace of the early days. My total for the challenge was 113! (Week one 43, week two 47)

Thanks for inspiring us to stay connected. I am going to work hard to drop a comment or two every day.

Melissa said...

I was doing really well until my life became overbearingly stressful last Friday. And I think I've actually looked at blogs maybe once or twice since then (you should see my feed reader). My final tally is probably around 80....

I learned that while I love blogging and staying connected with the wider reading world, sometimes my life gets in the way. And that's okay. I did find myself going to blogs I didn't usually, and commenting places I haven't before, and, yes, finding that I read closer and better other people's thoughts because of it.

Hopefully, I'll come out of my "shell", and be better at interacting with the blogging world I so enjoy.

Libby said...

I slowed down over the last week, too (hmm, Tricia and I are on the same schedule?) but I'm going to keep at it for another day or two, I think. I still haven't gotten my google reader numbers down to 0 for at least a week!

Vivian said...

Thanks for doing this! I've been commenting like crazy on new blogs, but have lost count. Definitely at least five a day.

I'm going to make more of an effort to leave comments for people.

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

Pam, Lee,
Thanks so much for all your work to herd us into commenting mode. I have really enjoyed exploring blogs new and old, and I hope to continue to do so -- thanks to you!

Have a happy Thanksgiving holiday

Sheila Ruth said...

I didn't participate in the challenge, and I haven't been keeping track, but I've been trying to comment more and I think I've been successful. I've also gotten caught up on the backlog of over 1000 posts in my blog reader! Thanks for providing such great motivation for us all to stay connected!

JenFW said...

I fell off the commenting wagon this week due to heavy workload. I haven't opened my aggregator for days.

This Challenge completely changed the way I think about comments, and I hope it will have a lasting effect. I continue to think that an annual booster shot might be useful for best long-term results.

My new goal is to visit the blog of each and every Comment Challenge participant before the end of the year.

Cheers, MotherReader and Lee!

TadMack said...

Okay, this doesn't feel like it was a month!!

I didn't check in during the middle check-in, because I wasn't doing this for a prize, but I did want to say that I surprised myself by going off and visiting quite a few new blogs, and by finding people visting mine who've obviously never been around before -- so that was really cool. I do think this is just the beginning, and thanks much for doing this.

jama said...

I enjoyed the challenge and am looking forward to checking out the entire list of participants. It was a good incentive to comment on blogs that had seemed intimidating before.

Reading new blogs is always a joy because one can learn so much about voice, content,etc. I am constantly looking for ways to make my own blog better; sometimes just defining what "better" means is tricky. But seeing what else is out there and being more open minded are good starting points.

My tally as of this morning is 177.

Thanks, Pam and Lee, for your great idea and all your efforts to enhance the kidlit community!!

Teacherninja said...

I'll have to dig through the index cards I was keeping track on, but I definitely hit at least 5 a day. I didn't take it seriously--just thought it would be fun--but ended up learning quite a bit. Thanks so much for doing this!

shelburns said...

Throughout the 3 weeks I managed to get in a total of 170 comments. I think part of that is due to the fact that I participate in Teaser Tuesdays and Poetry Friday where I visit many blogs and comment on their posts. Those days I usually had more. It has really helped me to be conscious of commenting because it lets those who are posting that people are out there reading. I have seen the traffic on my blog increase and commenting there is getting better, slowly. thanks so much for getting us started with this habit. I know it is one that I will continue; now I just won't be writing them down!

caribookscoops said...

I made 5 comments just about every day and sometimes 5+. I missed one day because I started a day late and then one Sunday I was sick so I only got three in. But based on my records I made at least 110 comments.

This has been a good experience for me especially being a newby to book bloging. Sometimes it was a bit overwelming, especially when life happens, sick kids, sick mom and other stuff. But I have learned a lot and definitely plan to keep on commenting. It's been fun to see all the blogs out there, get some new ideas and to have people visit my blog. It did get easier as I went. I liked it the best when a post would ask a question - seemed to make it easier to make a comment. Very glad I did this!

Abby said...

Okay, so I don't know my total because I kept my count on a little notepad beside my computer... which is now 327 miles away because I am home for Thanksgiving. So.. yeah. But I am pretty sure I averaged about 5 a day. I am definitely a binge commenter and most days I would comment between 7 and 10 times, but there are also days that I skipped (especially recently because NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close... eep!).

I'm really glad I took part in this challenge because it really did help me realize how I read blogs. And it's definitely been fun adding to the discussion and seeing what others have to say.

MotherReader said...

All right, I'm calling it for me with 150 comments, average 7 a day. I found that I am more of a binge commenter. I'd rather skip blog-reading for a day or two, and then devote a chunk of time to it and leave like ten comments.

I've been aware of this level of balance for a while, but what tends to happen to me is two days of not reading turn into 3..4..5... and then it's hard to catch-up or feel relevant reading or commenting.

The thing the challenge did for me personally, was to force me to get myself back on track if I was off blogs for a day or two. I also finally used Google Reader, but only to keep track of the participants. I figured that these are the people that care the most about comments, so I can return the love. That doesn't mean I feel the need to comment on every blog or certainly not every post, but using the reader puts commenting in the front of my mind.

Lee Wind said...

Ooh, not the END but the BEGINNING...

I like the sound of that!

It's also great to read about all the commenters over here who participated - some impressive totals!

And most of all, a new habit and a new perspective on commenting as a way of BEING part of this community for all of us!

Thanks Mother Reader! What a joy to make this happen with you - it made my November much sunnier!

Namaste and a HUG,

Lee

Z-Kids said...

109 posted comments as of yesterday...

Timing of this challenge was sublime... It kicked off two days after we launched our family review blog - and without it there's no way we would have seen the kind of traffic we did. Thanks much for starting it! And nice to meet so many of you!

We also discovered many other wonderful sites, sites we'll continue to visit and comment on. It's been a great experience all around...

Z-Dad

Els Kushner said...

I have been a pathetic comment challenge participant, but I'm glad to have tried anyway-- maybe next time I'll get more up to speed. And I really liked the encouraging posts you've written about this; they've made me think about commenting in a different way (even if I mostly didn't act on it this time around).

Cuppa Jolie said...

I agree! It is the beginning. I have to admit, I was horrible at tracking the number of comments made. But I know it's the beginning of new friendships made and more to come. Thank you!

Ms. Yingling said...

Even though I didn't get near a computer every day, I tried to average it out, and ended up with 120 comments. This really did increase the number of comments on my blog! Tried to get as many new and different sites as I could, and it was helpful to see different layouts, books, and posting styles. Found a lot of new YA sites, so will have to update my blog roll. Thanks for another great challenge!

Kelly said...

I made a conscious effort to comment 5-10 times a day, a few days less than that. My total comes to 146! Thanks for doing this, I discovered some great blogs!

Sarah Rettger said...

I ended up with 56 comments, which is about 50 more than I normally would have made over three weeks. Now I just have to keep it up! (Kind of like my exercise bike.)

Teacherninja said...

Ended up with 123 comments that I actually wrote down, but I think it may have been more. I really got into it after awhile and it has focused me on the importance of doing it. No matter what your traffic numbers are, it always means more to get a comment. I'll be keeping that in mind and keep trying to comment more. I also liked how it started discussions on "keeping a balance" and how we read blogs. It was a great experience, thanks so much.

Mary Lee said...

Not having internet access at NCTE killed me. I was trucking along with an average of just about 5 a day, but I only made it to 78 total because I missed the last 5 days.

I think I'll try to continue, but shoot for 3 a day. I liked being caught up on blog reading almost as much as sending and receiving comments!

I kept track on a virtual sticky note on my computer desktop.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I started late, but I still made 101 comments. I'm so glad that I participated. I was always scared to comment on blogs before this. I thought only people who knew each other commented to each other. This has been an eye-opening experience and I've met some amazing new people. Thanks for the inspiration!

Saints and Spinners said...

Thanks for all your encouragement, MotherReader. While I've not participated officially, I have made more of an effort to let people know I'm reading their blogs. I go in spurts-- one day I'll write 10 comments, another day 5, another day none.

Little Willow said...

I didn't count my comments, but I never intended to keep track - I only wanted to reach out.

The number of comments I post has always been quite a bit higher than the number of comments I receive. Look at my LiveJournal stats alone:

9,705 comments received
19,639 comments posted

That only counts LJ comments, not blogspot, MySpace, or otherwhere. Can you imagine if it did?

I talk. I communicate. I listen and respond. I share my opinion. It's what I do.

I crave feedback. I don't get a lot.

Michele Thornton said...

I think I ended up making less than 100 comments, but that was a 100% improvement. And, I found a lot of new bloggers that I'll follow now...except when I'm writing, in which case I now have to shut all Internet windows to get any work done!

And I loved getting comments on my site from new friends..it definitely helps keep the blogging juices flowing. Thanks guys, for hosting the challenge!

Jen Robinson said...

I ended up with 130 during the challenge time period. I started out strong, but I only had 4 comments during the whole last week. That's because I took some time off from the computer, though. Today I was reading blogs from the past few days, and even without feeling like I was still doing the challenge, I found myself commenting more (and ended up with 5 comments just from general blog reading). So, I do think it will stick, in terms of commenting more, even though the "have to do 5 every day" concept got a little wearing for me.

My comments received have definitely been higher, too. Thanks!!

Kim Baise said...

My sister and I got off to a late start but between the 2 of us we counted 120 comments. I really enjoyed making some new friends and I also found some wonderful blogs that I will follow. We especially loved receiving comments and watching the traffic on our blog increase.
What a wonderful community we have and a great experience this has been. Let's keep comments a habit!

holly cupala said...

This was a great way to stay connected in a month that I otherwise would have felt pretty isolated - plus, I ended up being far more productive because Jolie, Kim, Vivian, Jaime, and others spurred me on and cracked the whip - ended up writing 30K on my WIP, which is more than I've ever written in one month in my life (including grad school). Thank you for inspiring us to be connected in a tangible, encouraging way.

mama reads! said...

Yes, for me it is a beginning. I know now that I don't want to just be a silent lurker on other's blog-it is great to get comments so the flip side it to comment for others and not just "lurk".

Libby said...

Well, I didn't make it to anywhere near 5 a day, but I did increase my commenting a whole lot. In the end I think I had about 79 comments, which is at least 50 more than I'd usually have done in that period. And I've found some new blogs, and some new blogs found me, so that was exciting, too. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

adrienne said...

I know I'm fully past deadline here, but I want to report in anyway. I loved this challenge.

Of course, I realized to my HORROR that somehow my week two challenge report didn't post. I did write one. Something about the computer system at work is making posting comments to blogs a nightmare (I can only assume this is because the computer system hates me), so I'm blaming that. Anyway, I'll repost (good thing I saved my post-its):

Week One: 33 comments
Week Two: 34 comments
Week Three: 27 comments
Total comments: 94 comments

I was SO CLOSE to my goal. I would have made my time up on Wednesday except for the part where I spent the entire day cooking to get ready for Thanksgiving. Still, it feels like an accomplishment, and I think I'm in a better commenting habit. So YAY to that. Thanks for doing this, Pam and Lee!

kim baker said...

I was doing really well. Then my parents came to visit around the middle of the month, and I went down in a big ball of flames. The rest of the month just zipped by.

I didn't keep very good track, but I am a lot more comfortable commenting now. It IS only the beginning!

Steven at Book Dads said...

Ok, I joined a little late and slacked off some toward the end. I probably did roughly 50 comments.

The good thing is I am still trying to do 4 or 5 every couple of days and will be able to sustain that amount.

Charlotte said...

I am as certain that I commented more than 100 times, because I tried to do five a day, and some days I did more, to make up for the days on which I did less!

Thanks so much for organizing this!

jone said...

I was at about 100 over the time and have been bad this week with commenting.

Melissa said...

Thank you, thank you for the extra five days! I managed to hop back on the wagon and reached my goal of 100 (+ actually). When life's not so nuts, it's easier to blog... :)