105 Ways to Give a Book

Comment Challenge: Questions & Answers

When my dishwasher needs to be emptied, it always seems to happen when I don’t have the time to deal with it. So, one day I timed the unloading process. Four minutes. I was groaning and letting dishes stack up because I didn’t think I had four minutes. Now I try to keep that experiment in mind so I can enjoy the reward of clean dishes in the cabinets and dirty dishes off the counter. What a concept.

That’s kind of what commenting is like. We don’t think we have the time to do it, and we build it up to be more involved than it really is. But when we make the effort we’re rewarded with a feeling of connection and perhaps increased comments back on our own site. Also like my dishwasher story, we have to keep reminding ourselves of this fact over and over again.

We’re hoping that the Comment Challenge can help our fantastic community to take the time and reap the rewards. Basically, we’re taking the much-noted twenty-one days to form a new habit, running the Comment Challenge from Thursday, November 6, through Wednesday, November 26, 2008. The goal is to comment on at least five kidlitosphere blogs a day. We’ll keep track of our numbers, report in on Wednesdays for support, and have prizes awarded at random to bloggers who’ve passed the 100 Comment Mark. Here are some questions I’ve received and my answers.

Where do I sign up?

Sign up at the original post, either here at MotherReader or with Lee Wind, my co-conspirator.

Is it too late to start?

No. You can either up your number of comments per day if you want to make the 100 Comment mark, or you can set your own goal and join us for the support and camaraderie.

Does Young Adult blogging count as kidlitosphere?

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

Do you have to be an exclusive kid lit blogger?

No, you don’t have to be exclusive to kid lit. We’re only pushing the Comment Challenge within the kidlitosphere to boost the energy among our own. We don’t want the knitting blogs to get the fruits of our commenting labor.

Do the k7-line (i.e., voice-mail) comments count toward the comment score?

I don’t know what the k7-line even means, but voice-mail makes sense to me, so sure.

Are there bonus points for branching out in your blog reading and commenting?

That’s giving Lee and me far more credit for tracking this thing than we deserve. So, uh... no. But personally, I find it easier to spread my comments around among lots of blogs because I find I have more to say.

Five comments a day! How can I do that?

Feel free to set your own goal. Maybe start smaller and build up. Maybe aim for one thoughtful comment and two “I can’t wait to read that!” comments a day.

Why isn’t anyone coming back to my blog?

Make sure that your profile links back to your blog. I’ve often tried to follow comments on my own blog back to the writer only to find that the profile is blocked.

Is there a special tracking system?

Well, mine is a Post-It note. We’re on the honor system here, so track your own comments however you see fit. However, I don’t recommend tattoos.

What are the prizes?

I’m working on it. If you have something special you’d like to donate — signed books, original art, crafty ventures — send me an email.

Do we get extra points for commenting at blogs that are more successful and high-toned than our own?

Only if you consider mine more successful and high-toned than your own. Otherwise, no. (Kidding.)

How is it that you and Lee are so awesome?

Aw, thanks. We think it happened at the Portland KidLit Conference when we touched fists and activated our separated-at-birth Wonder Twin powers.


Anonymous said...

You and Lee rock. I am using the post-it as well to record the number of comments.

Anonymous said...

"I don't recommend tatoos" that's funny. My tracking sheet is a piece of stratch paper. That is I don't type and put in the computer is in serious danger of being lost. (I tend to misplace lots of things - it's a talent or so says my husband).

Anonymous said...

If you and Lee are the Wonder Twins, who is the Space Monkey?

Tricia said...

I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one using the post-it method, though I did start the challenge making tally marks on my hand! (That was hard to explain since I'm always telling the 7-year old to stop writing on himself.)

Libby said...

I second (or third) the post-it note technique. Though I left my post-it in the office over the weekend...

Would an ARC or two be appropriate prizes? I am pretty sure I have some to share.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Pam, This Q & A post is funny and informative - kind of like YOU!

Thanks for reminding folks that they can still catch up if they've fallen behind...

I didn't comment AT ALL this weekend, so I'm shifting into hyper-drive today to make up for it!

"Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!
Form of "Ice-Computer-Typing-Fast-Man!"


Anonymous said...

I have no idea what a k7-line is, either. I tried to look it up, but wikipedia failed me and Google gave me this:


Which is kind of cool, but also seems not right.

Z-Kids said...

We love all the comments we've been getting -- we're happy to be meeting so many of you! Thanks everyone!

Shelly B said...

I am doing this faithfully everyday since I joined the challenge. I am just not feeling the love on my end...though I know that's not what it's about. I have the KidLitosphere widget on my blog to keep up with posts, but is there somewhere we can get a list of who is participating so we don't leave anyone out?

shelcows AT gmail DOT com

MotherReader said...

Ah, a new question.

Shelburns, I've thought about doing a list of participants and I still may. Stat tuned. In terms of comments on your own blog, it can take time. The idea is that bloggers will see you commenting, follow your profile, check out your blog, and perhaps comment there. When I talked about this topic in terms of building your blog, my sense was that people gave up too fast on this approach - that it is keeping up a presence that makes people look twice.

Personally, I've been trying to get to all the blogs that have signed up, but I haven't made it so far.

Karen said...

No tatoos for tracking -- I sure wish you had let me know that sooner! I'll be ok after a few laser removal procedures!!

Seriously, this has been a lot of fun!!

Anonymous said...

I think this needs to be an annual Challenge. While I hope we all develop commenting habits, I'm also using the opportunity to get out and about more, explore, discover. It's fun! I've added several new blogs to my aggregator (may I call it an alligator, please?) and more books to my recommended reading list. It's an intensive 3-week course in What's Out There.

Good one, MR and Lee.

Bibliovore said...


This was a great idea! I already feel more like I'm having a conversation on my blog (and others) than chucking stuff into the aether and hoping it hits somebody. Hopefully we'll all form a commenting habit.

Bibliovore said...

Forgot to say . . . I think the K7 line refers to the Just One More Book!! podcast, where they feature Actual Listener Calls. Maybe K7 is the service they use? Maybe it's kindergarten thru 7th grade? I dunno.

Anonymous said...

I am commenting again based on an email I received today. It was brought to my attention that maybe I'm not feeling the love b/c of the blogs on my blogger account. I have a family blog that I don't post much to...2shoesranch, and then Write for a Reader, that is not developed. We are in the process of moving it from Edublogs to Wordpress, so the start is there, but it's not current. Please see me here. I am having fun with this and learning so much about others and their blogs!

Charlotte said...

I am finding that the hardest part is keeping track of the number of comments I've left! Not that it's that high, but just spread out through the day at various places. The only thing I know is that I do at least 5 a day.

It's been great to see people commenting on my blog whom I've never seen before. Thanks, Pam and Lee!

holly cupala said...

A trick from a former techie - keep track of your posts in an email draft to yourself, which you can then forward to Lee and Pam on Wednesdays (are my type-A panties showing??).

One of the best things about this is discovering new blogs - Shel, I think I stopped by your writing blog! I come here to find out who's out there.

Lee, whew, I feel so much better knowing you missed the w-end. I skip Sundays b/c that's my Shabbat and am making up for it other days.