105 Ways to Give a Book

Comment Challenge 2010: First Check-In

There is no obligation to comment for the Check-In, but it’s here as a way to share your experience and build our energy. I am so happy that Lee and I ran this challenge during National Delurking Week, because the goals are so aligned. So instead of giving a theme for delurking, today’s check-in for the Comment Challenge 2010 is a simple How’s it going for you?

Personally, I’ve been a notch over five comments a day this whole week. And it feels good to be back. You see, I generally do comment on blogs — or at least I do in long stretches. But with 2009 starting to wear on me, I found myself commenting less on blogs, and more on Facebook. Which in some ways was fine, because it kept up a connection. But really it was a bit of a cop-out to answer a status update with “true dat,” instead of taking some time to contribute my thoughts to an excellent blog post about the very nature of libraries at Tea Cozy. However, in my Clean Slate motto, I’m not holding onto guilt for the way I’ve commented before, but instead I’m moving on to interact with a new look toward building the community.

I’ve been thinking about commenting and what prevents us from using this easy tool to connect online. Time, for sure. It feels like an extra thing to do. We also lose time when we read a blog post more attentively, as we must to comment on it. Of course, in the time we lose we also gain an appreciation for the depth of the writing. Often a blog post doesn’t inspire us to contribute, and that’s okay. Not every bit of writing will resonate with every reader.

But I think a lot of our silence — especially for habitual lurkers — lies in our fear of writing something dull, dumb, or wrong. We know in conversation we occasionally say something dull, dumb, or wrong, but we can just go on like it never happened. It’s no big deal. But add the notion that our statements are written, and we get a little shy. Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter. This week I’ve written comments that are dull, dumb, and wrong and I survived. I talked about how much I loved a book — and got the name wrong at A Year of Reading. I went into a dull discussion of my use of italics with Madelyn Rosenberg. My Happy Book Day comment to Lee Wind sounded dumb to me after I posted it, but I’ll roll with it as I know that my sentiment — to congratulate Lee on publishing an e-book  — will certainly trump any awkward sentence structure.

You know how hard it is to get over the DDW’s? So hard that I’m a little embarrassed putting in links to my examples. Really. But I think that it’s important that I do show my own mini-mistakes because — here’s the payoff — they won’t be a big deal to you. We’re our own harshest critic. And if you blog and get comments yourself, you know that you don’t judge the commenters — unless they’re spammers, and that’s a totally different thing.

Anyway, back to the check-in: How’s commenting going for you so far?

70 comments:

EM said...

I confess -- I have not really been commenting. (Except here.) (But I didn't officially sign up either.) (So I guess I'm okay).

But selfishly, I am enjoying the new commenters on my blog! (Egotism WIN.)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I'm enjoying myself! Thank you so much for hosting. I've connected with several new bloggers who I've either found from your sign-up list or who found me there.

Happy commenting!

Madelyn said...

When I started this challenge I thought it was way hard. It was taking lots of time for me to feel like I had the feel of someone's blog and I thought I might buckle by Day 3. But somehow, as the week's gone on, it's gotten easier. I'm trying to visit all of the EXTREMELY WONDERFUL people who have visited me. I'm gone to some places on the web that I've wanted to go for a long time. I finally set up an account with Google Reader. So far, I'm on target with this five-a-day thing (if only I could do that with my vegetables). It's been a great boost for my blog, too, even though I know most of my visitors probably won't stick around after the challenge is over. It's kind of like the ending of Charlotte's Web, when all of Charlotte's children parachute out of the barnyard. But a few stay. And that's enough to make Wilbur very happy.

(P.S. I thought your comment about italics was funny!)

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I love this challenge. I'm really trying to comment more and I've found more people commenting on my blog that came over from the challenge. And I'm trying not just comment on my regular blogs, but on blogs I read but rarely comment on.

Wendy said...

I'm another who's loving the increased commenting on my blog from other comment challenge participants. I'm keeping up to speed and this comment puts me exactly 1/3 of the way there. Some days I'm finding it a little exhausting, and I couldn't keep this up forever, but it's a good exercise. I'm also keeping track of where I leave comments so I can go back and see if anyone else has commented on my comment, and I really appreciate when I hear back from the bloggers. I'm trying to respond to comments more often on my own blog. I don't know why I feel like no one really cares if I respond to their comments when I love it if someone responds to mine!

StableGranny said...

Because of the Challenge I've found great blogs and learned interesting things about books that are out and ones coming out. Thanks!
I only joined three days ago but I'm nearly up to = 5 a day

Rawley said...

I love, love, love this challenge! However, I am quite overwhelmed at the amount of fabulous blogs out there that I have yet to discover...

Kara said...

At first, the idea of writing 5 comments a day seems like a breeze. But for me, it's important to leave a comment that adds or offers other thoughts on a post.

I try not to pop in and be a "hey, great post" kind of commenter. The challenge is then finding posts that I have something to add to.

So right now I'm a little behind, but I'm still able to catch up if I just add one or two more to each day going forward. One thing I've found helpful is to add the sites to my Google reader and flag posts to go back and comment on. Also, visiting the sites of the people who have left comments for me has been a priority.

But if commenting weren't enough, I also need to make an effort to add new posts to my site so visiters have something new to comment on! It's been a lot of fun though and I'm enjoying the new blog discoveries.

Z-Kids said...

True dat, Mother Reader.

(Just kidding)

I love the comment challenge and am so glad you started it up again this year. I love connecting with new folks, and I know from last year's experience that I'll keep up the commenting habit long after the challenge is over. Thanks for the help!

- AZ

Carrie said...

It's going pretty good actually. I'm either right at 5 or a little over every day...checking out new places and new things.

I think for some it might not be a "dumb" comment that stops them - but the time it takes to click on a post, read it thoroughly enough to comment rationally and then actually comment.

Ok, so maybe that's MY reason. ;D

Sarah Rettger said...

Your italics comment was far from boring, Pam! (Also, did you see the press release yesterday about a font company that's developed a sarcasm mark? If not, I'll have to dig up the link.)

Lisa Nowak said...

Kudos for listing your "mistakes". :) You got it exactly right with your reason for why I comment less than I should. Usually when I have time for blog reading I'm tired, and I don't feel in full control of my brain. Authors and aspiring authors are lectured time and again over how important it is to present ourselves professionally. What if I make a completely bonehead move, like use "you're" when I mean "your"? I know the difference, but when I'm tired, sometimes the fingers have a mind of their own.

The blogging challenge has been going great for me. I've found a few new blogs to subscribe to, and I've had a lot of first time visitors to my own blog. My goal this week is to visit more new blogs, because when I'm short of time I tend to go the easy route, sticking with the places I know.

Angela Craft said...

Commenting is taking up a ton of time - not just finding posts to comment on and formulating a half-decent comment, but also responding to all of the new comments that are rolling in on my blog (which I LOVE). But it's all rewarded when the original blogger (or commenter, when they're commenting on my blog) comes back to continue the conversation. I don't expect a response to every single comment I make (I'm certainly not immune from making dull comments, and bloggers deserve time away from the keyboard, too!), but I find comment-threads are always much more lively when a discussion forms in them, rather than commenters just throwing in their 2 cents and then the comment never being acknowledged again. Knowing that lots of people are trying to spark those conversations lessens my inhibitions.

As for how I'm coming along on my goal, I'm doing close to 5 per day - I have 29 as of right now. On the Saturday of Bloggiesta I fell behind because I was so intent on making my blog look pretty I didn't look at many other people's! But then I made up for them on Sunday. Yesterday I only did three because I went to the KidLit Drink Night in NYC and pretty much collapsed when I got home!

Jaymie said...

I have been doing pretty well with the challenge and have found lots of blogs I want to follow on a regular basis. The "down side" is that my list of books I want to read is growing at an alarming pace. I would love to find a place where book bloggers could share
a) how they keep track of books they want to read, and
b) how they keep track of what they have read, what they thought of the book, and what they have blogged about. Anyone know of a place where bloggers are having/have had that conversation?

Erika said...

I have posted 5 a day every day except for the second day when I did 10 for the Bloggiesta mini challenge. I have added to my feed reader as a result of some of the blogs I have found. This is awesome.

Sarah N. said...

I'm really enjoying commenting and it's getting easier to stop worrying about how my comments sound the more comments I write. I've found lots of new blogs that I enjoy both from looking through the list of participants and checking out their blogs and from the new commenters on my own blog. So far, I've averaged more than 5 comments per day and I'm hoping I can keep making the time for comments.

pussreboots said...

I'm not officially signed up but I have been commenting more. I've seen more comments on my blog. I think some of that is from participating in more weekly memes.

Alyssa said...

So far I'm doing pretty well at commenting. Right at about 5 comments a day (sometimes only 4, sometimes 7ish). Here's to making the habit stick!

I've also noticed an influx of comments on my own blog, which is always really cool. I think we've had some great comment discussions the last few days.

Playing by the book said...

I'm a bit taken aback by how much I'm enjoying the comment challenge. Yes, there are some blogs which I won' be returning to, but there are others that I've discovered that are great, that I'm so glad I've found. And having visited over 100 blogs this week (no, I haven't commented on all, or even half of them!) has also given me new eyes for my own blog - from the visual impact, from seeing how people do things differently, what sort of thing other people blog about. So it's all good :-) Looking forward to more commenting this coming week!

Elisabeth Marie said...

is there seriously a National Delurking Week?

Hannah said...

The challenge has been great for me because it's helped me discover new blog AND brought me some new visitors, both of which have been lots of fun. Oh, and of course new books!

OTOH, it's also taking more time than I really have some days. So there is that. But I think I'll continue, just not hold myself to a strict number.

Margaret Ann Abrahams said...

I was a bit reluctant to participate - it's my first anything challenge - but I'm delighted I did. It's given me new insight into the kid lit blogosphere - there are some very clever blog concepts out there. And even though it's time-consuming, the process is actually valuable research.

the1stdaughter said...

This really has been wonderful! I've been visiting a lot of new sites and learning more about all the wonderful book lovers out there. It's also been so nice because I know that as a result of this I've been the recipient of some new great comments on my own site. Thanks so much to both you and Lee for hosting this!

beth said...

I've been commenting, a bit more than five a day (I don't keep score, but make sure I get five each day). I probably won't keep commenting this much after the challenge, because I feel most of my comments aren't really adding something.

But comments are fun to get, so that's a little, right? And it's not that hard to click through.

Peaceful Reader said...

You hit it right on the head...I quite often worry about not writing a comment that is inspiring, amazing or wonderful!! Often it is nice to just say hi in a simple way!

Becky said...

I think I've been commenting less since I officially signed up for the challenge. I do hope to do better for the rest of the challenge, but I have so not been meeting the five-a-day. I think you definitely hit on one reason why commenting can be intimidating. I know I have had oh-no-did-I-really-hit-publish woes.

Paige Y. said...

By the time I get home from work each day, I often think I can't form a coherent thought, much less comment on something intelligently. I have enjoyed the routine that the comment challenge has forced upon me, and I've explored a lot of new blogs.

Irene Latham said...

I've been pretty steady with the five a day, and I have tried to hit blogs I am not familiar with. I am just amazed by all the fabulous people in the blogosphere. I mean, seriously. Really great, interesting people. I want to know you all!

Kristi(e) said...

I've been keeping a list of every post I comment on each day in my Google Notebook, which has been helpful at reminding me if I met the mark each day. I have to tell you that last night when it was close to 2 AM and I saw that I hadn't commented on a single blog I almost sighed and went to bed. For whatever reason I didn't and ended up getting two new awesome blogs to read. That's really been my favorite part--the wonderful content I would have otherwise missed by only reading what was already in my reader. Now I've expanded my horizon and added more craft and cooking blogs to my list, along with tons of other kidlit sites.

Excellent challenge!

Jen Robinson said...

I did make it to five every day this week. Actually, I found that to get to five I pretty much always overshoot. Because I'll be commenting away, and then those last few items in my reader will turn out out to be equally comment-worthy. I'm at 45 for the 7 days.

It's also been nice receiving more comments - I've definitely noticed that. Some are from previous lurkers, who I hadn't heard from before, so that's extra-cool.

Thanks for doing this, Pam. I think it's been a huge success so far.

Shelf Elf said...

It's going swimmingly! I've found a whole lot of new blogs that I need to add to my blogroll, and I've stuck to my 6-comments-a-day goal.

Good times thus far. Thanks!

Kathy Martin said...

Does this count as one of today's comments? Seriously. I have enjoyed exploring new blogs and adding to the conversation at familiar blogs. I have always commented a lot on Sundays because I take part in the IMM meme hosted by The Story Siren. But now I'm really trying to comment more regularly.

The Brain Lair (KB) said...

I'm doing ok. I haven't really gotten over 5 per day though. I open five blogs whose headlines I like.

I am happy to be re-connecting with blogs I enjoy while discovering new bloggers who've stopped by because of the challenge.

I've been so out of touch that I forgot how personal it feels to really take the time to read, think about, and reply.

I love it. Thanks for offering me this "excuse" to be deliberate.

vanessa said...

I think that this comment challenge has made commenting on other people's blogs extra fun--I especially like having the list of participants in one handy place--I've found so many great new (previously unknown to me) blogs.

Abby said...

Doing well, doing well. So far, I've gotten over 5 comments a day in with the exception of one random day when I realized I had not commented at all! I must not have opened my reader on that day...

Like everyone else, not only have I been having fun commenting, but I've enjoyed "meeting" new-to-me bloggers who have visited my blog because of the challenge. It's truly been a community-building event and I just hope we can all keep up this camaraderie after the challenge is over!

Abby said...

Oh, I had another thought. One unexpected side-effect has been that I feel like the comment challenge has made me more conscious about writing blog posts that would inspire people to comment. I'm not necessarily saying that my blog posts have gotten wonderfully more thoughtful, but it's definitely something I'm trying to keep in mind more. I wonder if anyone else has felt that, too?

Bill said...

I've loved it! As far as the DDW I had to edit my W on your blog, how embarassing. The challenge has definitely introduced me to some new blogs and bloggers.

Marge Loch-Wouters said...

It's going well. I've made five or more a day and it feels like a darn fun time. Nice to have people stop by my blog which I sometimes get lazy about. Gives me extra inspiration to meet new bloggers and keep mine going!

Jill said...

I've had some time to find and comment on some GREAT blogs that I would have never run across if not for this "comment challenge".

Thanks!!

Kristen said...

I'm enjoying myself and getting a minimum of five in a day. (What can I say? I've always been the teacher's pet who does exactly as she was told.) It's been interesting for me because I don't have a kit lit blog, but a more general, eclectic type, so I am coming across many really nice blogs I never would have found if not for this challenge. And since I do happen to have three kids and do some reading with them (and a lot of recommending *to* them) finding info on books that might trip their triggers is a definite plus.

Booksnyc said...

This is going well - I did create a google doc to track whether I was commenting on 5 per day because I can wander from blog to blog and lose track of whether or not I actually comment. I would hope that over time, the practice of commenting would be a habit and tracking would be unnecessary.

I try to not to comment indiscriminately - if I read a post but don't have anything valuable to add or can't say something other than what has already been said, I refrain from commenting.

I love how many new people have come and commented on my blog - thanks!

Kara Schaff Dean said...

Well, I've done an abysmal job; if I count this comment, that's a mere 10 comments. Only two days worth strung over a week! However, I have commented on every blog I've read. So, the crime here is not that I don't comment, but that I don't read enough blogs! And I have been humbled by the people who have stopped by my own blog--shamed, even! And with ALA this weekend....well....expect another Mea Culpa next week. However, I do have a Saturday shift coming up before the end of this challenge, and a Google Reader full of subscriptions, so I hope to finish strong.

Caroline said...

This has been awesome! I've been averaging over five comments a day (except for Friday, the first day, but I've made up for that!) and have found so many great new blogs. I've also found it's made me be a better blogger, because now people might actually come by my blog!

MissAttitude said...

I like it! It's hard to do during the week when I have school, but I'll make up for it over the weekend. I thought National delurking Week was something you randomely made up (no offesne, this is my ddw comment) but I'm glad it's around and what a coincidence that it coincided with comment challenge!

Niki said...

I'm enjoying commenting and it makes it easier to comment when the post ends with a question. There's some great blogs out there. What I agonise over is what to write on my own blog. I'm forever deleting the dumb things I say! hehe

Niki said...

p.s I think the orchid thought it was dying so is probably why it burst out in flower. I kept forgetting to water it. It was bone dry, even the roots had shriveled :o)

Kristi(e) said...

For the record, I feel exactly the same way as Abby (re: using the CC2k10 as a reflection tool on my own blog posts). I haven't posted anything today and I've been thinking on and off what I should post and I can't think of anything worth commenting on. Very frustrating!

Lee Wind said...

Oh, MotherReader, I completely hear you. I posted a comment yesterday with a REALLY obvious typo (okay, a misspelling) that I would have caught had I slowed down, but I was all... I gotta keep going! I gotta keep commenting! (I'd link to it here but I honestly can't even remember which blog I goofed up on!)

I was feeling pressure to get it done, and maybe I could have slowed down and enjoyed it more. Commenting is supposed to be FUN, and rewarding, and satisfying.

So today, I'm taking a deep breath, trying to slow down a little, and at least proof-read my comments before hitting "publish!" (LOL!)

Thanks for keeping it real, and for being my "twin engine" on this amazing community-building event we've got going here!

Oh, and with this, I've done 6 comments today...

Hurray!

Namaste and a Hug,
Lee

Heather Hedin Singh said...

This has been so much fun! Thanks so much to you and Lee for sponsoring the challenge. I've enjoyed finding new blogs to read and been thrilled to have new readers find me.

Cheers to all!

Carmela Martino said...

I started with a bang--easily posting 5 comments a day the first few days. But my pace has slowed since then. I'm happy to have found a couple of new blogs that I like, and I'm thrilled at all the new commenters on our blog who say they found us through the challenge. Thanks again for coordinating this!

Sondy at Sonderbooks said...

I've been doing it 6 days and only have 25 comments so far, so slightly behind. But I'm loving it. The mini-challenge of 10 blogs new to you was a wonderful way to start. I've gotten way more comments on my own blog in this past week than ever before. I love it! I feel so much more part of a community.

NatalieSap said...

I started off great - 15 in two days! But I don't think I added enough blogs to my reader because I haven't found much to comment on these past couple days. I think I need to go on another blog-reading binge!

millymarie said...

I can only think of my comments sometimes as 'DoH' by the great Homer Simpson. I do believe your so right on that's why we hold back on our commenting.

For me this is a great exercise (mentally) and experience in learning and meeting new bloggers. My main goal though is just to have fun!

Kristi said...

I'm really enjoying this challenge. I'm maintaining a slightly more than five a day average, and I've met some great people and visited some great blogs I wouldn't have otherwise. I even found someone who shares my somewhat unusual name, and someone who lives very close to me geographically. Success all around!

Richard Hanks said...

I am loving this challenge, I am finding gret new blogs, and getting some wonderful and insightful comments on my own. I have to say this is the part that pleases me most.

I am making myself a little bit nervouse revealling a character traint, in that I have so far posted exactly five comments a day, not more, no less. It's just not right!

Off to find some new great posts!

Melissa Wiley said...

I got a name wrong on Year of Reading too! (Thanked Mary Lee for her award predictions--on Franki's post. Whoops!)

I'm keeping up pretty well, but it's definitely requiring an effort and commitment. I have been so blessed, though, by the thoughtful and interesting comments on my posts over the years and I am really trying to be better about giving back. I so appreciate the nudge the Challenge has given me.

jen-lehmann said...

I've been pretty hit or miss, unfortunately. Some days, I just haven't had the time to spend on blogs, and I haven't don't more than five comments on the days I did.

However, I have been commenting much more, and have noticed the return traffic on my blog, which is nice. I'll be trying to post more over there to deserve it! :-)

Melissa said...

Going well, actually. I missed Sunday, but I made up for it the rest of the week. I've not found many blogs I'm that interested in following, but I have popped by several new-to-me ones.

Thanks, as always, Pam.

Peggy Archer said...

I thought the check-in was today (Friday) but I guess it doesn't matter. This has been very good for me. One of my goals this year was to figure out how to link my blog to others out there for children's writers, etc. I've been keeping up with my 5 comments per day so far, and have come across some great stuff. I just have to learn to do it quicker!

Marg said...

I have never kept track of my comments before, and it turns out I don't have a problem commenting! I haven't done anything out of the ordinary. If anything I have done less blog hopping than normal, but I have managed 108 comments this week! Who knew!

Kelly said...

This challenge really motivates me to explore new blogs and comment. I am really making a concerted effort to visit old and new blogs. THANK YOU! I commented 74 times in the last week. Booyah! I know I won't continue commenting at that rate for the rest of the year, but I know for three weeks I will comment like a maniac and then continue to be a regular (yet not manic) commenter after the challenge is done.

Terry Doherty said...

I didn't set high expectations for commenting, and weekends are out, but I've been pretty steady. More importantly I have kept my commitment to find and comment on at least two new blogs each day. What a gret week!

a. fortis said...

I've been so happy to roam around and say hello to many of my blogosphere friends whom I haven't visited in a while due to holiday craziness, as well as commenting on blogs that I don't visit as often but wish I had the time to! I'm hoping to eventually expand that list to include some new blogs. The challenge has really reminded me how much I love hearing people's personal thoughts on books and on writing--it just gets hard to keep up the same pace all the time with blogging/commenting, and I totally suffer from the DDWs even when it comes to my own posts. So, getting the encouragement of other commenters has helped motivate me to blog more myself!

Thanks, Pam!

Rasco from RIF said...

I have been having a great time; the timing on the Challenge is perfect for me after the holiday period coming on the heels of the close of our fiscal year at RIF. This is proving a great way for me to get back into the swing. I have been amazed how easily I have been able to meet the five a day goal. As of last night I had commented 52 times, some of them part of ongoing discussions with new blogger friends. Thank you!

Brimful Curiosities said...

Some blogs allow you to preview and edit immediately before posting...I need to figure out how to set that up on my blog. I don't know how many times I've commented only to find a typo or completely idiotic phrase after I click that publish. Oh well, at least I took the time to comment.

So far I've been keeping up with at least 5 comments/day, sometimes more. I've discovered a couple new blogs, too, and added them to my reader.

Justine said...

Commenting is great! I'm actually doing a lot of commenting lately because of this challenge. I also comment back whenever someone comments. It's pretty fun. :)

Amber said...

I've been doing horrible! Mostly because when I get home I want to play Treasure Madness on Facebook then I hardly get back to the computer at night. This week will be much better since I have a chunk of time to visit other blogs on Monday.

Bibliovore said...

I guess I don't comment as much as I could because I always feel as if what I have to say has already been said, or thought, or is just so glaringly self-evident that readers will go, "What is she wasting bytes for?" Have to get over that!

I do agree with everyone who says the additional comments are good for the ego, and it's been fun finding new blogs.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I've made it a point with the challenge this year to seek out blogs beyond the ones I usually read. I'm pleased to say that I just left comment #100 a few minutes ago and I've found some new blogs that I plan to go back to. Thanks for helping me stretch!

dreadfulpenny said...

Unfortunately, attending Midwinter and the lack of internet in my hotel room has really got me behind... I started off super-strong and felt like this would be the easiest thing in the world, but, like anything else, having a backlog seems incredibly daunting. But I'm trying to make it up (since I hadn't cleaned out my GoogleReader either and have posts waiting to be read) and come out OK in the balance at the end.