105 Ways to Give a Book

Comment Challenge Check-In

So how's the Comment Challenge going? Struggling for something to say? Well, maybe recognizing some common commenting barriers will help:

You’re setting the bar too high.
If you need a reality check, read the comments on any YouTube video or Yahoo article. These people don’t spend time concerned with whether their comment is “witty” or “insightful” or “makes sense.” Seriously, you are in the top ten percent of commenters merely by paying minimal attention to basic spelling and verb/noun agreement.

You’re over-thinking it.
We hear about social media and networking in terms of helping our writing/blogs/careers and start worrying about how comments figure in the process. Look, no one is getting a book deal from a comment. It's about connecting, engaging and getting out there. Relax.

You’re reading blog posts like articles.
This is understandable, because they are articles, but they are also conversations. A comment isn’t crafting a letter to the editor. It’s closer to your response after listening to someone excitedly tell you about this great novel they just read. You wouldn't walk away from that, right? What would you say? Okay, now say that but in a comment.

Now the comment section is yours for progress reports, lessons learned, and commenting insights so far. Don't forget that you can lend support to your fellow participants who you'll find listed at the Comment Challenge sign-up. Go to it!

28 comments:

Ms. Yingling said...

We should address somewhere that it's possible to moderate comments and not have people do Captchas. I am having more and more trouble with these, and it's caused me to give up on more than one occasion! Blogger is really good about sending things to spam, and I don't get so many comments that I can't keep up.

Mrs. Silverstein said...

I was doing ok, but used up my "day off" last weekend while traveling and I have two more busy, on-the-road weekends coming up. Then yesterday I participated in Road Trip Wednesday over at YA Highway--a blog carnival where all the participants blog in response to one question and share links to their responses. I think I left over fifteen comments on RTW posts alone! So if you're struggling to find posts to respond to, I recommend looking for a similar event and playing along!

Melissa Fox said...

I'm actually not doing too badly, all things considered. I'm still scanning posts rather than reading them, which means I'm not clicking through as much. It's my biggest fault, and one I need to work on. Maybe pick a couple to actually *read* and comment on a day.

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Thanks for this post--I'm not officially taking part in this challenge but hopefully it will prompt me to comment more regularly on other people's blogs.

Kristen Schwartz said...

This year seems easier than last, but these tips will help me keep up the pace. I seem to remember things getting tougher as the days went on. :) Thank you!

Debra said...

I'm certainly not keeping up with the 5 per day, but I knew going in that would be too much, so I'm feeling pretty good about the 1-2 per day on non-friends's blogs. And I've added a bunch more feeds to my reader which opens up the world a bit more.

Sylvia Liu said...

I'm on track so far, and enjoying discovering some excellent blogs. I agree with Ms. Yingling about the CAPTCHAS (in fact, I wrote a blog post once, Bloggers: Quit Using Captchas). Thanks for running this again this year!

Joanna said...

I'm up to date and enjoying, once again, discovering some great blogs. I always appreciate it when bloggers respond to comments.

Absolutely agree with comments about Captchas!

Thanks again for hosting.

Beth said...

My personal rule is that I'm counting the comment anyway if I fail the capcha three times. I haven't had to invoke it yet, but after that frustration is too much.

What's the deal with spam on comments? Has anyone ever sold anything by writing spam on random blogs?

Ali said...

I'm getting back to blogging after a lengthy hiatus, and without even knowing there was an official Comment Challenge I've been doing something similar. I'm off to sign up for the challenge!

Stacey said...

Loving the Comment Challenge this year! I'm not keeping a totally accurate count but I know I am certainly commenting more than usual which was my own goal! Thanks so much for hosting!

Charlotte said...

I am managing to make my five a day...although I do agree with Ms. Yingling that captchas can be a huge pain!

Jeanette W. Stickel said...

Thanks for the encouraging post. I'm having fun with this challenge and discovering a lot of great blogs in the process.

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

I agree with Miss Yingling. Captcha is really hard. It's very discouraging to try 2 or 3 times. We have comment moderation at Pen and Ink and no Captcha. Please, please consider it. I am keeping up. This is Susan at Pen and Ink. I've done 36 including this one.

Katrina said...

I'm loving this challenge! This is my first year participating, but I've really loved reading so many different blogs. I started a little late, so I'm trying to catch up, but so far so good.

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz said...

I love how your post talks back to those annoying little anti-comment voices whispering in my ear.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi there! We do have a system at GatheringBooks, and so far, we're right on track. :) We make sure that we keep track of the comments we write down to people and we have a running update post for this. Which reminds me... I haven't updated yesterday's and today's yet! Yikes! :) Thanks for hosting this again with Lee Wind.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

oopsie! i forgot to share the link for our running update just in case you might want to take a looksie. :)
http://gatheringbooks.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/comment-challenge-2013-a-running-update/

mary kinser said...

So far so good - I'm still trying to catch up since I started late. Really love that I am finding some new blogs through this challenge.

CS Perryess said...

Thanks for these reasonable reminders. I'm one of those people who is most comfortable at a party standing in the corner & watching. I truly appreciate witty party repartee, but I don't value the required niceties & chit chat. I think this party behavior is one of my challenges when it comes to comments on blogs. On my blog I love it when someone actually says something, but when they comment, "nice post," it seems vapid. I'm hoping your reminders will help me get over myself & simply accept that blogs are another world & the rules are different.

Madigan McGillicuddy said...

It's going! It's going in fits and starts. Some days I've been doing 5 comments, some days I've been doing 10, and other days I've been doing zero. I think it all averages out? I will say that I LOVE Comment Challenge. It's my favorite time of year as a blogger.

I have been getting a lot more spam this year - I still don't use CAPTCHA though. I just go through and moderate. The sneaky thing is spammers have started writing "insightful sounding" comments, such as, "I love your review. I really agree that 'pull quote from the review' You should check out my blog and see what I have to say about it!" And then there's a link - that goes to a Viagra site or somesuch. Ugh!

Lori Norman said...

This is my first year with the Comment Challenge and I'm delighted to be introduced to so many kid lit blogs. Nice to meet you all!
I missed two days so I'm gradually catching up with an extra one here and there.

Playing by the book said...

This is my 3rd year of doing the challenge and I'm delighted to say that (even if it is taking time!) my behaviour has clearly changed as I'm finding that most days I've already commented on 3 or 4 blogs without any effort but just part of my regular interaction. I'm also noticing that I comment much more on blogs to whom I've subscribed by email. Mini challenge: to comment on more new-to-me blogs!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Okay, I'm off to a... shall we say a walking, rather than flying start? I've made 21 comments so far (this is comment 22!) but sadly, that's nowhere near 5 a day, since this is day 12 of the challenge. But I shall comment on, and hopefully catch up to my goal! (Just to show you all that we're certainly human, too!)
best!
Lee

Perogyo said...

I have done my 5 a day so far- but feeling awful as I haven't replied to any of the great comments I am getting on my blog. If this is a conversation I am not holding up my end!

Michelle Cusolito said...

I missed the check-in because I was in DC for inauguration and off the internet. I was on track before I left but I'm behind now after 5 days away from social media. I knew this would happen when I signed up, so I planned to "catch up" this week.

Perogyo, I remember feeling that way last year. I forgot to allow time for responding to the up-tick in comments on my blog. This year I was ready for that.

Lee and Mother, it might be a good detail to remind people of before they sign up next year!

Michelle Cusolito said...

Thanks for the comments on CAPTCHA everyone. I hadn't thought that through. I just disabled it on my blog. If I start having a problem then I'll enable it again.