Thursday, May 1, 2008

31 Day Comment Challenge - Day 1

Okay, so I'm a haphazzard blogger at best. Truthfully, I find it difficult to find time to blog, but when something "hits" me, I try to post it right away or it simply won't happen. However, what I have been worse at is commenting. So, when the 31 Day comment challenge was born, I decided to try and participate. I hold no illusions that I'll actually win anything, but if I can at least be more consciencious about commenting, then I'll feel as though I have accomplished something.

Day 1: Do a Commenting Self-Audit

1. How often do you comment on other blogs during a typical week?
A week, more like a month. I would say perhaps 2-3 times?

2. Do you track your blog comments? How? What do you do with your tracking?
No, I don't. I don't believe I saw the purpose of it.

3. Do you tend to comment at the same blogs or do you try to comment on at least one new blog per week?
I don't make a consciencious effort to comment, period. I also don't find myself commenting on the same blogs when I do leave my thoughts though. It all depends on the topic.

Part II: Okay, after reading Gina Trapani's Guide to Blog Comments, I decided to comment briefly on each of the areas.

Stay on topic. - Yep, I do that.

Contribute new information to the discussion. - I believe that I try to do that. Sometimes I find that I come late to a post and so many others have already commented and contributed so much that I find it difficult to say something that someone else hasn't already. Often times, it leads me to not comment at all because I don't want to feel as though I'm simply echoing another person.

Don't comment for the sake of commenting. - Like I said, I try not to do this. However, if a post is just one where they've brought a new site to my attention, there isn't a whole lot to say at times. So, in those situations, I try to at least comment on how I might use that site.

Know when to comment and when to e-mail. - I've caught myself in situations such as this and have backed out of commenting because of it. So, I guess when it comes to making these decisions I'm competent.

Remember that nobody likes a know-it-all. - LOL! That wouldn't be me! Everyone else is far smarter as far as I'm concerned. Although, I've had to deal with them. I know what it feels like to be subjected to this type of person/comment and I'm not the type to preach on someone else's blog!

Make the tone of your message clear. - Given that I'm an angsty type of person who tends to bite my nails before hitting publish. I hope that's not an issue that I have.

Own your own comment - I always do.

Be succint - I'm not the type to foam at the mouth, so no worries there. Although I have caught myself needing to trim things back in a comment if I get worked up :)

Be courteous - Always.

Don't post when you're angry, upset, drunk or emotional. - This made me laugh - drunk? I don't think so. I think I may have posted something on my own blog once when I was angry, but I toned it down before actually publishing it. Never commented like that though.

Do not feed or tease the trolls. - I'm allergic to them so I do my best to stear clear.

We'll see how well I do with this. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Technorati - comment08


Sue Waters said...

Welcome to the Challenge Caroline! You've definitely done a very honest appraisal of both your blogging and commenting practices. Most of us in the 31 Day Blogging Project ultimately weren't out to win or beat anyone other than ourselves. It will be interesting if we see this aspect again.

Caroline OBannon said...

Thank you Sue! From my perspective, I see myself as a somewhat competitive person, but this time I'm taking a different approach to it. More from a self-improvement angle. So far, I have been more aware of my Google Reader, making sure I check it daily whereas I used to let it go for days and days - not good. Like my mother used to say, eat a little at a time, not all at once or you'll make yourself sick and you'll never enjoy it. I think I should treat my reader and commenting like that, too.

Andrea Hernandez said...

rom one haphazard blogger/commenter to another...hello. One reason I have joined the comment challenge is to maybe make blogging and commenting more of a habit. I love it and learn so much from it, but I've not been able to figure out the balancing act of blogging, reading, commenting and then moving on (the moving on is the part I'm not good at. oh, and the commenting, but getting better at that).

I like the look of your blog. Can I ask what template you use? I haven't seen many three column blogs on blogger.

Caroline OBannon said...

I'm right there with you. It's difficult to find a balance when, if you're like me, feel so overwhelmed by the massive amounts of information that are published daily. I find that I often don't comment because I can't find something useful to say at that moment, so I do move on. What I'm trying to do now is draft something in Word so I don't feel pressured by that comment box to post. I think that will help for me personally.

As for my template. I searched and searched for them on the Internet, but even this one needed some tweaking. After many mistakes, I came up with this layout more by happenstance than anything else. I am by no means a programmer. If you'd like a copy of it to try out, email me cobannon (at)