Here are my thoughts from the last three days of the comment challenge.

Day 29: Write a Commenting Guide for Students
Many of the challenge participants work in the education world (‘edubloggers’ if you will) so a student-related topic is very appropriate.  The challenge focuses on the creation of an age-appropriate guide for commenters.  I don’t think I’m the target audience of this challenge, but I’d still like to get something out of it!

When I think about my blog and the comments/commenters here, a guide, per se, doesn’t seem as appropriate.  Perhaps a statement: “Be nice—everyone has a mother, and they may be one, too.”  At the end of the day, as much as I want to build community, trust, and openness on this blog through comments and conversations, I do want people to have respect for one another and remember that you may not really know who you are addressing (or offending) with a statement.

Day 30: How Can You Use What You’ve Learned about Commenting to Change Your Teaching Practices?
Again, this one doesn’t speak to me as directly as many others, but I’d like to twist it a bit to do so.  What have I learned about commenting that has changed my blogging?

I have continued to ask questions at the end of my posts, and I very much enjoy it when you all share your answers.  I think the biggest thing, though, is the questioning of my own practice of replying to comments personally in email instead of publicly on the blog.  That has changed how I reply here on this blog, and has also changed how I comment elsewhere – whether I expect a direct reply or not, etc.

Day 31: What Were Your Top 5 Lessons from the Comment Challenge?
Oh, gosh!  I don’t know that I have 5!  I’ll try:

  1. Ask questions, all the time.  Whether it is a blog or a comment, leave with another question.
  2. Answer questions.  I don’t think the point is to have THE answer, but to share your experiences.  The sharing of our ‘user stories’ with each other is where we find the most value in discussing successes and failures with nonprofit technology.
  3. Don’t be scared to leave the ‘community.’  I have really enjoyed and have done a lot more of reading outside of the normal community I find myself in.  Philanthropy, nonprofits, technology, etc. are all pretty standard but I have enjoyed reading ideas and stories from those writing blogs on education, marketing, and especially the ngo sector in the UK.
  4. Evaluate yourself.  This goes back to the comment response discussion.
  5. Brakes are okay!  Not just on bikes 🙂 But that it is okay to tend to other callings, than blogging and commenting!

I guess that’s it!  Thanks for following along with me – I hope you got something out of it as well.

Did you participate in any of the challenges?  If you were going to evaluate your commenting strategy, how would you classify it?  What would you change about it?

31-Day Comment Challenge: Wrap-up
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  • Congratulations Amy on finishing the Comment Challenge. I think the best aspect of these types of Challenge is that you get to interact with a wider range of individuals and do go outside of your normal community.

  • Hi there, congratulations on finishing the challenge. I just a few days behind. I think the main lesson is more of a re-enforcing – to value comments and always reply to people who leave comments.

  • Thanks, Sarah! I don’t see blogging as sending thoughts into the ether, but convening a conversation in a place where many different people can participate. Valuing comments and encouraging more is an important part of making that conversation successful. Thanks for your thoughts!