I’m slowly catching up on the comment challenge. I’d planned to do a bit more over the weekend. My husband and I went to the bookstore after lunch Saturday, then spent the rest of the afternoon in bed reading. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the time offline.
Day 13: Write a Blog Post Using Comments
Although the Telecommute Instructional Design Jobs
post wasn’t actually from a standard public comment, I still think it counts. (This came from my Ask A Question page, where readers can submit questions privately, but give me the right to republish.) After all, the point of this seems to be about interacting with the readers. The Ask A Question just gives them another way to do so.
Day 14: Turn Your Blog Over to Your Readers
I just did this one today, asking for help answering a reader question in Instructional Design Training Programs. This probably isn’t the most compelling question; maybe I’ll try this one again sometime. Usually when I post a really deep question to readers, it’s after I’ve already written a full post. I do ask questions for tips and help sometimes, and I’ve been very happy with the wonderful responses from the community. I don’t usually let go of control enough to let my readers write the post in the comments though, not at the level of Chris Brogan anyway.
Day 15: Give a Comment Award
I’m copping out of this one. I just can’t imagine picking one person out of all the wonderful commenters I have here. Thank you to everyone who has ever left a non-spammy comment on my blog.
Day 16: Go Back and Catch Up on Something
I’m only three days late on my catch-up day. Not bad, huh?
Day 17: Five in Five
I’m putting this one off for tonight; I’ll come back to it later.
Day 18: Analyze the Comments on Your Own Blog
I wrote up this task partly because I was interested in doing it myself.
Which of your posts have generated the most comments?
I’ve had nine posts which generated 10 comments or more:
|# of Comments
|Do Instructional Designers Really Need Technology Skills?
|Social Networking as LMS: Problems and Opportunities
|Technology Skills for Instructional Designers
|Diigo or Delicious for Beginners?
|Is instructional design the right career?
|Facebook as LMS?
|Atmosphere for Commenting
|First Experience with Usability Testing
Dates in the table above are American style (MM/DD/YY).
Which has generated the best conversation? (The last question is about quantity; this one is about quality.)
I loved the debate about whether instructional designers need technology skills or not. I am so happy that Cammy Bean came here and disagreed with me. First of all, it meant that I found another instructional designer and blogger who I’ve learned lots from over the last year. But the conversation was great because she was able to share a perspective and experience that were quite different from my own. Her initial comments led me to write two other posts, one of which is at the top of the list above. I’ve had other good conversations, but I still think this one was the best. It certainly was very eye-opening for me.
Are there any patterns to the commenting on your own blog? Do certain types of posts generate more comments than others?
I see a couple of trends:
- Three of these posts were from my series on instructional design careers in June 2007.
- My two posts about Facebook and other social networking sites as LMS (Learning Management Systems) were also popular.
- Two are about the tools I use: Diigo and Firefox.
- Posts that have gotten the most views aren’t necessarily the ones with the most discussion. For example, the post with the most comments has only gotten 500 views total. My all-time top post, Instructional Design Skills, is approaching 2000 views, but doesn’t have a single comment. That post gets lots of search engine traffic, hence a high number of views, but has never started a discussion.
Information about instructional design careers does seem to be a popular topic. In fact, that’s part of why I chose to do the posts on telecommute jobs and training programs; people are looking for this information.
The best discussions were posts where I took a stand on something a bit controversial: the need for technology skills and Facebook/social networking as LMS. When I can find that balance where I make a statement that not everyone agrees with but still make it open for people to discuss and debate, I get great conversations.
If you do see a pattern or commonality between posts that generate good comments, what can you do to increase those qualities in other posts?
Even after doing all this analysis, I’m not sure what to do to increase these qualities in other posts. Certainly, I’ll continue to write more about instructional design careers and just about instructional design in general. The topics that I’m passionate about are more likely to be interesting reads and therefore generate more comments.
Do you see a pattern in what generates good conversation, either on your own blog or here? What makes you not just comment once, but come back to comment again?