Like many others, I’m participating in the 31-Day Comment Challenge. The first task is a commenting self-audit.
How often do you comment on other blogs during a typical week?
Looking at my tracked comments & conversations, I’ve tracked 147 comments since I started using co.mments last August. That works out to about 4 comment conversations per week, or a little more than 1 every other day. That number doesn’t include conversations where I comment more than once though, so it’s probably a little higher than that.
Do you track your blog comments? How? What do you do with your tracking?
Obviously, yes, I track my comments. There’s no way I’d comment as much as I do if I wasn’t tracking them. Before I knew there were such tools, I really didn’t comment much because I never remembered to go back to the sites and see the responses. With tracking and an RSS feed, I can keep track of it all much more easily.
Do you tend to comment at the same blogs or do you try to comment on at least one new blog per week?
I do tend to comment on a lot of the same blogs over time. That commenting helps build and maintain relationships with other bloggers, so I do see value in that. I don’t have a set goal about commenting on new blogs, but I do try to check out new blogs, especially when they link to me. If someone links to me, I try to go at least thank them for the link, even if I don’t leave a substantive comment.
The second part of this task is looking at the suggestions in Gina Trapani’s guide to comments. I’ve broken all of those at one point or another, but I think I actually do pretty well usually. I can certainly work on being more succinct in both my comments and posts though. For example, this comment I left on our team blog for work was absurdly long. Normally I’d move something that long into a post instead of a comment, but we have a set posting schedule and topics for that blog.
As a whole, I think I’m about average for my commenting. I comment pretty regularly. I gravitate towards certain blogs where I comment more regularly, but I try to branch out. I consider myself a decent online citizen, and I think I’ve been able to disagree with people without being too disagreeable. I can do more to reach out to new blogs and to really make sure I’m adding value to the conversation when I do. I’ve been trying to do more to interact with other commenters and not just the blog author, but I’m sure I can do better in that area too.
More than anything else, what I’m hoping to get out of this challenge is just becoming more aware of my commenting. Much of it just happens out of habit for me, so I hope that a bit of self-examination will help me be more deliberate and thoughtful of what I’m doing.