I found this great post by a member of my network and thought it would be very helpful for us.  Please read before coming to class and we will discuss it in person. I hope it will help us become more effective communicators.

Tips for Leaving a Good Blog Comment:

The best blogs are truly interactive—with users listening and responding to one another. They are super interesting digital conversations! Highly accomplished commenters are constantly thinking while interacting with others who are leaving comments. They come to the conversation with an open mind, willing to reconsider their own positions—and willing to challenge the notions of others.

Blog commenting requires users to develop the skills that active thinkers bring to any learning experience. Some of the best tips about active thinking have been developed over time by teachers like Kelly Gallagher and Matt Copeland—who have each written books about reading and writing in middle and high schools. They’ve also been developed by an organization called Project CRISS—Creating Independence through Student Owned Strategies.

The following tips for blog commenters are adapted from the collective work of Gallagher, Copeland and Project CRISS:

To be an active blog commenter, start by carefully working your way through the comments that have been left by others. While viewing the comments that have been added by other users, you should:

Gather facts:  Jot down things that are interesting and new to you.

Make Connections:  Relate and compare things you are hearing to things you already know

Ask Questions:  What about the comments that have already been made is confusing to you?  What don’t you understand?  How will you find the answer?  Remember that there will ALWAYS be questions in an active thinker’s mind.

Give Opinions:  Make judgments about what you are viewing and hearing.  Do you agree?  Do you disagree?  Like?  Dislike?  Do you support or oppose anything that you have heard or seen?  Why?

Use the following sentence starters to shape your thoughts and comments while viewing or participating in blog conversations. Comments based on these kinds of statements make blog conversations interactive and engaging.

  • This reminds me of…
  • This is similar to…
  • I wonder…
  • I realized…
  • I noticed…
  • You can relate this to…
  • I’d like to know…
  • I’m surprised that…
  • If I were ________, I would ______________
  • If __________ then ___________
  • Although it seems…
  • I’m not sure that…

While commenting, try to respond directly to other readers. Begin by quoting some part of the comment that you are responding to help other listeners know what it is that has caught your attention. Then, explain your own thinking in a few short sentences. Elaboration is important when you’re trying to make a point. Finally, finish your comment with a question that other listeners can reply to.

Questions help to keep digital conversations going!

When responding to another reader, don’t be afraid to disagree with something that they have said. Challenging the thinking of another reader will help them to reconsider their own thinking—and will force you to explain yours! Just be sure to disagree agreeably—impolite people are rarely influential.

If your thinking gets challenged by another reader in a blog conversation, don’t be offended. Listen to your peers, consider their positions and decide whether or not you agree with them. You might discover that they’ve got good ideas you hadn’t thought about. Either way, be sure to respond—let your challengers know how their ideas have influenced you.

(This post is also a test of our RSS connectivity. If you received this post in your RSS feeder, please stop by and leave a quick note informing me that you have read the post.  I am curious how long it takes from the time I post to the time you read.) 

11 Responses to “Commenting”

  1. Heard about this post on Twitter about 13 minutes ago. Posted it to grad class GoogleGroup – many of us are new bloggers. Back here to say thanks!

  2. Glad you liked the post, Jabiz. I found that since I started giving students specific templates and sentence starters for comments, the quality of their digital conversations have improved tremendously.

    What’s even better is that their comments—when done carefully—can become prewriting for future assignments. Consider the comments growing around this Voicethread:

    It’s good stuff….

  3. I’m leaving a comment to say I read the post.

  4. Come on Katie. How ironic that on a comment about commenting that is all you write? Use some of the tips he gave to practice leaving a comment. If this is not your cup of key check out the post about School Writing.

    Also, make sure that you leave your URL to your blog/website, so other people reading these comments can link to your blog if they are interested in what you have to say.

  5. I read the post. I noticed the interesting list of comment starters.

  6. Hi, I read this. Well, actually I always post a long comment^^
    Anyway, your tips that you posted, it doesn’t have to be like really like that right? We can put our own word right??

    O, also I always check my blog and my google reader. Since, I know about this stuff, I like it and I can’t sleep if I didn’t open my blog or my google reader. Hehehe

  7. Someone posted on Twitter Friday but I saved the link to bloglines to read when I had a minute. It really is amazing how we can share ideas throughout a network.

  8. I have read the comment. I also think this is true, so it can make the conversation more interesting.
    It would be cool if there were some links in a conversation.

  9. This post made me realize that I haven’t been following the tips at all! I will have to start doing that.

  10. Thanks Mr.R for the information I will take this post seriously so I can be a better commenter.

    From Dev

  11. Hey Mr.R,
    These are actually some nice tips for commenting, I hope to comment using these tips in the future. But i have to ask, does this effect our grade if we don’t use these tips?

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