Monday, December 27, 2010

Leaving Quality Comments

qualityIn My New Year Resolution: More Quality Comments from Sabrina's Weblog by sabridv, Sabrina states,

“Comments are what separates a blog from a static website. As we write quality comments the conversation builds, and so does our relationship with the writer and the other people commenting. As a result, our PLN gets bigger and with stronger links. Apart from that, as links to other blogs and websites can be left in the comment section, we can also encounter new blogs to read, like-minded bloggers, and new post ideas.”

When I have my students blogging, I also require them to comment on at least 3 other blogs that week. But I’m not sure that I have explained “quality comments” and that is something that I need to do.

I have been getting a lot of spam comments which is why I moderate my comments. So many times I get a comment like “Good information. Thanks for sharing.” And then they leave a link to their commercial site. I’ve started to delete those comments because I feel they just want some free advertising. Their comment really doesn’t add anything to the post but the main thing is the link to their site. If they just left that comment without the link, I would probably publish it. But is that selfishness on my part?

As a practice, when I comment I try to do two things:

1. Write whether I agree/disagree

2. Explain why I feel this way.

I think both of these together are necessary to keep the conversation going. If I have a link to information that supports my position, I will add that to my comment also.

Too many times in class, my students want to just give their opinion but they don’t want to explain it. I’m not sure that shows they really understand the concept of what I’m teaching.

If they just write whether they agree or disagree with a post, I’m not sure they really read it or just writing this to fulfill the comment requirement of my course.

I also love when the comments created a conversation. This helps my students see the value of blogging and commenting.

I have to confess that sometimes I write a blog post to stir my students up and create a conversation. I feel like I’m going fishing and trying to hook the fish’s mouth. If a conversation gets started, I know I’ve caught the fish!

What do you think makes up a quality comment? Please share!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'Quality' by: Morten Wulff


Nick James said...

When my students have live discussions with one another, I tell them their comments must "change or enhance" the way the other students thinks about what they wrote. More specifically, they are not allowed to write "I agree" or "I disagree". They've done a pretty good job of following up with an explanation about why they think a certain way.

And as for the spamming, I think it's entirely justified to moderate comments. My blog isn't monetized by choice, but that doesn't mean I want other people making money off of it.

Perfecting Parenthood said...

I really like the discussion-style comment threads. I love to comment, but only if I have something to add.

I read somewhere that you have maybe over 90% "lurkers" and only a few people who will comment. I recently started up a new blog about parenting my young kids, and I hope one day to get a comment from a stranger :)

Anyway, I like and folllow your blog. I've commented before under my wife's URL for nucleuslearning, her education blog.

Alan said...

It's far from selfish to delete link insertion spam; the vast majority are not true comments at all but the result of automated bots that attempt to insert the same comment/link in as many sites as possible.

I am relentless in deleting fishy comments. Since I wrote the post it is easy to determine if it is relevant.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Good information. Thanks for sharing. (Just kidding.)

Good comments, in my opinion, get ME thinking. Sometimes they cause me to delve deeper into whatever I posted about. Sometimes they even inspire another post.

Good comments, if detailed, also validate that I've written something that was truly read.

Anthony Purcell said...

First of all, reading your post and then not commenting. . . .well, it kind of defeats the purpose. haha

I really enjoyed what you said. It made me think about the blogs that I post and the ones that I read. I follow many blogs to help me think about things, but I don't always comment. Now that I think about it, it's like when you talk to someone and they sit there with a blank face and you wonder, are they really listening?

I guess what I'm saying is that leaving a comment on a blog post is important. It's letting the writer know that what they had to say was really important. I have many posts that have no comments. Once in awhile that's fine, but if you never get comments, then what does that say?

I really enjoyed your thoughts. I'm going to do better myself. Here's to 2011, the year of the comments!

loonyhiker said...

Thanks everyone for your quality comments!! I feel better about deleting the spammers now. At first my hubby thought that moderating comments would make people think that I wouldn't share the comments of people who disagree with me as well as the positive but I only delete the spammers. I think the ones that don't agree are just as important as the ones that do agree. And they might convince me to change my opinion, or at least consider the other point of view.

Mister Teacher said...

Yep, the posts that say, "Thanks you for posting this. Great is your writing, and this help me lot!" with a link to online paper -- are quite annoying. I see no stigma whatsoever in deleting them with extreme prejudice.

john in nc said...

Pat - I think you've broken the ice on an important topic - how can we prepare students to participate in civil, substantive discourse in a world where a lot of that takes place online. Keep writing about this!

SC native hiding out in NC

PS: Here's a post by a friend in Alabama that's relevant to the discussion:

loonyhiker said...

@John in NC Thanks so much for sharing that link! You are so right about preparing students what is happening right now and not what was in the past.