Ok, I am a bit late to the party (hard to keep up, man! I’ve got a busy life!), but seeing as I am participating in the 31-Day-Comment Challenge, I figured I should follow Langwitches’s instructions for a Self-Audit.

For this activity, do the following:

Answer the following questions:

  1. How often do you comment on other blogs during a typical week?
    Hmm. Probably on average, twice a week.
  2. Do you track your blog comments? How? What do you do with your tracking?
    I track comments made on blogs that I comment on, usually via the e-mail subscription or an RSS feed. As for what I do with them, well, I basically don’t “do” anything with them. I just read, follow, and follow-up if necessary. I try to always respond to comments left on my own blog. However, I also realize that at some point a conversation has to end, and not everything needs a reply.
  3. Do you tend to comment at the same blogs or do you try to comment on at least one new blog per week?
    I pretty much comment on the same blogs. So, I think it’s time to branch out a bit. There is so much out there!

Now review Gina Trapani’s Guide to Blog Comments and ask yourself how well you’re doing in each of the different areas. Are there any specific areas where you think you need to do some work? What do you want to do to address these issues?

  1. Stay on topic. I am pretty good at this, though often I make references to other issues that are related.
  2. Contribute new information to the discussion. This is often what holds me back from commenting. I often feel like I simply agree with what has already been said, so I say nothing. Or I say, “I agree with so-and-so” which I realize is not useful. I guess I need to think more carefully about what I am adding that is new.
  3. Don’t comment for the sake of commenting. Yeah, I’m okay with this. Mostly just because I don’t have the time!
  4. Know when to comment and when to e-mail. I think I am pretty good with this area, too. I understand the boundaries, especially with those whom I know very well.
  5. Remember that nobody likes a know-it-all.  OOoh, I think I have been guilty of this at times. Perhaps I need to tone things down a bit. I will admit that there are times when I need to address things more diplomatically. Often I should re-draft comments before hitting “submit”!
  6. Make the tone of your message clear.  I think this is related to my problem in #5 above. :-)
  7. Own your comment. I am very consistent with this, but I will admit that I have left the WRONG URL on a couple of comments. oops!
  8. Be succinct.  Again, the re-drafting thing. Hmmm… I do this in my e-mails… why do I think I don’t need to in my comments? Point taken!
  9. Cite your sources with links or inline quoting. Yes, I try to do this as often as possible. But it’s hard sometimes — again, a time issue.
  10. Be courteous.  I think this goes without saying. Just because it’s the blogosphere and written in words does not mean that there are not people behind those words.
  11. Do not feed or tease the trolls.  I have no tolerance for this online, really.
      9 Responses to “Commenting Self-Audit”
      1. Sue Waters says:

        Hi Adrienne – Welcome to the comment challenge. No problem about being late to the party — it’s okay to do several tasks at the same time. We are feel conscious of the fact that everyone has busy lives to will make sure the tasks don’t overwhelm.

      2. MsMichetti says:

        Thanks for the welcome, Sue! I am doing my best. :) Not sure if you saw the question I posted over here.

        … and now onto another task!

      3. Adrienne,
        I am always behind in the challenges. Partially because of busy life, but also because I am fairly reflective. It takes me a while to think about how I am going to incorporate a particular practice into my blogging. I’m sure we will discover, like we did in the last challenge, that each of us moves through it in our own way. No matter what that is, there will be others somewhere in the world doing the same.

      4. dogtrax says:

        Thanks for sharing out your audit.
        Your insights are helpful and the more I read other people’s reflections, the more it puts my own thoughts into focus.

        So, the question of the day (see Comment Activity):

        How can we help students consider the concept of “digital identity” as the world moves more online? I am thinking of this because of another post at another blog (Bud the Teacher) and how my own digital identity via my blog is such a mixed bag. Really, my blog is all over the place.

        But I wonder if students should learn some skills around creating sites that project a certain identity, or if that is a skill best left for self-exploration.

        Sorry for the big question on Day One.



      5. MsMichetti says:

        Hi Kevin,
        Thanks for stopping by! I honestly did not think that my comment self-audit would be interesting to *anyone*. In fact, I really debated the value of posting it at all. Now I’m glad I did!

        Regarding your question – this is a very heavy question! I’ve been in the “digital world” for a long time now and I have talked about this with many, many people — most of whom did not understand the social nature of it way back in the beginning (remember Compuserve? my family thought I was going to be stalked and murdered by participating in online chats back then). I think now we have traipsed through many of the challenges we faced back in those days — ie., the difficulty of finding out who you are “really” talking to. Although it’s still possible to conceal yourself online (indeed, not only is it possible, but common), it’s not the standard “norm” any more. Back in the day, very few people I knew online were their “real” selves. In fact, the few that I met “in real life” were downright odd — for them, the internet was an escape, a getaway from who they really were.

        But things are different now. The norm is, in many social networks online, is the same as it is in real life — that is, be who you are. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. And so, I think we can help our students consider the concept of digital identity the same way we help them consider the concept of THEIR own identity. As in, This Is Me.

        When I first discovered the internet 14 years ago (yikes!), my online identity was as true to myself as it could have been at the time, except that I rarely used my real name. Is my online identity the same now? Heck, no! I’m 33, in a committed relationship, have a career, and pretty much know my direction in life — in 1994 I was 19, hanging out at university parties, a misguided lit major, and trying to “find myself” in all that mess! So of course — my overall identity has changed.

        I have gone on and on here, but my point is this: I think our online identities (and our students’) should be real and reflective. And that, I think is probably best done with lots of personal guidance — maybe we should get counselors and parents involved? — and through, as you put it, self-exploration.

        Whew! that was complicated! Btw – you mentioned that your blog is all over the place… perhaps, but if it is reflective of who you really are, then I think that is fine.

        .. am I being too airy-fairy?

      6. Jenny Luca says:

        Hi Adrienne,
        Just read your comment on Clay’s blog and I concur – it is our responsibility as educators to value the input of all, not just the chosen few. Wouldn’t we all like to teach a class of motivated and talented writers? How are those who are nor not so talented ever going to rise above expectations unless we nurture and support them to achieve more than they thought they were capable of?

      7. This is Kevin (in my other identity as teacher blogger — ha)

        I wonder how we teach young children this concept of digital identity. It occurs to me that I try to keep my students safe and we talk about this a lot. And that encourages the development of a separate identity for them, I think. They mask who they are in order to keep themselves and their identity safe. But I don’t think we have articulated this idea (or, I haven’t) with them.
        It might be interested to have them consider how their “digital persona” comes across as different from whom they perceive themselves to be.

      8. MsMichetti says:

        You might be interested to read my recent post, where I address some of what you’ve just said.

      9. [...] here is my problem: I think I am already a good commenter, without the Daily Activities. Task 1 was a good starting place, and definitely uncovered some areas for me that I need to focus on in my [...]