to you all
The task for Day 28
Write a post on my commenting strategy.
Like a lot of people who I’ve commented with in this Challenge, I am new to commenting. The long and the short of it is that most of my commenting was done in the last three to four weeks. Have I a commenting strategy? Well, it sort of became one, though I wouldn’t have called it a strategy.
A pot-shot commenter
I suppose what there was of a strategy evolved from me being a pot-shot commenter in the first week to something less random. Though during the first few days, I felt a bit like Robert Redford in the film, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid - ready to shoot a comment at any blog that moved. But the trigger-happy approach would have become boring if it weren't for fun in meeting new bloggers.
Blogging as part of my strategy
That’s when I decided to start my own blog. I might have given up if I hadn’t made that very important strategic move, for there was little pay-off (if that’s the right word for it) that I could see other than when I got a reply to a comment that I’d put on someone else’s blog.
Come back to my pad
Having my own blog meant that my commenting strategy changed in a subtle way, for I was almost subconsciously writing comments with a view to pulling someone’s interest in what I had to say. My secret hope was that someone might want to have a look at the posts on my blog and, perhaps, leave a comment.
Commenting with a view to discussion
I enjoy discussions. Early in the piece, I found that simply agreeing with a poster or commenter, which is comfortable and nice to do and was a firm strategy for sharing ideas, didn’t really stimulate vigorous discussion.
Being the devil’s advocate was a strategy that returned some good results, though I found that it was difficult to maintain a discussion for long unless I had some empathy for the advocate. It was certainly more likely to bring forward healthy debate than one where my comment simply agreed with the poster. Contrast this attempt, being first to comment in agreement on Clay Burell’s post, which returned a feeble reaction added as an after-thought to a list of beefy replies, with this more antagonistic approach to another post by Clay that seemed to generate more energy in discussion.
Does the topic have real comment fodder?
Having enthusiasm for a topic on someone's post seemed to be a key way for me find easy fodder for a comment. Also, if I was looking for a discussion to get into, it was always best to get in as quickly as possible. I found the RSS feed useful for this. The topic also had to have some element that I could write a comment on, some thread that I knew something about that could possibly spark further discussion. Check out the reply that I got to my comment on Jeff Nugent's post.
Sometimes this happens serendipitously, and the subject of the topic doesn't need to be particularly philosophical for it to propagate discussion. Check out this comment on Tony Karrer's post that sparked a whole series of unexpectedly diverse conversations where contributors seemed to dive in to what can only be described as a commenting free-for-all.
So in summary
My commenting strategy, although it's still in its infancy, is shaping into something that is giving me a lot of fun. It's still flexing its little fluffy wings. Quite frankly, it has barely permitted me to fly the nest yet.
Ka kite anō
Catch ya later