Tēnā koutou katoa
to you all
I've just completed the 31-Day Comment Challenge, masterminded by blogger gurus Kim Cofino, Michele Martin, Silvia Tolisano and
In some respects it was easier than I expected, in other ways it was more difficult. But that's only because I really didn't know what to expect and some of my guesswork in the beginning was sheer fantasy anyway. Michele has asked us to answer a few simple questions:
What did I personally gain?
I got some satisfaction out of starting a project, following the guidelines and completing it on time. I feel that it was challenging on my personal time, but I found that I could set aside time for such a demanding project. At the start I didn't think I would complete it. In fact, I was quite skeptical about even beginning the Challenge. I'm glad I chose to get into it for myself, and though I received some brief counselling from Michele before I plunged in, she in no way tried to persuade me to get started.
What did I gain professionally?
As an e-teacher with a passion for elearning I found there were many rewards. It has given me knowledge about blogs and blogging that I will be able to pass on to others who are interested as I am. There was the software, the range of which I haven't had the time to review properly since I took the advice given in the first moments of the challenge and just got started with these. I now know what comment tracking is and what an RSS feed does. I didn't know either of these software types before the beginning of May 2008.
Is this something I'd do again? If not, why not?
I don't think I'd participate in the same challenge. I got a buzz out of learning about things I knew nothing about. That was one of the main motivators for me. I just love to learn about things that are useful. But if there was a similar challenge on some other avenue to do with working with community e-groups, I think I would participate just the same.
What are my top 5 Comment Challenge lessons?
- Learning to use the software. CoComment and Google Reader were the software I chose in the beginning. I was impressed with what they did and glad I'd taken the time to find out on advice from Michele Martin on RSS and Sue Waters on comment tracker and how to install them and use them. When I found out what the reader and the comment tracker could do for me I was stoked!
- Creating my blog. I feel proud that this was something I chose to do for myself, before it became obvious during the challenge that it was really a necessary thing to have, at least as necessary as the other freebie software. That's another payoff - all the software was free! (Scottish people are resourceful, not skinflintish - they simply say why part with money when you don't need to).
- Learning blog etiquette and protocol. I knew a thing or two about the etiquette (not unlike netiquette) but it was good to confirm what I knew.
- I learnt a strategy for commenting, most of which I worked out for myself. The application of a few available tools like Word and Notepad in executing that strategy was easy to work out.
- I learnt that you're never too old to learn new tricks. I had my ##th birthday during the challenge. I thought that it would test the old neurons. I wasn't wrong, but I feel that they would have been tested the same way had I done the challenge 45 years ago, provided of course we had computers, Internet and the software in those days.
The nearest thing I operated to a computer when I was 18 years old was a traditional Facit pinwheel calculator, which was an entirely mechanical device that could afford answers to 13 decimal places. You'd to be able to operate all its handles with unerring accuracy or it turned to mush, quite literally.
What will I now do differently?
I will never spend countless hours sifting through the sites in my bookmarks (favorites) looking to see what's new on them and not being able to remember if I'd read the article before. Hooray for the RSS! I will never spend countless hours looking for the site that I left a comment on last week, wondering if anyone has replied to it. Yay to coComment!
What do I still need to learn?
Apart from a heck-of-a-lot, I haven't a clue what 'links' are about.
I couldn't tell a link from a bar of soap.
I offer my sincere thanks to blogger gurus Michele Martin, Sue Waters, Kim Cofino and Silvia Tolisano, who masterminded the Challenge.
I also offer thanks to my wonderful blogocolleagues. In particular I thank Kevin Hodgson, Andrea Hernandez, Britt Watwood, Bonnie Kaplan, Christine Martell, Dave Ferguson, Kate Foy, and Christophe, who gave me so much support and encouragement.
Thank you friends. I've learnt so much from working with you all!
Ka kite anō