Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 18: Analysis of the Comments on My Blog

Tēnā koutou katoa
Welcome to you all

Michele Martin's Day 18 task is to analyse the comments on my own blog.

I have to admit that, strange as it may seem, the post that has attracted the most comments so far, "Reflections On What I've Learnt", has been one where I literally bared all and was quite up front about how I felt. There were several conversations going on involving 5 commenters. This gave me a lot of scope for replying.

Replying to comments

Though I thought I was going over the top at the time, I now see that my replies were what prompted others to participate. Diane Hammond commented on this: "
Good conversation happening here. Ken, I like your style of responding to commenters. I've seen other bloggers state their preference is to stay out of the conversation and let the commenters have the floor. I tend to follow your approach; I think interaction with the poster keeps the conversation flowing." Thanks for that advice Diane. It made me reflect on the worth of responding to the commenter, something I'd never really spent much time thinking about until Michele reminded me in her Day 19 Task.

Statement a disaster

At the other end of the scale, making a statement in a post seemed to nip comments in the bud. My post on the Myanmar cyclone disaster "About Suffering" was a
comments disaster in itself. I must admit though that Sarah Hanawald, in a comment on her post Can We Play Webkins, actually said that my post made such an impact on her, she was quite overwhelmed. I guess the answer is not to overwhelm your readers if you want them to send comments!

My own feeling about this task is that I'd probably get more out of having a look at others posts and analysing the comments they solicited rather than navel gazing at my own. When I have more time after the 31 Day Challenge is completed, I will do just that.

Ka kite anō
Catch ya later


Anonymous said...

Your blog is really young still and it takes time to grow so analysing comments on it is a hard task. When you first start blogging its often really hard going initially because most people will struggle with getting comments because they haven't built up readership.

So what is the point I'm trying to make? You have written 11 posts so far for May (which is possibly more posts than I've written myself) and your total number of comments is 35. Now if we compare that to my personal blog and my first 11 posts I had a total of 11 comments.

Definitely the Comment Challenge is helping people know about your blog but your style of writing is also engaging people to want to comment. For a new blogger you should be pleased with your progress for a number of reasons including the fact that you decided to set up a blog and have been learning a lot from interacting with people.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Thanks Sue!

You (and Michele) are clearly really encouraging us all to improve and along a broad front.

I must admit that when I wrote this most recent post I felt as if I was really pushing it to say anything at all constructive. But you have identified something that I didn't, that the total comments over the time I'd been working on blogging was more indicative of activity than the number per post.

I must also say that I was in no way disappointed with the responses. To get Kevin zapping me with a comment within a few minutes of me posting my first blog was amazingly thrilling and that thrill of receiving comments has not reduced, I can assure you.

Thanks for all your help and support so far. We all need it on this challenge but I'm sure no one feels that they are neglected by the wealth of good advice coming from the sponsors.

Your blood's worth bottling :-)

Andrea said...

I agree with Sue. I think it takes a while to build up readership and get comments. I was blogging for a while before I ever got a comment on my blog. I also think you have an engaging writing style and a nice way of interacting with the comments.

As for what inspires a person to comment....I don't know. I have yet to do this analysis on my own blog. I rarely get many comments on any of my posts. There are certain posts of mine that really don't invite comments, but some where I am hoping for some interaction and it doesn't happen. But, often I still end up finding the conversation happening on another blog. For example, I recently wrote a post about elevating the status of teachers. The post only got one comment, but within a short period of time I read similar posts on two other blogs, and I commented there.
It can be like riding a merry-go-round!
I guess we have to just keep writing, and take the comments when they come. I can't imagine trying to change my style or content based on seeking more comments.

Christine Martell said...

I agree, you are doing really well. I looked back at my stats, and in the first three months of blogging, I got 29 comments. Then I did the 31 day challenge and got 48 in a month. However, I was responding myself in a lot of them. Not to mention how many were Sue Waters and Michele Martin!

I figure I'm doing pretty well when I have more total comments (not including my responses) than total posts.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

@Andrea - the support I have received from people like yourself is something quite compelling. I really thank you for that.

I think in metaphors often - part of being a Science teacher I guess. I recall being confined to bed in hospital as a 5-year-old for weeks. When my parents took me home I'd forgotten how to walk. They held me by both hands while I walked about the house. This went on for days before I had the confidence to try a few steps for myself - my parents were very patient.

I feel the same attention from my new-found friends who help me as I stumble in learning new skills in creating a post or writing comments on others. I feel cared for under the vigilance of people like yourself, Sue and Michele. It is a warm feeling.

@Christine - you are not exempt from this list! I make a point of visiting the posts of all who comment on mine. I have visited your blog (several times) but so far have been unable to find any posts. Is there something I'm not doing right? Perhaps you could flick me a link to one? I'd appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

Ken, I suspect that something else that has really increased your comments is how prolific you've been in commenting elsewhere. I feel that I've gotten to know you pretty well not just through your posts here, but also your comments on my blog and elsewhere. That makes me more likely to engage in conversation with you because it feels like I know you as a person. I think that's a big part of what makes people want to comment back to you.

Christine Martell said...

Ken, It looks like my profile was linked to a blank Blogger blog, not my real blog. Thanks for letting my know, it must have been that way for a year.

Anyway, my blog is

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

@Christine! - Wow! I'd wondered about your blog, but when you spoke of the number of coments I thought, "Comments? I see no comments." I'm glad I was able to help out.

I will have a good look at your blog, thanks. :-)

BK said...

Just found your blog from Kate's blog and I agree here, that the best way to increase your readership and commenters is by getting out there and doing the same.
This challenge is a picnic for bloggers. You click, find a table filled with new tastes, you enjoy, you leave your thanks and soon you someone comes to your house for your best offerings.
I will be back.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Thanks bk.

Drop in any time. You are most welcome!