Friday, July 6, 2018

Open Up Commenting

I don't believe blogging is dead. I believe that blogging conversations are. There was a time when a new education blog post could drive a ton of traffic on Twitter. We would leave comments on the post and 'back-channel' here. Then, along came the trolls. So many of the more highly followed ed blogs started to turn off comments. They did not want to have to constantly guard against angry, inappropriate comments that did not further conversations.

Did this contribute to blogs becoming less influential, and less influential here? I would think so. There are still tons of educators writing blogs, but are we seeing those ideas being discussed here? Are they driving conversations?

I have had many, many interesting conversations around tweets lately, but only one that focused on a blog post. The post was actually written about tweets. So, what are we losing out on if we aren't reading/sharing/commenting on blog posts? 

Probably the most important thing is the freedom to time shift the conversations long enough to think critically about the post and our reply. The well thought out and unhurried conversation. Am I the only one that thinks we need to go back to this?

Let's start by opening up commenting. 


  1. Hey, William. I'm struggling with Twitter these days, and I'm not certain I can yet pinpoint exactly why. I'm trying to reengage with it after a long time away, but I don't see very many conversations taking place there. I interact with you, Stump, John, Kelly, and few others, but it's limited. I much prefer the days when more conversations happened on and around blog posts, but I don't expect those days to return. True, many blogs have shut down comments. (I have mine set so that comments close after two weeks--maybe I should rethink that...) I understand the much of the reasoning behind no comments, but personally, I don't want to go to Facebook, Twitter, or wherever to find the conversations. Regardless, I'm trying to commit to doing more commenting on actual blogs.

    1. The real problem is finding the right solution for the problem. I think the problem with Twitter is both lack of long form writing mixed with the openness of the conversations which can derail it.

      The problem with FB is it sucks. It can't decide if it wants to be a school reunion, family reunion, and education conference reunion or a place to rant about politics.

      Voxer seems to be really good for personal interaction among a small group or even individually, but it does seem that the voice aspect makes it maybe too personal for a stranger or casual acquaintance to start up a conversation.

      The blog seems to be the best choice, assuming we can get people to read and respond on it. The major problem with blogs is conversations move slowly which makes it difficult for those who prefer more stimulation.

  2. I’m enjoying this conversation thank you for posting this blog post
    I have two thoughts regarding this
    #1 in commenting it seems lately that people have the need only to comment if it is in agreement with their platform, or their brand, or is somehow beneficial to themselves. The only time lately that I see a difference to this is when someone posts either about a loss or a personal set back or situation. In those cases, those short the comments are many.
    2. My second thought is in regards to attention span or the lack of attention span . A well written thought-provoking blog post with many comments can go on for quite a while especially when it’s not a quick written comment . In my opinion it appears to me that the majority does not seem to have time for that any longer. if something is older than 24 hours it’s old news now . People move on to new things way too quickly. Blog posts and blog comments often need time to marinate and sadly people don’t have time for that any longer it seems to me.

    Thank you for the reminder of the importance of commenting. You’re encouraging me to both comment and also blog more.

    1. Thanks for the comments. You touch upon a lot of good points here. I used to teach my students how to comment, which is mainly about how to not comment, and one of the things I talked about was what I call a 'run by comment'. Those are the comments that say they saw the post but don't add anything to the conversation. I hate those kinds of comments.

  3. Hi Will,
    People can mindless like or share on a variety of social media platforms. I think blogging, however, requires a certain connection in the exchange. As bloggers, we share compelling insights and experiences in order to connect with our readers. As readers, we should feel that our comments are valued in the connection that the writer is trying to build. I think that is the real challenge for me... With the hurried pace of social media, and the content overload, how does one build a culture of connections and comments on their blog?