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Comment Challenge, Revisited

Cheryl's Musings: Comment Challenge, Revisited

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Sunday

Comment Challenge, Revisited

My earlier posts (here and here) about the Comment Challenge sparked a lot more discussion--and heat--than I anticipated. My apologies to the illustrious Mother Reader, who set the Comment Challenge ball rolling, so to speak. I think the challenge is a wonderful idea and a great way to encourage writers to connect with each other.

But I still think we each need to ask ourselves if participation is beneficial or a waste of time. Not that I think the answer is cut in stone: it will be different for each person. For me, it meant taking a hard look at how much time I was spending on the challenge--and why--and whether I was accomplishing that purpose. At the outset, I found myself spending a TON of time going through posts, trying to find something on which to comment, and yes, wondering if it was the best use of my time.

It wasn't. BUT--asking myself that question let me change my strategy. Has the Comment Challenge been a waste of time for me? No, but it could have been, if I'd participated without changing course midstream. Comments for comments sake aren't so useful (altho, as a goal-oriented person, I'm quite capable of collecting my 3/day for the sole sake of meeting that goal); but comments for the purpose of continuing a conversation or making a connection or saying thank you for someone's effort--those are useful.

Mother Reader addresses this question in her Nov. 19th post, where she answers the question "Is the Comment Challenge an insidious waste of time?" as follows:

Yes, as are blogging, blog-reading, and commenting in general — except where those things focus your writing, present fresh ideas, spur new thoughts, make helpful connections, form lasting friendships, and promote your work, blogging or otherwise.

Really, the best answer for each person is contained in two questions:
  • How can I maintain balance?
  • Why do I blog?
Lovely answer--because she pinpoints the fact that each of US needs to ask those questions of ourselves. The answers won't be the same for everyone. Some of us should be participating full steam; others, perhaps, will find they need less time on blogs and more time on other priorities.

Me? My life is totally out of balance, in all the best ways. But I guess that's another post!

:) Cheryl

PS--Yes, the photo is totally random :). What can I say? I think the emu is cute!

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2 Comments:

At November 25, 2008 at 7:39 PM , Blogger MotherReader said...

No need to apologize, and I'm glad that you took my reply post in the spirit in which was intended - to bring the discussion further.

I'll stick by the concept of the Comment Challenge, which was by assigning a time period and setting a goal, it could make commenting something that bloggers could learn to do with more ease. Hey, I'm on my 20th comment tonight and they're just flowing.

 
At November 26, 2008 at 8:18 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

For me, the Comment Challenge has accomplished several things of value. As expected, it's helped me to connect with other bloggers, discover new blogs, and it' brought new readers to this one. Other results, I didn't expect. It changed my view of commenting, for instance. I hadn't seen comments as a way to dive more deeply into a question or as a way to hold a discussion with other bloggers. It's changed the way I comment and the reasons I'll take the time to comment. And it makes me more likely to comment. Sounds like it's made your commenting process flow more smoothly, too. All in all, the challenge has been a worthwhile exercise. Glad I joined you!

 

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