Engage another Commenter in Discussion

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Often, the "conversations" on a blog occur between a commenter and the blogger. That is, commenters will read and respond to a post, addressing their responses to the blogger. Conversations can become richer, though, if we also respond to other commenters. This means that we have to also start reading the previous comments on a post, something many commenters admit they don't do.


Find a post where other people have commented before you and then respond to something one of the commenters has said. The netiquette for doing this is to address your post "@blog commenter" (inserting the person's name where I've referred to "blog commenter") so the commenter knows you're referring to him/her. If you'd like, respond to more than one commenter.

Also consider this advice: Begin by quoting some part of the comment that you are responding to help other readers know what it is that has caught your attention. Then, explain your own thinking in a few short sentences. Elaboration is important when you’re trying to make a point. Finally, finish your comment with a question that other listeners can reply to.

Questions help to keep digital conversations going!

When responding to another reader, don’t be afraid to disagree with something that they have said. Challenging the thinking of another reader will help them to reconsider their own thinking—and will force you to explain yours! Just be sure to disagree agreeably—impolite people are rarely influential.

If your thinking gets challenged by another reader in a blog conversation, don’t be offended. Listen to your peers, consider their positions and decide whether or not you agree with them. You might discover that they’ve got good ideas you hadn’t thought about. Either way, be sure to respond—let your challengers know how their ideas have influenced you.

Be sure to track your comment so you can see whether or not the person responds to you. Observe what happens. How does the blogger respond? How does the commenter respond?

Finally, tell us about your experience with this activity in the discussion page.



This activity was originally designed by Bill Ferriter for the 31 Day Comment Challenge.