Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Do Comments on Blogs Matter?

As we continue to explore the potential of blogs, some of the graduate students and I have discussed the difference comments do or could make. Blogs can seem to be just a platform for announcements of information or opinion rather than a space for thoughtful conversations. Maybe conversation is better achieved in another form? At any rate, I was pleased to see this comment from Alan on Bud Hunt's site. What a good idea this could be. I wonder if it's equivalent to listening more carefully and attentively in live conversations? I wonder if it would make any difference to the discourse on this Multiliteracies site if more visitors commented on the blogs on the blogroll to the right and if we all made a greater effort to talk with each other this way? Perhaps our face-to-face meetings once a week would be changed also? I'm interested in hearing from people with thoughts on these questions. Although the questions arise from our class, I don't think they're limited to it.


Bud Hunt said...

I've "talked" to you and to Cindy more via your blogs of late than face to face or otherwise. This isn't "perfect" conversation -- but it's a big improvement in terms of getting to know what you're thinking about as well as sharing feedback with you. Lots and lots of commenting is what creates the network of usefulness that I find in blogging. So, too, are tools like We leave these big ol' digital thoughtprints around the Internet through documenting our reading, writing and thinking that can serve our own needs -- but also the needs of others. Not sure if I'm communicating this very well.

Since I'm here -- I thought this was an interesting use of a chat room as a blog post. Might be of interest to your class.

Anna Marie Strzyz said...

Because I'm so new to blogging, I find exploring other blogs to be more fulfilling than working on my own. I've left a few comments along the way and enjoy engaging in this way. I don't want my blog to be a site that just tells/shows - I want a conversation. But, I know I need to provide a few more prompts for feedback and responses.

I also wonder, with so many blogs out there, how much conversation can there be on one post?

Mr. B-G said...

In response to Anna, I'm sure it depends on the quality of the conversation, and also on the number of comments a post receives.

Sometimes when reading a blog post that's received numerous comments, there's a greater lure or desire to make a comment, as I suppose we think more people might hear us.

I guess if a posting moves you, make a comment, although I acknowledge it's not always that easy.

Blogging is a different form of communication. Imagine being able to read something, post a reaction, and then have the author of that post reply back to you! I don't think we've been taught to read and think this way, although as English teachers we try to teach our students to respond to and become engaged with literature.

This response and engagement means sharing reactions, thoughts, feelings, insights, favorite passages, themes, characters, plot developments, writing techniques, etc.

I suppose it's the blog medium, and the action of commenting, that's different.

In a literature circle, we discuss aloud with classmates after having read and written something.

With a blog, we read, type, post, and then read. It's a silent (digital?) discussion.

It's a medium change. The question is, what of this medium change? What are the implications? What new things can we achieve? What are the limitations?

I think each of us is finding this out as we go along. These comments allow us to communicate these insights, but perhaps more importantly, allow us to realize that we're blazing the trail together, even if we aren't riding side by side.

A.M. Strzyz said...

I think a great follow up to this post is the discussion about the dangers with youth and online assignments. Without the comments on Bruce's site, many conversations about this important topic may not occur. This is an example of the power of commenting.

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