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Abandonment, Chaos and Blogs – Do You Care About the Comments? January 12, 2007

Posted by Ben Craigo in Blogging.

As Tony Karrer mentioned in his blog, reading your comment trail is a challenge and not everyone does it.  And he posed several questions:

a. Do you read comments?
b. Do you ever go back to a blog to see comments later?
c. Do you use a mechanism such as CoComment to track conversations?
d. Do you ever leave a comment and not come back to see what was said?

These are pretty important questions. 

Comments are what makes a good post GREAT.  Comments validate or tear down your arguments.  Comments are critical to the social networking aspect of blogging.  Comments give you perspectives you normally wouldn’t get exposed to.  Comments can direct and influence future conversation in a blog.

But keeping track of the breadcrumb trail you are leaving in the blogosphere can be a beast. 

Tony’s list is a good start, but I think there are more dimensions to it.  I would break this down even more.

On Your blog:

  • Do you read the comments posted on your blog?
  • Do you follow-up to comments posted on your blog?
  • If you don’t respond to every comment on a post, what is your criteria for selecting which comments to respond to and which to ignore?
  • What do you use to keep track of the conversations on your blog?

On Blogs You Visit

  • Do you read the comments of the posts you read?
  • Do you comment on the posts you read?
  • Do you comment on the comments that others make on your comments?  (I’m really not trying to confuse you)
  • Do you comment on the comments of others that were not related to your comment ?
  • What criteria do you use to determine whether to post a comment or not?
  • Do you keep track of comments on your comments?
  • If you do keep track of comments, what is the criteria that helps you decide when to stop tracking?
  • How do you manage conversations on other blogs?

This smells like a survey to me.  If I get time, maybe I’ll head over to Zoho and set something up.

Here are my answers.

For My Blogs:  Yes; Yes; Respond to All – no criteria; WordPress alerts you when comments are made.

On Blogs I Visit: Yes; Yes; Yes; Yes; If I feel I can add value to the conversation; Try to; Don’t beat a dead horse; My feeble mind.

So you take it from here and go tell Tony what you think.



1. Cynthia Huber, CTM - January 15, 2007

Hmmmm….no comments on an article about comments – guess I will be the first.

— Yes – I read the comments of the posts I read – gives me an idea of what others are thinking.
— I have posted comments on the posts I read – not all however.
— Haven’t been blogging long enough.
— Haven’t been blogging long enough.
— How passionate I am about the topic….or the mood at the moment.
— Tracking my comments has been hit/miss. I don’t read the blog on a regular basis and have only posted a few comments, so don’t feel the need to check.
— This has been my only blog – kudos to you for keepnig my interest!

2. Ben Craigo - January 15, 2007

Cynthia – thanks for kicking this off.

3. Daniel Birch - January 16, 2007

First off, let me share that this is my first visit to this blog. I recently moved to Philadelphia from Tampa, and have tried to get involved in the ASTD chapter (I was President of the Tampa chapter and chair of their eLearning SIG), but my travel schedule seems to interfere. This is my first exposure to the e-Learning SIG. The blog is really interesting!

My employer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is exploring the use of blogging for educational and knowledge management purposes. A issue we face (which is, to be fair, only indirectly related to Ben’s original post) is the question of Intellectual Property. Does anyone know of a good source on the subject of the ownership of the intellectual property posted on a blog? Are blogs just free-for-alls, where anyone may borrow the ideas, if not the exact words, of another person’s post without citation? When one posts things to a blog, is one giving permission to everyone who has access to that blog to make use of their words and ideas?

4. Ben Craigo - January 16, 2007

Daniel – Welcome to Philly! We look forward to seeing you around the meetings.

You bring up an excellent question on intellectual property in blogging. There’s a good resource that you’ll probably want to take a look at that is put together by the Electronic Frontier Foundation specifically for bloggers…


Specifically you’ll want to look at the Blogger’s FAQ on Intellectual Property – http://www.eff.org/bloggers/lg/faq-ip.php.

I’m no lawyer, but as I understand it if you are publishing PWC IP on a blog it looks like you are protected in much the same way as when you publish the material on your web site, white papers, etc. Plus I’m sure your legal team will want to take a look at what you are doing with the blog – so I’m sure they’ll have a comment or 20.

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