I had plans all week to participate in a chat on twitter, but coordinating my interests with my schedule became a bit of a nightmare.  Perhaps I need to hire an assistant; preferably one who is familiar with the time zones.  My hope was to participate in a live conversation, so this afternoon I picked one from this list my professor posted.  It was scheduled to start at 8:00 CST and so I conferred with my father on the location of CST in relation to us.  He confidently replied that CST was in fact Alberta's zone.  This evening I eagerly signed onto twitter at 7:59pm only to discover I had missed the whole thing.  It is safe to say that if I do end up hiring an assistant, my dad will not be in the running.  Sorry, dad!

The chat I semi-engaged in was under the #blogchat hashtag which I thought was fitting given my recent startup. Tonight the conversation was around commenting.  Topics ranged from spam comments to comment censorship. Some bloggers felt that social sharing (Facebook, twitter, etc.) were more powerful than comments because the shares reach a wider audience.  I have posted my blog on my Facebook and have tweeted the address and have seen a direct correlation between my post and the number of views I receive on those days.  So, I am going to take this a step further and invite my friends and followers to share/re-tweet my post with their friends and see how this impacts my traffic.  I am hoping that I can increase my following and get more people posting comments, feedback, and questions because unlike some of the participants tonight, I do enjoy the comments.  They are what motivate me to write, and the last few days have been a bit of a dry spell for me.

So under the advice of @problogger, I pose this question to my readers:  Do blog comments matter to you?

05/21/2012 11:00am

Thanks for your question Michelle! Personally, blog comments matter to me. It helps me see different insights to questions I may ask, or may help me in understanding something, or simply, it shows that what I am writing is being read. By seeing a comment on my blog, I feel if what I am writing is resonating with someone else, as they are taking their own time to write me back. That`s my thoughts. Anyone else?

05/21/2012 10:36pm

Blog comments matter to me because a blog post is my digital hand reaching out for a connection. A comment is how you know you've made that connection (and whether the connection was a congratulatory high-five, a friendly hand-shake, an intimate, lingering holding of hands, or an offended slap). No comment is akin to being left hangin'.
You're on my blog reader now, Miss W. Keep 'em coming!

05/21/2012 11:10pm

I got confused with the whole time zone thing too, Miss W! I tried googling sites that could convert time zones and they all seemed to give me funny results, or no results at all. So on the day of the chat I wanted to participate in, I looked for tweets that had the hashtag in them on Tweetdeck. Lots of people did a count down for the chat (i.e. join us for #elemchat in two hours.) Hopefully the participants of the chat you are following will do that too - that way you don't have to worry about the time zone conversion. They do it for you!

As for the blog comments question, I agree with Jess and Brenda. Blogging can be scary sometimes because you're putting yourself out there in front a big group of strangers (to an extent.) I think of blogging as if I am doing a performance - not in the sense that I'm putting on an act, but if no one clapped for me once I was done I would wonder what I did wrong. Any feedback is good feedback because you can learn from it.

05/22/2012 6:10pm

For me blogs represent the end of publishing as we used to know. The idea that only certain people had voice. It's the democratization of information and conversation.

Saying blogs don't matter is a bit like saying people don't matter because the alternative to me is back to the old model where only newspapers, authors and recognized scholars voices mattered. Now everyone's can matter.

At the same time, just because you have a platform doesn't mean every voice is equal, but the opportunity is less about power and money and more about quality and your ability to communicate an idea or engage in conversation.

05/23/2012 12:41pm

Interesting perspective on blogging. I like the idea that it gives everyone a voice and not just those at the top of the hierarchical food chain. As a blogger, what are your thoughts on receiving comments on your blog posts? Do they matter to you?

05/23/2012 5:42pm

To me, blog comments are important. They give me insight into what people get from the post and if people are actually spending the time to sit there and read my posts (almost a motivational factor). I often take what was said in my posts (even if they weren't meant to change how or what I contain in my blog) and tweek my next one just a little bit to accomodate some things I thought I missed or should include.

I know to some people, however, that blog comments are kind of like twitter mentions, they will read them but not necessarily acknowledge their existence, or even care to acknowledge them at all.


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