Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Comments do count

On the whole I have been keeping this blog under the radar in order to get used to blogging and to formulate numerous thoughts and track an interest. Whilst the whole blog tracks a very real interest it is also somewhat of an experiment and part of the 'role of conversation in education' concept as a whole, so I have decided to make it a little more visible via the security settings, amongst fellow students with similar research interests and include it in my profile for several communities I have just joined:

The future of education
Classroom Web 2.0

The commenting section of the blog of course is where the 'real conversation' lies and as part of my experiementation with topic and technology I used this blog as a course resource for a learning event I designed and ran and a Masters level online module I wrote for the MSC Elearning course I am currently following - hence some of the comments appearing on earlier posts. Part of the conversations held earlier include discussions on why some do not engage or interact either via commenting functions or on virtual discussion boards.

As engagement and participation is essential to any learning I was pleased, but not surprised to see similar conversations happening elsewhere on Sue Waters Blog. There are certainly several insights into non participation here but equally several ideas on how to make blog posts 'entice' comments.

I had already decided, in the spirit of Inquiry led Investigation - a form of conversational learning, to try and end each blog post with a question looking for further insight, expansion, clarification or deeper understanding so will also look to pick up some further tips from Sue's post too!

Beyond my serendipitous stumblings - which are a delight in themsleves......

How can I find and feed into similar conversations held elsewhere in the world more efficiently and effectively?

ooh - just serendipitously found another rich discussion strand.....



  1. I think the key is not necessarily about "find and feed into similar conversations" but about how do you also manage those conversations when you join in.

    For example, I like to respond back to comments on blogs that I leave comments on. How do I know there are comments that I want to follow up on? With Nings how do I keep up with the conversation and know when to respond back.

    PS I've worked out the answers for me but what methods have you worked out to make it easier?

  2. actually rate (even though a librarian by trade) serendipitous stumblings... The experience is not too disimilar to that encountered when buying or wanting a new car.

    I have a yellow panda - not common you may think, but when I was thinking of buying it I suddenly saw lots of them on the road. They suddenly became very visible to me because 'my inate radar detector' was switched on to 'little yellow pandas'.

    Relevant conversations on conversations have appeared to me in much the same way so far. I can't remember how I stumbled across your blog now and then your post on comments in particular ...

    Is this effective? - yes, found without much effort perhaps and contact made with some-one I do not know, over the other side of the world with a similar 'demonstrated' interest

    Is it efficient? - may be as networking and making connections with like minded people may open other related channels too. If I tried to find you and your interest - would I have done so easily in a world full of information overload - even with honed searching skills?

    Keeping track of conversations? Options for RSS feeds on both blogs and comment posts... would be one way to keep track and joining forums like the two identified above and signing up to email notifications of updates.

    I like your point on commenting on comments on comments - this ensures the conversation continues whilst encouraging further engagement. Other ideas and directions will of course spring from these 'interactions'

    Of course you can also start the conversation with a short post as a long post, full of ideas may often put off contributors who might think most has been covered already or feel 'not qualified' to input.

    Simply adding a comment to demonstrate agreement or 'headnodding' can also fuel the conversation and stop it drying up.


Grab a coffee, pull up a chair and come and join the conversation