Comment Challenge

Week ago I observed twitter conversation about commenting on testing blogs. It started with Patrick’s tweet that he read 25 blog posts. Wow! Right? But than Danny asked him, how many comments Patrick wrote. Zero. TwitterI met Patrick few weeks ago, he is really nice guy! But this is not about Patrick, it is about habit. Ask me, how many comment did I leave last weeks? Zero! Why? Mostly I like what I read, it makes me think, it gives me new ideas, new approach for my issues. So why not to prize it, why not to tell it to the author? First excuses what come up in my mind – it takes time and effort. Better to read another blog post, than to think what exactly moved me. Some kind of fast-food reading. Do I want to be fast-food reader?

And than Geir had that idea of 1 comment per week. No matter that commenting idea in testing community is not new, any how it does not stick. Several before tried to kick it off. I get much inspirations from Rosie, but her community challenge last summer I missed out. This year SheyMouse talked about it in his TestBash 99 seconds talk. It is so easy – just one comment in every seven days. So this is it – I challenge myself to comment at least once per week!

Since it was already a week ago, I can report my first results 🙂

Good that I took that tiny habit workshop few month ago. Few things what I learned there are:

  • it should be light and
  • connected to some action.

Of course I link it with post reading. So now when I am reading, I weight it. If I would comment, what would I write? What exactly I like? What exactly I think I can use in my cases? Last week I commented on three blog posts. They were not the smartest comments, but I am learning and on my way to improve it. Join me! Together we are better.

 

14 thoughts on “Comment Challenge

  1. Rachel says:

    I like the idea of setting a goal like that! I spend all day around blogs, read many posts, and know that commenting is very important for being part of a community of bloggers — and yet I am terrible about commenting! The “like” button is such an easy alternative, and so tempting when I am afraid that I have nothing more to contribute to what the blog post already said. Thank you for this post; I am going to try to change my habits, starting with this comment. 🙂

  2. Simon Morley says:

    I like the idea of commenting on posts, both as a means of testing new ideas, viewpoints, asking questions or lifting assumptions. It can also be a means of giving encouragement. Having a commenting policy can be useful – so that people don’t just write “nice, now go visit my site…”.

    But, reading and commenting can take time and effort. I used to read many many blogs – when I started writing blog carnival posts about the posts I read it was a way of digesting what I had read and also a way of lifting and encouraging others. That took time and I stopped when I felt I wasn’t doing it justice.

    These days I comment if I think it’s worthwhile – this post is such a case – I think you should do a follow-up in a few weeks with which insights you’ve picked up and which you’ve left for others. That can be an interesting learning.

    Good luck!

  3. Patrick says:

    Hi Kristine,

    thanks for taking the time to put the Twitter conversation into a blog post.

    I took some time on the train this morning after reading your blog and thought about my motivation, why I don’t regularly comment on blogs. And there are multiple reasons and habits I would have to escape, partially depending on a day to day basis.

    1) This is just a technical restriction, I can blame. The tool I use to store and read blogs and articles is “My Pocket”, which offers a reading mode, showing only the blog content and hiding blog layout, ads, menus, etc. and also comments. So adding a comment to a blog I just read via Pocket would mean “extra” effort in changing to either Webview or Safari and then typing a comment on my smartphone.

    2) I agree with Marcel, it’s all about the flow. There are these days where you find the right mix of blog posts to read. And they are all encouraging, motivating, well written, and keep you in the flow. Why stop the flow and stop for a comment that might actually only say “I agree with you!” in 100+ words.

    3) Your point exactly, time and effort. Given I’m not in the flow, but just enjoyed a good read. Again, I read mostly on my smartphone, which makes typing a longer experience than on my notebook. My time is restricted to about 30 minuteson the S-Bahn and about 5 minutes on the underground, plus some time waiting for either. So I rather invest my time in something easier, which continue reading simply is.
    Sometimes I use my commute while walking to think about a blog I just read, and sometimes even a comment forms in my head. But the next opportunity when I have time to write a comment is when I reach my desk. And in the past 3 years I can count the days I had some spare time at hand on two hands. So usually I forget my comment and find no time to reply later, since my mind moved on again.

    4) Lack of motivation is my last point. There are days where I don’t want to engage with people. And still I have the habit to read blogs, because that’s the way I’m doing it for 3.25 years now. And I guess on these days I even get the least out of reading, because I’m not engaged. And then of course commenting is waaaay out of reach.
    Why I still keep reading on these days? Because often enough there is a blog I read that gets me out of that mood and motivates me. And when that happens, it’s either 2) or 3) then.

    But in the end I have to say, that it’s simply a bad habit. Especially on those blogs where I would have something to engage, a question or something to start a discussion, or simply disagreeing with the author. I need to improve on that. In the end I believe that it will help me grow in some way.

    One of my own most read blogs got over 500 views, and 0 comments. Why is that? I assume because too many people have the same problems 1-4 like me, or have their own no. 1-4.

    I like your challenge, I admire your energy you showed me on topics I have long given up, I can only say, when you keep that energy level, amazing times lie before you. My hat’s off to you!

    Patrick

  4. Marcel Gehlen says:

    Hi Kristine,

    I really like your challenge for various reasons: It let’s you reflect enough about a topic until you are ready to write something, you give kudos to the inital blogger and maybe even offer him a new view point or start an interesting discussion.

    As to the why people do not post regularly in blogs I can only speculate.
    I think your point about time is a very good one. There is so much good stuff out there to read and it never ends so you keep on reading. To decrease your reading list by 25 entries like Patrick did you have to reach kind of a reading flow and stopping to comment averts this.
    So you just keep on reading. 😉

    A second point is maybe perfectionism. There was a small discussion on twitter some days ago between you, Helena and Daniel about how many blog drafts you have and how you are not able to get out as much as you like, because you want every blog post to be perfect. I believe commenting on a post is the same thing on a smaller scale. You want to bring something on the table when you comment, show that you understood what the blogger was writing about and phrase your arguments ver well thought out. So you set a standard for your comment, which leads to you not commenting at all. At least that is happening to me a lot of the time.

    However no blog comment needs to reinvent everything so your shout out to just keep starting is very well placed. Our comments get better over time and they already are better than silence.

    For now we have to keep the challenge alive by explicitly naming it on twitter and maybe link to the blog we commented on. And of course actively encourage others to do the same.

    Regards,

    Marcel

    • Kristine says:

      Hi Marcel!
      I agree about perfectionism and add another one – “reaction time”. I found out that some comments are locked after I hit “reply” button. It is there, unfinished and I can not do nothing to change it. Some people can generate on a flash smart responses (on and off line), I need a time. Sometimes if I take time and think about it, at the end I forget to write result, because I am already on something else. But sometimes I found out that even after month or two, I go back and conversation is still going on. And that is really cool.

      Best –
      Kristine

  5. Helena Jeret-Mäe says:

    Hi Kristine,
    Yay for this blog post!
    I think you make a valid point about habits. It would be interesting to read about what you learned from the habit workshop. It’s one step to decide you want to stick to something. It’s totally different to create structures that will support the habit. I think having an accountability buddy is a helpful one.

    I recently read a book called “Changing Employee Behavior” (not the sexiest title but don’t judge the book by its title!) which also talks about habit structures and nudges that would help people adopt different behaviors. The book introduced the MAPS (Motivation, Ability, Psychological Capital, Supporting environment) model in which habits and nudges fall under supporting environment.

    I’m also guilty of reading blogs but not commenting on them often enough. I need to do some soul searching as to why it’s like that.

    Looking forward to reading more blog posts by you:)

    Helena

    • Kristine says:

      Hi Helena!
      You can take free tiny habit workshop on line: http://goo.gl/y4j3d3 (apply via eventbrite)
      It is really easy. try it!
      According your wish of soulsearching – check comments from others.
      Best –
      Kristine

  6. fritziusmichael says:

    I can’t not comment on this now. And now I have to wait until next week to comment again. Ha-ha great post, great challenge to issue too. We all should contribute in order to smear some ideas around and get the brain juice flowing.

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