Much of the learning from blogging happens as a result of commenting and interaction between commenters.
But how many of your readers know how to even leave a comment? Or what are your comment approval guidelines? Or how you interact with their comments?
In case you forgot to tell them here are some ways to help your readers.
#1 A Newbie Guide
Providing a guide that includes how to leave comments is always helpful– not everyone knows how to write comments on posts. The key is to think what does some one new to reading your blog really need to know.
Here are some examples of Newbie Guides:
- This is my Info For First Time Visitors! – explains how to subscribe using RSS or email and how to leave comments
- Michele Martin’s A Newbie Guide to The Bamboo Project – highlights purpose of her blog, what is a blog, how to leave comments, how to participate and important pages on her blog
- Tony Karrer’s First Time Visitor Guide – purpose of blog, how to interact and an index of his posts
#2 Commenting Guidelines
Unfortunately not everyone knows what is/isn’t appropriate to write in comments on posts — this is where commenting guidelines can help.
Use your class blog as an opportunity to educate students, parents and other readers on appropriate commenting practice such as:
- Types of identifying information that is appropriate in a comment e.g. What are your rules about use of last names, IM and personal information?
- What sort of comments will you approve?
- What are you looking for in comments?
It’s also worth reminding readers that blogs are works in progress — they need to remember this when writing comments. Check out how Jan Smith’s does this in the left hand side bar of Huzzah Blog.
Why not get your students to help write the commenting guidelines for your class blog? You might like to also include examples of good and bad comments.
- Lisa Hill’s Mossgiel Park PS Blog Commenting Policy
- Abbey’s Blog Guidelines for ideas on how a student can add a comment guideline to their blog
Using Pages and Post For Your Information
Approaches taken by bloggers varies. Some prefer to regularly inform readers on how to comment and/or their comment policy using posts while others use pages.
Larry Ferlazzo uses posts really well to inform readers about commenting. Here are:
Bloggers who use pages will either:
- Link to the page in the main navigation — if needed they change the order of their pages
- Or create it as a subpage and link to the page using a text widget
Remember I’m looking for examples and ideas to share with others.
Please a comment with links to any ‘About pages’, ‘Commenting Guidelines’ or ‘Newbie Guides’ you create so I can check them out!
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