I've signed up for the 31 Day Comment Challenge in the interests of pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I was thinking the other day how funny it is that despite the relative safety of your online persona, my shyness still leaks through. I'm not sure if that last sentence quite makes sense, but essentially what I'm getting at is that even though I'm not engaging in a face to face conversation my inhibitions often stop me from leaving a comment.
Then, on the flip side of this is the fact that I love to get comments and feedback from others. In part I blog for myself as a way of jotting down my thoughts and ideas for future reference. However, I also blog hoping that what I have to say will be of some use (or at least interest) to others - kind of a combination of my love of sharing my learning/resources and my frustrated inner author. Comments from others shows that you are not merely talking to yourself.
With this in mind I decided I needed to be involved with this challenge in order to give myself the "push" I need to comment with greater regularity - to both build my confidence and to ensure that I am giving others the type of feedback that I enjoy receiving myself.
Photo from Flickr uploaded on October 3 2006 by Memotions licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Licence.
Now the challenge runs from the 1st to the 31st of May. As it is the 4th, I'm already 4 days behind! I plead the fact that I had to get organised for the start of the new school term tomorrow. I was having to resist the urge to log in and work on the challenge tasks.
Now, this already illustrates the power in being involved in a challenge like this (at least for me) as my natural "girly swottiness" means that I feel compelled to complete the required tasks and make sure they are done on time. Which is not to say that this is some form of strictly regimented "thou shalt" type of a task, after all my participation is purely voluntary. I think what it is though,is the fact that you have signed up for something that others are also involved in and you just know that you want to do it properly and do it justice.
I also feel that it is important to participate fully and to the best of my ability as this is the best thanks I can think of for all the hard work Sue, Kim, Silviaand Michele have put into getting this challenge up and running.
Logo created by Christine Martell
So today I have 4 tasks to complete. One I have already done - Sign up for a Comment Tracking Service. I did this as soon as I signed up for the challenge and have set up an account at Cocomment. This will allow others participating in the challenge to track my comments.
I have to leave a comment on a blog I have never commented on before, which I shall do soon as there are plenty of blogs that I read that I have yet to leave comments for.
I have to leave a comment on another blog post that asks a question in order encourage conversation/dialogue between myself, the blog author and other readers. That I shall do soon too.
Finally, I have to complete a "commenting self-audit" which I think I shall do as a separate post as this one is getting quite long enough already.
So I'm off to complete my self-audit and start on my path towards improving my commenting on blogs - both my own and those of others. I'm looking forward to the challenge, the fun of participating, the new skills I hope to develop, the new online acquaintances I hope to meet and the reinforcing of my current online relationships.
And don't forget, if you are part of The Comment Challenge remember to add the comment08 tag to your post.