- Help you understand why commenting is an important part of your reflective blogging process.
- Provide commenting tips.
- Help you connect to other educational bloggers.
Importance of connecting and commenting
It’s an easy trap to focus too much on publishing posts while failing to appreciate that reading other people’s posts and commenting on posts are a very important part of the learning process as a blogger.
Blogging is a constant cycle of:
The idea of reflective blogging is you’re evaluating, reviewing, reflecting, revising while reading other people’s posts, commenting on their posts, writing your own posts and commenting back on comments made by others on your own blog.
By following this process you’re learning at a deeper level and differently from how you’ve learnt previously; and you’re doing it as part of a community.
Simply put — Blogging is about connecting with others!
Watch this video by Steve Wheeler on 3 Things you need to know about blogging!
How comments work
By default, comments are enabled on all newly created blogs, and a comment form will appear at the bottom of posts where readers can respond to what you’ve written.
Approved comments are displayed under the individual post or page. You just click on the post title or the comment link to read the comments.
Threaded comments allow readers to reply to other comments inline/nested which encourages better discussion and responses.
Here is an example of a threaded comment on a post:
Refer to the following support documentation for more information:
How to add a comment
To leave a comment on a post just:
1. Click on the heading of the post you wish to comment on or the “comment” link at the top or at the bottom of the post.
2. Scroll down the page to the comment form or click on Reply (to reply to a specific comment).
3. Enter your name and email address – your email address is hidden and only the blogger sees it (If you are logged into your Edublogs account you won’t need to add these details).
4. Write your comment.
5. Enter the anti – spam word.
6. Select the ‘Notify me of followup comments via e-mail‘ if you want to be notified by email to comments by other readers.
7. Click “submit comment”
Commenting etiquette and tips include:
- Be polite and stay on topic
- Where possible refer to the blogger or another commenter by their first name.
- Try to contribute new ideas to the conversation.
- Don’t comment if you are doing it just for self-promotion.
- Avoid being too negative. If you don’t agree say it in a nice way and provide an explanation of your alternative viewpoint.
- There are no rules to how long or short a comment should be. However, if it is a long comment think about if it is worth responding to by writing your own post in response.
- Respond back to comments on your own posts. It shows you value readers’ comments. Some educators also send an email reply to their commenters. This ensure the commenter receives your response and provides a more personalize response — this helps build personalized connections with others.
- Select be notified of follow up comments if the option is available. This notifies you of follow up comments by email and makes it easier for you to respond back with further comments.
Connecting with others
Mobile devices and social networks have changed how we source the content we read. It’s also impacted on how we connect with others.
We’re far more social now and more likely to use social network sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ as a buffet. Consuming whatever we want at our leisure by selecting posts from links shared by our networks.
To increase our chances of posts being read we need to:
- To be an active part of the edublogosphere and make time to social network with others via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.
- Add social share tools like AddThis Social Share to make it easier for others to share your posts.
Twitter is one of the key network used by educators and where many educators source links to posts to read.
If you aren’t using Twitter or don’t follow many educators on Twitter — now is the time to build up your Twitter network! You learn more about using Twitter here.
The key to reading and responding to other peoples’ blog posts is finding effective strategies that make reading and commenting time efficient.
There is a lot more personal preference in where we source our links from and how we choose to read the content.
Some people prefer to read posts directly from Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+ — dipping into the stream when they have time and knowing the more popular posts will be shared the most (so easily found). While others subscribe to RSS using RSS readers like Feedly or Flipboard.
We’re going to show you how to subscribe using RSS; and how to use both Feedly and Flipboard because these approaches make reading and commenting time efficient.
I use Feedly for reading my blog subscriptions and Flipboard for sourcing links from my social networks.
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Introduction to RSS
RSS is an acronym which stands for Really Simple Syndication.
In simple terms, RSS is a simple and effective way of keeping in touch when new information is added to a website without having to visit the website to check for new updates.
How it works is you subscribe to your favorite website using the RSS feed in a RSS feed reader such as Feedly. Whenever new information is added to the website it is automatically sent to your RSS feed reader where you can read it at your convenience.
For example, whenever your favorite blogger publishes a new post it is automatically sent to your Feed reader.
Sites with RSS feeds are normally indicated with the word RSS and/or the orange RSS icon.
For more information, watch RSS in Plain English
Important facts about RSS
- Blogs on all standard blogging platforms automatically include RSS feeds and don’t necessarily use words or an icon to indicate the presence of the RSS feed.
- For all Edublogs, the rss feed is found by going to yourblog.edublogs.org/feed. RSS feed readers like Feedly automatically detect your RSS feed from your blog URL so there is no need to know the feed URL.
- RSS is automatically disabled on all private blogs to ensure only people who should be able to view the content of your blog are able to.
Subscribe to blogs using Feedly
There are a wide range of feed readers available and the most popular RSS Feed Reader currently is Feedly.
Watch this video to check Feedly out in action in the different devices.
Flipboard was originally designed as a social network aggregation, magazine-format app for iPad in 2010. It is now the most popular of the magazine-like content aggrregator apps for iOS, Android, Kindle and Nook.
Flipboard’s strength is you are able to bring your social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn into one location alongside your favorite news sources and anything else you like to read, or watch (like YouTube) – all while making it easily to share your favorite content with your social networks and enabling you to easily curate your favorite content into Flipboard magazine(s).
Watch this video to see FlipBoard in action.
I use Flipboard to subscribe to the following type of content:
- Local newspapers (search using the name of the newspaper)
- Technology blogs (search using the blog URL or blog title)
- Tweets mentioning posts published on Edublogs and Global 2 (search using edublogs.org or global.vic.edu,au) – finds all tweets that shares a link to a post published on any blog on Edublogs.org
- Twitter hashtags (search using the hashtag)
I also use it to curate Flipboard magazines. You can check out my Flipboard magazine here.
Common asked comment questions
Here’s answers to commonly asked questions we receive into Edublogs Support:
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1. How do you enable comments on pages?
Most our themes support comments on pages and by default comments are enabled on pages.
You can enable comments on pages using Quick Edit as follows:
1. Go to Pages > All Pages
2. Locate the post or page you want to enable comments on
3. Hover over its title to bring up its action menu and then click on Quick Edit.
4. Select ‘Allow Comments’ and then click on Update.
2. Why don’t comments display on pages?
Most our themes now support comments on pages however there are a few themes that don’t.
If the theme you are using doesn’t support comments on pages, and you would like this feature, then you will need to use an alternative theme.
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3. How do I make comments display on my homepage?
Traditionally comments are designed to be displayed under a post and you view the comments by clicking on the post title or the comments link. It is done this way because posts can have hundreds of comments and displaying them directly under a post on the post page can make it hard to read the content.
You can display comments by adding the Recent Comments widget to the sidebar.
We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about blogging by undertaking one or more of these challenges:
- If you haven’t joined Twitter yet, head over to twitter.com and sign up. Leave a comment on this post with your Twitter name so we can follow you. You learn more about using Twitter here.
- Watch this video by Steve Wheeler on 3 Things you need to know about blogging! Leave a comment to share what you learned from watching Steve’s video.
- Set up Feedly and/or Flipboard. Refer to these instructions to set up and use Feedly or this information to use Flipboard. Here is a list of blogs you can subscribe to using Feedly.
- Write a post on your blog about what you learned. The focus here is to reflect on your learning. For example, ‘What did you learn about connecting with others that you didn’t know?’, ‘What did you like/not like about Twitter, Feedly or Flipboard?’, ‘What advice did we give that you don’t agree with or we should have included?’ Please include @edublogs if you tweet your post — so we can share your post with our network. Leave a comment with a link to your post so we can read it!
Also feel free to leave any questions you are having (or tips/advice) as well.