The activity for Day 2 of the Comment Challenge is to comment on a new blog and report back on one's experiences. I had a good session last night of commenting on the blogs of people taking part in this challenge but as there are nearly 100 people taking part, it is unlikely I'll get to comment on all the blogs. But for today's challenge I thought I'd report back on an experience I had earlier in the week.
Outside my comfort zone
There's been some discussion lately about the importance of breaking away from your circle of people who have similar interest and values, and visit blogs that have different perspectives. So with that in mind I followed a Twitter link to a post about the teaching and assessment of writing and literacy in schools, written by Clay Burrell.
The discussion was a lively one amongst teachers and had obviously struck a cord because there were some passionate responses. I made several comments but I am not sure if people really understood what I was trying to say, and I probably didn't really fully understand what was going on.
I found the discussion and my part in it very frustrating because I just wanted to shout at everyone "I don't care how you teach and assess literacy in schools as long as when students get to a midwifery program at university/polytechnic, they have the ability to be able to document the care they have given to a woman and their decisions about assessment and actions". It was very tempting to get sucked into an argument, but in the end I decided I'd let people who knew better than me get on with it.
Lessons for commenting
I think the main lesson I got from this experience was not to be sucked into personal, destructive arguments. I also think it is really important that you are prepared for people to disagree with you, and not to take it personally.
On the other hand, I believe bloggers must be careful how they respond to comments. If someone is just plucking up courage to comment especially if they are new to blogging and you make a response that may be misconstrued as unfriendly, that can be very off-putting for the new blogger and possibly put up barriers to future commenting on your blog.
What do you think?
Image: The hail storm we had in Dunedin yesterday.