What is a conversation?
A conversation, the give and take of ideas among people. We converse in the hallway, at dinner, or any time we meet. We listen to the stories of our friends, and we share our own. We ask questions, and answer those of others. We laugh. We cry. We agree. We disagree. We consider what our friends say. We may even change our own ideas. But the important thing is, we share, consider, and continue the dialogue. That’s a conversation. Isn’t it?
What is a blog conversation?
As you have been practicing, good bloggers spend time reading and commenting on others’ blogs. We look for posts of interest to us and leave a comment expressing our ideas and appreciation for the topic information. Commenting is a form of conversation with the author of the blog.
As bloggers, we can do more to extend the conversation. We can add value to others’ ideas by extending the conversation into our own blogs.
When we read others’ blog posts. We enjoy, learn, or disagree with them. In our minds, we have a response. That’s what we want to capture, that spark of connection when we read the posts.
Read to find that spark, that connection — the place in the blog post you think, “Ah.” or “What?” or “Yeah.”
At that point, that’s your cue to add to the conversation. It’s your gift back from the value given in the post. Copy that part of the idea.
Then, with the best digital citizenship in mind, we write a post about that idea, and your gift back: do you agree? disagree? learn something? have a different or new idea?
Go for it: Share their idea and your response — being overly positive as we always do so the author feels accepted and not disrespected.
Link back to the original blog.
Then comment on the blog with a link to your response post.
You’ve just started a blog conversation!
So, How do I start a blog conversation?
- Find a post with a spark — an idea that you connect with other ideas
- Copy that part of the post
- Start your post with that quote and the author’s name.
- Link the author’s name to their blog (put the URL of that POST as a link from the name)
- Thank the author for their idea
- Add your ideas: a new idea, a different idea, an agreement and why, a respectful disagreement [I wonder if…], a question and your answer
- Publish your post
- Go back to the original post and comment with a link to your post
- Smile: You’re a blogger!
Blogging is a Conversation
If you blog, you’re a writer, an author, but take it further, be a the blogger that adds value to your connections. Be a connected learner.
This blog post is an extension of a conversation learned in a WizIQ webinar I took with Stephen Downes, which I wrote about here, to share my learning and my response to that webinar learning. I learned that the connections are what is important:
- In order for what we are saying to make any sense, it needs to be a response to something.
- Find places where you can add value rather than pursue a particular goal or objective
- In almost all fields, connecting with others IS the work.
- Connecting is all about adding value and flow (input, output, feedback, plasticity)
That post of mine and this post for you are part of the flow, the extension of the conversation from the gift of learning from Stephen Downes. I decided to make changes in my blogging practice and to share that with you:
- Read and comment on blogs; blog a response (this is one of my responses).
- For my students, we will now read others’ blogs first, blog our response of those that touch our hearts and minds, and comment back with a link to our posts.
Do you see how I have:
- Included a link to Stephen Downes?
- Include the learning [bullets above] from Stephen Downes?
- Linked his name back to his blog and also to the WizIQ webinar information?
- Added my ideas [directions to you; two changes I will make]?
- Thanked the author [Stephen]?
- Lastly, I wrote back on the webinar site [not available publicly] to share my blogpost, which is my “comment back.”
- And, for writing class, did I:
- Write clearly
- Write with evidence
- Write positively
- Write in paragraphs
- Write with correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization?
Ready? Have a go —
Find an inspiring post and write your own extension to the conversation, adding value to the ideas of the original author! And ask yourself:
- Are you connected?
- Are you adding value?
- Are you responding to the gifts from others?
- Are you extending the conversation?
- And , for writing class, are you:
- writing clearly with evidence?
- writing positively [respectfully]
- writing in paragraphs with correct conventions [grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization]?
Have a go,
…and come back here to comment on the results…