Go ahead, applaud

Chris Brogan has said that today, Monday, April 28, should be comment day. Chris tells us to go visit other people and engage in their conversation. I was going to list a bunch of links.

But I’m not. I’ll just go there myself and comment.

However, I was at a concert on Sunday and a musical on Saturday night. I’ve watched how feedback works and helps in those places and decided to create another 8 ways list.

1. Be spcific in your comments. It helps the conversation to continue.

2. Be persistent in your comments. Some of us don’t reply immediately, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t listening.

3. Be thoughtful. Be willing to use your mind to suggest new ideas, new perspectives.

4. Be connected. Make sure that your comments relate somehow to what the person is saying. I have a hard time continuing the conversation when I can’t figure out the nature of the connection.

5. Be encouraging in your comments. Sometimes we just need to hear a cheer, or know that someone in particular is listening.

6. Be multi-modal. I just made that up, but it means that sometimes the comments should be in the comment field, but sometimes they should be in an email or a phone call or a text or a tweet. A post and comments are just one place for interaction. (I know the value of having the conversation in public. But there are times for keeping parts hidden or directed).

7. Be conversational. Conversation invites other people to talk as well. I’m not great at this. I tend to give the last word. So…

8. Be _____________. What kind of comments are most helpful to you?

The floor (or the comment box) is yours.


17 responses to “Go ahead, applaud

  1. Be human.

    The best commenters have a knack of noticing when you’re writing something important, that’s deeply felt, or personal, or when you’re feeling a little down. Getting comments on those occasions is all the more valued.

    Oh, and just be there.


  2. Joanna,
    and you are wonderful at this noticing. From personal experience.

  3. Fitting that my first comment should go on a blog that I like to offer up as an example of blogging with heart. I love all the touches you add to your posts, including the picture, the occasional list post, the way your storytelling ability brings everything together.

    This is a great post to help people think about commenting.

  4. Thank you, friend Chris. This commenting idea is a wonderful one. Of course.

  5. i am someone who visits here and has nothing to say most times, yet I am drawn to come back over and over. Having a daughter who performs who happens to be about the age of your daughter Hope, your two posts; one of the empty stage and then one of the view of the stage really struck me – i am the proud mom sitting in the audience – sometimes so proud I wonder can others tell that I am beaming?? Yet I often wonder what is the view from the stage?? I think that would make a cool Blog. “The view from here” Ha!

  6. Karen…write it! or together with your daughter, write it.

    and we can talk about it at SOBcon on saturday.

  7. Being open is a big deal. It’s so easy to hide and be anonymous, but few will listen.

    By the way, I love your openness, Jon. 🙂

  8. Bryan – to be honest, sometimes it’s the mask of openness. I know that one well, having cultivated it for a long time.

    But i love the idea of openness being essential to comments. It furthers the conversation.

  9. @Jon: Great point!

    So, if you simply want to be heard, don’t be open – just speak and walk away. If you want to converse, insert a pause after your statement(s).

  10. northpointcc

    As usual, another great idea. Perhaps I would add – Be yourself. When I am anxious about a speaking engagement my wife will tell me to just be myself.

  11. Oh Bryan. Exactly. “Insert a pause after your statement.” perfect.

    Tom – exactly. Because it is your self (talking about you, my friend) that is what I want to hear.

  12. being heard is not always “simple” 🙂

    sometimes speaking and walking away is the way people like me do it

    but i also listen to others when they don’t know it
    or throw something in and then walk away

    not the ideal conversationalist by any means 🙂
    but i’m in there
    and for me that’s an accomplishment in itself

  13. oh sure, everyone, make me think.

    1. one of the things that I am supposed to be thinking about right now is the idea of community. Certainly in general and in particular as it relates to a spiritual community, or a worshiping community. (That’s what it’s being called at this point in the research).

    Community is built across time, through many conversations.

    2. What you are pushing me to do is to expand on my reaction to what Bryan said. Which is a pretty important thing to do. I can through out statements, get response, without participating in conversation. But that’s because I can be noisy enough to be heard.

    There are voices that are unheard, or unlistened to. In a body metaphor, they are the non-mouth parts.

    Conversation includes learning conversation skills. That feels, at first, like a slam against the quieter voices. But it isn’t. Aren’t the best conversationalists the ones who can take the floor, but in the process, insert pauses and then invite the quieter voices to speak (and then affirm the content of the contribution publicly by treating it as a contribution and teach refinements on the side)?

    (Liz Strauss is fabulous at this kind of interaction in the blogging world.)

    3. I get it. Bryan’s comment works for those of us who are noisy. For others the counsel is, “insert a statement between the pauses.”

    4. AND, the best comments, at a pragmatic level, are the ones made with a changing life.

    Does any of that make sense?

  14. I had to comment on your blog today, Jon – this being the national comment-on-blog day.

    Thanks for all you do for the blogging community & for your non-blogging community.

  15. wait!
    is any of this supposed to make sense? 🙂

  16. Um…no.

    Not as an essay anyway. But maybe as essay-ettes.

    Thanks, Paul, for stopping by. If I were good, i would have commented at your place. Wait. It’s not too late!

  17. I will !! See you Saturday!