I admit it. I tend to be a lurker when reading blogs.There are so many great ones out there that I follow, but will admit, I rarely comment. I often will retweet a link to a great blog, but again, rarely leave a comment. Back when I started blogging I commented regularly. I was participating in a Twitter challenge for new bloggers to write ten posts during the summer and we all supported each other by commenting on one another’s posts regularly. Then, school started up and I didn’t read or comment as often.
A fellow teacher at my school is also blogging and is at a crossroads as to what type of blog she wants to write. She is wondering if it is worth the effort if only, as she phrased it, her mom and dad are the only ones reading it. What if when you check your stats you find out only a few people a month are reading it? Then, you have a decision to make. Why are you blogging in the first place? Is it to genuinely share with others? Is it a cathartic experience for yourself? Are you blogging to communicate with your students and their families? Or, do you just enjoy writing? I even had a teacher in my building tell me they didn’t know that’s the kind of blog I was writing. Wasn’t sure how to take that one. Whatever your reason for blogging, just be comfortable with your choice.
For me, I just like to write and it is cathartic. At first I did worry that no one was reading my blog and commenting. But then had to remember why I began in the first place. I wasn’t out to say my teaching methods were the best or to sell you a product. I just wanted to have a medium to share my thoughts, model for my students a Genius Hour project, and if possible inspire a few others along the way. I wanted to try something new. I wanted to write.
So, stop worrying about your stats and if you’re going to be the latest and greatest blog in the educational world. It’s not about the number of followers you have. It’s about your purpose and your message. But, hey, we all need a little encouragement and feedback on what we do. So…I have a challenge for you.
I will be posting on Twitter my challenge and see if anyone joins in on it. It is #blogrespond and the goal is to reply to five blog posts before you return to school. For me, I report back in fifteen days. Therefore, I only need to read and respond every three days. I hope to do more, but I want an attainable goal to begin. Part two of the challenge is to respond to a post ten times during the school year. Again, attainable goal since it gets so busy during the school year.
I’ve learned so much from the blogs I follow and the amazing educators I follow on Twitter that I want to give back by letting them know how much I value them. If you aren’t currently reading any education blogs and don’t know where to begin, check out the blogs I follow (I’ll be adding more). Another tip is to look at the people you currently follow on Twitter and see if they have a blog. So, are you ready to stop lurking and start commenting? Share the #blogrespond challenge on Twitter and link back to the blog you read. This way others will benefit from what you found interesting and valuable.
Now get out there. Start reading. Start commenting. Start supporting. You have the potential to make a blogger’s day.