community participation via blog commenting

Bonnie Nardi once observed that “the modal number of comments in individually authored blogs has been found to be zero,” which was a theme picked up in Geert Lovink’s book Zero Comments

The Community Participation via Blog Commenting assignment asks students to make a substantive comment on an external blog posting that addresses issues relevant to this course and to observe the principles of “generosity,” “confidence,” “humility,” “flexibility,” and “integrity” from Anne Balsamo’s Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work (2011, p. 163). Blogging sites with relevant blog posts include HASTAC,CASTAC, Media Praxis, Planned Obsolescence, and Difference Engines.


Learning Objectives

  • Students will identify a network of admired, like-minded researchers outside of the class who are discussing an issue of concern.  This issue should be relevant to course discussions, readings, and assignments, but it should also speak to the personal interests and situated experiences of the student who is commenting.
  • Students will formulate a rhetorical strategy for being respectfully in dialogue with members of this network by commenting appropriately on a blog.
  • Students will increase their understanding that some forms of debate can foster aggression, territorial feelings, or defensive reactions that make future collaboration unlikely.  (This objective can also be served by showing examples of anti-feminist comments on feminist blogs.)
  • Students will translate and condense their academic ideas for presentation to a public audience.


Previous Student Work

Here is one example within the suggested 200-250 word limit that connects feminist theory to disability studies:

1 Comment

  1. Ashley Jones
    June 28, 2016 @ 3:33 pm

    We often talk about commenting etiquettes and how your blog comments can stand out if you leave it long and all of that. Personally, I feel that a comment’s length does not matter at all.

    A comment contains the thoughts of a reader – What information did the reader derive out of the post, how did he relate with the post and how was it helpful for him.

    So, a reader will only comment when they found some value in a post. (We are not concerned about people who comment merely for backlinks). Now, this reader can jot down his thoughts in a one liner or even 10 paragraphs. That’s the reason we cannot say for sure how ‘long’ a comment should be!

    I think I left it too long already I really liked your guide to write wonderful comments. Everyone has their own style but we can definitely pick a point or two from this list. This was a very interactive topic and it was great to read some awesome comments!


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