It was almost a year ago I reflected (not the first, not the last), on the subtle power of blog commenting, which to me is still as vital a part of the ecosystem as pounding out new posts (or incessant barking). I was just nicely reminded of this by a comment on a 3 year old flickr photo.

At the same time, I am rather cranky at missing out on the colleagues and activity at this year’s Northern Voice conference, one of the highlights of last year’s conference circuit. Grumble, darn schedule….

Just for grins, I ran the query I did last year to credit by frequent commenters since January 1, 2006

Wow, so here is a big thanks to my frequent commenters!

So this is what I am doing, just for the heck of it. This will be my last blog post published here on my own blog, for a week. For the next 7 days, I will publish my ideas, communicate, etc, in the comment spaces of Other People’s blogs. It’s an experiment, to see what that level of communication is like. One can never have too many good comments on their own blog, so this is my bit of paying it forward.

If it seems interesting, I urge others to pick one week out of the year (not this one, I need my reader to have some published posts I can comment on!), and spend it publishing in the comment-o-sphere.

To track my activity, I’ve re-activated by cocomment account, so for the next week, I am comment blogging at

See you on the other side…. now off I go….


Double-muzzle flickr photo by danja. shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Yeesh – had I put in just 10 more comments, I would have cracked the top 10!

    Alan, this is a great idea. I think we could all benefit from spreading the good karma around by putting some of our great ideas in others’ blogs. If we don’t do that, we end up with a series of monologues instead of a conversation.

  2. Aw, and I didn’t even get on the board!

    I look forward to some pointers at the end of the week to see what you were reading and commented on.

    (One of my Long Time Reads, also by a guy named Alan, has a nice little comment stats page… it’s great to see just how much of a commenting-fan you are :))

  3. Everyone knows I would have ran away with the title of “top commenter” if you didn’t delete the vast majority of my contributions just because they gave tips and links to the hottest payday loans, the hippest cut-rate viagra alternatives, or the he-male edublogger sexcast networks with the biggest buzz. I don’t take it personally, since every time you blog I make money.

    Keep up the hard work. Back to the saltlick-mines, CogDogBlogBoy.

    Do you want a cut of the bounty? All I ask is blind, unthinking obedience.

  4. @Rob, No incentives to crack the top 10…. Maybe I can give back a package of 2000 spam messages ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Patrick – will do, that’s the plan (hoping I am not breaking my own rules by commenting on my own blog) And of course, as you helped me discover this week, I had somehow inadvertantly got your IP in my Blacklist; now the gates are open, so you are in contention for the 2008 listing.

    @Leon – Just keep depositing my share in the Nigerian bank account, speaking of which, why have you not sent me a balance statement in the last 6 months?

  5. I’ve been preparing a Web 2.0 workshop for faculty all this week and have really been exploring the blogoshere. I’m impressed with how much communication, scholarly and otherwise, actually goes on through blogging and commenting.

    I always read your posts and they are so helpful! Thanks.

  6. What an awesome idea. I will follow suit next week. Thanks for the comment on my blog. As someone who doesnt get that many comments– it was very exciting. Just like the kids, we all benefit from comments. It makes us better writers. For some crazy reason I get email instead of comments. People are always emailing me their thoughts about my posts, which is nice too.

    Thanks for being such a good role model.


  7. We’ll miss you at NVoice. Maybe we can bring you in electronically?

    I am panicking. I have decided I don’t like the topic I picked to talk about. How’s that for fickle.

  8. hey! my comments got split between “D’Arcy Norman” and “DArcy Norman” because of that silly no-apostrophes-in-Name-field bug ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve got to figure out how to do this in Drupalspeak…

  9. Funny: I had absolutely no idea I’d commented that much. I might have given D’Arcy/DArcy a run for his money if I hadn’t fallen off the face of the earth for five months, ๐Ÿ™‚

    But y’know, this isn’t just a count of my activity; it’s an index of inspiration, and from the numbers, I’d say you’ve been inspiring me frequently and consistently–and that I’ve come to count on CDB as part of my soul-roll. Thanks, Alan.

  10. Hey Alan. Great idea and I’m really glad you did it, because you came and commented on my blog. Great to rub virtual shoulders with you for a second. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Dear cogdogblog guy – in firefox on my pc your content is off about 100 pixels to the left and your side bar doesn’t appear on the side until all the blog entries are done – so something is wacky with your css.

    I assume you can fix it, if you can’t emailme and I can take a look at your code.

  12. Julie,

    Thanks for the tip, will check it out. The sidebar lag in appearing is not a CSS bug as semantically, it comes after all the main content. Might be time to tinker with a new template.

  13. Oh Julie… I am typing this now in Firefox in XP and not seeing any issue with “content being off” to the left. I’d need to see a screenshot and have more details, but cannot confirm any issue.

    There is a bit of over run on the footer, but nothing significant.

    Any other folks out there confirm, deny, yawn?

  14. Hmm .. looks like I”m a comment — rhymes with door starts with w.

    I thought you had turned co-comment off?

    I just presented to National Association of Nonprofit Associations – and I do a 10 Steps to Association 2.0 – — what are some really ways that busy, over worked, and under resourced nonprofits can take advantage of web20 with a huge time commitment. How can they begin to experiment without it becoming overwhelming.

    Well, step 3 – is leaving bread crumbs:

    I want to try this experiment too – although I do a fair amount of commenting elsewhere already.

  15. oh, BTW, I had an experience of putting my keyboard in my mouth in the comments. I read a post and agreed in the comments. Later that week, read another post that disagreed with the idea and the post persuaded me to change my mind and I left a comment. Another person, who was following my trail – then sent me an email wondering why I was so confused …

    It is like a conversation in a way that helps evolve your thinking.

    I have put my keyboard in my mouth …

  16. I always thought of you as a comment woor ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for the great link to Vicki’s treatise on comments, all I can add is, “Ditto!” One might think of commenting as micro blogging, but its really a different form; as you are responding in context (and in the space of( some else’s thoughts. SO its like being a guest to a dinner and being a constructive part of the conversation, with witty jokes, knee slapping stories, political diatribes, and the occasional faux pas (burp)

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