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Leaving comments on blogs, articles, and other posts helps improve your communication skills! Didn't know that did you?
I recently came across a statistic about online engagement from the Neilson Norman Group study.
90% never contribute
9% contribute every now and then
1% contribute regularly.
These numbers are applied to blogging and comments too. I was shocked that 90% of blog readers are missing out on a chance to improve their communication skills.
Top 4 communication skills commenting improves
Your Listening Skills.
Commenting helps you listen to not only what the writer said, but how she/he said it, and why? Respond to something specific the writer wrote, something the writer implied, or something the writer omitted.
Your Feedback Skills.
Commenting helps you practice how to give useful feedback. Feedback, according to dictionary.com, is a reaction or response to a particular process or activity. The writer wrote something and posted it for the world to see. Depending on the type of communication, writers need to know not just if, but how, their writing is impacting their target audience. Encourage a writer by leaving a comment that engages you and the writer.
Your Writing Skills.
Commenting helps you practice writing clear concise messages. It also helps with your summary and paraphrasing skills. Commenting also gets you in the habit of citing your sources.
Your Empathy Skills.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the emotions of others. I find that people have a hard time identifying emotion, unless they are the big ones. Commenting is a way to help identify the subtle emotions at work, before they become bigger. This skill is important because it increases your emotional intelligence by allowing you to identify and respond to the emotional content of the writer. We all look to connect with other online. Being empathetic in your comments increases feelings of connected-ness.
So now that you know why you need to comment, let's tackle the next big hassle. What do you say?
How To Generate Comment Content
I have been part of the 90% who read something and never commented on it. I have also been a part of the 1% who has commented regularly. Sometimes I need to take a minute to gather my thoughts. As the cursor blinks in the box, I find it hard to leave a comment. If you are like me, here are ideas for generating the content for your comment.
1. Respond to something the writer said, implied, or omitted.
Writers of blogs or articles don't usually have time to exhaust a topic. They may only write about a certain facet of a topic. Comment about something the writer wrote that you have never heard before. Or comment how you plan to use the tips or resource suggestions they provided. Comment about an implied thought not explicitly stated in the piece. Depending on your knowledge of the content, comment about facts or ideas that were omitted.
2. Respond to the writing style.
Some writers have great tone voice. You can hear humor, passion, anger, and even pleading in a piece. Comment on how the tone of the piece connected with you. Some writers are extremely quotable. Comment by telling them which quote you liked and why. Some writers use great analogies and metaphors to convey their points. You can leave a comment saying what you liked about the mental picture that their examples, analogies, or metaphors conjured in you. Comment by complimenting something they did or admitted in the post.
3. Respond to a triggered thought related to the content.
We have all read something that reminded us of something. Comment by telling the writer about it. This could start a whole other conversation.
4. Respond with a question to keep or deepen the discussion.
If a writer is presenting him or herself as an expert, it is a great time to ask a question. Even if they aren't an "expert", and you just like their point of view, ask their opinion on something. This is personally my favorite way to comment.
I want to help you become a better communicator. Commenting on blog posts is an easy way to practice your skills. Commenting helps you identify the value in what was written. By commenting on it, you are further solidifying your learning.
So, why wouldn't you comment?
For a few more tips on leaving a comment check out these resources:
Mrs. Yollis Third Grade Class video gives superb tips. It is my favorite!
Bob Dunn gives good tips on how to get your post noticed.
HubPages gives some do's and don'ts when commenting
This post first appeared on Asmithblog.com