Discussion Board Blogging

After reading my post, How to Comment on a Blog, I instruct students to practice what they have learned by commenting on blogs. The following lesson is what I use to create a discussion board through existing blogs. Most of these blog writers are people I know and trust, so I do not have to worry about the content of what the students are reading; I know whatever they read will encourage good character and self-analysis.

Here are the instructions.

 

Read 15 posts from a blog(s) on the approved list of bloggers below. (You can use the same blogger for multiple posts if you like, but you can only use bloggers on the approved list for this assignment.)

Write a comment on each of the fifteen posts you chose to read and send it to the blogger. (Your posts should be visible in the author’s comment stream. Sometimes the comments are pending approval and will post within a few days. Most of these bloggers regularly blog and check their comments, so don’t be surprised if you hear back from them on your post. You will be notified by email using the email you used to log in and leave a comment. Be polite and respond back to them as necessary if you do hear from them. Networking with a writer is always a good thing, and your feedback as their reader is invaluable to them.)

Copy and paste the urls for the posts you commented in an email to your instructor for grading. You should have fifteen separate posts that you read and commented on by the end of this assignment. (This step will be used to follow up on your work and grade your assignment.)

 

Approved Blog List

https://rebeccawhitman.wordpress.com/

The personal blog of your teacher 😉 written intentionally to inspire and encourage the perspective that you are made for a purpose and greatly loved by God.

https://datingwithjesus.com/

The personal blog of a young career woman trying to date while honoring Christ as the focus of her life.

https://www.ransomedheart.com/blogs

The official blogs of well-known writers and speakers, John & Stasi Eldridge, and others.

http://thenobleheart.com/gary-barkalow/

http://thenobleheart.com/sam-williamson/

The official blogs of The Noble Heart ministries with Gary and Leigh Barkalow.

http://charlesmartinbooks.com/blog

The official blog of the professional fiction writer, Charles Martin.

https://onetahayes.com/

The personal blog of a well-educated teacher, wife, mom, and grandma.

http://www.heartofawarriorbook.com/the-warriors-heart/

The official blog of Michael Thompson, founder of Zoweh Ministries.

https://magnoliamarket.com/hearth-hand-with-magnolia/

The official blog of Chip and Joanna Gaines of Magnolia and the DIY show, Fixer Upper.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

The personal blog of a friend and military spouse offering advice and insight helpful to living married to a military person.

https://www.goingbeyond.com/

The official blog of noted public speaker and actress, Priscilla Shirer.

http://www.billrosespeaks.com/

The personal blog of a local preacher sharing frank insight into everyday issues and cultural commentary.

http://thekindlingfire.com/blog/

A collection of blogs by outdoorsmen and women actively pursuing God.

How to Comment on Blogs

Most authors today write blogs in addition to or in place of published books. Our learning and our reading are expanding at a rapid pace online. Bloggers rely on readership and comments. Readership is when someone likes or follows a blog and reads it faithfully. Comments are when someone reads a blog and writes a message to the blogger in response to the blog on the individual post itself. Readership is a key factor in growth but comments are often how bloggers perfect themselves in their craft.

As a blogger, I have seen all types of comments come into my blog. Some comments show more reflection than others. Take the following comment for example:

I didn’t know that quote about woman made from Adam’s rib was from Matthew Henry. It is a lot older than I thought. I thought it was more contemporary – since women’s lib /rights, etc. became prominent. Love the CS Lewis. Very good article you have written.

In this comment, the reader reflected that she had not only read my blog post, but she was also moved by it. The reader shared points that impressed her as well as her overall impression from the post. Sometimes a blog post can make you think of how it applies to you personally and inspire you to relate to the author. Take the following comment for example:

Much wisdom here. I think your prayers in the previous relationship were answered for your best good. The one who needed space was not the one for you. The breakup hurt, of course, but it ultimately made room for someone better. I remember needing time to work on my relationship with Jesus before I’d be ready for a healthy relationship. I didn’t realize that at the time, but God knew.

In this comment, the reader was relating with the author about what they were sharing about relationships. In both of these examples, the readers were interacting with the blogger through what I like to call “meaningful comments”.

What are meaningful comments?

Meaningful comments express how the reader is learning from the blogger and, in some ways, they reach out relationally to them. In these examples, the comments were encouraging the blogger and praising their work. However, not all meaningful comments are sharing praise. Take the following comment for example:

The part that stands out to me about the title of the blog is where it talks about how all the history of New Bern has basically been unchanged. I don’t know much about New Bern so everything it talks about is something new I’m learning about it. I like the fact that it tells you about all the old shops that are still in business. I wouldn’t mind visiting it, and trying out the Pepsi shop they have there. I can tell that the author seems to have been there before from the information I read. I would have probably talked about festivals or activities they have down there, so in that case more people would want to visit New Bern. You can probably get brochures and compare the information between the blog and the brochures. But the best person to talk to about it would more then likely be a tour guide because they’ve probably lived there their whole life.

In this comment, the reader seems a bit disconnected. His sentences are choppy and written more like he is talking to a wall than a real person. However, he does bring out some good critical points where the blogger could have done a better job with her post. Amidst his praise for the post, he was also offering constructive criticism about how it could be better. Though not all comments need to do this, it is especially helpful to a blogger when a reader does have insights like this to share because it gives the blogger something to better themselves in.

Occasionally, a blog post will end with questions. Those questions are an invitation to the reader to answer the questions in the comments and thereby continue the conversation. Questions can often be a good way to spark comments and they are intended to do just that.

Generally speaking, you should comment on blogs in complete sentences. Occasionally it is okay to include phrases in your response to a blog post. Before you press the send button, however, make sure you have not left out any words or misspelled anything; you want your meaning to be clear.