In reflecting over the benefits of the first week or so of the 31 Days to Better Blogging Challenge, the biggest thing for me has been the overall boost in community. I've reached out to more people and more people are reaching out to me. It's awesome. But with community comes great responsibility.
(I'm a touchy-feely-people-kind-of-person. I'd like to take the time to personally hug everyone.)
Christine Martell writes:
If you start commenting and emailing multiple people, reading lots of blogs with posts with similar names, it gets confusing really quick. Suddenly, you need a new level of organization and ways to keep track of it all.This is why using a feed reader (I use Google Reader) is essential to staying on top of all of the blogs you read. Christine's going to set up a netvibes page.
Staying on top of the comments can be tricky. I've been using a tool called co.mment. With a co.mment icon now installed on my Firefox toolbar, I just need to remember to click on it when I leave a comment on someone's blog and want to track the conversation. Then I can go back to my co.mment page later and check in on all the conversations I've been having. My problem is I often forget to click the icon.
CoComment is another commenting tool out there to help you manage all those conversations. I was using it for awhile, but had issues once I moved to Firefox.
Tim Davies is also wondering about how to stay on top of all of these conversations:
The challenge has been great for encouraging me to be more willing to comment, so I've been dropping in input, questions and comments where I can across todays blog reading. Making the time to engage in conversations online does seem to move towards greater abundancy thinking and I'm really enjoying the opportunities it is presenting. I'm a little worried that my current level of participation is only enabled by the flexibility of the projects I'm working on at the moment... and that it will be trickier to keep engaged when work pressure bite.It does take more focus and time to stay on top of the conversations in which you're engaged. And now that some blog conversations have turned into more private email threads for me, there's a whole 'nother level of effort. But it is worth it. This is where the community part of the whole shebang really happens.
That said, I do think it's ok to not have to respond to each and every email and each and every comment. Sometimes, it's ok to just write another blog entry to continue the conversation! Then you can respond to everyone at once.