Dear SLJ & other bloggers

I have many feeds in my reader and rarely step outside of it unless I want to comment. Part of the lure of what attracts me to so many blogs is the feel that I’m involved with or following a conversation. I have gotten to where as I skim through the newly posted content on blogs, I get mildly irritated at the number of bloggers (many of whom are quite established, those who convinced me that I could become a published author through blogging and develop a readership), who do not provide a comments feed.
I find that the blogs I most enjoy are the ones that allow me to subscribe to their comments feed as well as the feed for new posts. And it is even better when the blogger has a following, as I learn so much more from them and their visitors, mainly because I can follow a virtual conversation that stems from a post. Some of my favorite blogs that also provide a comments feed I read include Doug Johnson, Will Richardson, Dean Shareski, and Vicki Davis. These bloggers provide this service, and Doug Johnson and Vicki Davis both added their “comments” feed recently at my request–thanks y’all!

So here is my challenge. Go back to your blog and add the link for comments. (In Edublogs, the comments feed is the meta widget box and you add it in the presentation area of the dashboard.) I will subscribe to the comments feed, as I enjoy devouring your information from the comfort of my reader, a one stop shop for professional learning from my professional learning community.

So why do  write this today? I have noticed the blog posts from the School Library Journal (SLJ) (where my favorite Joyce Valenza’s Neverending Search now resides), do not have the desired comments feed, and almost disguise the fact that they have blogs at all. SLJ claims to be the home for several feeds and blogs, but my trusty URL box lacks the typical orange feed icon. However, when I subscribe they do show up in my reader. I’m not sure why SLJ wants to claim blogs under their umbrella when they only give you an opening line preview, both in the reader and on the SLJ site, forcing you to link out to another page to read the full blog and posts. Wonder if Joyce Valenza has noticed a decline in comments since moving to the SLJ site for her Neverending Search blog? Hmm, I’ll have to ask her. I’m not complaining of the quality of shared information at SLJ’s highlighted blogs. Just totally frustrated at the lengths I have to go to in order to follow the conversations. It makes SLJ’s blogs almost NOT a blog at all, and a chore to read. Bummer.

Image: ‘elephant talk
www.flickr.com/photos/47968145@N00/325235488



13 Responses to “Dear SLJ & other bloggers”

  1.   Kathy Lawrence Says:

    Even though I have to search for comments from SLJ, I still appreciate Joyce Valenza’s take on school libraries. I feel like I am particularly savvy about web 2.0 but still am struggling with twitter and comments feeds and other aspects. Keep blogging and we will all benefit however we get the message.

  2.   Cory Plough Says:

    I really appreciate this post. I use CoComment to track conversations that I contribute too, but haven’t checked my cheesy Blogger acct to make sure that people can track comments on my blog. My guess is they cant. I looked through the settings on Blogger and didn’t find a spot to activate comment feeds for users. I posted a request for help on Twitter, will see what comes back and definitely fix my blog if its possible. You got me thinking, thanks.

  3.   Chris Craft Says:

    Mine has always been available, located in the footer.

    feed://http//www.crucialthought.com/comments/feed/

    Chris

  4.   Vicki Davis Says:

    Thank you for asking about this! Honestly, it was a bit difficult to do! I send the information through my delicious links but probably need to write about this as well. Comment feeds are fascinating tools and I think I’ll start looking for them again.The great thing about comments is that it includes EVERYONE. Thank you for bringing all of our attention to this!

  5.   Arthus Erea Says:

    I agree, comments feeds are great. If bloggers don’t provide a link and are using a WordPress-powered blog (self-hosted or wordpress.com/edublogs) then you can make the link yourself simply by adding “?feed=comments-rss2″ on the end of their url.

  6.   Cathy Nelson Says:

    Wow I’m glad I made a post that resonated with s many.

    @Kathy L – Yep I go and find them since I know they are there. But it angers me no less that SLJ forces so many additional clicks to find them- Argg. It almost makes it feel 1.0ish and not 2.0. Get with the program SLJ!

    @Cory Email Vicki Davis of Cool Cat Teacher–she uses blogger and with some work was able to produce a comments feed.

    @Chris – I’ve always had yours. Thanks for making it available.

    @Vicki – Yep you and Doug J were the ones who made me realize i was missing a lot of additional info if I didn’t take the time to go back and read from the blog itself. Then I started noticing a lot of blogs in my reader didn’t provide them. So I began asking the ones where I didn’t see a feed to please produce it. Guess what? Many of them have. Thanks.

    @Arthus thanks for providing that tip to. Hopefully it will help others, or me, should relocate away from Edublogger.

  7.   Langwitches Says:

    Cathy,
    I also often wish certain bloggers would allow me to subscribe to their comments. I also use the option of some bloggers to subscribe via e-mail to responses to certain conversations. I use a WordPress plugin to activate that option.

    Thank you for bringing attention to this. BTW Langwitches’ Comment RSS is available in the left sidebar under “META”.

  8.   Ann Oro Says:

    Your wish is my command. See Subscribe on top left of my blog. I had to cheat and see what Coolcatteacher did, but it’s working.

    Ann

  9.   Laura Deisley Says:

    Cathy–

    Thanks for making this “call” to bloggers. It would be so helpful. It’s nice that I get email alerts to comment threads I’ve contributed to, but I miss so much without those other feeds. Not that I need that feeder to grow, but…

    Quick add-on to Arthus’s comment: I find adding the extension “comments/feed” works on any Edublog or Word Press-powered blog…and it is easier to remember than the code he offered.

  10.   Cory Plough Says:

    I checked out coolcateacher’s blog and saw she just used a chicklet to set up the comments feed. I was hoping Blogger had a feature where you could get feeds to individual post comments but it doesn’t seem to be the case. They just let you use email to track a single blog post, but can use the chicklet to track ALL comments on the blog. Well, the more I learn about Blogger the more I want to create my own website. Of course, I could be missing something but either way, you can now track comments on my blog. Thanks!

  11.   Arthus Erea Says:

    @Laura Yes, that will usually work. The only time it won’t is when mod_rewrite is not enabled. The code “?feed=comments-rss2″ will work for any WordPress powered blog on any host (even if the blogger doesn’t provide a link)

  12.   joycevalenza Says:

    Thanks, Cathy, for bringing this to public attention. I sent your post to Brian at SLJ and he is looking into fixing things. I having trouble simply posting a comment on the SLJ blogs. Thanks also for making the extra effort!

  13.   Doug Johnson Says:

    Hi Cathy,

    I appreciate being asked to figure out how to supply a comments feed! The Blue Skunk is better for your being a reader!

    All the very best,

    Dou

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