In the beginning of the year, I made a resolution to comment on at least 365 different blogs as a part of Nori’s Commenting 365 challenge. Over the months, I’ve mentioned it here and there, but I’m here to tell you that I’ve done it! 400 blogs were submitted to the C365 spreadsheet, and I commented on every single one with the exception of those whose blogs were deleted, had no posts, were empty links, etc. So, this year, I ended up commenting on 371 blogs.
To be honest, there were so many times when I really didn’t want to comment on particular blogs. Many blogs were ones that didn’t have anything to do with YA lit. They were centered around adult literature or personal blogging or other things. Others were less obvious no-gos. I didn’t want to comment on blogs where the authors clearly didn’t have the same taste in books that I did. Of course, this was sometimes a good thing because it allowed me to branch out and find more amazing bloggers. I learned a lot through the Commenting 365 experience, and I wanted to share some of it with all of you. Here’s a quick list:
As a result of Commenting 365, I
- got to know MC at Blame it On the Books and was featured on MC’s Make Me Read It! with Cricket from Summer on the Short Bus.
- found the Monday Musts feature. So many great things came out of the Monday Musts! I’ll do a separate post about all things the MMusts, but that’s for later :D
- developed a love for blog hopping and commenting, which led to me finding awesome bloggers (or cool people finding me).
- got over my fear of coding within comment sections (what if the commenting section doesn’t use Markdown? What if I publish my comment and it ends up with ugly code all over it? @_@)
- discovered that you can make your phone read you things. (people who don’t like to listen to books, I found that this was a really cool way to try it a different way!)
- found out that apparently, some people hate John Green.
- realized that bloggers commenting back is pretty rare :( Bloggers who comment back, special shoutout to you!
- determined what kind of blog designs I actually enjoy for book blogs, which led to my choosing of my current blog theme. You can find out all about that in this post.
- found out that there are some discussion posts so relevant to me that I can write a blog post’s worth of ranting about them… in a comment.
- discovered what just might be the greatest readathon idea I’ve ever seen in my life, thanks to The Book Sphere. I ended up not participating for numerous reasons (mainly school) but I love the idea and the setup!
- discovered the most gorgeous header I’ve ever seen in my life (click on the banner to go to Nicole’s blog!) :
Favorite blogs/bloggers found through Commenting 365:
All of these bloggers are super friendly and their blogs are fun! Their blog designs are amazing, and they stood out among the rest when I was going through all of the Commenting 365 blogs. Go check them out :D
- Kaitlin @ Next Page Please!
- MC @ Blame it On the Books
- Lynette @ Charmingly Simple
- Ardis @ Pondering the Prose
- Kaitlin @ The Vivacious Hobo
- Stefani @ Caught Read Handed
- Nicole & Sophia @ Quality Fangirls
- Jeann @ Happy Indulgences
- Kezia @ Chaperiosity
Blogs with some seriously cool things going on:
- Fiery Reads (Alex) – I loved her review at a glance even though I didn’t understand it at first! It’s such a great way to give an overview of a review within a graphic, and I was impressed.
- The Bookkeeper’s Secrets’ Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza (Lila) – This tag wasn’t created by Lila, but I loved her posts for this feature and her blog was the first place I found out about it. She also linked some amazing tags–one of my favorites being the Dim Sum Book Tag–that were fun to check out and brought me to some other great blogs.
- Artsy Musings of a Bibliophile – Love the blog design of this blog so much! Even though the writer isn’t very active, she/he does some fantastic reviews and recaps. The minimalistic white, red, and black completely does it for me. And hey, margins! Here’s what I love in a blog design.
- A Tree Grows in Bookland – Loved the idea of comparing specifics of the characters, world, and plot. It was nice to come back to the world of the Princess Diaries, and the spoilers that were revealed were fitting. It was a great post idea, and I really liked her writing.
- Delicate Eternity (Chiara) – I don’t usually love cutesy themes. It comes to be too much, and I don’t even think it looks all that great, but Delicate Eternity was beautiful. I loved the font, the spacing, the colors. I thought the colors were washed out and the font was a tad bit small, but other than that, it’s one of the best blog themes I’ve ever seen.
- Reverie Society (Pamela) – I visited Delicate Eternity and A Writer’s Tales on the same day, and AWT was also really surprising! I don’t like how the commenting font is different from everything else, but I liked the rest of the blog design. I usually don’t think that Tweak Me blogs look that great, only because so many blogs utilize it, but I felt like A Writer’s Tales made Tweak Me its own.
- SERIESous Book Reviews (Lauren) – I love the idea behind this blog, never mind the fact that it’s so well-organized and it perfectly refutes my claim that using a landing page isn’t very efficient for a book blog. It’s sticky page is cute, fun to read, and perfectly portrays the purpose of the website. Looking forward to checking this one out more!
Notes on Commenting
If I had a pet peeve when it comes to commenting, it would be trying to comment on a blog where the comments open in a new window. Why? What is the reason for that? There’s nothing about it that particularly irritates me; it’s just the act of seeing the new window open up and then typing that still small box. I’ll still comment on a blog if it opens up in a new window, but I’m not endeared to that blog design. Same thing when it comes to weird, squished up comment boxes. Commenting sections aren’t the places to get cute. It’s better to fit into standard and make it easy for people coming to your blog.
Also, generally, I love WordPress, but having to email confirm subscription to comments drives me crazy. If I checked the box, I checked the box, and I want to receive email notifications. Again, just a pet peeve, but I wish it wasn’t designed that way.
And please use CommentLuv if possible. It draws readers to the blogs/websites of the other people who have posted, and that’s great. To me, it’s the best way that a blogger can say “thank you for stopping by, I appreciate you.” Even if you don’t comment back (which, by the way, please do if you get the chance at all. No matter how late you comment back, it still means something to the people who came to your blog ^-^), CommentLuv can lead other people to the blog of the person who commented.
There’s one more thing that I learned as a result of Commenting 365, but it deserves its own section: there is no right way to blog. I’ve heard this before countless times and never believed it. After all, there seems to be a method behind the most popular blogs out there. Yeah, there’s some truth to that, but what I failed to recognize before is that there are a lot of blogs out there that are fabulously popular and completely different from the next fabulously popular blog on the block. Blog the way you want! Have fun! The rest will come.
Would I participate in Commenting 365 again? Probably not. It was a good one-time experience, but it’s not something that I want to dedicate myself to again for another year. I think I gained a lot from participating in this event, from making a few great blog events to discovering some awesome features. I plan to continue blog-hopping in the future (leave me your link below and I’ll go visit!); it just won’t be through Commenting 365.
Thanks to Nori @ Read Write Love 28 for hosting this challenge!