Conversation, defined by Webster’s dictionary, is paraphrased as “the informal exchange of ideas.” I absolutely love having long conversations for hours with of my closest friends, over cups of steaming chai tea.  I soak up hearing the viewpoints, dreams, and opinions of others, and enjoy sharing my goals and ideas with them as well. However, our conversations would come to a stop after several seconds if those communicating to did not respond or give feedback to what was said. This principle holds true to the outlet of blogging, as well. In our technological culture, conversation is no longer strictly verbal, but can be carried through any online media: Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, WordPress, and so on.

When I was a Junior in high school,  I embarked on my journey into the world of social networking by setting up a MySpace account. I enjoyed having one, and I was able to communicate and strengthen relationships with new friends, as well as stay in touch with old friends that I was not able to see on a daily basis. One of my favorite aspects of having a MySpace was not only having the ability to create a personality profile to represent myself to the rest of the online community, but to receive comments on my pictures, blogs, and wall. I very quickly learned that if I did not recieve comments on my page, the purpose of having a MySpace would become obsolete.

Comments, in the online world, are probably one of the quickest and most concise ways to communicate through social networking sites on the web.

When it comes to blogs, comments are an integral part to the development and success to a blog. Not only does commenting benefit the blog being posted on, but it also strengthens communication and critical thinking skills in the commenter. Comments should not merely take up space, but should have a strategic purpose.

When posting comments on someone’s blog, it is first important to fully read their entire blog post, as well as comments that have already been posted. Skimming over what is written risks missing important information that can be discussed, or being unaware of what has already been stated in a comment, and embarrassingly repeating what has already been said.

Next, remember to further the conversation, rather than just repeating and agreeing with the blogger’s main points. This can be done by sharing related information, or respectfully challenging their opinion and sharing your own.

Finally, I would encourage those commenting to use the opportunity to nonchalantly and discretely promote their own blog when commenting. Your blog will be inevitably be linked with theirs when you comment, and anyone reading the posts can agree (or disagree) with your comment, and visit your blog to read more of what you have written. Thus, the beauty of social networking.