Our Feedback journalism class is now drawing to a close. And although the class felt extremely short (possibly because we had a few classes cancelled and we only meet once a week) I actually felt this class opened my eyes to a new and different part of journalism. Although I obviously knew about commenting, I never thought about it in terms of feedback, and definitely never thought of it in relation to journalism. I just kind of figured it was just there on some sites. However, the more involved I got in commenting, I realized commenting is a huge part of many sites, journalism run web sites included.
Before this class, I was never a commenter. Ever. I mean, I barely even commented on things on my friends pages on facebook (my favorite website). I didn’t like the conflicts that arise in some comment frays. I didn’t feel comfortable getting involved in those. Most of the times I barely felt comfortable voicing my own opinion, let alone getting involved in others. So the beginning of the class was a little rocky for me. Looking back on my first few blog posts, its clear I didn’t understand the point of the class or even the point of feedback in general. However, by my third post ( The Grape Lady of You Tube) I really started to get the hang of commenting. And really it was only uphill from there. By my March 3rd post about Fmylife.com, I really had commenting on websites then writing about my commenting process down. It was smooth sailing from there.
It took me a little longer to get comfortable on commenting on others blogs from the class. Perhaps it was because I didn’t know the kids from the class well enough to feel comfortable to comment on their blogs then face them in the next class. Perhaps it was because some of the blog posts being posted were awful and not comment worthy. Perhaps it was because some people post posts that are way too long for me to read. or perhaps it was because most didn’t post their posts until hours before the class. But for whatever the reason, it took until the second half of the class for me to feel comfortable enough with the kids in the class and their posts to comment on their blogs. And after the first few painful comments, it got easier and easier.
Overall, this class has taught me to look at commenting in a whole new and different light. Something I saw as worthless before, I now see has a lot of value to both the readers and the writers. It gives people new power to participate in ways that were never available to them before. And although I disliked some of the projects from the class ( Twittering, the boring first book… etc.) I feel that I will continue to constructively and regularly weigh in on comment boards, websites, blogs, and friends pages.