Blogs can be used for a range of different things but their nature as web-based publications is that they are always part of a larger web ecology. Linking to others is a key practice of good blogging.
One way to build connections – link your blog to other blogs doing similar things – is to leave good quality comments with on other blogger’s posts. We will sometimes be doing this as part of class activities but it is also a very valuable thing to do as part of your own blogging practice.
Grammar Girl who is a wealth of information and tips on so many things, has a a great set of tips about how to make your comments count. As she says: “comments are a new art form” and increasingly from Facebook, to blogging, to YouTube commenting and interacting with quick responsive thoughts is a key skill we need to practice.
I think her two most valuable insights are “Provide Context” and “Make a point”. And they are related.
Comments should be short (another of GG’s points) so don’t analyse the whole post cut to the chase about something where you can really provide insight and add value. Become part of the value adding set of connections the web creates.
Which is why adding context to your comment is important – say what you are commenting on – is it a point in post, is it a point made by a fellow commenter. If it is a tangential point briefly explain your connecting thought process. We know that people scan when they read web copy, – i.e. run through thinks quickly picking out bits – so make it easy for people coming to your comments to make sense of how they fit into the flow.
Read the whole article (both pages!) it’s a good resource.