July 27, 2008

What fun this week has been! Comments given, comments received, comments returned, blogs added to my RSS feed, caring and friendliness and well-wishes all around.
I am not sure how others go about moving through the IComLeavWe list, but I thought that, to commemorate the last day of official comments until next month, I might share my method.
Rather than starting at the beginning or the end (which would unfairly penalize either the procrastinators like myself or the early birds, respectively), I decided to move systematically through the list by 10’s. I started with my own number, #128, and moved backwards to all of the numbers ending in 8 (118, 108, 98, 88…). Then, the 7’s (127, 117, 107… to 7), and the 6’s, and so on through the whole list.
I recorded the comments I had left (including whether regular comments or returned comments) on a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets already have numbers for each row, so it really was easy — just had to add the date that I commented, and an extra note to indicate returned comments.
Once I had finished the by-tens method (around Wednesday), I looked at the list and tried to fill in big blank spots. For example, if I did not leave any comments between #100 and #120, I would try to fill in something around #110 or so.
After that, I started going one by one through the list, starting at #1. Early birds get the wormy comment this time.
I also had a separate system for returning comments. I usually returned multiple comments per day, especially to those commenters who seemed to have particularly responded to my post (whether intellectually, emotionally, etc.). I generally did not return de facto comments in which the commenter just said a few words for the sake of commenting — nothing personal, but there were so many commenters that left long posts with a lot of emotional content that I felt like I should respond to those first.
For my first pass by 10’s, I only went to blogs that addressed infertility but did not mention children in the description — sometimes, I’m not in the mood to read about other people’s children, as happy as I may be that they are able to have them. I also skipped blogs on non-infertility topics for the first pass.
When returning comments, I did read blogs that mentioned children or weren’t about IF.
Then, when I went through the list systematically, I looked at every blog, including non-IF and those that mentioned children. I was probably still less likely to comment on those than on IF blogs, but I did comment sometimes.
At one point, I was a little IF’d out, and I started looking specifically for the non-IF (but non-parenting) blogs. That only lasted one day, and then I was okay with every topic, even parenting.
Because I will be busy all day on Sunday, I tried to accumulate some extra comments on other days.
I only commented when I actually had something substantive (and preferably insightful) to say about any of the most recent posts. No de facto comments from me.
Based on the small number of commenters on my blog who said that they were returning a post, I get the feeling that I do a lot more returning than most people. I have been averaging almost 7 total comments per day (not counting multiple comments to the same blog), of which more than 2 per day are returned comments. I guess 2 doesn’t sound like that much after all, but it’s double the normal ICLW quota. I think next month I’ll up the number of returned comments even more. Maybe one month when I have more time, I’ll shoot for Iron Commenter status.
How have you been approaching ICLW?