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I'm planning on forming small groups in the classroom to read and comment on group members' blogs. However, based on my own past experiences, I'm worried that students will be reluctant to comment on blogs. Guidelines might help, and Darren Rowse's Guide to leaving Weblog Comments from Lifehacker might be highly beneficial for students.

Rowse's list is great, but I would add a few suggestions of my own.

The number one rule I would add is don't be afraid to comment. It's acceptable to comment and tell the writer you enjoyed the post and why. Even if someone else previously made a similar comment, writers love to hear that their writing is appreciated, and for novice bloggers, perhaps they can't hear it often enough.

The second rule is debate is welcome, but nasty comments aren't. In other words, it's ok to disagree, but do so in a meaningful and polite way. State the reasons why you disagree, and be willing to support your point of view with valid evidence. Make it meaningful for the writer, following Rowse's third rule.

I'd love to hear other suggestions for the comment list……

 I also think Rowse's site would be a great site to share with the class, or selected readings.

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