More comments on comments

More comments on comments
: Some interesting comments on the comments on comments below.

: EvilPundit says, quite rightly, that comments, too, should have permalinks to others can link directly to them. He points us to detailed if chatty instructions here. I’ll need to steady my coding hand with a few shots before undertaking this but it looks righteous.

: Lisa Williams says what we have here is a parallel development alongside the blogosphere: the commentsphere. I’m not sure I agree that it’s separate; comments are part of blogs; they are posts on posts. But to do what she wants, we still have to add the ability to permalink comments. [Anil, et al, add that to your list…]

: UPDATE: This just in from Anil: “As far as comment permalinks go, I’ve got them on my site right now, and I think we’re updating the MT and TypePad templates to include them by default, but we’ve all talked about it internally and are strongly in favor.” As usual, one step ahead….

  • Indeed, MT does have the ability to configure comments so that individual comments have a separate URL, which is great. Some comment software (people on other blogging platforms sometimes use a third party comment package) don’t and some do. I’ve even heard of some that will allow you to output comment threads as an RSS feed separate from the RSS feed containing the posts from the blog.
    Having the separate URL is the basic building block of allowing commenters to be able to easily preserve access to their comments that may be spread hither and yon on any number of sites. What remains is to automate it, much the way Blogrolling automates the creation and management of a blogroll for many. Going one step further, if many kept “commentblogs,” they could be sorted and searched for meaningful information through services that we use to get info from blogs today — Technorati, Feedster, Localfeeds, etc.
    I agree with you on the commentsphere/blogosphere not being truly separate, yet, I have the sensation that some comment threads really do take on a life of their own. In some cases they’re sort of tandem worlds.

  • What’s next? Comment buttons below each comment?

  • Paul

    Yeah, and then it’s usenet and message boards all over again. One of the big reasons a lot of political bloggers got out of that nonsense is because they wanted their voice heard above the mob.

  • Mine have them. I did it so I could link directly to commenters I wanted to mock (heh heh).
    Bill Dennis: there is a plugin for MT that lets you set up a system where you can reply directly to a comment. Other blogging systems (like Nucleus) have this capability as well. It makes your comments look rather like a message board.
    Paul: yeah, but unlike Usenet et al the main post doesn’t get lost in the fray, since the comments are an add-on to each post. The blogger is still above the mob, though with comments you are a little closer to the mob than those without comments.

  • I’ve set up comment permalinks at MarketingWonk a few weeks ago but I’ve yet to see someone use them. Once you enable individual archives by entry and comment permalinks, I’m not sure you need individual pages for comments too, as it might break the reading flow.