Challenges Following Blog Comments

By Mike Maddaloni on Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 04:00 AM with 9 comments

For me, it is more fun reading and replying to comments on my blog The Hot Iron than it is writing the blog posts themselves. Where I do enjoy writing, reading comments means someone was interested in something I had to say, for whatever reason, and was compelled to join the conversation. I also enjoy commenting on posts on other blogs for those very same reasons.

Once I have commented on a blog post, I sometimes forget about it, or forget to go back to the post and see how the conversation has evolved, if it has at all. These challenges of following blog comments – and as a result conversations – means I am missing out on something, from alternate ideas to if anyone is interested in the topic at all.

Many blogs have functionality built into it to help users following the conversations on a blog post. One form is email notification, where if you posted a comment and opted-in, you can receive an email every time someone else posts a comment. This is handy as you can follow without having to revisit the Web page. Most all blogs which offer this also allow you to unsubscribe, though I have found some blogs that do not and I continue to get emails from them. I have heard larger, more popular blogs don’t offer this as the potential for large volumes of email could be viewed as spam by some email networks. This is an option on The Hot Iron, and as the blog owner I get emails for every comment posted.

Another way to follow along is by RSS feed. Some blogs have a link to subscribe to the comments of a blog post. This is nothing I have tried myself, as I wondered if I would truly be able to follow along. The opt-out of the RSS feed by unsubscribing is very clean. This is not an option on The Hot Iron, yet. I will try this out and am hoping with using folders in Google Reader it will be easy to manage.

There are 3rd-party services for hosting and managing blog comments. One I have heard of is Disqus. I do not use this myself and have had some reservations about turning over all of my comments to another service I have no control over. I would be interested in hearing from others about how this has worked for them.

The purpose of this particular post is to get ideas, as I am not sure how to best proceed with following comments. Please feel free to share what works – or doesn’t work – for you. And please check the checkbox to get informed on what others say.


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