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09:36 am, 4 Feb 07

comments as conversations

We use an internal install of Blogger at work. Blogger (like most blog software) doesn't do threaded comments. I have read arguments about why this is a good thing: I think Spolsky had a self-congratulatory post about this once, and also that threading is a total nerd-feature that nobody understands anyway (see also: Gmail "one thread per subject" threading which anyone who loves email hates), but I am a nerd and the lack of this feature drives me nuts. Whenever I get a comment on my work blog, I hit "reply" on the comment email notification, look up the user's profile to discover their email address, and then redirect the response to the person who left me the comment. But then this means anyone else who later comes along will read the comment and think "man, that Evan guy is a jerk and never responds to readers".

LJ, being a total geek-tool (I think danah said that and it's always stuck with me), has threaded comments. Often the comments (or discussions) on this "blog" are better than the actual posts. But every so often someone will come through and anonymously comment on a bunch of my posts, and I'm again thrust back into Blogger-land where I know that even if I reply to the comments the original sender will never see them. Sad, especially when the commenter is pointing out errors in the post!