Conversation, Anyone?

by Megan M. on April 7, 2009 · View Comments (Blog) |

There is one thing that consistently drives me nuts about reading TypePad blogs: I can’t easily follow the conversation. There’s only one way to follow comments on most TypePad blogs (if you know something I’ve missed, please let me know), and that’s to add a single post’s comment feed to my RSS reader.

This is all right for a single post, but oh my, it gets tedious if I’m interested in more than one. It keeps me from being heavily involved in blogs I might otherwise be following obsessively—because I’m not just interested in the posts. I’m interested in the conversation.

When I leave a comment, I want to know if anyone’s responded to it. I want to know if other comments reference it. I want to know what other people think, independent of my opinion. If it’s not easy to follow up on these things, I won’t bother. I’m not going to bookmark that post and check back every few days. That’s too much trouble. And you know what? After awhile, clicking through to add per-post RSS feeds gets old.

Eventually, I notice that it affects my interest in commenting.

I actually notice myself feeling discouraged from leaving comments when I know I can’t track responses effortlessly, especially if the comment itself is a very, very tiny part of my day.

I’ve deconstructed this process for myself, and I recognize it when it happens. But your users might not. How many of them are like me? How many of them become measurably more invested in a site when they can participate in the discussion?

How much more involved would they be in the things you say… if you made it easy for them?

  • CoCreatr
    Ha! Dug and found: Weblogs > Configure > Feeds

    Had feeds active for posts but not for comments . Now let's check how this helps conversation.
  • CoCreatr
    Good and valid point. Should be default.

    My vanilla (paid) typepad blog has no comment feed, but Anne McCrossan's has. Scroll all the way down. I tested it with an older post of hers and my news feeder shows all comments.

    Now, Megan, how do I follow comments on your blog?
  • Megan M.
    Under "Subscribe", top left, there's a "comments RSS" link. Let me know if you notice anything a-wry with it -- I changed it when I started using Disqus and don't have a lot of feedback on how it works yet, other than my own experimentation. ^_^

    I hear tell that there's a way to enable an all-comments RSS feed with TypePad, but it sounded hacky (and since I'm not very familiar with TypePad, I couldn't tell how easy it might be to implement). I didn't find anything that suggested there was a way to hit a checkbox and have follow-up comments emailed to you. (That's one of the reasons I like Disqus -- it takes care of that.)
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