I haven’t done one of these in a while, and I’ve had a number of issues crop up around the topic of blog comments recently, so I thought I’d pass along some helpful hints. 🙂
Keeping track of commentary can be a conundrum, especially if you are new to blogging and/or are part of a private blogging community. If you use the WordPress Reader, the orange notification bar (that little speech bubble on the top right) will flash at you when somebody replies to a comment you have made. If you use a different RSS feed though, or are an email-only subscriber, or if you comment on a private blog, you will not get notifications that way. So here’s what you can do:
- Choose to follow comments on a post-by-post basis. When you make a comment on any WP blog (or any WP-powered self-hosted site), there is a a little box you can check that says “Notify me of follow-up comments via email.” You will then be automatically sent notifications of additional discussion on that post, including any replies to the comment(s) you made.
- Choose to follow all comments. If you tend to comment a lot, or like to eavesdrop, or are generally enamored of a particular blogger and their audience interactions, you can follow *all* comments on any blog by doing the following:
- From your WP Reader, mouse over ‘Blogs I Follow’ in the right hand column and click ‘Edit’. This will pull up a list of all the blogs you follow.
- Under each blog title on the list, you will see something along the lines of “You get no post and no comment emails for this blog.” Again, click ‘Edit’.
- From there, you can turn the ‘Send New Comments By Email’ option ON. (You can also choose to receive post notifications via email from that list, and have a few options in regards to frequency.)
- Utilize your WordPress Dashboard. If you have a WP account, it doesn’t matter if you’ve activated your blog or not – you have a Dashboard. From your Dashboard, under ‘Home’ (top left), click ‘Comments I’ve Made’. This will pull up the most recently active comment threads from blogs you’ve commented on, and you can easily navigate back to said blogs to make additional comments by clicking ‘Reply to Thread’.
WE WILL NOW PAUSE FOR THIS COMMERCIAL BREAK:
‘Kayso… Moving on!
If you tend to have long comment threads on your blog posts and/or want people to easily be able to reply to previous comments directly from your post’s url page, you may want to modify your discussion settings. To do this:
- From your Dashboard, mouse over ‘Settings’ (bottom left) and click ‘Discussion’.
- Under ‘Other Comment Settings’ (second section down), click ‘Enable Threaded (Nested) Comments’.
- Choose how many comments you want to easily thread/nest. (That’s the number of comments that readers will see a ‘Reply’ option to, that are all part of the same thread. On this blog, mine is set at 5. This is a good example.)
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure the ‘Follow Comments’ option is ON.
- Click ‘Save Changes’.
There is also a new feature on WP that allows people to ‘Like’ comments. It’s automatically available via the notification bar, and the option is automatically ON if you have started a new blog or upgraded/changed your blog theme within the past month or so. If you have been around for a while though, the ‘Like Comments‘ feature has to be manually turned on for most blog themes. If you want to turn this feature on (or off), here’s what you do:
- From your Dashboard, mouse over ‘Settings’ and click ‘Sharing’.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page, and where it says ‘Comment Likes are:‘, either check the box (to turn that option on) or un-check it (to turn the option off).
- Click ‘Save Changes’.
NOTE: I have intentionally kept the ‘Comment Likes’ OFF on this blog since I discovered the feature, because I wasn’t sure how it would work. I’ve had some experience with it at this point though and am, as of this posting, turning the feature ON. At least for a short time. Your feedback about the availability and usefulness of this feature is welcome. More information about Comment Likes can be found here.
If you have any questions or are experiencing difficulties with any of the above, please let me know. I am happy to help. 🙂