How do you encourage comments?
October 2, 2004 9:40 PM   Subscribe

To encourage people to comment on your blog: The comments in a popup, or on the entry page itself? (And more generally, what design features encourage commenting?)
posted by Tlogmer to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Here is a really interesting article by Joel of Joel On Software about social software which includes an explanation of the author's decisions regarding comments and whatnot on his discussion board.
posted by callmejay at 10:28 PM on October 2, 2004

FWIW, I prefer pop-up commenting features. They are (usually) instant -- if the "comment" link requires the page to reload to that specific entry, it can take a bit longer.
posted by davidmsc at 11:37 PM on October 2, 2004

I was thinking of just displaying the whole comments section below each post on the main page (er, the subsection page, not the front-front page). I'm just starting the blog (not exacly a blog, but the description will do), so the readership will be tiny; I'd change the format if/when it gets unweildy.

(Good Joel on Software article, by the way, though I've read it.)
posted by Tlogmer at 12:20 AM on October 3, 2004

Personally, I prefer comments on the entry page itself. Reading and adding comments in a teensy little pop-up window blows.

You could also do the "click here to show comments" thing on the main page (not the entry page) that shows/hides a section with the comments right there on that same page, but it will add to your page weight somewhat.

Also, if you use Movable Type, get the "most recent comments" and "most likely to comment" plugins, so people can see in the sidebar of your main page what's been commented on recently.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:33 AM on October 3, 2004

Pop-ups will be a constant headache, since people have various security levels enabled, various AV and swatter programs that all act in different manners, meaning, the popups will work for some people and won't work for others. I'm reasonably clueful, yet I once had a problem accessing a blog and it turned out to be my Google Tool Bar intervening.
posted by RavinDave at 12:46 AM on October 3, 2004

"click here to show comments"

That's an idea. So far I've successfully avoided learning javascript by obsessing over CSS, but maybe I should bite the bullet (or could I use the :active pseudoclass?). I'm using wordpress, if it matters.
posted by Tlogmer at 1:30 AM on October 3, 2004

I hate the pop-ups and have chosen to have the comments appear on the entry page for my blog, But, still, as you've seen here, some will disagree.
posted by litlnemo at 3:06 AM on October 3, 2004

If you can, have a 'recent discussions' list of links at the top of the blog page to show entries with recent comments. And just a little friendly note encouraging people to comment will probably do more to get people to comment than whatever design you choose.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:16 AM on October 3, 2004

Absolutely -- what space coyote says. People should know there's life in that there comment area. Sometimes, I add a comment or two myself from myself, just little asides that I couldn't fit into the main story itself, just to pull people in there.
posted by ph00dz at 7:07 AM on October 3, 2004

Do not ever use pop-up windows where a single window will do.
posted by majick at 8:16 AM on October 3, 2004

I find it doesn't matter which system you use, if your content isn't interesting, you won't generate comments no matter what you code up.
posted by FunkyHelix at 9:06 AM on October 3, 2004

Cool; thanks, everyone.
posted by Tlogmer at 3:17 PM on October 3, 2004

i try to encourage comments by responding to any that offer a reasonable opening for further comment. i also (often) email new commenters to thank them for stopping by.
posted by Sean Meade at 7:33 AM on October 4, 2004

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