After Kevin’s post on commenting, I realized that I tend to be really bad about following through with blog comment conversations.
Kevin pointed out that he’s more likely to take the discussion to zephyr, the mostly-MIT-internal chat server. In fact, Nelson started the Iron Blogger event as a way to combat the fact that we tend to have all our interesting discussions on zephyr, instead of with the rest of the world. So blogging openly but replacing “commenting” with zephyr really defeats a lot of the point.
I know that for me the biggest reason I like having discussions on zephyr is because it’s easy to have a discussion. I don’t have to go seek out replies to my commentary – they show up automatically.
On the other hand, I read blogs through an RSS reader. I don’t tend to visit sites directly. And certainly I don’t go back through a blog’s history looking for replies to my replies. This means that it’s far too easy to make a comment and never look at the comment site again.
To try and combat this, at least for my blog, I’ve installed the “Subscribe to Comments” plugin. It was really easy – the plugin automatically adds the subscription checkbox to the comments form, although I decided to move it to put it above the comment textarea.
I’d encourage the rest of you to do the same – let’s bring the discussion, as well as the blogs, out of the MIT bubble.