As some of you guys know, the blog underwent a massive redesign a bit over a month ago. The most exciting changes were on the back end, as the old version of WordPress that we were using lacked so much functionality.
But beyond that, hopefully the blog now looks like it’s actually from this century, and hopefully the blog’s new features are useful.
There’s one thing I’ve been getting a lot of mixed feedback about, and I think it’s time once and for all to make a decision on it. In general I’m very much an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy, though that’s what lead to me having exactly the same blog design for over six years, so clearly that doesn’t always end well. 😉
At the same time, the single thing I enjoy most about writing this blog is interacting with you guys, in particular in the comments section. Whether it’s agreeing, disagreeing, or calling me an a#&hole (all of which are valid), I love hearing what you guys have to say.
As a result, the single area I’ve been most reluctant to change is the comments section, since I don’t want to do anything that jeopardizes the lively discussions that happen there.
In terms of comment organization, there are two main options:
Chronological comments (the status quo)
If you check out the comments section now, you’ll see that the comments are displayed chronologically. The way I see it, the big benefit of this approach is that if you want to “follow” the discussion in the comments section, it’s easy to see who left the last comments. In other words, if you read the first 20 comments of a post yesterday and come back the next day and there are 30 comments, you’ll know that the last 10 comments displayed are new ones.
Nowadays the more popular type of commenting system involves nested comments.
Basically you have the ability to reply directly to someone else’s comment, and it will then be displayed below it. For example, Hack My Trip uses nested comments, so if you check the comments section of a post like how much “Plucky” loves Lufthansa, you’ll see it there:
The one downside of this type of commenting system, as far as I’m concerned, is that you can’t easily go back and see the most recent comments that were left. For example, if you read all 20 comments of a post and come back a day later and it has 30 comments, you can’t just scroll to the bottom and assume those are the most recent comments. Instead the most recent comments could be scattered throughout the post, in reply to other commenters.
So please help let me know which system you guys would prefer — what’s easiest for you to read, and which would make you most likely to comment? Please vote in the poll below and let me know in the comments section if you have any further thoughts! Thanks!