What’s the right blog comment format?

What’s the right blog comment format?

There are a number of different ways that you can set up your blog commenting structure. The question here is whether or not the format you choose has a bearing on the way that your readers interact.  Like most decisions you have to make when you setup a blog, the answer is quite likely yes!

There are two ways that most blogging tools and blogging plug-ins setup the comment section.

  1. People add comments to the post. This blog uses this format.
  2. People can add comments to the post or they have the option of replying to other comments. These comments are laid out so it is clear exactly which comment is being replied to.

So difference can the commenting formats make?

According to a bit of an informal poll I took, the format you choose either tells your readers that you only want them to direct their replies at you. Or that you’ve opened the forum for them to engage with each other.  Using the first commenting format mentioned above, you’re not discouraging people from commenting on comments; it’s just a bit less convenient and it becomes harder to follow, so people are not as encouraged.

There is no right or wrong decision to make here, but it is something to consider depending on how you want people to start communicating!

What’s your preference?

  • Kelly
    Posted at 09:27h, 03 May Reply

    I’m new to blogging myself (2 days and counting) and we were just having this discussion ourselves.

    My friend who set up the blog suggested a plugin where people can give comments thumbs up and thumbs down, which I suppose is a way of commenting on comments without actually commenting.

    I think it was called GD stars – I’ve not installed it yet.

  • Rufus Dogg
    Posted at 16:07h, 03 May Reply

    I like nested comments. The best comments are comments readers make about other readers’ comments. In my oh so very humble opinion, of course.

    At the very least, nested comments keeps relevant comments together.

  • family holidays
    Posted at 03:59h, 05 May Reply

    Don’t leave the trailing slash off a website address either. It works, but it’s not right. I see a choice of a lot of things none animated.

  • Heart Internet Review
    Posted at 07:15h, 05 May Reply

    I think comments with replies/nested comments are useful on websites with a lot of comments, so it’s clear who you’re replying too. It’s also easier for the site owner to reply to comments if they like doing that.

  • ascentive
    Posted at 12:50h, 05 May Reply

    I would say I definitely prefer the second format you mention. I think it’s important for people to feel as though they can engage with not only you, but with other readers as well. I find it slightly annoying to see a comment someone has already posted that I would like to reply to, but, instead of being able to respond directly under their comment, having to scroll to the bottom of the page to do it. It’s nice to be able to leave your reply right under the comment you want to reply to, as you get to read the comment and have it in front of you as a point of reference. If your blog, however, has implemented the first commenting format, then it’s quite possible that the person to whom you replied will never know you replied to them.

  • Valpo Creative
    Posted at 03:50h, 06 May Reply

    I would say first make a reference to the article you are commenting on, then add your perspective on the subject that the article was about, last you can always make another reference to someone’s comment about regarding the article or answer a question.

  • sumon
    Posted at 11:59h, 08 May Reply

    I like nested comments. The best comments are comments readers make about other readers’ comments

  • prague stag nights
    Posted at 22:18h, 09 May Reply

    It would be better if you’re already a news correspondent or at least talk to your local newspaper and be one. I know a lot of news personalities who wouldn’t want to quote news bloggers who aren’t journalists within a news organization’s umbrella.

  • Tim
    Posted at 01:52h, 14 May Reply

    I see your point about encouraging different types of comments but I’d also point out that nested comments also make communicating back and forth with the author easier. The author can directly reply to each commenter directly under the comment making it harder for them to miss the reply.

    There’s also some big blogs that like to incorporate full membership commenting (ie. lifehacker.com).

    • bonnie
      Posted at 06:53h, 14 May Reply

      Tim, thanks for stopping by the Wax blog.

      I’m also a fan of nested comments, mainly as the blog owner as you say I can reply easier. B.

  • Brindes
    Posted at 14:20h, 29 May Reply

    I really like the nested blog comments style since this encourage people to interact with each other and by consequence stimulate the conversation.

    Also I think this is good also for the owner of the blog since its easier to keep up with the post comment.

    • buffalo yoga studio
      Posted at 01:19h, 07 July Reply

      i agree…interaction is key in commenting. nested comments has it’s pros and cons too.depending on what you need and want for your blog

  • TashWord
    Posted at 05:17h, 14 June Reply

    Nested comemnts makes it much easier to read through the comemtns and see any connected comemnts, including those made by the blogger. I also find it a handy way to check I have replied to any comments made on my blog (as if it is not nested it stands outs)

  • Web Design Bournemouth
    Posted at 05:34h, 23 July Reply

    I have optimized my Keyword Phrase to First Page of Google, but the same keyword phrase in on 5th Page at Bing. Why, Bing won’t like back-links? Is there any different type of seo for Bing optimization?

  • ADHD natural remedies
    Posted at 15:17h, 11 August Reply

    I prefer the dialog between me and the reader. As you said if somebody REALLY wants to comment on somebody’s comment then they can.
    But this comment form that you have is my favourite.

  • Post Free Ad in Pakistan
    Posted at 02:20h, 08 December Reply

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  • Sumon Khan Personal Blog
    Posted at 17:10h, 06 May Reply

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    Posted at 09:40h, 06 June Reply

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  • John Gilchrist
    Posted at 05:46h, 28 May Reply

    Love this post! This is a really good article wish more people would read this, you offer some really good suggestions on best practices for blog commenting. Thanks for sharing!

    • Bonnie Harris
      Posted at 11:33h, 28 May Reply

      Thanks for the kind words John!

  • Adam Hayat
    Posted at 02:39h, 25 October Reply

    Amazing tips. Here you presented the most important points and I’m sure I will pass for all these.I went through your article it is really helpful for me as a blogger writer.

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    Posted at 04:07h, 12 January Reply

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