Thursday, April 5, 2007

Threaded Comments Trick

What are Threaded Comments?
Websites like,, and others use a threaded comments system to show user replies to articles and posts. These threaded comments allow "conversations" to be grouped together and allows users to reply to a specific comment that has already been made (instead of generally replying to the article). Some WordPress blogs also use threaded comments systems via the Brian's Threaded Comments plugin or another modification.

Threaded comments: Always reply to a top comment
If you are leaving comments or posting replies on a website that uses threaded comments, you can make sure that your comment gets the most exposure and stays as close to the top of the comment list as possible by following a few simple strategies. If the article already has some user comments present, always reply to a specific comment instead of using the "general" reply feature. If comments are already present on an article and you use the "general" reply, your comment will be thrown to the very bottom of the comments section. But you don't want to be at the very bottom of the list! If the first, already present comment has no direct replies to it, you should reply to that comment. This will ensure that your comment stays as high to the top of the comment list as possible, even if others reply to the top comment after you.

Threaded comments, theoretically speaking
Let's say you do not use my recommended strategy and you are the second person to reply to an article, posting a comment to the general article (and not in reply to a specific comment). You might be thinking, "Sweet! I got here quick and I am the second reply to the article, everyone will see my comment!". WRONG! If threaded comments are enabled, multiple people would be able come in later and explicitly reply to the FIRST comment on the article, bumping your comment lower and lower down the page and out of view. The higher your comment is on the website, the more likely it will be read.

Use Threaded Comments Strategy
I use strategy when replying in a threaded comments environment. This allows me to get to an article hours after it has already been published and still post a comment that will be retained near the top of the article, for many people to view. Do you also use threaded comment strategies? If so, let me know by replying to this article and leaving a comment (sorry, no threading here). Thanks!

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