MT Promises

One of the core paradigms of the Internet is the idea that
it is a public bazaar (see the Cluetrain Manifesto, by
Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger, especially the
chapter on “Markets
are Bazaars”
) where not only conversations can occur, but
are facilitated by its very structure. In reference to this,
and yesterday’s post on blog commenting, I often wonder why
MovableType doesn’t have threaded commenting with automatic
email notification (with the text of the comment) going to
the person who’s comment is being replied to.

As it stands now (although I don’t know if this is
different in MT 3.2beta), if someone leaves a comment, MT
automatically emails me the text of the comment. This lets me
know that a conversation may have begun and also allows me to
reply, via email to the comment (if the poster left their
email address).

But this is where the public conversation ends. From that
point forward, the conversation continues via (more or less)
private email. This continues unless I copy and paste the
conversation into my blog comments. Thus, a large and perhaps
important part of the public conversation may be lost.

Further, if there are multiple people commenting on a
post, it sometimes becomes confusing as to what is being
commented on. That is, is the person commenting on the
original post or someone else’s earlier comment? Unless the
author of the latter comment explicitly says so, it may be
unclear and the conversation becomes muddled, if not
completely confusing.

I suggest that threading would take care of the problem of
what is being commented on and that automatic emailing of
replies to comments could let people know that the
conversation is continuing (or not, as the case may be).

I dunno, just my two cents on something that has bothered
me about MT, and many other blog software systems, for a long
time.

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One response to “MT Promises

  1. LiveJournal does it that way. With indenting as the conversation moves on (it does become silly when the conversation goes on endlessly).