Comment Away!

For those who hadn't heard, Blogger recently launched the feature I'd been working on for the last few months - threaded commenting:

This post is mostly just a call to everyone reading to comment more on blogs - Blog authors like it when they get (non-spam) comments, and commenters get to engage with the author and hopefully discuss with someone who shares an interest. More on this later, but first I have to say, a big thankyou to our users; for both their patience in getting this feature, and the positive reaction to it. What do I mean by the latter? I was a bit of a social-network junkie after launch, searching for reactions, and so throughout this post the images I'm using will be screen-shots of a choice few (click to enlarge):

*Squeee* I love reading feedback like this, and just want to keep doing stuff people will like! My hope all along was to give people what they wanted - including me! As a long-time Blogger user, it was obvious that comments were under-utilised. As a Blogger developer though, I not only could see how much potential better commenting could have, but also how to fix it. After my time with Wave conversations, the first thing was obviously the most demanded - threading:
An artistic entry - believe me, I have a dorky smile too :D
You see, people like related sections of discussions to be next to eachother, in particular, if an author responds to a comment a few days later, ideally it'll appear right under that comment. Alternatively, if a second commenter has a particular agreement/disagreement with something said before, it's best to attach their reply to the right location. Note that we also now indicate which comments come from the author, helping their opinions stand out; additionally, comment previews and loading more comments will no longer reload the entire page - two more barriers to posting.

So, I hope you all comment more, which can then lead to posting more and overall improved content creation and discussion on the net. Many things I know are very talk-based with not much listening, which I think is a shame. While doing the twitter searches above, I was impressed at how it's moving towards conversing with others online, not just consuming their status - especially when it's people you wouldn't have met normally, but who write about what interests you. I hope to continue improving things, but while that's happening, remember to add comments on blogs you read, and for authors, reply when people share their thoughts!


  1. I seem to remember commenting on your own blog was broken when I first tried to comment way back in 2009... Has that been fixed? ;)

  2. Replies
    1. Though that doesn't look very threaded... (Sorry, feel free to delete my inane comments).

  3. @ Patrick, I've been able to integrate threaded commenting on Simple Blogger template, check here:

    I had an old backup file of Simple Blogger template and it was pretty easy in the end.

  4. Yep, that was me - What can I say, I like blogs, comments, and threading :)

    And nice one Bilal! I'd also recommend checking out the recent tutorial at

  5. Hey Patrick, ever hear of unintended consequences? Don't pat yourself too hard on the back just yet, your threaded commenting may have just crippled my favorite blog.

    I like commenting on darwins-god, an anti-evolution website that draws a small community of commenters that love to "debate" evolution vs creationism. People follow the comments as much as the actual blog content. There are multiple threads going on, but we are all following them all so we're all interested in reading all the latest comments. Since new "replied" comments don't show up at the end of the post, and some posts generate hundreds of comments (600+) comments can get lost, and conversations missed.

    Crippled may be too strong a criticism, but it has dampened the fun a bit. Its been a few days and people at that sight seem to be abandoning the reply option already, except for newcomers. Anyway, how about an option to sort comments by time so I can see the latest ones and then the option to sort by thread so I can view the rest of the thread. It should be easy for users to switch back and fourth depending on what they want to view at the moment. Maybe a link by the comments' timestamp that will take us back and fourth.

    I stumbled on your blog using the dashboard next arrow.

    1. Sorry to hear that T - there are certainly a few issues we're currently resolving and hope to have public ASAP.

      For though, I see only two recent posts with over 200 comments; we always render the first 200 on the page, so e.g. /2012/01/this-just-in-everything-came-from.html has the entire discussion rendered and threaded.
      More popular ones (like /2011/12/evolutionist-youre-misrepresenting.html) will have a 'Load more' that works as the previous did, just with threading.

      We're certainly still looking at improvements, like notifications and permalinks, especially for blogs with active discussions; just the initial aim was not making it worse than the previous comments (which were ordered in the same way, and only showed the 200).

    2. Oh man... Hope it does get resolved soon. I havent faced that problem so far and hope i dont either

  6. this why the old blogs are showing incorrectly? A blog that I read, that has over 1000 comments sometimes....the pages are not showing up correctly. When you first go into the comments area, it will say there are only 200 comments, and you can't see the other comments until you post a comment and it flips you over to the second page.

    1. Do you have an example blog URL I can look at? That does sound like a bug.

  7. Hi Patrick. I love threaded commenting, but ever since it was implemented, in Firefox whenever someone clicks on a post link, they jump directly to the comments at the end of the post and have to scroll up to read it. The only way I've been able to fix it is to turn off embedded comments and thus, threaded commentary. Any idea what's wrong, and are you guys working on a fix?


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