Choosing to have your blog’s comment thread in a “hierarchy” arrangement is a favorite of blogging newbies and even a few experienced bloggers. Look at a comment thread with hierarchy and try to read it — does it make sense? Probably not. Of course the ugliness of comment hierarchy only shows up if your comment threat has a dozen comments of so. Those of you who rarely get comments will never see the problems that I am about to list.
Here is a list of all the nasty aspects of hierarchies:
- Chronicity is lost: You can’t tell who said what when. A comment can be made that is referring to one listed far below it. The time element is lost.
- E-mail hassles: When you follow comments and get notified by e-mail of a new comment:
- (1) You can’t tell if that comment is directed at you or someone else
- (2) If you click on the link, it won’t take you to the right place in the thread and you have to spend a long time searching for the comment.
- Skinny: As comments get deeper, they get narrow and ugly
- Mistakes: People often put replies in the wrong place
- Single Replies: You can’t usefully reply to more than one comment at a time.
If you are using WordPress, here is how to remove the ugly hierarchy:
- Go to your dashboard — look down the left menu
- Find “Settings” and click on “Discussion”
- Find “Other comment settings”
- Uncheck the “enable threaded (nested) comments” option