What we really wanted from comment feeds and how to get it

Much as I appreciate Unix Gal asking for feedback about comment feeds and RSS, her comment belies my concern - that she has to rely on her “old” memory to keep track of comments on those posts for which she’s commented on. Relying on one’s memory is not something I think we need to do in this day and age when technology can do so much for us. So, I, in what might be a slight bit of obsessive-complusion, saw fit to rectify this problem. And here’s the solution:

A comment feed that contains all comments for any post which a particular author has ever commented on. Usually that particular author would be the one that just posted a comment - a. k. a. you. This way, you comment once, you take the resulting RSS feed and subscribe to it. You don’t have to read all those new posts that crop up that you’re not likely to care about, nor do you need to read all the comments on those posts that you didn’t care enough about to comment on. It’s a feed of just comments on those posts for which you have commented on.

Wait - it gets better. Suppose you’ve got a bunch of friends that post comments to that site. The rss field can be customized - take the resulting URL, edit the author=whateverTheAuthorWas and change it so that it has author=author1,author2,author3 and so on. This way, you can have an RSS feed of all comments on any post for which any one of those authors has ever commented.

This is precisely what I wish other sites had. Then, I can post a comment, get the feed appropriate for me, subscribe to it in NetNewsWire, put it in a group so that I don’t have to see it. Then, when I browse through the “new headlines” I’ll see any new comments on those posts for which I or authors I care about have commented on, but I won’t be bothered by anything else. So perhaps with this solution, if enough people adopted it, we wouldn’t have to have the Unix Gal run out of time in the day to work and only be reading blogs nor would we have to have her rely on her “old” memory.

Let me know what you think! Post a comment and try it out!

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