No reader’s comments display in your sidebar? Do you want more comments or not?

a small fluffy puppy glowers at the cameraI don’t understand why anyone who blogs would not have some sort of “Latest Comments” widget in the sidebar, but it appears that quite a few don’t. I wonder if they realise that this might be why they don’t get as many comments on every post as they might like?

I find that on sites without a comments widget the discussions on older posts just wither away as new posts take the sweet spot at the top of the front page. With a comments widget, people can see that a discussion is ongoing on a post they’ve already read and perhaps commented on, and are encouraged to check those latest comments and maybe add more to the discussion. Without a comments widget, they have to want to revisit that post they’ve already read just on the offchance that new comments have been added. How many of the readers are going to do that?

Sure, they could subscribe to the blogs Comments RSS feed, or maybe just the specific Comments feed for that post if they are tech-savvy enough, but how many do? I generally don’t follow comments by RSS, the option just doesn’t appeal. If someone like me who follows hundreds of Posts feeds by RSS isn’t generally going to click on a post’s Comments feed, how many others do you think are going to do it?
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