Due to my growth & multiple changes in my worldview over the years, this post is considered “archived” and is offered here for historical purposes only. Opinions offered above may not necessarily reflect my current beliefs, though you're still more than welcome to participate in the comments, discussing anything from the post. Thank you for understanding.
Comments are awesome. For many bloggers, it is the readers’ feedback which makes blogging all the more worthwhile.
I could not agree more — it’s a good deal of fun when blog entries become full-blown conversations!
When that happens, though, you’re going to find yourself replying to comments… a lot. And while that’s definitely not a bad thing, what happens when there are more than one comment to reply to? What happens when you revisit your blog after a day and your most recent blockbuster post has dozens of responses to which you want to reply?
How do you go about doing that? Do you take the Twitter approach, prefacing the name of each person you’re replying to with an “@”?
@Aldrin — Quite right!
Or maybe your approach is simpler, more elegant:
Armstrong: Thanks for your comment, and thanks for visiting!
Whatever you use, you want something that’s going to look good and set your responses apart from the pack. Addressing your commenters by name is a great way to let them know that you’re paying attention to them; shouldn’t you let them know with style?
Using the Thesis theme framework for WordPress, you can!
Thesis, the magnum opus of WordPress theme designer Chris Pearson, provides a very simple (simpler with a plugin, as explained later) way to address your commenters by name with style, all the while providing a link reference back to the comment you’re replying to.
Can be used by blog author and in-the-know commenters?
Thesis for the Win!
So what’s the method?
See for yourself:
[pre][code]<a class="comment_link" href="#comment-1969">Conrad</a>: Thanks for visiting, Captain![/code][/pre]
Conrad: Thanks for visiting, Captain!
Beautiful. Elegant. And a link to instantly refer back to the original comment!
But… that’s a lot to remember, isn’t it? And typing all that in every time? Yeah, I know, it can be a bit of a chore. So I commend to you Ozh’ Absolute Comments.
Absolute Comments is a handy plugin which allows blog administrators to reply to comments directly from the administration panel. That’s a huge time-saver on its own, but the plugin also allows you to setup a template with which all of your quick replies will be populated.
In the Settings -> Absolute Comments panel of your administration area — assuming, of course, the Absolute Comments plugin is active — use this bit of code in the “Reply Prefill” field to make taking advantage of rockin’ Thesis-powered replies both quicker and easier:
<a href='%%link%%' class='comment_link'>%%name%%</a>:
Disclaimer: I work for Chris Pearson & DIYthemes, providing support in various ways for the Thesis theme framework.