Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 12:20 pm.

I’d Pay For: Twitter Blog Comments

I’ve gone back and forth on Comments here on SplatF. On one hand, it’s idiotic to ignore the fact that there’s a community around the site, with interesting — often dissenting — voices that make good complements to my posts. On the other hand, typical blog Comments sections are frequently a disaster zone, especially on posts that get a bunch of traffic from outsiders, who take a quick dump on the site and then never return.

I’ve hoped for a while that Twitter would try to help solve this problem. (I should note up front that I have neither the budget nor the time to properly moderate any sort of Comments section, so this whole thing could be a non-starter.) Facebook’s Comments plugin seems nice enough, but knowing my audience, Facebook is not where we hang out — it’s Twitter by a mile. Many of my favorite readers either don’t have Facebook accounts or go by pseudonyms, where Facebook isn’t helpful at all.

Twitter itself has done a decent stand-in as a community gathering place for SplatF readers, but it’s disconnected. If we have a great discussion about a post on Twitter, yes, it’s happened, but I’d have to manually note it here, and it’s still awkward to link to or embed individual conversations. Some sort of plugin, which gathers the best replies and tweets about a post would be awesome. This would encourage comments in someone’s usual tone — supporting their Twitter persona and reputation, not the sudden-jerk-syndrome typical to blog Comments — while also allowing me to present them on the same page as my text.

My guess is that this isn’t likely to happen, at least from Twitter itself, which is too bad. Twitter has every incentive to drive activity and traffic to Twitter, not to fragment it. And the company seems busy enough already. So I’m not going to get my hopes up. But I’d love to be wrong.