Use the Timestamp on Comments
One of the most useful features on WordPress is the timestamp. It allows the user to specify the date and time that a certain post should be published. It is the perfect solution to schedule posts in advance and cover offline periods.
Another place where you can use the timestamp is on the comments. Suppose you write a post on your blog and a couple of hours later when you check it again there are 8 comments there, the first one being a question from a reader. If you just post another comment answering to that question it will be placed on the last position, breaking the flow of the conversation.
A simple solution for this problem is the timestamp. Just post your comment normally, and afterwards edit the timestamp so that your comment will appear right after the one you are replying to.
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24 Responses to “Use the Timestamp on Comments”
its a cool idea. It will decrease the confusion also! 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
That’s a great tip! And it’s such a simple solution to a very common problem. I cannot believe I haven’t thought of this before! Thanks for enlightening an idiot like me.
Veron, no worries, I only started using this feature a couple of weeks ago!
There is the Threaded Comments plugin that could offer an alternative solution, but many people report script and css problems with it.
With this clever approach, your readers don’t have to repeatedly scroll up and down in an effort to figure out what you are responding to. Very convenient. And it sure makes you look like a timely responder.
1. Are there any implications for readers who subscribe to the comment feed for a given post? Would they miss out on any comments that were later inserted earlier in the list?
2. Do you think this approach needs to be disclosed, such as on the comments policy page? Just wondering if anyone would take offense that you didn’t really respond at the time shown, even though the intentions are honorable.
1. I think the only issue for comment subscribers is that the comment that you changed the timestamp would load twice.
2. It is always a good idea to be transparent with the readers regarding what you do on the blog. If you do have a comments policy page than yes I guess you could insert a line there explaining that.
Brilliant, and I thought you were just always on-line answering people’s questions. 🙂
Now I just need to get 8 people to leave comments.
Or. . . you could install the Brians Threaded Comments plugin. That seems to work well for me.
There’s an easier way to accomplish that: Brianâ€™s Threaded Comments, a plugin that nests comments, allowing you to answer a comment any time.
Yeah I have been using this method for a long time…
Yeah I have mentioned that plugin on the first comment I posted, but a lot of people have trouble to get it working. This is an alternative I guess.
Personally I also had problems with the plugin and I am waiting the author to release a more stable version.
This is so simple, thanks! I may have to use it just in case more people start actually commenting on my blog.
Yeah, I’ve had issues with the Threaded Comments plugin too.
My way around the problem is too put the persons name (whoever asked the question) in bold before I write the reply, like this:
Daniel – This seems to work for me, but this is a nice idea, one that i’ve never come across anywhere else.
Daniel, this is out of context but of importance:
In WP blogs, post content appears on the index and post pages. So, will that be penalised by search engines?
Or, is the link to post page enough to tell the search engine that the source is different?
Daniel, I don’t agree with you: it’s some kind of solution to a complex problem – the fact that WordPress doesn’t allow structured comments.
Try with the link I’ve posted, it’s a better and simpler solution. 😉
Ok, I hadn’t read somebody had posted it already…
Andrea, yeah we talked about that plugin :). It is an alternative, but not optimal yet.
Sumesh, the fact that post content appear both on the homepage (index) and single post pages might create duplicate content penalties. (they might also appear on category, search results and archive pages for some themes).
In order to solve this problem you need to display post excerpts everywhere, and if you do not want to use them on the homepage use the “more” tag of WordPress.
Here are two links that will explain this better:
Daniel, thanks for the response.
Yes, I am going to use ‘Evermore’ plugin, which has the same effect as !more tags.
Btw, why are you not using !more tags?
Sumesh, I am using the more tags, but from page 2 onwards. That way my homepage displays full posts while the other pages on the index display only excerpts.
I think the time stamp idea is is a great suggestion for anyone who wants to keep their plugins to a minimum. For those who don’t mind, or don’t want to use Brian’s Threaded Comments, Quoter might serve as a nice alternative. Similar functionality to a forum thread, so one could still easily follow the discussion in a feed reader without having any time discrepancy issues.
I don’t use timestamp but absolutely moderate comments
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