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March 19, 2008

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A. Mercer

I noticed, but figured out what you're doing, since I do it with my grade level blogs too. It's a good work around, and makes it more personal.

I don't think there is a good way to thread the discussion with comments, BUT there is a new forum plug-in for edublogs, so I might try that?

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Christian's response:

Thanks for the suggestion re: edublogs, Alice.

Glad -- also -- that I'm not the only one using this embedded comment-commenting with students, too.

Sam Jackson

On WP, I have a nice ajax comment editing set up so that users can edit mistakes for a few minutes; I don't edit into comments, though. Feels invasive! ;(

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Christian's response:

Prelude: Hey, Sam. It's a bit ironic that I'm embedding a comment in your comment given what you wrote above. Ain't life funny sometimes?

Back to the point of my comment:

Being a less-than-smart user of tech in terms of plug-in's etc, and let alone anything that requires real coding save for a few formatting details, I am required to do a duct-tape version of what you're talking about. Not even sure how you're using a cleaning product to change your blog, but I guess there must be a tutorial out there that aligns such things. (wink)

BTW, I'm not talking about commenters editing their own work; they can do that with preview function. Seems automatic to me that editing on the commenter's part is a default option. Right?

As for the invasive side of my commenting inside a visitor's comment, I'm not sure this is the same sort of thing as literally changing key parts of a comment (even for good reasons -- spelling, formatting, etc.). ** see below **

If my blog allowed my follow-up comments to be indented, there would be zero reason to do what I'm doing. Until then, I see this as merely customizing my response to the specific person much more directly than simply adding one more comment in the overall thread.

Curious about one thing: is choosing not to publish a comment the same as 'editing' it? What would the good professors at Yale say in terms of morality and semantics? See if any of them might give me an answer. Seriously. I'm intrigued by what you're saying, even if I'm not in full agreement at first glance.

Now, had I added, "Hey, Christian...thanks for continuing to write the most exciting blog posts on the planet. Just can't get enough and I'm thinking about printing all of them out as a book to keep on my coffee table each year..." to the beginning of your comment...then I'd be deserving of a smacking upside the head. (wink, again)

Hope all is well in New Haven. Keep in touch, my friend.

Sam Jackson

If you want indented nested comments without technical troubleshooting, Disqus might be a good option for you. [disqus.com]

The thing is that the indentations you make then don't match up with those of other commenters... i.e, I'm replying to you now, but I'm not nested, and so forth.

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Christian's response:

Just spent a little bit of time checking out Disqus; thanks for putting that on my radar, Sam.

From the vantage point of merely adding nested comments, I can see value in looking at Disqus, but there are far too many additional elements that come with the plug-in(s) for me at this point to make it a priority.

Plus, this is more than a technology decision. For me, this has become far more about looking at the 1-on-1 side of responding to comments. My experience doing it this way with my students has been far more engaging for me and overall they've preferred such an approach to the typical way (which I did for a few weeks until our class got its legs beneath itself).

As to the hierarchal nature of nested comments, there are 2 realities going on based on what you mentioned above:

1. If you're commenting on someone else's comment, the traditional way of doing so continues to be at play. Simply write: "You know, I agree with what John wrote above...", etc. It'll be seen as part of a larger conversation.

2. If you're responding to a response of mine directly back to you, simply do what you're doing right now. I'll certainly figure it out just as I have this time (and the comment you followed up with that I will also be responding to in a minute). Since I'm the only one who is embedding my responses directly into all incoming comments now, I doubt there will be much confusion when anyone else chooses to read a comment thread.

Again, thanks for the Disqus suggestion. I found it really powerful, but ultimately too powerful (layers upon layers of management details) for my purposes here. Sense that it will be great for others, however, and that it is probably a trend that will be seen more and more in the future (especially for company blogs that have a far bigger reach than little ol' think:lab here!).

Sam Jackson

Shoot. wishing I had the ability to edit comments (and that they were posted in realtime) right about now.

on the morality front, if I remember, I will try to ask shelly kagan sometime. the famous ethicist-prof teaches his intro ethics course next to my international enviro governance course, and his ends when mine is starting, so I could have time to go ask him before class begins... hmm.

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Christian's response:

BTW, all you have to do is send me a quick follow-up email or blog comment telling me how you want a previous comment edited...and presto-bingo it'll be fixed as well as I can pull off. Anytime. Just ask. Plus, that makes it more personal, right?

Enjoyed learning a bit about Professor Kagan's writing/research via the good folks at Wikipedia tonight after reading that you intend on asking him about this premise. Love how quick on the draw you are about helping me get a better sense of how the aforementioned (see previous comment I responded to above) idea may or may not play out in blog comment editing.

Found this interesting about Professor Kagan: he "examines how to judge the rightness or wrongness of actions, exploring such factors as consequences, harm and consent" in a his text, Normative Ethics. Can see why you picked him to ask.

Also intrigued that many of his classes are available by video and recordings on the Open Yale Course site. Very nice.

Thanks again; look forward to your follow-up, Sam.


Sam Jackson

See also this helpful comparison--lots of options for nesting stuff in WP easily, but I don't know what youc an do with Typepad.

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