I'll be honest - I really like Blogger. Despite the fact that nearly every co-blogger I know has urged me to give Wordpress a try, I'm still (mostly) satisfied with what I've got. I serve static pages and other content myself, and let Google worry about hosting the blogs that account for over 90% of my total traffic. However, there is one thing, in my opinion, that is unforgivably lacking in Blogger: the comment system.
The comment system is so abysmal that I'm literally on the verge of creating my own message board that I can simply embed in an iframe. If I weren't so packed for time lately, you could consider it done. However, before I launch another harder-than-I-thought-at-first project, let me share with you the features that I believe, for the most part, any blogging platform should afford.
So here they are, in no particular order:
Unique Styling for Author Comments
This one seems obvious to me. Every other message board on the planet does this, yet Blogger currently offers no CSS accessible way to distinguish an author comment from a user comment. I've previously discussed a
This one's pretty straight forward - users should have the option of replying to a particular comment, rather than being forced into a flat discussion. Tree style comment threads allow for individual conversations to be self contained.
This feature is obviously dependent on the previous one. But assuming threaded comments were implemented, I would expect the ability to collapse a thread that I was not interested in. Think Digg...
Get Rid of that Separate Comment Page!
Why oh why am I taken to another page just to leave a comment? Can there possibly be a good explanation for this?
Ya, some of us are still old fashioned like that. This would be especially appreciated in family and faith oriented blogs.
Personally, I hate them - but the fact is, WYSIWYG editors are now a consumer expectation. Given the crowd that tends to follow my articles, this blog would probably benefit a lot less from this than a less code-savvy user base.
Private Comments to Authors
I'll admit that from here on out I'm probably going above and beyond what I'd consider "minimum requirements." However, being able to send private comments to the author would be a handy feature. For one, it would be a safe and convenient way to share personal contact information.
Since I use Firefox, I simply use the built in spell checker, but this would be helpful for visitors using other browsers. This is another example of something Digg did right...
Arbitrary Thread Locks
The author of a blog should be able to enable or disable comments on a post-by-post basis. This disable feature should have the option to actually hide all the comments, or simply disallow additional comments.
This is probably the least crucial of all my wants, but it would be nice to see some overall statistics (e.g., average comments per post, post with most comments, etc...).
Well that's it for my list. Please feel free to add any additional ideas in the comments!