Learning WordPress Comments Deeply – Why?

Outlining why I want to dig into and learn WordPress comments after 12 years of eschewing them.

This post was originally intended to explain how I’m using the tools already built for WordPress to separate out likes, reposts and replies/comments. A follow-up post is forthcoming

When most people think of comments, they think of spam and trolls. I know I did. But then I discovered the IndieWeb, a movement to create interoperable components that would allow a more robust way of interacting with your site and the rest of the web. Most of the content published here is now syndicated out to “silos”, in my case primarily Twitter 1. And with that, if someone replies, retweets or likes that note or article, that interaction is stored in the WordPress database and displayed with comments.

Which leads to a broader discussion among WordPress users participating in the IndieWeb – How to better manage the different types of interactions? David Shanske, who has being doing yeoman’s work in building and contributing to the plugins that make IndieWeb possible with WordPress, outlined some of the hurdles and how to improve WordPress comments for the IndieWeb.

While I admit I do not see the utility in having a permalink for a comment, I also admittedly haven’t looked closely at the underlying code to know where the benefit is. I definitely see the need to fully flesh out custom comment types and would like to work with him as an evangelist to see who/where in the WordPress community we can lobby to put that in motion. I’d definitely like to contribute any code I can, as well as help with documentation.

When I discovered WordPress twelve years ago and started this personal blog on it, WordPress was a tight nit community of users dedicated to the democratization of the web. I still believe there are participants in the project where that is a guiding principal. I have no doubt Matt Mullenweg believes in that principal still. Which is why I have confidence that if framed in the right way, the IndieWeb desires to expand on the code managing and storing comments can be a priority for the greater WordPress community.

There is definitely a laundry list of wants and needs to better allow for a WordPress site be IndeWeb out of the box. A big one would be support for microformats 2. Custom comment types as outlined by David would be another. And I’m still only scratching the surface.

If you are interested in more about the IndieWeb or how we can move the needle in WordPress, I’d love to hear your response.

  1. I’m weaning myself off posting natively to Twitter, but that’s an evergreen statement. 

I’m actually attempting a webmention reply from a comment now, without permalinks. But this is my first test, so not sure what’s going to happen.


  • Michael Bishop
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