Throughout the years, The relationship between the blogger and the reader has always been mostly one-sided: the author publishes a new post and it gets consumed by the readers, but it's very hard for a discussion around the post to arise, some people have a comment section, but I've always found that solution to be very flaky, to say the least:
- As a reader: I don't want to make an account on every blog I read because I'll end up with hundreds of accounts I'll rarely use it's also pretty cumbersome to keep up with a conversation on a blog that I don't consult often
- As a writer: It can get pretty hard (and even expensive if you're self-hosting) to keep track of comments and filter out the spam, anyone who runs a WordPress site knows this struggle
So what could be the solution?
How Does this work ?
Web Mentions is a feature of the IndieWeb that allows bloggers to communicate directly through their respective blogs, I could write a post and send it to my friend as a webmention, that he can do whatever he wants with, some people prefer to keep them to themselves, others display them at the end of every article as a new kind of comment system. that being said, most people who'd want to discuss your post probably won't have a blog to send the webmention from, that's where brid.gy comes in
brid.gy is a service that connects to your various social media account and collects replies to your posts that link back to articles on your site, and then sends those as webmentions to your site.
In Short, I could share one of my posts on twitter, and the discussion that happens under that tweet will be displayed in the replies section under the correspondent post on my site
with this setup, I was able to provide my readers with a pretty cool platform-agnostic way of discussing my posts with minimal hassle on both ends.
here is how it looks like on my website, as you can see some of those comments came from Reddit, while others came from Twitter and Mastodon
How do I try it out ?
Currently, you can get your comment shown under this very post by doing one of these things:
- Make a tweet that includes the URL of this post that you're reading now
- Reply to this mastodon post
Reply to this tweetI've stopped using twitter long ago
- reddit comments to posts that link to one of the articles are also fetched but I won't share my reddit account on here
if you do one of these things you're comment should appear in the replies section below, keep in mind that it may take 30 minutes to an hour for your comment to show up (that's due to the nature of how brid.gy works)
The one thing I feel is missing is hacker news, but that's being worked on currently
So that's pretty much it, this setup has its problems, for instance, moderation is lacking and it can take some time for a comment to show up but I like it so for the time being I'll continue using it!
if enough people are interested in the technical details of setting this up, than I'll write a post about it, but other than that I'll see you in the next one
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@spacebuffer looks like your approach covers other sources rather just Mastodon. It’s a proper WebMention system.
My approach is just displaying a toot and its replies at the bottom of a post.
Pretty cool! But one of the biggest reasons I don't have comments on my site is because dealing with the shitty toxicity from reddit, twitter, and hacker news is already mentally exhausting enough. Even if I did moderation I'd still have to read the shitty comments to approve them or not.