Unified Comments – A New System for On Site Community

So I was listening to Mitch Joel on the latest Six Pixels of Seperation this morning and Joseph Rogers had a comment that he spent a lot of time reading blogs but not commenting because he uses a feed reader and rarely goes to the site. I can say I do the same thing but I do have a habit of opening the feed item in a new window and commenting every once and a while. I would probably comment more if I didn’t have to do that so it got me thinking..Step One – Get the Comments to the Feed Reader.So to start there is no way of reading comments from your reader and no way to publish them from it either. For the first part, getting the comments to the reader, what we need is a xml tag in the rss feeds with a link to that items comment rss feed. Most, I think, blogging platforms already have a feed for the comments, I know WordPress does (it’s ?feed=rss2&p=”Post ID #”). This would be fairly easy just a standard xml tag like “we” added enclosure for podcasting. Then the feed readers need to add the ability to pull in the comments when you “read” an item. This could be automatic when you open a new item or could be a link at the bottom of the article that will grab the comments..Step Two – Publish Comments from the Reader.The second step is to set up a hook to allow for comments to be publish right there in the feed reader to the original blog thus allowing everyone to see them in other readers. Most platforms use an xmlrpc hook to publish posts from third party apps (like ecto) and other sites (like blip.tv, flickr and clipmarks). The same method could be adapted for publishing comments and still maintain all the spam protection and what not already in use..Final Notes.I know other people, the guys from the TechCanuck podcast jump to mind, have a problem with sites like Shyftr taking the community away from their sites and this would eliminate the need to take the comments and community off site.