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Threaded WordPress Posts

Last updated on October 5, 2019

Raine asked me to articulate the requirements and limitations of current dialog systems so here is my stab at that, including requests to friends for how they can help realise this system:


I am looking at a new model for dialog in our own group which should hopefully also works for other groups. The problems I am looking to deal with is primarily how to carry on a dialog where the participants can author in a full writing environment for all the writing, not just for the first post in a small text entry box and in the future a reader can easily follow the dialog and find relevant connections.

This removes email since email threads get messy after a few replies and are not findable by someone not part of the conversation. WordPress comments are also not adequate to deliver on this.

The Suggestion

My perspective is to make it easy to cite/link to/quote a blog post so that the user can choose where to write their response and to use the pingback mechanism in a well formed ‘theme’ to show the threading.

Basic Use

  • Author posts an article on a blog.
  • Reader/Commenter copies the text they want to comment on to their own blogs and posts their reply.
  • The original document now features a pingback at the bottom of the page stating that so-and-so has commented on the following URL. This also works if the reader comments on the URL for the page and not with specific text.

This requires that the WordPress post can make the clipboard aware of the name of the author (Shane + Roman are working on this), word processors to paste correctly formatted citations which can be posted to WordPress (Jacob) and ideally also with links to paragraphs (Jacob to post with paragraph level addressability and Shane + Roman to make add this to the clipboard).

Later Access or Access for Non-Author or Commenter

Someone comes across one of the pages in the thread and can see that the page links to what it comments in the main body text and it links to what comments on it in the pingback section as described earlier:

Author posts an Update

If the author posts an update to the page or simply refers to it in the future, this should appear as links at the top of the article, as ‘The author has referred to this article in these later posts: …’ for readers to see what the latest development from the author on this topic is (Shane could possibly help with theme for this hopefully and logic for the extraction of correct author-pingbacks).

Published inCitation MetaCorrespondance

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