TypeKey comments

6:25 PM 20 March 2004

Sixapart are warming us up for the imminent release of MovableType 3 and the centralised comment registration service it and TypePad will use. I got excited for a moment, reading the description of TypeKey, by the potential of centralised commenting. Of course this is not the function that inspired the creation of TypeKey, but fun to consider anyway.

When you comment on someone else’s site using your TypeKey login imagine if it bounced a Trackback style entry to your own site. So commenting on another TypeKey enabled site would also create a new entry on your own site - complete, of course, with a link to the site where the comment was made. Not unlike Trackback in outcome, but easier to understand.

Inadequate context for these isolated comments could provide similar problems to those that Trackback comments already suffer from. John Gruber describes this problem:

TrackBacks intermingled with actual comments tend to read like non sequiturs. Whereas the genuine comments are (hopefully) following a thread, the TrackBacks seemingly come out of nowhere.

Perhaps using the comment form on someone else’s site would encourage a manner of writing more respectful of the context of the original entry. Leaving it up to the commenter to provide context on their own site for their list of ‘commented ons’. Maybe it’s possible to do this with Trackback now?

Back in reality, I applaud Sixapart’s ‘privacy first’ approach to comment registration. Privacy is potentially the most touchy aspect of any form of registration. Although it would be tempting to consider shared blacklisting of inappropriate commenters this opens up a very big tin of very wriggly worms.

Oliver Boermans is a design geek in Adelaide, South Australia: ollicle.com is a place for Ollie to rant, reflect and share. Feed

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