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Weblog comments and news aggregators

Friday, July 18, 2003


RSS 2.0 has a neat feature that allows an item to link to comments about that item.

Content tools and aggregators can support this feature, allowing people to comment on an item directly from the news aggregator window.

This document is a case study that shows how UserLand's weblog tool and aggregator both support comments. By illustrating this, I'm hoping that other tools and aggregators will also use this feature of RSS.


Don Park is a friendly guy and I imagine he won't mind if I use his weblog as an example.

Look at his RSS feed, and look at any , and you'll see a <comments> element. Its value is the URL of the comments page for the . Radio knows that it should include the comments element because Don has comments turned on. If the feature was turned off, the weblog tool would not generate the comments element.

I subscribe to Don's feed. When I see one of his items, in the rightmost column, just below the POST icon is a picture of a pencil. When I click on the pencil, Radio opens a little window containing the comments for that item, and it's ready for me to enter my own comments. Here's a screen shot that shows what the aggregator window looks like.


If you make a weblog tool that supports comments, your RSS feed should also support .

If you make a news aggregator or reader, you should make it easy for your users to comment on feeds that support the RSS <comments> feature.