Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Comments RSS feeds

In the comments for a post about the new features of MT3.1 one of the comments that was made by Carthik Sharma is that MT doesn’t have RSS feeds for comments. Carthik is a former MT user and now a proponent of WordPress – he’s the guy behind Wordlog.
Indeed, MT doesn’t have this by default, but it’s trivial to add – you just need to create another Individual Entry Archive that displays comments in RSS format. Which brings me on to a question for you – should I add it?
The advantage would be that you could keep track of any conversations attached to entries more easily, but it would mean more processing on my side. Rebuilds don’t take ice ages but they aren’t too quick either, so it would mean that posting comments would be slower than before. I may therefore leave this until MT3.1 and have this as a dynamic template.
Also – RSS or Atom? I’d like to choose Atom because I prefer the format but I’ll go with whatever you guys prefer. As for why I wouldn’t include some kind of email subscription, that’s because it’s harder to implement (requires plugins) and adds in the problem of managing subscriptions.
So – your ideas please.


  1. Isn’t there a plug-in that sends e-mail messages when someone posts a comment? I thought I have seen this with MT before.
    However, if there isn’t, having an RSS feed for a comment stream for a post is a good thing so that I can keep up with comments posted after mine…

  2. I am curious. Somebody said to me that automatic aggregators rob bandwidth. I recall you having a bandwidth issue once. What is your opinion.
    I’m not sure I understand the implications, but I could update this feed very frequently, (I don’t), thus taking a chunk of your bandwidth each time.

  3. Whether it’s Atom or RSS doesn’t matter, really. Most desktop aggregators can read both without any major problems.
    Sauce Reader certainly can.

  4. MT plays catch-up

    I’ve been debating about switching to MT, but I’ve changed my mind somewhat. It seems it isn’t as great as I was first lead to believe – 3.1 is SixApart’s latest ‘catch-up-with-wordpress’ edition.

  5. Comment Feeds and Innovation

    Through Carthik’s post A minor debate I came across this thread talking about comment feeds. The thread is a little funky and Carthik is obviously enthusiastic, but what stood out is Anil’s comment “If there‚Äôs enough demand from users for it, we

  6. Wouldn’t bother me on what format you use. I coded a comments feed for my xml on my old asp pages which worked pretty well. Not sure its that handy though as a lot of the time the comments will only last a couple of days before the feed basically becomes obsolete and do you really want your rss reader attempting to get this feed EVERY day (as would you remember to delete it?) I think an email future comments would be handy, but then if you get spammed in your comments you end up spamming all your subscribers and if they’ve subbed to multiple comment feeds……..

  7. Dave: Yes, there is a subscribe-to-comments by email plugin but as I said I don’t want to use it. Imagine if some AOL user accidently subscribes, then decides he doesn’t want my emails before and then just uses the ‘report spam’ button – suddenly no-one on AOL can receive mail from any sites hosted on the same machine as this. Admittedly I think this is already the case but it’s still not an avenue I want to take.
    Andy: I thought I had a problem but I didn’t. I’m actually using only around 20% of my monthly allocation so I have plenty of bandwidth to spare.

  8. I should hope that people wouldn’t subscribe to the feed for every entry, but it might be handy to be able to watch entries I’ve commented on… My personal preference would be RSS simply because I already have an RSS plugin for Trillian installed, but then I’m sure there’s an Atom plugin out there somewhere too.