Confused thoughts on comments 'n' pings

· Weblog Concepts

I notice a post from Scripting News on my news page

Every time I post a comment on a weblog I have to remember to go back and see if anyone followed up. We have to figure a way to automate this. Agree or disagree? [Scripting News]

and I think: LiveJournal has it exactly right. Comments are threaded and can optionally notify anyone of a reply to that person’s comment.
If you want email notfication, you need to deal with the barrier of keying in a valid email address. Other forms of notification are possible. Perhaps you leave a kind of web identify and it gets pinged if anyone replies?
Maybe you should be able to aggregate, or at least view, all your comments to various other blogs in a single space.
Then I scroll down to this entry, in which Dave says:

Thanks to Ben Hammersley for summarizing all the trackbacks and pushbacks and post-its and what-not. I’m old school. I think the cool thing about weblogs is that they are not discussion groups or mail lists. If I want to know what all the people are saying there are ways to do that, but very often I’m content to read email and a few weblogs that I trust. Personally I don’t think there’s gold in them thar hills, but of course I’ve been wrong before.

Well, personally, I’d like to see Radio match the trackback pinging feature from Movable Type, at least as an option. Otherwise, I feel sometimes like I’m being forced to base everything on RSS, as if I am buying a philosophy along with my software.
But, perhaps more importantly, it seems like the later post (I checked and the first one is later) comes up with a perfectly good justification for the various needle-threading methods evoling out there using pingback and trackbacks and what have you.
Now, maybe these things could be done with RSS. If each post along with its comments constituted an RSS feed, then one could subscribe to a thread you’ve commented on to watch it for updates.
Or maybe whatever method the Radio Userland discussion boards employs to enable a user to sign up for an email-notification watch on a specific thread could work in this context as well.
Movable Type can be set to notify the blog owner via email of any new posts, but that’s only half the equation.
Its curious to me that Dave sees trackback as recreating a discussion board when I see it as distributed in just the way that weblogs encourage each participant in a dialogue to own, maintain, host, and take responsibility for their own words. If instead of commenting on my blog post and then forgetting to ever check back for follow-ups, Dave was able to post his comment on his own weblog (or a special weblog just for such commentary), using RSS or RadioExpress! or manually, and have his weblog software automatically notify mine that my original post has been commented on at such-and-such a permalink, then the dialogue could continue in that self-hosted way without the need for a separate comment-threaded discussion board hanging off of every blog post in the ‘sphere.
On further though, however, this method would only notify the most recently commented-up poster or would require an ever growing listo f referenced URLs in each subsequent followup, so perhaps it wouldn’t be practical.
Quoting Emily Litella, “Nevermind.”