Comments to comments

I don’t remember this being written about anywhere, and I don’t know how old the ability is, but you can now add comments to individual product reviews at Amazon.

As an author, what a wonderful way of responding to comments on one’s work. For others, what a great way to get more detail from the original commenter, or provide counter-point and/or appreciation.

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3 Responses to Comments to comments

  1. Prediction #1: Many authors will start feeding the trolls.

    Prediction #2: Comment flame-wars.

    Prediction #3: Many authors will now start engaging in sock-puppetry.

    It remains to be seen whether Amazon has prepared solutions for these problems.

    Update: Here is a comment thread on another weblog I read that you may find amusing. Note that many (if not most) of the participants are either published authors or editors.

  2. Shelley says:

    I was just thinking that publishers are probably sweating what we authors will say and thus hurt book sales.

    Still, when someone makes an inaccurate comment, it is tempting to write a clarification or response. However, one should forgo writing “*PHBBTTT*” in response to a negative review.

    One should.

  3. Scott Reynen says:

    For a long time I didn’t understand why all comments weren’t nested, as it seems like an obvious mapping of how discussion actually happens. But then I saw someone, I think maybe Matt from MetaFilter, point out the potentially negative social consequences of nested comments, e.g. tangential conversations can destroy a sense of community. Comment structure is just as much an influence on the flow of discussion as a reflection. So now I think nested comments should be approached with caution. I don’t know much about what kind of commenting community Amazon has, but I can imagine the comments quickly becoming a distraction from the books themselves, as Michael suggested.