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Quick Tip: Highlight Comment Conversation with a Widget

Elizabeth has doled out some sage advice on being a good host, being a good guest, and starving trolls to help…

Elizabeth has doled out some sage advice on being a good host, being a good guest, and starving trolls to help you cultivate a vibrant and engaged comment section. Hopefully, you’ve now got some good conversation going on. Why not highlight it with the Recent Comments widget?

Comments are content just as much as your posts, and the Recent Comments widget elevates them to your sidebar; it gives commenters some extra love and lures more readers into the conversation by shining a spotlight on the scintillating discussion that’s already happening. The widget also shows the title of the post each readers is commenting on, which helps both emphasize posts that are already generating a lot of buzz and point up that older post that just got a one-off comment.

Either way, showing off your commenters draws people deeper into your site and your community. It also gives your regulars a quick way to see who’s been weighing in. You can even personalize your blogular community by including commenters’ Gravatars next to their comments, helping readers put faces to names.

To add the Recent Comments widget, just head to your widgets page and drag the Recent Comments widget into your sidebar. Make sure to configure all the options — the number of comments to show, whether and what size Gravatars to use — and to give it a title that jives with your blog. (Sure, “Recent Comments” is clear, but “The Latest and Greatest” or “From the Peanut Gallery…” are just more fun.)

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  1. Hi everybody.
    I like this widget but I would hide my answer comment…
    I ‘ve configured this option but they are there.
    I don’t understand because this. It’s the theme Nishita guilty ? :-D

      1. yes Michelle. Sorry for my bad english ;-) . I prefer to show only the comments of others bloggers because often happen that I answer they all in one time and then appear only my comments and I don’t like it. Can you help me ?

      2. Right now, there’s not a way to hide your own comments — it’s not an option in the widget, and it’s not something you can change with CSS.

  2. Ha! I was just leaving a comment to show Max what it looks like when I discovered I must have accidentally taken the widget down. I am glad you posted this!
    It is up once again on the left-hand side of my blog under the heading, “Leave a Comment. Make the List!”
    http://susielindau.com/

  3. I had it for a time — before I switched themes, but I agree with those above. It turned out that if I answered every comment, (which I think you should do, as a good host) my answers took up most of the space. That wasn’t my goal, so when I switched themes, I left that widget off. It would be nice to be able to pick and choose the comments.– Just something else for you WP gurus to do! ;-)

    1. What I’m not understanding is, it seems to give you the option of not publishing your own comments. I filled that part out, yet I’m still seeing my own comments. I’ve got it there for now, but I will probably remove it. I also don’t like it being quite so prominent – if I put it in my right sidebar, it doesn’t seem to fit with my clean design theme. Yet I don’t want it buried at the bottom widget section. Still, this is a very good idea for a widget. Thank you, WordPress.

  4. It’s been a good widget. It would be great if we had the option to shorten blog post titles when there’s discussion. And no, sometimes one can’t have super short original blog post titles.

  5. I agree with Apple Hill
    But in the widget there is the option to choose who show or hide as author of comments but it doesn’t work!
    I selected the option to hide my comments to reply, but it doesn’t work. :-(

      1. Thank you Jeff, but there is just the option : “Hide if comment is by “me” or “all author of pages” .
        I’ve asked also at italian support by nobody help me

  6. Disabling pingbacks in the widget would be great. If I write a lengthy post referencing 4-5 other posts those pings take up 5 comments. Great widget but Id love that option.