This is an idea I picked up from a conversation I had somewhere: wouldn't it be nice to be able to feature your best comments on your sidebar?
We are already able to link to certain posts on our sidebars. For example, the most popular ones or those that relate to the current post (as well as the usually installed recent posts widget):
But what about comments? Is there any way we could promote the best examples we have received on the blog's sidebar?
An incentive for excellent commenting
My brain went into overdrive. Since this blog is all about resurrecting the art of blogging, why not find an incentive to encourage readers to comment?
You could promote a chosen comment as "the comment of the day", for example. This could entice readers to make more of an effort on writing an excellent comment for consideration.
If the idea takes off, readers will soon be vying for their comment to be displayed in that prominent position. Being chosen as 'top commenter' would cultivate a sense of kudos and esteem.
Does a Featured Comments plugin exist?
So I started to search for a Featured Comments plugin:
And I installed it to see what it could do.
Now before I could go about adding any featured comments of the day or whatever onto my sidebar, I needed to be able to find a suitable comment.
Select your chosen comment
Go to your comments page (via the Dashboard left-hand sidebar):
Here you are able to approve comments for publication and answer them (very important!).
Once the Featured Comments plugin is installed, there will be an additional option when you mouse over the comment called 'Feature'.
When you click on it, the comment suddenly has a green background:
And now it is ready to be highlighted in the sidebar.
Promote it in the sidebar
Go to the widgets page via the Dashboard left-hand sidebar:
And look for the Featured Comments widget option:
Place it in a prominent position in your sidebar, and give it a catchy title:
Remember to save, and then you can view it on your sidebar.
Or can I?
I tested this plugin on one of my other blogs, which uses the same theme and plugins as this one, and everything worked perfectly:
But for this blog it had a disastrous effect – basically all I could see was a white screen!
Which is very embarrassing.
Especially since I really wanted to use this feature on this blog.
Until I am able to solve this conundrum, all I can do is hope someone like Thrive will create a more secure Featured Comments plugin that will work on this blog:
With better features that displays a few of the words as an incentive to click or to participate.
I can but hope.
What do you think about a Featured Comments plugin?
Let me know in the comments box below your thoughts on highlighting the best comments and promoting them on the sidebar.
And if you happen to know of a better Featured Comments plugin, or a solution why this one won't work on this blog, please let me know as soon as possible!