A few years ago I moved to a format that put the comments on the right side of the posts. I can’t remember what site inspired me, but I did it because I believed (and still do) that comments on a blog should be equally important to the post they’re commenting on.
Anyway, I mention this because I was happy to read John Borthwick supporting my theory:
Bob [Stein] told me about a test he had run at the Institute for the futureofthebook. In the test they placed comments on a blog to the right of the posts / articles. The result was meaningfully more interesting discourse. The comments werent placed at the bottom, hidden away, like a letter to the editor, they were part of the body of the post. Think about it this way. If you took TechCrunch and placed the comments to the right of the posts and let them stream live (most recent first) wouldnt it look like a mirror image of the new Twitter? Stream on the right — media on the left — Twitter is stream on the left, media on the right. Interesting.