To use your site as an example my reply is 20 or so posts below what your post I’m trying to reply to right now. I suppose I could read all 20 of them to see if someone has already said what I’m about to post, but it’s easier/quicker for me to type it. If it it had been threaded in some fashion I’m guessing I would’ve seen a similar post.
Yeah, but you blockquoted the relevant bits, so you brought the necessary context with you, didn’t you?
That brings up another point. User error - You quoted the wrong section of my comment for your response, so the context you provided a third party isn’t very good. (Or I don’t see how your reply and the quote are relevant to each other…so, sorry if this is an error on my part…)
The point I was trying to make in what you quoted was that someone maybe had replied to you already, but it wasn’t easy to see if they had. I couldn’t look at your comment see an indication of dedicated replies. If a third party came in they would have no idea about our discussion unless they read a majority of the comments, even though your comment is near the top of the list. Not all of the people below your comments were responding directly to your comments, but rather to your blog post.
You provide twitter as example, but that’s only one discussion being represented. It’s entirely possible that another discussion could show up in that one (much like in the blog comments) and suddenly you’re wading through two different discussions and trying to keep them straight. Granted it could still be relevant discussion, but it might not be too.
I do agree indented thread discussions can be a mess. If we had all decided to reply to one of your comments it’d look pretty horrible, and eventually it’d have to collapse into a flat structure, or keep getting squeezed. (as you’ve said)
This is what I’m thinking for now: Add a reply action to a post, along with a view replies link. The view replies link could act like twitter and either show a dedicated view of parent (related discussion that happened above the post you clicked) and child replies, and each of the comments there would still have view replies so you could hone in on more context…taking things a level deep/more specific for those times a secondary conversation breaks out. Or it could collapse, or take away focus from somehow, the other non-relevant (by reply) comments.