I adjusted my RSS format just slightly a few minutes ago. At the bottom of every story is a link to the url to go to the comment page for that item. By adding a few off-the-shelf components from Blosxom plugins, I have a comment count as well (this already existed in the HTML, just not the RSS.)
The whole reason that link is in there in the first place was to make a point when arguing with an excerpted RSS feed advocate who said “I don’t want the full RSS because you can’t have comments in RSS.” Oh, really? Aren’t the “comment on this” things almost always just links to an URL? RSS can have links to URLS.
I noticed that Charlie Stross’ weblog (also Blosxom) had links to his comments in his weblog, so by just sticking that link into my RSS template they magically showed up. Although I’ve been running like that for a year and a half, I just realized that if I had the comment count in there (which is easy to get) folks aggregating it can tell which topics are generating the buzz (and hopefully join in.) Theoretically in most aggregators, you should see the post again when then comment count changes because the RSS item will be new. We’ll see if that’s the case in NNW. I don’t know why this never occurred to me before. I guess when I was getting very little interaction, it never mattered. Now that I’m getting more, I want to make the process of finding the active conversations easy for everyone.