Wikis are wonderful for sending things around for review. First, because they keep all your corrections and revisions in one place, even when you have multiple reviewers. And second, because the History tab means that every edit is saved, in one place, where they are easy to find and recover.
I like those features. A lot. I use them every day. But what do you do when a reviewer has a question, instead of a correction? In the past, I’d sometimes relied on tricky inline commentary in brackets, or even email. But from now on, I’ll be using comments.
What do you mean by “comments”?
Comments let you apply notes, questions, or observations to a passage on a wiki page — it’s kind of like slapping a Post-it note onto the wiki page. Because they’re linked to a specific part of the page, comments show you exactly which words they’re about (unlike with an email or discussion post). And because the comments can be revealed or collapsed, they let you look at a page as either an appreciative audience or a critical editor, depending on your needs.
- Edit a page.
- Highlight the word, phrase, or paragraph that you want to comment on. Now the comment icon in the editor toolbar will be live. It looks like a cartoon conversation bubble.
- Click the comments icon to open a new comment box.
- Type your comment into the box.
- Make any additional edits or add any additional comments to the page.
- When you’re done, hit Save. (There’s no need to save comments individually.)
How can I find comments that have already been left?
As soon as a page has at least one saved comment, you will see a small, yellow conversation bubble to the right of the page contents. The number on this bubble indicates the number of saved comments. You can click on this bubble to hide or reveal comments on that page.
Comments are also recorded on the Discussion tab for that page. If you have only one Discussion page for the whole wiki, you can find the comments there. Either way, discussion posts that originated as comments will have “Comment Added” subjects, so you always know what you’re looking at.
What if I want to respond to a posted comment?
Nothing could be simpler:
- Edit the page.
- Click Reply in the appropriate comment box.
- Type your reply.
- Save the page.
I’m a little more visual. Can I add images or files to comments?
Sure. Just remember that comment box isn’t very big so, for best results, use smaller images. Just keep on using the editor toolbar, as if you were editing any other part of the page.
I, personally, am already a huge fan of comments. And I’ve only just started using them. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love them, too.
Update: Special thanks to some of our long-time customers — and friends — who helped us out with input and feedback on this feature: Dan Beeby and Jonah Bossewitch from Columbia University, Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay of the Flat Classroom project, and Christian deTorres from University of Massachusetts Boston. Thanks for all your help!
You can find more information about this feature on our Comments help page.