Compiling Thanks to Commenters

Each month when I post my thanks to commenters, I get questions about how I compile the list. I have answered several times in comments but finally decided to put the answer into a post to make it more accessible.

People often ask if there is a plugin to compile this list. If there is, I don’t know about it. If anyone knows of such a plugin, please let me know. There are top commentator plugins, but I haven’t found one that gives credit to every comment each month.

Note added 10/21/11: I have modified the system slightly and edited the instructions below to show the latest process.

Here is my system:

  • I maintain a spreadsheet in Excel throughout the month listing all commenters, their URLs, and the date(s) they comment.
  • I update the list every time I moderate comments—it doesn’t take much time each time I moderate, and I have all the information in the spreadsheet by the end of the month.
  • When I’m ready to put the post together, I add a column and enter the number of comments. Since many people leave only one comment during the month, it doesn’t take long—I fill in the numbers greater than one, then copy and paste many rows of 1 at a time.
  • Next, I sort the list by the number of comments—from largest to smallest and add header rows to break the list into categories based on the number of comments.
  • I copy the first two columns of the spreadsheet (commenter name and URL) into the WordPress visual editor (as if posting from Word).
  • Then I add the image and opening sentences above the table, and the post is ready to publish.

Using this method I can compile a thank-you post in less than an hour each month, and I consider the time well-spent to show my appreciation for comments.

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