What Is The Value of A Comment?

0 What Is The Value of A Comment?

I have a love/hate relationship with comments. Many bloggers use them as a sort of currency or social proof of the success of their blogs, but I don’t.

That is because I find that to be too simplistic. You can look at a post with a 100 comments and find that that majority of them were made by just a couple of people and that very few of them advanced the conversation.

Is that really a sign of success. Do people really want 29 different versions of “great post” added to the 33 different ways that others said “thank you for writing this.”

I don’t see that as being indicative of anything of import which is why I finished those sentences with a period and not a question mark. For good measure it is worth noting that I wonder about blogs where the comments are filled with nothing but praise for the blogger. That bothers me too.

My preference is to see a comment section that shows that the community is composed of people who think and are thoughtful. I like to see commenters challenge the writer and other commenters.

That doesn’t mean that I am looking for flame wars or insults. Nor does it mean that every post has to have Pulitzer Prize winning comments either.

Why I Changed

Long time readers will tell you that I blog first for me and then for you. I write because I love writing. This is a passion and it fills a purpose. I would write if no one commented but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want or like comments.

That is because I have learned from commenters. I have made friends. I have had my mind opened. I love that.

It is part of why I have never been afraid to change commenting systems. I am always looking for one that will help foster community and build a commenting section that is filled with people I can learn from.

I changed back to Livefyre because I think that it will help facilitate that and I grew tired of having to work so hard to moderate the crappy comments that I had been getting innundated with.

I am not referring to people who wrote “great post” because I don’t think that it is fair or reasonable to say that it is always wrong or inappropriate to say that. Sometimes that works. Sometimes you want to let the writer know that you enjoyed the post and that works.

The comments I refer to are from individuals who use multiple email addresses and populate recent posts and the archives with a bunch of comments that say nothing and are there strictly for link juice.

That doesn’t fly with me. It is “spam lite.”

Technical Issues

But I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I am mildly frustrated because Livefyre hasn’t imported all of my old comments yet. There are posts that have 50 comments on them but you can’t see them right now because of technical issues.

Their support is working on it but they are also prepping for a big roll out so I haven’t seen much action. Granted it is a free service so I cannot expect them to just drop everything for me, but I hope that it is fixed soon because the blog looks a little bit naked.

What do you think about comments? What do you think about Livefyre? I would love to hear your thoughts.

161 comments
My Inner Chick
My Inner Chick

--I love comments. The interaction w/ my readers is something I enjoy. Especially if they have depth/substance. Hell, I'd go stay with several of these people for a week or so! Xx

Asking for Feedback
Asking for Feedback

[...] know it takes time to build a community, but I want everyone to know that comments are welcome. No, I don’t write for comments, but I do appreciate them. I want to know what you’re thinking in response to what I’ve [...]

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

Best way to choose a commenting system? Pick the right one for your audience. My analytics show me I have a very social media-savvy audience so using a social conversation platform like Livefyre is a no-brainer. :) Besides, like you say mate, we're fluid enough to change if need be.

ALSpaulding
ALSpaulding

 @TheJackB   I have been switching back and forth between @commentluv & @livefyre for quite soome time now and never ever end up sticking with it because of it's issues when it comes to mobile log ins. when on an Iphone or Android  it was always tedious to comment effectively. However I just logged in via my iphone and was able to do s much more pain free than in times past so that's a good thing. Please keep on that @livefyre Mobile commenting efficiency is very very important. 

 

I also noticed the same thing @JudyDunn did in regards to the same "livefyre" peeps commenting over and over again on each other blog posts. That kind of turned me off as well. 

 

I have as of now a hybrid commenting system with commentluv and facebook comments and that seems to be working quite well. Giving my readers an option seems to work wonders however lately commentluv has been OD with the spam. WOW! Same people over and over with different email addresses. 

 

I am mulling a return to livefyre. My only drawback to them before was mobile phone commenting. While it has improved from before I certainly hope they continue working on it. That is a swing factor not only for me but for other bloggers as well. 

 

Cheers Jack! Great Post Buddy!

 

~AL

Latest blog post: What Drives You To Succeed?

ALSpaulding
ALSpaulding

 @TheJackB   I have been switching back and forth between @commentluv & @livefyre for quite soome time now and never ever end up sticking with it because of it's issues when it comes to mobile log ins. when on an Iphone or Android  it was always tedious to comment effectively. However I just logged in via my iphone and was able to do s much more pain free than in times past so that's a good thing. Please keep on that @livefyre Mobile commenting efficiency is very very important.    I also noticed the same thing @JudyDunn did in regards to the same "livefyre" peeps commenting over and over again on each other blog posts. That kind of turned me off as well.    I have as of now a hybrid commenting system with commentluv and facebook comments and that seems to be working quite well. Giving my readers an option seems to work wonders however lately commentluv has been OD with the spam. WOW! Same people over and over with different email addresses.    I am mulling a return to livefyre. My only drawback to them before was mobile phone commenting. While it has improved from before I certainly hope they continue working on it. That is a swing factor not only for me but for other bloggers as well.    Cheers Jack! Great Post Buddy!   ~AL

NinaBadzin
NinaBadzin

I like getting comments and leaving comments. I find that the people who comment on my posts tend to share a lot of their own stories and I couldn't ask for more than that. It's wonderful! My issue is figuring out what to respond to and how much, how often, etc. I personally don't want to litter the comments section with my little avatar every two seconds, but I also don't want it to seem like I'm not reading and appreciating because I AM. How do you handle that?

NinaBadzin
NinaBadzin

I like getting comments and leaving comments. I find that the people who comment on my posts tend to share a lot of their own stories and I couldn't ask for more than that. It's wonderful! My issue is figuring out what to respond to and how much, how often, etc. I personally don't want to litter the comments section with my little avatar every two seconds, but I also don't want it to seem like I'm not reading and appreciating because I AM. How do you handle that?

Jens-Petter Berget
Jens-Petter Berget

I love comments, even the "great post" ones. It's not about the number of comments. I don't need more than one, as long as I get some feedback on what I have written. And I love talking to people, and comments are more or less a conversation.

 

Livefyre seems to be working great for you. There are really just two things I'm not comfortable with when it comes to Livefyre, well, actually it's three things:

 

1) I have to log in to comment

2) The comments are not hosted on the blog (or my blog if I was using it)

3) And, I'm not really sure about the backlink if it gives us as much of link juice as with the default system

 

But, my guess is that you get a lot less spam with Livefyre, and it's so much easier to get a real conversations going. My conversations with my readers are mostly one comment and one reply, and that's it. With Livefyre I can even get @bdorman264 in the conversation :) 

Latest blog post: Intervju med Isabel Vika

Jens
Jens

I love comments, even the "great post" ones. It's not about the number of comments. I don't need more than one, as long as I get some feedback on what I have written. And I love talking to people, and comments are more or less a conversation.   Livefyre seems to be working great for you. There are really just two things I'm not comfortable with when it comes to Livefyre, well, actually it's three things:   1) I have to log in to comment 2) The comments are not hosted on the blog (or my blog if I was using it) 3) And, I'm not really sure about the backlink if it gives us as much of link juice as with the default system   But, my guess is that you get a lot less spam with Livefyre, and it's so much easier to get a real conversations going. My conversations with my readers are mostly one comment and one reply, and that's it. With Livefyre I can even get @bdorman264 in the conversation :) 

JudyDunn
JudyDunn

Hey, Jack,

 

I was a livefyre convert,  but noticed some of my "regulars" had stopped commenting. One of my number one goals on my blog is interaction because I think a lot of new learning goes on when readers engage with me and other readers. When I surveyed my readers, the top reasons for not liking livefyre were: privacy issues (having to connect via Twitter or Facebook, which I believe they have now fixed), no link back to last post (unless they had livefyre on their own blog), and not understanding the system and/or feeling like there were "insiders" and outsiders." I also think that many in my audience are writers, who tend to be a low-tech bunch.

 

Personally, I see more comments on livefyre blogs, but it's, like you say, a lot of back and forth between the same people. So sometimes it does feel a little like an inner circle. 

 

The thing that pisses me off as a reader is that when I leave a comment on a livefyre blog now (since I no longer have the Cat's Eye blog on livefyre), it picks up an old post I wrote in January 2012, the last post I wrote while still on livefyre. Makes me look like I haven't written a post in 6 months. 

 

Thought-provoking post here. 

Jack
Jack

That is awesome. It is the sort of relationship that every blogger should want to develop with their readers.

JudyDunn
JudyDunn

 @DannyBrown What you say here is golden, Danny. My readers (many of them are writers and authors) are decidedly low-tech and they were telling me it's just "too much to learn." I love livefyre myself, but I need to meet my readers' needs, not mine.   : )

ALSpaulding
ALSpaulding

 @TheJackB  by the way. That above blog post ^^^^^ is most certainly not the last blog post i wrote. That is something I hope @livefyre addresses. That was the last post I wrote while using their system months ago. -_-

Latest blog post: What Drives You To Succeed?

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @ALSpaulding  @commentluv  @livefyre  @JudyDunn  Al, the spam on CommentLuv is what pushed me over the edge. I spent far too much time moderating crap that got beyond Akismet and GASP. It is too bad because I think it is a real nice system and CL is a great incentive for people to comment.

ALSpaulding
ALSpaulding

 @TheJackB  by the way. That above blog post ^^^^^ is most certainly not the last blog post i wrote. That is something I hope @livefyre addresses. That was the last post I wrote while using their system months ago. -_-

TheJackB
TheJackB moderator

 @NinaBadzin 

Hi Nina. That's a good question and one I think about often.

 

My sidebar includes a widget called "Recent Comments" that looks great when it is filled with comments from my readers and less good when it is filled with my name. If I don't respond to comments you never see my name there but that is not a good option.

 

The question I ask is whether that widget makes a difference or not.In the larger scheme of things I try to respond to all of my comments.

 

I figure if someone takes the time to read and write something I should give them the courtesy of a reply. I do my best to say something in response to each person so that they know I appreciate their time.

 

The nice thing about using Livefyre is that you can "like" a comment. Sometimes I use that as a way to let them know I appreciate their time.

 

But my preference is to try to at least give a few words to them. It is not perfect but...  

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @NinaBadzin  Hi Nina. That's a good question and one I think about often.   My sidebar includes a widget called "Recent Comments" that looks great when it is filled with comments from my readers and less good when it is filled with my name. If I don't respond to comments you never see my name there but that is not a good option.   The question I ask is whether that widget makes a difference or not.In the larger scheme of things I try to respond to all of my comments.   I figure if someone takes the time to read and write something I should give them the courtesy of a reply. I do my best to say something in response to each person so that they know I appreciate their time.   The nice thing about using Livefyre is that you can "like" a comment. Sometimes I use that as a way to let them know I appreciate their time.   But my preference is to try to at least give a few words to them. It is not perfect but...  

Erin F.
Erin F.

 @Jens  That's odd. Were you using Wordpress? I can see all my Livefyre comments in the Wordpress panel. I don't know if Jack has enabled the guest commenting feature on his blog, but I think that gets rid of the log in issue. As for the spam, I have had none via Livefyre. Yay! :) @bdorman264 

Latest blog post: Form and Content

Erin F.
Erin F.

 @Jens  That's odd. Were you using Wordpress? I can see all my Livefyre comments in the Wordpress panel. I don't know if Jack has enabled the guest commenting feature on his blog, but I think that gets rid of the log in issue. As for the spam, I have had none via Livefyre. Yay! :) @bdorman264 

TheJackB
TheJackB moderator

 @JudyDunn 

Hi Judy,

 

I used to have many of those same concerns and I believe that many have been addressed. There are currently about six different ways to log in to comment so that barrier seems to have been lifted,.

 

They have a proprietary version of CommentLuv that does create the issue you mentioned. When I wasn't using LF as my primary Commenting system I made a point to turn the plugin on every so often just so that my more recent posts would show up. It wasn't a great system, but...

 

I think it does a good job of encouraging dialogue and building a community on the blog. However I think it is does create an atmosphere where it takes more effort on the part of the blogger to make sure that people feel welcome to comment.

 

But I find some of those same issues on other platforms so that is not enough for me to not use it. I figure the beauty of the blogosphere is that it is a fluid and dynamic environment that provides lots of opportunity for change.

 

If this is a bust I will switch back and if not...

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

 @JudyDunn Amen, miss. Amen. :)

JudyDunn
JudyDunn

 @ALSpaulding  @TheJackB I totally agree. As I said above, it's distressing to see that commenters on livefyre-powered blogs don't get that link back unless their own blogs are on livefyre. And, if they used to be on livefyre but are no longer (because of feedback from their readers), it picks up the last post they wrote when they were still on livefyre. (For me that was Jan. 2012, so it looks like I haven't written a new post in 6 months.) Makes me not so eager to comment on livefyre blogs.   : )

ALSpaulding
ALSpaulding

 @TheJackB  @commentluv  @livefyre  @JudyDunn I'm over the spam on CL. Just this morning I had about 100 spam comments and not one of them was pertinent to what my posts were about and all of them were CL. GASP was great but now not even that is working. LF it shall be starting tomorrow morning. 

JudyDunn
JudyDunn

 @ALSpaulding  @TheJackB I totally agree. As I said above, it's distressing to see that commenters on livefyre-powered blogs don't get that link back unless their own blogs are on livefyre. And, if they used to be on livefyre but are no longer (because of feedback from their readers), it picks up the last post they wrote when they were still on livefyre. (For me that was Jan. 2012, so it looks like I haven't written a new post in 6 months.) Makes me not so eager to comment on livefyre blogs.   : )

Jens-Petter Berget
Jens-Petter Berget

 @Erin F.  I am using wordpress, but it's a very long time since I tried Livefyre on my blog, so I have no idea what they did back then, and what they are doing now. It looks like they have come very far, that's for sure :)

 

I might even switch too, because from what I've seen, just from this conversation, Livefyre is awesome :) 

Latest blog post: Intervju med Isabel Vika

Jens
Jens

 @Erin F.  I am using wordpress, but it's a very long time since I tried Livefyre on my blog, so I have no idea what they did back then, and what they are doing now. It looks like they have come very far, that's for sure :)   I might even switch too, because from what I've seen, just from this conversation, Livefyre is awesome :) 

TheJackB
TheJackB moderator

 @ALSpaulding  @JudyDunn  @commentluv  @livefyre  @livefyre  @DannyBrown 

Al, that is exactly what pushed me over the top, all that spam you mentioned that got by GASP and Akismet. It was just too much.

I understand your concerns about mobile users and that is valid.

 

FWIW,  I haven't had any complaints from anyone since I switched back to LF. I don't believe that means that no one has had trouble, but nor do I think it means that they have either.

 

My biggest complaint is that a substantial portion of my comments have not been imported yet. That creates a separate but related issue. I am pleased to say that LF is working on it.

 

I won't lie and say that I don't wish it was faster, but then again it is a free service and they are responsive so I am happy about that.

 

I like the changes that I have seen in Disqus. It looks like it is moving. For now I am going to continue to stick with LF as it really has helped generate a more active comment section and I believe that the community has benefited from it.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

@ALSpaulding@JudyDunn@commentluv@livefyre@TheJackB@livefyre

Hehe, ironically enough, I deleted my complete Disqus account based on some of their devs being asses... ;-)

 

Not sure if the imminent update for Livefyre addresses the mobile sign-in, but Ajax-powered would be better for sure. Although, in fairness, more than a third of my traffic is mobile based and it hasn't impacted the comments?

Latest blog post: State of Independence

ALSpaulding
ALSpaulding

 @JudyDunn  @commentluv  @livefyre @TheJackB Talk about annoying spam. lol. Ultimately I have decided to go with Disqus over @livefyre for one simple reason. A lot of my reader are on mobile phones, Iphones, Androids, etc. For some reason Livefyre feels the need to make the login process on a mobile phone open up another page on the browser. This adds another step that hinders people from commenting easily. With Disqus the logging in and commenting are done on the same page as the blog post instead of opening up another page. That is something people complained about and at the end of the day as @DannyBrown said above it's about picking one that's right for your audience. I have been voicing this for months now to the Livefyre team. The need for mobile phone ease in regards to commenting and for some reason it has not been addressed. I am quite sure I am not the only blogger that has not switched over due to  this flaw. Hopefully it is addressed. 

Latest blog post: What Drives You To Succeed?

JudyDunn
JudyDunn

 @ALSpaulding    @commentluv  @livefyre Thanks for the update, Al. Livefyre just rolled out a premium version, right? Are you going w/the free or paid? The reasons I switched back to CL were all due to reader feedback. They missed their most recent post link, which only happens on LF if their blog is also on livefyre. They also had problems w/the sign-in requirements. I sent livefyre my questions to see if the paid version solves those problems. You had 100 spam comments that weren't filtered and got through? That's incredible. 

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @ALSpaulding  @JudyDunn  @commentluv  @livefyre  livefyre  DannyBrown  Al, that is exactly what pushed me over the top, all that spam you mentioned that got by GASP and Akismet. It was just too much. I understand your concerns about mobile users and that is valid.   FWIW,  I haven't had any complaints from anyone since I switched back to LF. I don't believe that means that no one has had trouble, but nor do I think it means that they have either.   My biggest complaint is that a substantial portion of my comments have not been imported yet. That creates a separate but related issue. I am pleased to say that LF is working on it.   I won't lie and say that I don't wish it was faster, but then again it is a free service and they are responsive so I am happy about that.   I like the changes that I have seen in Disqus. It looks like it is moving. For now I am going to continue to stick with LF as it really has helped generate a more active comment section and I believe that the community has benefited from it.

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@ALSpaulding@JudyDunn@commentluv@livefyre@TheJackBlivefyre Hehe, ironically enough, I deleted my complete Disqus account based on some of their devs being asses... ;-)   Not sure if the imminent update for Livefyre addresses the mobile sign-in, but Ajax-powered would be better for sure. Although, in fairness, more than a third of my traffic is mobile based and it hasn't impacted the comments?

ALSpaulding
ALSpaulding

 @JudyDunn  @commentluv  @livefyre @TheJackB Talk about annoying spam. lol. Ultimately I have decided to go with Disqus over livefyre for one simple reason. A lot of my reader are on mobile phones, Iphones, Androids, etc. For some reason Livefyre feels the need to make the login process on a mobile phone open up another page on the browser. This adds another step that hinders people from commenting easily. With Disqus the logging in and commenting are done on the same page as the blog post instead of opening up another page. That is something people complained about and at the end of the day as DannyBrown said above it's about picking one that's right for your audience. I have been voicing this for months now to the Livefyre team. The need for mobile phone ease in regards to commenting and for some reason it has not been addressed. I am quite sure I am not the only blogger that has not switched over due to  this flaw. Hopefully it is addressed. 

JudyDunn
JudyDunn

 @ALSpaulding    @commentluv  @livefyre Thanks for the update, Al. Livefyre just rolled out a premium version, right? Are you going w/the free or paid? The reasons I switched back to CL were all due to reader feedback. They missed their most recent post link, which only happens on LF if their blog is also on livefyre. They also had problems w/the sign-in requirements. I sent livefyre my questions to see if the paid version solves those problems. You had 100 spam comments that weren't filtered and got through? That's incredible. 

Jason Fonceca
Jason Fonceca

 @TheJackB  @ginidietrich  @DannyBrown Y'all seem pretty knowledgeable about this stuff, so here's a question -- all the comments are kept on the LiveFyre / Disqus platforms, correct? So if they "collapsed" or "evolved" or whatever it'd be up to them what happened with all the comments?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

 @TheJackB  @DannyBrown As of Friday, a lot of the things users have been asking for (editing comments, changing notification settings, using bold and italics, etc.) have begun rolling out. So you should soon seen some pretty big improvements.

TheJackB
TheJackB moderator

@Jens@Erin F. I am not an expert on LF but from what I have seen/heard they have made serious progress. I expect to see some more substantive changes too. 

@DannyBrown or @Gini Dietrich  might have more information on the particulars.

 

But I do know that we retain our comments on our blog and that it has become easier to log in than it used to be.

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@Jason Fonceca @TheJackB @ginidietrich Livefyre pulls directly from the WP Comment loop so if they "die" you still have all your comments. :)

Jason Fonceca
Jason Fonceca

 @TheJackB  @ginidietrich  @DannyBrown Y'all seem pretty knowledgeable about this stuff, so here's a question -- all the comments are kept on the LiveFyre / Disqus platforms, correct? So if they "collapsed" or "evolved" or whatever it'd be up to them what happened with all the comments?

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @ginidietrich  @DannyBrown I am guessing it is a slow roll out of the new options. Love the line up, can't wait to see it.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

 @TheJackB  @DannyBrown As of Friday, a lot of the things users have been asking for (editing comments, changing notification settings, using bold and italics, etc.) have begun rolling out. So you should soon seen some pretty big improvements.

TheJackB
TheJackB

@Jens@Erin F. I am not an expert on LF but from what I have seen/heard they have made serious progress. I expect to see some more substantive changes too.  @DannyBrown or Gini Dietrich . might have more information on the particulars.   But I do know that we retain our comments on our blog and that it has become easier to log in than it used to be.

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  1. [...] know it takes time to build a community, but I want everyone to know that comments are welcome. No, I don’t write for comments, but I do appreciate them. I want to know what you’re thinking in response to what I’ve [...]