Commenting Systems and Blog Design

This audio post is titled Commenting Systems and Blog Design

For those of you who find my voice to be objectionable or are unable to listen here are my words. I have turned off the Livefyre commenting system and am now using the WP native commenting system.

This blog exists for a variety of reasons the primary purpose being is that it is my cybersandbox for my writing. It is where I practice my craft and chronicle the moments and memories of my life. It is also the platform that I use for business purposes and for the joy that interacting with others bring.

I like my community and enjoy interacting with you. As many of you know I take an active role in trying to build my community. This is not a secret or unusual. I routinely encourage you to follow me on all of the different platforms that are available be it Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Part of my job is to find the best tools and resources to make the community work for all of us. Commenting systems are an integral part of this which is why I am conducting an unscientific test. Overall my experience with Livefyre has been very  positive but recently I have received multiple complaints about it from readers who say that they find it overly cumbersome and or impossible to use.

In response I have decided to turn it off and see what happens. I like having Commentluv and that is not supported by LF or for that matter DISQUS. But I also like having threaded comments and the WP system as I understand it doesn’t really offer that either.

Anyhoo, part of the fun in blogging is being able to change things on the fly. We’ll give this a whirl and see how it goes. I may turn LF back on or I may not. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, that includes the lurkers. Take the discussion to the comment section and let me know what you think.

I would love to hear from you.

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41 Comments

  1. Jack October 5, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    They are threaded and I am grateful for that.

  2. vanita October 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I find LF and DISQUS pretty clunky myself. and um maybe my definition of “threaded comments” is wrong, but aren’t your comments here considered “threaded” or is there some wicked cool commenting thing I haven’t come across yet?

  3. Brandon October 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Hey there, Jack. I have done the same with my commenting systems. I liked LiveFyre for what it was, but it does get a little messy. Plus, it gave me a couple of issues in the beginning on my theme. Same with Disqus. I liked Disqus a lot, but I could never get it to work with Genesis for some reason.

    I read a post by Marcus over at The Sales Lion talking about why he ran the plain vanilla commenting system and it made good sense to me. He also gave me the heads up on an easy email plug in for comment/response alerts. I am very satisfied now (except for LiveFyre shows a random post picture from an old post when I comment somewhere with LF… silly.)

    Sometimes less is more.

    • Jack October 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm

      Hey Brandon, it is good to hear from you. At the moment I am all of 2 days into the return to WP comments so I don’t have enough data to say whether it is helping things here- but my gut is that it probably will.

      Anyway, nothing ventured, nothing gained so we shall see what happens.

  4. Jayme Soulati October 3, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Comment systems are over-rated. Just went on a quest to find a comment-luv thing for Disqus as I like knowing someone’s previous post so I can go visit. LiveFyre is a huge system and it works extremely well to bring in commenters; I’ve been happy with Disqus as it serves my purpose very well.

    Interested in seeing how you do with your experiment, The Jack.

    • Jack October 3, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Hi Jayme,

      I used DISQUS here prior to LF. At that time it was not possible to integrate DISQUS and CommentLuv. I am not sure if things have changed.

      We’ll see how this goes and whether it really helps or hinders things. It could also generate sort of a neutral result. I am very curious.

  5. Stan Faryna October 3, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Kaarina says it better than I would have…

    “I don’t care which system you use. I love to read your blog, and I’ll comment regardless.”

    P.S. I like the “What is your quest?” text that replaces the no-spam confirmation.

    • Jack October 3, 2011 at 7:11 am

      Stan, I am grateful for you, Kaarina and all the others who show up day in and day out to see what kind of wackiness is emanating from this place. Wouldn’t be the same without you guys.

      Got to love a good quest, huh. Life would be so dull without it.

  6. Kaarina Dillabough October 3, 2011 at 2:46 am

    As a commenter, I’m much like Bill. As long as I can make a comment, I’m AOK. And even if that comment gets “lost” and I have to re-do, as long as that’s the exception and not the rule (which it’s been for me), I’m OK with that do. Sometimes “it” happens.

    As far as being the blogger, I’ve wrestled with this question, just like you. It really does come down to what is best for the commenter, but since the opinions I’ve read vary to such a degree, and no clear “winner” appears (there are as many LF lovers as disqus lovers as commentluv lovers, as far as I can see…no top runner, and each with their own pros and cons), I’m stymied.

    So like Sandi, I’m going with the “if it ain’t broke” status quo. For you, I don’t care which system you use. I love to read your blog, and I’ll comment regardless. Cheers! Kaarina P.S. And I know that answer doesn’t help you, my fellow Taurus:)

    • Jack October 3, 2011 at 7:09 am

      Kaarina,

      I appreciate the kindred spirit. There are more than a few of us who are determined to share what is on our mind.I like to think that we keep the blogosphere moving. 😉

      If I am not mistaken I have used about 9 different commenting systems on three different blogs. I can’t say that one is perfect but some have been horrid. DISQUS and LF have been pretty good to me and had I not had so many complaints recently I probably wouldn’t have changed.

      For the moment I’ll walk down this road and see what I find. It may be that I stick with this or perhaps I’ll make a change. Time will tell.

  7. Ben October 2, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    I’ve never had a problem with Livefyre, Disqus or IntenseDebate. Of the three, I generally find Disqus to be the nicest to use when commenting on other blogs. Livefyre seemed OK. I don’t like IntenseDebate though, I think it looks cluttered and ugly. I’d definitely go for standard WP comments, I find them simplest to use.

    • Jack October 2, 2011 at 11:48 pm

      Hi Ben,

      There is a lot of beauty in that which is simple and understated. IntenseDebate works pretty well on my other blog. I prefer it to the Blogger comments, but not so much here.

  8. Marianne Worley October 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Jack,

    I’ve been out on vacation and then taking a little social media sabbatical, and I’m finally getting caught up with my blog reading. I’m baaaack!

    Regarding the commenting systems, I have also had problems commenting on blogs that use Disqus and Livefyre–usually, it’s that my comments disappear. I’ve also found that Livefyre sometimes forgets who I am and won’t allow me to login until I clear the cache in my browser. It’s annoying, but you know me, when I’m determined to comment, I do it, even if I have to re-write my comment 3 times.

    I definitely find that WordPress comments are the easiest to use. I’ve never lost a comment in WP. The commenting system of any blog is primarily for the reader, not the blogger, so it makes sense to tailor the experience to our reader’s needs.

    Good to be back. You had some great posts while I way away! 🙂

    • Jack October 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Marianne,

      I was wondering if you were working on a big project or something similar. You are definitely echoing the same theme as a bunch of other people. Log-in issues and disappearing comments are troubling.

      I appreciate people like yourself and Betsy who are focused on making sure that their words are heard. I do the same thing. And you are correct, the commenting system should always be geared towards the reader first. So here we are, trying to leverage simplicity again in the hope that it all blows up in a positive manner. 🙂

      Glad to see you here again. Hope your vacation was great!

  9. Janet October 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Jack, aloha. So glad that you went to WP. Personally, even though I comment on LF & Disqus because of the bloggers, I do not care for either one of them. Aside from login problems with both of them, especially LF, I have “lost” many a comment that I made. When I hit publish it disappears never to return. It is not held in the blogger’s spam filter; it is just gone. In commenting on blogs with those types of systems, I try to remember to copy my comment before I hit publish. That way, if/when it is lost, I can just paste it back and try, try again.

    The reason that I know the comments are gone is because in several instances I have checked with the blogger to see if they had my comment. Alas, they did not.

    From a conversation point of few, I think LF & Disqus are intimidating for new commenters. Heck, I am used to commenting and I don’t like either of them. In fact, Jack, if I am looking for new blogs and I run across 2 that I like equally, if one has WP and the other LF or D, I comment on the WP because it is easier.

    Jack, if you want further engagement and spreading of your post, you might look at the new CommentLuv premium. With it, you receive many new enhancements. It is on sale for a special price until the 4th. If you would like, I can forward the e-mail that I have explaining it as well as showing the bonus items. Pretty nifty. You can either buy it through the button on my blog or Adrienne’s or direct from CommentLuv. Jack, I believe you will be pleased with the new features.

    Anyway, the WP commenting system wins the prize in my opinion. Had I wanted to, Jack, I could have commented on any of the other comments on the way down and then you could have responded to them as well. In fact, I think I will go add a comment to Bruce’s comment. You two must have quite lively conversations.

    thumbs up on your move to WP, Jack. Enjoy a fantastic week. Aloha. Janet

    • Jack October 2, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      Janet,

      I hate when I lose my comments. I have had it happen more than once and it really is irritating. I don’t expect people to spend very long trying to comment on the blog- make it too hard and you lose them quickly.

      Anyway, I appreciate the recommendation about Commentluv premium. That is an excellent idea. I have missed being able to use Commentluv here. Hope you have a fantastic week too.

  10. Mitch Mitchell October 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I love that you’ve come back to the traditional WordPress commenting system; it’s really the way to go. And there are ways of threading one’s comments, since I have it on all my blogs. Actually, start under Settings then Discussion and see if it works from there. If not, there’s a plugin I use called Threaded Comments. I have multiple blogs but one uses an old theme and thus won’t work with WP’s threaded program.

    • Jack October 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      Hi Mitch. Thank you for visiting my blog. I really do like the native system and am excited and optimistic about restoring it here. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out.

      Thank you for the tip about the thread. I made a point to visit that section so that I could adjust things appropriately. Hope to see you here again soon.

  11. Joe October 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Nothing against LF, really…but I just think other commenting systems are easier to use. I comment on blogs frequently, but if a blog makes my ability to leave one cumbersome, chances are I won’t do it.

    Good to tweak things every so often. Whatever makes your experience better is a good thing.

    • Jack October 2, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      Joe, that is exactly it. Whatever makes your experience better is what we need to strive for. Improve the experience and you increase retention and make it easier to sign new folks up.

      Prospects, prospects, prospects. Damn sales background is rearing its head again. 😉

  12. Bill Dorman October 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    And I understand you are not either…………

    I guess I don’t pay much attention to other commenting systems. If I can stop by, type my stuff in then that is probably all I’m looking for. I know some systems make it easier to link to other people when you mention them in a comment which I kind of like. I don’t have that option at my place, but under my structure it probably wouldn’t make a big difference if I had something different than I do.

    However, I know you are smart like that and you will figure out what works best for you. I remember one of the first times I visited I had to go so far to the bottom of the page I didn’t think you had a comment system.

    Just keep on rockin’; you are doing a great job in (re) building your community.

    Hope you had a great weekend.

    • Jack October 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      Hey Bill. I remember those days. There was an IE conflict that drove the comment box way down the page.

      I like simple and easy for blogs. If you come up with too many hoops to jump through people just walk away and you may never get them back. And since I like to tinker with things I kind of enjoy these types of experiments.

      Sooner or later I’ll get this straightened out and find a new “problem” to focus upon. 😉

  13. Tracie October 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I prefer regular Word Press comments to Disqus or LiveFyre. It is so much easier to leave a comment when I don’t have to worry if the commenting system has loaded in correctly, or if it is going to let me log in, or if it is going to “loose” my comment. (all issues I’ve had with both Disqus and even more so with LiveFyre)

    • Jack October 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Tracie,

      I appreciate the feedback. This WP system can’t be much easier so I figure I’ll find out quickly if that helps increase the number of comments or not.

  14. Sandi Amorim October 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    While I love the intent of CommentLuv, I prefer Disqus overall. Had been thinking about trying LF but right now I’m in the space of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

  15. JW Moxie October 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I’m self-hosted on WP and my comments are threaded. I’m running the Thesis theme, and I was also able to add in a little coding trickery to have the comments that I post show up in a different color (which I’m able to customize). Livefyre was a bit of a bother to jump through to post a comment, but having only used it for that one comment, I don’t really have much info upon which to base a full opinion.

    • Jack October 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      Hey JW,

      That is a fair answer. I like Thesis. As I mentioned above I am considering acquiring some sort of theme to spruce things up a little bit around here. But it seemed sort of foolish not to jump on the commenting system questions first,

  16. Bruce Sallan ( October 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    JB, why the change? I’ve found LF very good on other sites…am using Disqus which is a decidedly mixed bag. Going to revise my website TOTALLY in the next couple of months – go on WordPress rather than Joomla, which has not be very good. Taking a big step after the first!

    • Janet October 2, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      Bruce, aloha. LF and Disqus both can be intimidating for new commenters. Heck, Bruce, I am not a new commenter and I don’t care for either one. The challenge with both of them is logging in and losing comments. When I comment on the blogs of people who use those systems, I usually copy my comment before hitting publish because it has been lost so many times. Very frustrating, to say the least. Look forward to seeing the changes on your site. Until later, aloha. Janet

      • Linda Sherman October 3, 2011 at 12:28 am

        I find commenting on DISQUS quite easy and I like having a record of everywhere I am commenting. I think Bruce is having problems on his blog because it is on Joomla. What I like on Disqus and don’t like on LiveFyre is the way each of them handles sharing comments to Twitter. Livefyre seems to be all for the blog owner while Disqus supports me as a commenter.

        Nothing wrong with CommentLuv – that is a nice benefit for commenters.

        Janet – I noted the “aloha” and popped over to your blog looking for your Twitter or other social media link.

        • Jack October 3, 2011 at 7:26 am

          Linda, I like that record too. It is convenient to go to my DISQUS profile and see where I have been.

          I really am a big fan of CommentLuv. I think that it is good for both sides.

        • Janet October 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm

          Linda, aloha. Came over to catch up on the thread on this post and saw your comment. Before typing this reply, I connected with you on twitter. Until later, aloha. Janet

    • Jack October 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Bruce. I suppose it is because I have received about five emails during the past two weeks about difficulties with LF. I am concerned that there are many others who haven’t written in.

      So I figured that it doesn’t hurt to experiment a little bit and see what happens.

      I think that WP is definitely the way to go. There may be a hiccup or two in the beginning, but once you get rolling it will be easy. I think that you will really like it.

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