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.

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  1. My Inner Chick December 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    –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

  2. DannyBrown May 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    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.

    • JudyDunn May 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm

       @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.   : )

  3. ALSpaulding May 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

     @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!

    • ALSpaulding May 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

       @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. -_-

      • JudyDunn May 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm

         @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.   : )

    • TheJackB May 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm

       @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 May 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

         @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 May 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

           @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. 

        • ALSpaulding May 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm

           @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. 

        • DannyBrown May 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm

          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?

        • TheJackB May 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

           @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.

  4. NinaBadzin May 14, 2012 at 5:48 am

    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?

    • TheJackB May 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

      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…  

  5. Jens May 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    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 :) 

    • Erin F. May 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm

       @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 

      • Jens May 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm

         @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 May 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm

          @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.

        • ginidietrich May 14, 2012 at 3:25 am

           @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 May 14, 2012 at 8:28 am

           @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.

        • Jason Fonceca May 14, 2012 at 2:01 pm

           @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?

        • DannyBrown May 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

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

  6. JudyDunn May 13, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    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. 

    • TheJackB May 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      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…

  7. brpraveen May 13, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Jack – I just moved over from disqus to commentluv, mainly due to the lot of “cribbings” from my readers:-)
    I love to read all the comments from my readers and reply back to each of them with full respect. of course there are some with only a one-liner comments which I do not bother to reply as I understand they are just to get some backlinks, and of course I do not go around deleting them also. 

    • TheJackB May 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm

       @brpraveen I used to get many of those same complaints from readers when I was using DISQUS. Haven’t been on it in about 18 months, but I like the changes that they have made.
      CL was great and I may yet go back, but the influx “spam lite” was quite irritating.

  8. AdrienneSmith May 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Well Jack, you KNOW how much I love comments.  Heck, I just like people period so any conversation I can be a part of, I’m in.  But I agree with you that those people who don’t have much to say I would just prefer them saying nothing at all myself.  That “great post” doesn’t fly with me either.
    I understand why a lot of people like the Livefyre and Disque commenting systems though.  They incorporate all your comments from all the other social media networks so all your conversations can be located in just one place.  But I also know a number of people who refuse to “sign up” with yet another service just to leave a comment so they won’t.  I prefer just keeping it simple and I want people to be able to freely leave a comment over at my place.  Heck, a little thing like signing up for a system I don’t personally use won’t stop me.  
    That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it!  🙂

    • TheJackB May 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm

       @AdrienneSmith Hi Adrienne. I am not adamantly against comments like “great post” especially if they come from regular visitors. What I hate are the people who come for backlinks and provide nothing in return.
      I understand why some people don’t like some of the systems that are in place. One of the other reasons why I am trying LF again is because it is supposed to be easier to use for everyone.
      If you have an Open ID, Twitter, Google etc account you can use it here. Anyway, we shall see how it all works. If I don’t like it then I can always switch back.

  9. brettminor May 12, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I enjoy leaving comments, but it has no effect on whether I will visit the blog again. If they are a good writer and I enjoy their work, I will come back.

    • TheJackB May 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm

       @brettminor That is a reasonable way to do it. I don’t expect every blog I comment on to generate a visit in return from that blogger, but I do expect them to respond to my comments.
      I figure if I took the time to say something it is only right to see that it goes both ways. Of course now that I have said that I will probably miss replying to people here. Doh!

      • brettminor May 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

         @TheJackB  @brettminor I really enjoy receiving comments. I make a point to ALWAYS reply. I am sure I have missed some, but always want to acknowledge that they were there and show that I appreciate it.

  10. B4Steph May 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I’m new at blogging (3 months – 25 posts) so for me comments are a sort of validation that at least someone is reading it. I agree with you, however, on the great post sort of comment that I see a lot as I read other blogs. I try to offer an opinion where one is asked for and to be honest, in a nice way, if I disagree with a point of view. Though I don’t wish to be insulted about something I’ve written I wouldn’t mind constructive criticism about clarity or another issue. I am not familiar with Livefyre. I’ll check it out. Thought provoking post. One more thing – I sincerely dislike wordpress.com. I have a self hosted wordpress blog and .com never recognizes my info so I log in via Twitter which I find cumbersome for anyone trying to find my site.

    • TheJackB May 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm

       @B4Steph I like the way you outline commenting. It makes a lot of sense to me. I am a big advocate of open conversation. We should be able to agree to disagree civilly.
      WP.Com wasn’t always like this, but that doesn’t really matter because this is how it is now and yes, I agree with you.
      I use Twitter to log in as well. It is not perfect, but at least it provides an option.

  11. The Anecdotal Baby May 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Wow, great post! BUT really, I feel like I could have written this. A newbie to the blogging world, I put a lot of stock in comments in the very beginning. I write for myself AND for my readers. I hope that my writing inspires others to take action, enjoy the moments, be enlightened, and enlighten me. I don’t measure comments as how successful my blog is… okay, maybe a little bit. Comments do tell me whether I’m engaging my readers, and that’s says a lot about the success of my writing. I use blogger so I’ve been a little timid to find another commenting host. I do, however, dislike bloggers commenting set-up and would love to check out livefyre, but since you said you’ve been having technical difficulties I’m not so sure.

    • TheJackB May 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm

       @The Anecdotal Baby Hi AB, welcome to the blog. I spent six years on Blogger, technically 8 because I still update my old blog.
      Anyway, the Blogger commenting system has improved dramatically but it could be better. I have Intense Debate set up on mine and overall it has been fair, a bit better than Blogger but not what I want.
      I don’t like how DISQUS works on Blogger so I dropped it. I don’t think that LF is available for Blogger. It is only available to those who use self hosting, which by the way I strongly encourage you to look into.

      • The Anecdotal Baby May 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

         @TheJackB Thanks for the nice welcome! I’ve been enjoying your site, but rarely comment because I’m not just a “great comment!” kinda girl, lol. I agree that self hosting is probably best, but since I’m a smaller blogger it’s just something I don’t financially want to do at this time. Blogger has been great to me. I was originally on wordpress, but wasn’t very impressed. I think their comment hosting doesn’t suck, but it could be better!
        Thanks for such a thought-provoking piece. I’ve enjoyed reading others comments about commenting and while I like the “great comment” posts on my blog when appropriate, I agree that dialogue is key, to my goal anyway. 

        • TheJackB May 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm

           @The Anecdotal Baby 
          Please feel free to jump in. Really, I like it when people pop in even if it is a couple of words.
          I understand your concerns about self hosting. Finances were part of the reason I didn’t move over. For a long while I just didn’t want to spend the extra cash..
          Hope to see you here again and that you continue to enjoy being a part of it.

  12. JD84 May 12, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Hi Jack, never heard of livefyre (Just signed up) But I did install discus on my blog just for the fun of it a week ago to try it and I actually got a comment pretty quick from someone who acutally wanted to know something about a post I did.
    So with that said, I think a blog should always allow comments but just like you Jack I do want something constructive said and not just the “great post” comments. If you enjoy the read you should have something more to add with a comment. However if the post is short and all the blogger wanted was to share something fun then I would certainly allow “great post” comments. Short posts that have comments adds to the post and maybe also helps to get some of these “lurkers” that follow the blog but never say anythig to make that step and write something.
    Should we (bloggers) not recognice that commenters also ask themself “what should I write”

    • TheJackB May 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

       @JD84 Blogs that don’t allow comments make me a bit crazy. What is the point. I rarely ever visit them because if they aren’t interested in the dialogue I am probably not going to be interested in reading.
      There are some exceptions but not too many.

  13. Andrea The Blogging Mama May 12, 2012 at 4:52 am

    I’ve never heard of Livefyre, so I can’t say either way whether they are good or bad. But I am happy NO More Disqus. I absolutely hate Disqus. It is a nightmare for me to load because I live in the middle of nowhere at the moment and my internet hamsters just can’t load it. The systems I don’t like are ones that require you to join their system to leave a comment, I usually just don’t leave a comment because I don’t need one more login to remember. I also dislike the wordpress.org comment systems, for some reason because I am self-hosted, they never recognize me info and I have to leave comments via Twitter login, which I don’t like if that person doesn’t know me from Twitter.
    I think comments in general have slowed down everywhere. It seems like more and more people may skim read and just move on without comments. If I’m going to bother to read the post, I’ll leave a valid, and related comment, if I didn’t have anything to say, I simply don’t comment at all. To me ‘great post’ and nothing else is just as bad as spam.

    • TheJackB May 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

       @Andrea The Blogging Mama Hi Andrea. I hate it when there are a million hurdles to overcome before blogging. My goal here is to try and make it as easy as possible.
      The last time I used LF there were some issues but I think most of them have been handled.. There should be multiple ways to login and comment.
      I know what you mean about WordPress.com. They made a change not so long ago so I find that I am stuck having to use my Twitter info as well.
      Comments have slowed down a bit, but on a bunch of blogs I have seen them increase and I think that LF is a part of it because it provides a real time conversation function that is very cool.We’ll see if that works here.

  14. richescorner May 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I like livefyre a lot and implemented it in the hopes that it would also foster more conversation in my comments, rather than the type of comments you describe as “spam lite.”  I do think that it is a more social commenting system, but it takes time to build up that community.

  15. KDillabough May 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I’m too exhausted from my week away, MIA, to comment. Does that count as a crappy comment? Missed everyone. Lots happening. If you want to vote me off the island, you know where to find me:) Cheers! Kaarina

  16. CrossBetsy May 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Really, I don’t care what commenting system people use as long as you can comment. I found a really good blog last week with no comments allowed. Something about that just turned me off. I stopped visiting the blog. I felt like I was back in college in a lecture hall. I have a hard time learning if I have no way to process what you’re saying, out of my head that is! 
    Disqus …how do you spell that? blows my comments away more than half the time so I have a hard time sticking with those blogs, too. I try and try, give it my all, but if it rarely works, I stop.

  17. bdorman264 May 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I won’t lie, I love comments in any form, shape or fashion as that is my only source of currency. I really enjoy writing, but if there were no comments then I would probably gravitate more to commenting as I think it might be hard for me to post w/out any feedback (which will happen the more I post for our corporate site). 
    I have no comment on the commenting systems; if I can show up, leave a comment w/out too much hassle, share the post and then leave; that’s all I need.
    And that’s my story………

  18. Jeevanjacobjohn May 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Love the thoughts presented here, Jack. I agree with your perspective. It is more about the thoughts, lessons and insights of the comment than about the number of comments we get. I used to be bothered about the numbers of comments I got. But, then I came upon these huge blogs and realized that most of the comments they got were just crap – added no value to their own post. So, right now, I am happy that I at least have a few members in my blog who actually add something to the post, through their comments (I don’t really care about the length of comments – as long as it adds value).
    I believe in building a community with purpose – if the purpose is to say thank you, then what’s the use?
    I also like your attitude with writing – write for you first and then write for others (I am not sure whether I should agree or disagree. As a writer, yes, we should focus on writing just for the passion. But, as a blogger who blogs for business, it should be more about sharing something valuable to others, shouldn’t it?).
    Anyways, first time in your blog and I really liked the post that I read first.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Jack,

    • TheJackB May 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

       @Jeevanjacobjohn Hi Jeevan,
      Welcome to the blog.If you want to engage with people than it is all about the meaningful comments. Better to have a few thoughtful ones than hundreds of meaningless.

      • Jeevanjacobjohn May 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm

         @TheJackB Hey Jack,
        Yes of course. But, the case might be different for someone else. For instance: If one’s blog is focused on teaching new bloggers about blogging, then I think it is okay for them to accept comments that just read thank you or something along those lines (Most new bloggers won’t really know how commenting works). What do you think?
        The value of a comment might also be different across the niches. For instance: If your blog is about technology and you ask your readers if they like some brand new piece of technology or not, they might not get much comments with actual value (or they might, depends upon the popularity of the blog itself and whether the blog encourages positive discussions).

  19. Hajra May 11, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I do love comments. And comments tell me whether people have taken the effort to read the post. I felt if people like it, then talk about it; if they don’t, then well, leave, no issues at all. I can’t stand to please everyone. My words, my way. But then comments that don’t say something nice are only acceptable to a certain limit, then I will just forget that you exist. A good comment always makes my day. And also because in the online world we miss out so much on actual talking that we could compensate it through commenting on each others work.
    As for Livefyre, I do like the way it is functioning around but I seem happy with Disqus right now and really see no reason no change. So yes, I like it. But I don’t know whether I am shifting as of now… 

    • TheJackB May 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm

       @Hajra If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Sometimes it is smarter and safer to stick with what is working.
      A good comment can put a real smile on your face. There is something very pleasant and gratifying about it.

  20. Jason Fonceca May 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I’m insanely passionate about comments, and to help with this, I’ve wrote a 2-part guest post on logallot on how to comment well. http://www.logallot.com/holy-grail-praise-worthy-comments-1/
    I love that you’re fearless in changing commenting systems and experimenting, and “missing comment counts” are a small thing in the long run.
    You’re well respected in the community and I’m glad to hear you speaking out about comments. I, like you have written “forever”, comments or not, but also like you — I prefer having them to not 😉
    I also feel my site (RyzeOnline.com) has some of the realest, deepest conversations on the net. Especially some of my posts on money + sex. That’s where you get real talk.
    Rock on and ryze up!

    • TheJackB May 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm

       @Jason Fonceca Hi Jason. Thank you for the kind words. We operate in a dynamic environment so I figure it only makes sense to be willing and able to respond in kind.
      It is part of the fun, this switching things around all the time.
      You are definitely right, money and sex get people talking quite a bit.

  21. Lori May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Hey Jack! I’m with you on the I-don’t-write-to-hear-“Great-Post”! comments. When I start to be happy to see that I know I’ve lost sight of my vision! I want community – interaction among the commenters. I realize this takes a lot of time, but it makes a HUGE difference.
    I’ve been frustrated with Livefyre in the past but I think that was before I understood what “beta” means! They’re getting ready to roll out something new very soon. Hang in with them – they’re the best!

    • TheJackB May 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

       @Lori You have done a great job of using LF to build a community. You have a model that others can follow.

      • Lori May 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm

         @TheJackB Hi Jack, Hi Guys!Thanks but (no, thanks, really) but (I can’t help it!) it depends on what you mean by community. Is it the number of comments? The amount of interaction? The involvement with one another, the identifying with the group as “we”? I think LFI has a long way to go. My goal has more to do with a feeling than anything else. Do you know what I mean?

        • TheJackB May 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm

           @Lori LFI has an engaged crowd where people talk, share and respond to the posts and comments.
          I don’t know where you want to take it but you are clearly on your way.

  22. KenMueller May 11, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I love comments of all sorts, minus the spammy ones you are talking about. I see value in even the “great post” comments, (oh, and great post, by the way, Jack), because it mirrors real life. In a meeting, a few people do the talking, adding the meat, while others might not have any real input, they can put in their two-cents by agreeing with the participants. Then there are those that just sit there and stare, and you have no idea what they thought. For me, just getting a “great post” lets me know who is out there. I love that feedback.
    And as for livefyre  I talk about them all the time, because I love them. I’ll tell you this: you might be having some problems at the moment, but they will work their butts off for you and will find a way to get things fixed. When I talk to people about great customer service, Livefyre is usually one of my examples. They have found a brand ambassador in me because a) they have a great product, and b) they provide awesome customer service, in a very hands-on, personal way. 

    • TheJackB May 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

       @KenMueller  livefyre Good analogy. I have to agree that the comment section reflects real life. We just have to hope that it is not like the boring and useless meetings we sometimes have to sit through. 😉
      Great customer service is a distinguishing factor and makes all the difference. Treat your customers well and you are unlikely to lose them. More importantly they will bring you more business.

  23. Sandi Amorim May 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I love Livefyre. While initially I did see a drop in comments, I also saw a stronger community emerging. I love when people comment to each other about my post and I start to see things I hadn’t considered when writing. I have a strong sense that this will continue to grow as I trust the switch, which I did mostly because I love how lorigosselin grew an amazing community on Life for Instance. 

    • Lori May 11, 2012 at 10:36 am

       @Sandi Amorim Hi Sandi! You are a natural community-builder. You interact with others and not just the author – something I like to see at LFI. You’re part of that “amazing community-in-the-making” there! we have to realize it takes time to interact with others on the blog, but isn’t it great when you see someone else, other than the author, responding to someone’s issue. Sometimes I don’t know what to say and then I wait and someone else comes in and responds! This is a community-in-the-making for sure!

    • TheJackB May 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

       @Sandi Amorim  lorigosselin I agree about its utility in growing community. I think that LF has done a lot to help many of us develop the friendships that we see now.

  24. Erin F. May 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I love Livefyre. I’ve always received great customer service (unlike that post office that kmueller62 and his wife were forced to endure. I’m sure they are busy rolling out the new features, but I’ve had several technical issues in the past that they resolved. 
    I have a love/hate relationship with comments, too. I want more of them because of where I want to go with Write Right, but I have to remember that I don’t write for comments. If I did, I would jump on the Pinterest bandwagon or whatever’s popular this week.

    • TheJackB May 11, 2012 at 11:07 am

       @Erin F.  kmueller62 I like Livefyre and have used it before. I probably would have kept it but I had so many complaints from readers that I felt like it was creating more issues than it solved.
      They definitely did their best to help. But with the other issues I have been facing and their new update I figured it was time to give it another shot.
      As for writing, I think we are on the same page about that.

  25. EduDad May 11, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I love the comments that add to or extend the topic of the post.  I don’t use the software you mentioned but I do use another (Askimet) and so far, I love it.  It weeds out the spam and spam lite. 

  26. Erica M May 11, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I had livefyre for about a day before I uninstalled out of frustration. On a semi-related note, I hope you’re enjoying the contribution to your comments from those of us from yeah write. We’re glad to have you each week.

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