Why I’m Loving the Livefyre Comments System

Livefyre comments systemRegular readers of this blog will have noticed the introduction of the Livefyre comment system.

While I’ve written in the past about my reasons to go back to the WordPress comments system, I saw Livefyre in use on a couple of blogs I enjoy and was intrigued enough to check the system out.

While it’s not perfect (and, to be fair, it’s still in beta), having used Livefyre for a week or so now, I’m really enjoying the experience.

So, what’s Livefyre comments all about then?

Comments and Community

On first inspection, Livefyre looks like much like the other main third-party comments systems (Disqus, IntenseDebate and Echo). Looking to combine real-time commenting with building a thriving blog community, Livefyre has all the usual requisites – threaded comments, voting, social sharing, etc.

But it’s when you start using Lifefyre that you can see the goal behind the company – to build a solid commenting community where everyone is “accountable” (this isn’t as Big Brother-ish as it sounds).

By not having the normal Name, Email and URL options, but instead letting you comment either by Twitter, Facebook or your own Livefyre account, the aim is to stop both comment trolls and spam, and improve the visitor experience to any blog with Livefyre installed.

At first, I wasn’t sure about this approach (and raised it in the comments over at the Livefyre blog). However, I can see what the Livefyre guys are trying to achieve with the non-open approach and I do applaud their goal.

And, I have to say, since installing Livefyre, my spam has been zero (I guess spam bots don’t have the patience to sign up for a dedicated account). So, in that respect, the Livefyre approach works.

Real-Time Chat and Replies

Similar to the system that both Disqus and Echo have, Livefyre offers a live comment stream that updates and refreshes as new entries are posted (using the same technology behind Friendfeed). Where Livefyre differs is with the “New Comment” notification bar that pops up when a new comment has been left.

As well as being a cool feature to let you know when someone’s left a new point of view, the immediate advantage this offers is the way that your comment system is now a true, live stream. Think of it as Twitter for blog comments.

When you see the notification, you can jump to the comment itself and hit Reply with your take. This looks similar to Twitter’s “@” option, and will reply directly to that person (or more – Livefyre supports multiple responses).

Livefyre real-time chat comments

If the commenter is still on the site, you can then start a back-and-forth debate all in real-time. Additionally, if the commenter signed in using their Twitter account, then the reply will ping back to them via Twitter and continue the conversation that way.

I’m already thinking of ways to implement this in some upcoming posts, but I think Livefyre’s onto a real winner with this feature.

Checking in to Comments

One of the very cool features that I like is the ability to check into a conversation. This is similar to being notified when a new comment is posted, but with one big difference – you can just follow the conversation without even checking the blog post out.

While this might go against the idea of blog commenting – how can you comment when you don’t know the topic? – it actually expands it. Think about it – you can be down your local sports bar and take part in a conversation about a game, without having seen it. That doesn’t matter – you know the topic and have your own views on the team, player(s), etc.

Livefyre’s check in option allows the same. Many bloggers (myself included) have bemoaned that the likes of Twitter and Facebook could be taking conversations away from your blog and over to these platforms. Sure, your post is being discussed, but unless you follow every outlet you won’t know where and who by.

With Livefyre’s check-in, folks that are connected to your readers can see the conversation that’s happening and jump in to discuss their point of view with their friends. While initially they might not read your post, the opportunity to do so grows with the conversation around it.

This, again, has the potential to be one of Livefyre’s defining benefits.

Other Features

As well as the three features I really like that I’ve highlighted above, Livefyre has a ton of other cool stuff up its sleeve. These include:

  • Comment voting and user reputation (and to give someone a negative vote, you have to use one of your positive votes – a great way to discourage flame wars).
  • Full SEO-friendliness.
  • On-page real-time moderation (Hide Comment or Delete – hide still keeps the comment, just not public, you have to click to open).
  • Ban abusive users.
  • Invite conversations with friends from other networks.
  • Multiple comment moderators and owners.
  • Ability to custom design your comments.
  • Live user count.
  • Email notification of new comments and replies.

So, by the sounds of it, Livefyre is the comment system everyone should use, right? Maybe. Maybe not.

Not Quite Perfect – Yet

Livefyre sign in optionsAs I mentioned earlier in the post, Livefyre doesn’t allow for generic Name, Email and URL commenting.

You can use Twitter or Facebook to sign up with if you don’t want to open a Livefyre account (though to get the best from Livefyre, an account definitely helps), but you can’t just use a name and email to comment.

While this is great for combating spam and trolls, it might put bloggers off (as well as commenters who don’t want to sign in with Twitter or Facebook, nor create a Livefyre account).

(To be fair, I had my reservations about a non-URL comment system, but so far I haven’t had any issues because of it.)

It doesn’t (currently) support the CommentLuv system either, which is a shame, as this is one of my all-time favourite comment add-ons. Having said that, though, Livefyre CEO Jordan Kretchmer has said he’d love to talk to Andy Bailey (the CommentLuv creator) to see what can be done.

Also, because you have the option to delete your comment (or restart it to correct mistakes), it can lead to duplicate comments. This is only in the blog dashboard, admittedly, but it can throw comment counts off until you delete the non-comment.

It also seems to share the same “bug” that Disqus often has, in that when you click on “Read Comments” (or similar) at the top of a blog post, you aren’t automatically taken to the comments area. However, this could be a bug that will be ironed out when Livefyre comes out its beta stage.

I’d also like to see some way that comments made on Twitter or Facebook (or other social networks) could be seamlessly transferred back to the blog post and into the bigger conversation for true social integration, as opposed to the social mentions approach that Disqus has. Livefyre have said they have some cool upcoming features, so who knows?

Should You Use Livefyre?

So, I guess the main question that’s left is should you use Livefyre when it’s out of beta?

As someone who’s previously spoken on why I don’t use third-party comment systems, I have to say Livefyre has changed my mind. Not only are all your comments saved to WordPress in case you want to change back, all the threaded discussions are saved as well, so the comments don’t look funky if you switch Livefyre off (something all too obvious when moving away from Disqus).

Also, while the idea of a velvet rope comment community seems at odds with “normal” open comments, Livefyre doesn’t actually feel like a closed community. With more than 500 million Facebook users, and 150 million Twitter users, even if you don’t want to create a Livefyre account you should be covered.

And the immediate effect on spam and comment trolls can’t be discounted (though I’ve been hugely fortunate with the great community here when it comes to comments and respect).

The system is also mobile-friendly, which isn’t always the case with other third-party systems (I tested with my BlackBerry browser and had no issues).

My take? If you like the idea of real-time chat and a comments system that fosters respect and accountability, as well as a ton of other cool features, Livefyre is the best third-party option around.

Even if you’re not a fan of anything but standard WordPress comments because of the “overkill” options that can happen with third-party comments, Livefyre offers a really clean solution that’s almost the next best thing to vanilla WordPress comments.

The service so far has also been awesome. Combine that with a pretty cool product, and you can’t ask for much more than that.

In that respect, I can’t recommend Livefyre enough.

If you’re interested in signing up for the beta of Livefyre Comments, hop on over to the homepage and you can request it there.

  • Note – Livefyre is currently available for the WordPress (self-hosted version) platform, with TypePad and Tumblr versions to follow.
  • Update: I’ve since reverted to the vanilla WordPress comments as part of my blog redesign.
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  1. says

    Thanks so much for the review Danny! We’re happy you’re loving Livefyre, we’re loving your blog and community! We’re working on solving some of the things you listed that make us “not quite perfect” and as you know we’re constantly adding features. Your requests are on the list!

    If anyone else wants to try out Livefyre, sign up for our private beta at http://livefyre.com. We’re sending out invites on a regular basis, so don’t hesitate to get on the list! :)

    • says

      @jennalanger Hey there Jenna, I should have known you’d be the first on the scene to comment. 😉

      Looking forward to seeing where you guys take Livefyre next, and here’s to seeing it enjoying a good uptake when finally released.

    • says

      As Danny mentioned, The problem is that we’re all demanding custom commenting technique (Name, Email, and website) that would just make the process of commenting better, quicker and much lovable by users.

  2. says

    Danny,

    What you said about being apart of a conversation without actually visiting the blog really caught my eye because I didn’t think about it that way before. One great thing is how involved @jennalanger and them whole team are to make this a great comment system. That’s why I’m 101% behind it.

    Best, Derek

    • says

      @byderekj Hey there Derek, cheers fella, much appreciated and thanks for dropping by. It’s one of the reasons I’m enjoying Livefyre as it currently is, and with where it could go – there seems to be a whole ton of possibilities. And agree wholeheartedly regarding @jennalanger – great brand ambassador. :)

  3. TimBaran says

    Hey Danny, I trust you on this, because, well, you’re a thoughtful person and coming at this from lots of experience. But you know my position. I think these third party commenting systems are fantastic and use them but they’re more useful for higher trafficked blogs, and blogs with readers who are already web savvy. I want (need) to make mine more accessible so that it’s not intimidating to potential engagers.

    That said, I created an account just to comment on your site :-) Seem VERY cool!

    • says

      @TimBaran Thanks for that feedback Tim. We have some big things coming that will help the smaller bloggers get more readers and comments, but it’s not quite released yet. Imagine getting users sent to your blog because they’re interested in the topic you’re writing about… stay tuned!

    • says

      @TimBaran First, you rock for signing up *just* to post a comment, Tim – cheers, sir! :)

      I hear you on the accessibility factor. I’ve spoken and written many times about how fortunate I feel to have a really cool community here, and the last thing I’d want to do is make things more difficult (or less of an experience). So one of my concerns was (is) the sign-up process. Hopefully with the current options of Twitter and Facebook, that’s not so much of an issue, though it will be something I gauge.

      Another reason for liking Jenna’s response to Davina and the future options of Google and LinkedIn sign-ins. :)

    • TimBaran says

      @jennalanger Jenna, thanks for quick reply. Your consistent responses to comments about the product is remarkable. Bodes well for it’s success. Cheers.

  4. Ileane says

    Hi Danny, so far it sounds great. I signed up with Twitter. Can I search for other blogs that are using livefyre? I’d like to see how it looks with other themes. Thanks for the heads up.

    • says

      @Ileane The system here is using the standard look and feel of Livefyre, Ileane, but there is the option of CSS coding to change it to suit your theme (from my understanding). I have a designer currently working on the next stage of my blog redesign, and she’ll be looking at how easy it is to adapt Livefyre to a different style. Hopefully I can share soon, on top of the information Jenna has left as well. :)

    • Ileane says

      @jennalanger Jenna, I have a hosted WordPress blog too – Basic Blog Tips. That’s one of my concerns with using LiveFyre. I have more than one Twitter account and the one I use for comments is not the same as the one I use for my self-hosted blog (due to the personal gravatar vs. the logo gravatar). So I’d need to make changes to my Twitter strategy if I decide to go with Livefyre. Thank you for the link.

      Thanks again Danny.

  5. 3HatsComm says

    Danny, Once the tires have been kicked a little more, I may check it out. My biggest thing for not using Disqus on my own blog, though I have a profile, is that it replaces and/or zaps the comments I already have. Reading your review tells me they’re safe, so it may be worth a shot. Some of the add-on features like the LIKE buttons are cool, would work well for blogs with lots of comments but not all.

    Am mixed on the registrations. One reason I don’t comment even more: I have to do a site-specific registration; too many magazines and sites do that, so annoying. I get that registration helps fight spam (yes!), but being tied to just LF, FB and Twitter seems limiting. Maybe not every blogger has a Twittter account, or keeps FB personal. Wonder if a LinkedIn sign-in option would also work? Just thinking out loud.

    • says

      @3HatsComm We love thinking out loud :)

      When you install Livefyre on your WordPress blog, we do not change anything with your existing comments. We import them into the Livefyre system, which means we even include the gravatars and websites for comments from imported users. Livefyre then writes every new comment back to the WordPress database immediately. If you turn Livefyre off, all of your old and new comments are still there, and it even maintains threaded replies.

      We will be adding other sign-in options in the future, it’s definitely on our to do list. Google will probably be one of the first additions, and we’ll look into LinkedIn.

      If you sign up for the private beta I can send you an invite, and you can use it whenever you like! Thanks for your feedback.

    • says

      @jennalanger Ha, hey there Jenna, thanks for showing the real-time in action – I was just about to reply to Davina (@3HatsComm) and your comment popped up! :)

      Great to see you so active here, and that you’re consistently listening to (and acting on where possible) user and commenter feedback. Another reason I’m loving you guys so far. :)

    • says

      @3HatsComm Hey there Davina,

      I hear you, and that’s one of the reasons I stopped using Disqus. I found when they had server issues, and then came back up, some comments hadn’t made it. Not sure if this was just a bug or a fault in the system, but was a tad frustrating.

      Agree on the sign-in options, and great to see Jenna here answering everyone – credit to Livefyre, and user experience / service in general. :)

    • says

      @3HatsComm One thing to note in regards to the sign-in options is that Livefyre keeps you signed in to comment on every site around the web. So while the very first time commenting requires an extra click, the effort it saves in the future – not having to type your name, email, and website each time you comment – we hope makes up for it! :)

    • TimBaran says

      @jkretch @3HatsComm Actually, keeping me signed-in on every site around the web is a bit unnerving. Do I want the author and readers of a blog to know every time I show up? I’m constantly clearing my browser cache, cookies and history so this probably won’t work for me in terms of always being signed in. I do love that you guys are innovating.

    • 3HatsComm says

      @jennalanger Danny’s right, nice with the quick reply. Google is another common option, didn’t think of that. Will keep an eye on LF, see how it develops.

    • 3HatsComm says

      @DannyBrown One thing I do like about Disqus, and miss about the old BackType profiles, is that it catches my comments elsewhere. I probably comment more than I blog, so it’s a nice feature.

    • says

      @3HatsComm @DannyBrown We’ll be adding a feature shortly that pulls in other comments from across the web as well. We know the conversation happens across the web, and we want your content to be the center of that, so aggregation is key. Coming soon!

    • says

      @TimBaran @jkretch @3HatsComm Just to clarify, no one will see that you are on the post unless you take an action on the page – follow the convo, post a comment, or like a comment to name a few. We’re trying to make it less steps for people to comment, keeping the barrier to entry lower. And you can always sign out :)

    • says

      @TimBaran I could be wrong Tim, and I’m sure @jkretch or @jennalanger will correct, but I’m guessing it will only keep you signed in on blogs that use the Livefyre system?

      It’s a bit like Gravatar in that respect – you’re the same person across the web, so folks could use your Gravatar info if they wished.

      And as I was typing this, I just noticed Jenna had already answered, haha. :)

  6. says

    I’ve seen this on a few blogs and I don’t like it. I can’t tell you how much I really really like to click on commenters’ names, knowing their URLs are linked, and clicking over to see what they write. That’s how I find so many neat blogs to add to my RSS reader. I can’t do that with commenting systems like lifefyre and intensedebate and disqus.

    I also don’t like the requirement for readers who want to comment to choose a registration system. I have frequent commenters who don’t have Twitter or Facebook accounts; must they create an account with livefyre to comment, then? I wouldn’t ask them to do that, but that’s me.

    And, what’s with the smaller font size in the commenting? Is that something that can be controlled, to equalize the commenting font size with the body font size? It’s tiny as is.

    • JimConnolly says

      @ariherzog I agree with Ari regarding not being able to click on a commenters name and visit their site. Found many great sites that way.

    • says

      @JimConnolly @ariherzog Hi guys, just a heads up that if the person chooses to add their website url to their profile, then it shows up in the rollover menu on their avatar and you can click it directly… Along with links to Twitter and other comments they’ve left. If you roll over @JennaLanger’s or @DannyBrown’s avatars you’ll see that there.

    • says

      @ariherzog @JimConnolly As @jkretch mentions Ari, the blog URL (as well as Twitter and Facebook) is there should the user decide to have it there. I agree, it’s always great to find new bloggers from the comments and I encourage that (see yesterday’s post). Hopefully something can be worked out with the CommentLuv team, that’d be a perfect mix in my eyes.

      I took a long look at my commenters, and the majority left a Twitter username through the Twitterlinks plug-in. If I thought “registration” was going to be an issue, I wouldn’t have installed Livefyre. However, it’s been great so far, because of the Twitter and Facebook options. And I’m fortunate to have a great community here – @TimBaran created an account *just* to comment, and I can’t ask for a nicer recommendation than that of the community here. :)

      The font size is something I believe you can change through editing, but I haven’t dug around there yet. Hopefully a simplified version (change font, height, etc) can be implemented through the admin dashboard at your Livefyre account.

    • bobbylent says

      @jkretch @JimConnolly @ariherzog @JennaLanger’s @DannyBrown’s oh cool I just rolled over Jkretch and a bunch of stuff popped. Nice.

  7. JimConnolly says

    I like what yuou said here Danny; “Not only are all your comments saved to WordPress in case you want to change back, all the threaded discussions are saved as well, so the comments don’t look funky if you switch Livefyre off (something all too obvious when moving away from Disqus).”

    My pet peve with the other commenting systems, is that you are semi-locked in. Yes, you can leave and bring your comments off their servers, but they look like crap, when reinstalled.

    Thanks for the heads-up. If they take your suggestions on board, Livefyre could be huge.

    • says

      @JimConnolly Agree with you on that, mate. I haven’t tested the IntenseDebate option to see if the same bug is there, but it was annoying from the Disqus end.

      I thought long and hard about installing Livefyre, but I think the benefits it brings (as well as the ideas and goals behind it) were worth taking the “risk” on. Here’s hoping!

  8. says

    Danny thanks for the kind words; wonderful blog you have going here. As an avid user and LiveFyre evangelist, I must say that I’m in love with one of the most simple features: e-mail notification. If you’re like me and you check your e-mail first thing in the morning, it’s pretty cool to “plan your day” around getting back to certain convo’s using direct links as opposed to visiting each individual blog, scrolling, finding, etc.! Just my 2 cents! Thanks again!

  9. says

    Danny thanks for the kind words; wonderful blog you have going here. As an avid user and LiveFyre evangelist, I must say that I’m in love with one of the most simple features: e-mail notification. If you’re like me and you check your e-mail first thing in the morning, it’s pretty cool to “plan your day” around getting back to certain convo’s using direct links as opposed to visiting each individual blog to check if there is anything new, scrolling, finding, etc.! Just my 2 cents! Thanks again!

    • says

      @JMattHicks Hey there Jeremy, cheers sir. It’s one of the cool things I liked about Disqus, the notification (and option to reply from email too).

      It does make it a lot easier to jump back into a conversation when you might not necessarily have that option on the standard WordPress comments (at least not without a plug-in).

      Cheers!

  10. says

    At the moment I am not a fan of Livefyre due to their bugs they still need to iron out. It just seems clunkier than Disqus. But, the pros for running it with a WordPress blog, like you are doing, seem to be beneficial for your blog.

    Anonymous posting is an obvious downfall but I would say it makes more of an impact on new blogs trying to gain interest as opposed to established blogs like yours. I wouldn’t worry too much because you have some great people here who will go to the effort of signing up to livefyre or settling to use their Twitter or Facebook account.

    Can I ask what the reasoning is behind placing your new comments at the top of the list? Chris Brogan does it as well and honestly, it’s frustrating when you are trying to get the story of what people are saying.

    • says

      @JayTurn Thanks for the feedback Jay. I can tell you that we’re entirely focused on two things right now: 1) Fixing bugs and performance issues and 2) building great new features. Being in beta and having great bloggers adopt us early means we can learn fast and get great feedback and ideas that we can execute on quickly.

      If you find a bug, definitely report it by clicking the “comment help” link under the Livefyre logo. That will send us a log of your user session with error reporting, as well is give you the opp to tell us what went wrong. We fix stuff as fast as we can!

      I can also tell you that @DannyBrown’s comments go from top to bottom because that’s the default that our stream is set to right now. However I know that he wants it to go the other way because he’s requested it :) Bloggers will have the option to flip the direction of the stream on their site by Friday of next week.

    • says

      @jkretch @DannyBrown’s Thanks for the great response. It’s always good to see the people running these applications giving support and taking feedback outside the normal “contact us” channels.

      Thanks for the explanation on the order of the comments. Great to know that Danny hasn’t joined the dark side out of choice :p

    • says

      @JayTurn Hi Jay,

      I was going to answer you, but looks like Jordan beat me to it. :)

      Yep, I agree completely with the placement of the comments box, I’ve never been a fan of having them at the top of the comments, and good to see the choice of placement coming over to Livefyre.

      If I find that folks are emailing / contacting me regarding sign-in issues, I’ll definitely look at how much it’s affecting the experience here. But as Jenna pointed out to Davina last night, looks like a few more options might be on the way too.

      Cheers, sir!

  11. catherine says

    well it seems the matter of personal choice that you want ease in the busy lives or still want to go to the comments and then clicking to know the URLs. I just loved the words you said about it and it is quite convenient to use lifefyre and it is quite beneficial as well.

  12. catherine says

    well it seems the matter of personal choice that you want ease in the busy lives or still want to go to the comments and then clicking to know the URLs. I just loved the words you said about it and it is quite convenient to use lifefyre and it is quite beneficial as well.

  13. catherine says

    well it seems the matter of personal choice that you want ease in the busy lives or still want to go to the comments and then clicking to know the URLs. I just loved the words you said about it and it is quite convenient to use lifefyre and it is quite beneficial as well.

  14. says

    It is intriguing that I am “following this conversation” but that only applies to people who reply to me, not future comments as well. That’s phooey to me, as I want to read what other people write, not if they specifically write to me.

    I also don’t care that Jim Connolly “liked” my other comment. I saw an email notification that he liked it. Can’t I turn that off? Better yet, can’t that be opt-in for email notification?

    • says

      @ariherzog Not sure why it’s doing that (the follow) – I’m linked to convos on other Livefyre-powered comments and getting responses (even without being part of the comments).

    • says

      @ariherzog “following this conversation” will soon have more functionality – you will get notifications about all new comments on the post. You can adjust your notification settings by clicking on “settings” underneath your avatar at the top.

      When someone likes your comment it gives you a point, which soon will be very powerful…it shows that you are credible and have important things to say. bloggers will be able to filter out the comments from well-respected users in the community. More details on that coming soon.

  15. says

    Why would you do this to me? Just when I settled in all nice and comfy with Disqus you go and find a true competitor in the game. Everything about Livefyre screams “DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL ME NOW”. I stuck with Disqus simply because I was following the big players on the field (Both Chris Brogan and Mashable use Diqus on their blogs). But now I’m second guessing myself. Could the big players have overlooked this tiny gem? Diamonds in the rough are hard to spot sometimes. Could Danny Brown be the true trendsetter? I’m gonna have to sleep on this but trust me, so far this is a definite winner. CURSE YOU FOR BEING SO SMART!

    • says

      @JermaineYoung Haha, Jermaine, you get extra props for making me chuckle, mate. :)

      I used Disqus for quite a while on various blogs, and it’s a great system for sure. But yeah, I do feel (from my use so far and the support I’ve seen by the guys behind it) that Livefyre is definitely set to be a major player in third-party comments.

      Cheers for stopping by, bud :)

    • says

      @DannyBrown I’m watching LiveFyre closely. Haven’t made the switch yet but Google was new at some point too and now they run the world. I love being an early adopter of things. Can’t wait to see LiveFyre grow.

    • says

      @JermaineYoung Agreed, Jermaine. I think Jordan (the CEO) mentioned that the option to place where the comment box starts would be available this coming Friday. And there are a few more things in the works, seemingly, so be interesting to see what new features there will be.

  16. jackieadkins says

    Great review, Danny! I’d heard Stuart Foster mention LiveFyre a few times over on Twitter and had checked out their site, but this review definitely helps! I can’t wait to get my hands on it and play around with it.

  17. GrantGriffiths says

    Without scanning all of the comments here, which my question may be answer in. Where are the comments stored? On your own site or livefryre’s?

    • says

      @GrantGriffiths Hi Grant, thanks for the question. All of your comments stored by Livefyre and are written back to the WordPress database immediately. You own all of your data, and if you ever turn Livefyre off all of your comments will remain intact, threaded replies and all.

    • GrantGriffiths says

      @jennalanger I figured that was they way you were doing it. Same as Disqus. So far, just from using Livefyre here, I do like it.

    • says

      @GrantGriffiths Where I prefer it over Disqus is the continuation of threaded comments, even if you turn Livefyre off, mate. When I switched back to WordPress from Disqus last year, I lost all the threaded conversations, they turned into single comments instead. They may have fixed that since then, but was a major bugbear for me at the time.

    • says

      @DannyBrown @GrantGriffiths Yup, we’ve seen several requestions for deeper levels of threading, and it’s on the way :) Disqus still doesn’t maintain threading if you go back to WordPress, I recently checked it out.

    • dz says

      @jennalanger @DannyBrown @GrantGriffiths How recently did you try it out Jenna? Disqus has supported threaded comments in its WordPress plugin for several months now.

    • says

      @dz That’s not what @jennalanger nor myself were talking about. You’re correct in that Disqus (and Intensedebate as well as vanilla WordPress) supports threaded comments.

      The issue is when you want to turn Disqus off, and either change systems or go back to WordPress-powered comments. All the threaded conversations on Disqus are not carried over, so you essentially have inidividual comments now (which lose meaning as you try and join up who replied to what).

      Hope that clears things up :)

    • dz says

      @DannyBrown @jennalanger Right, that’s actually what I mean. The current Disqus WordPress plugin will write back the threads to WordPress’s native comment system, meaning that if you disable the plugin, all the threads will still be intact and display correctly.

      Apologies that it wasn’t true when you tried out Disqus a year back! We’re improving and listening to feedback as much as we can :)

    • bobbylent says

      @dz @DannyBrown @jennalanger So besides the advantage of it leaving a good legacy if you discontinue what do you see as the benefit over the competitors.

    • says

      @dz Hmm, I’ll have to double-check my wife’s blog as runs Disqus (version 3.0) and she had issues with the threading back to WordPress when she turned off. Cheers for the heads-up, though :)

    • says

      @bobbylent Mainly the ones I mention in the post, Bobby.

      The fact that it’s encouraging accountability in comment systems is something I admire. Anything that improves the user experience while on a blog is all good, and you only need to look at the likes of TechCrunch and Mashable for examples of crappy anonymous comments.

      While smaller blogs may not have this issue, it still makes for a more welcoming blog. At least that’s my take, fella. :)

      And the non-spam (so far)? More bonus points. :)

    • dz says

      @DannyBrown @bobbylent We’ve been rapidly improving and iterating our WordPress plugin, so make sure she’s using the latest version.

      FWIW, Disqus does allow the community owner to require sign in via any of the supported methods. But not all owners want that barrier, which is why you see many places using Disqus allowing anonymous comments.

    • says

      @dz Cheers fella. Yep, latest version, still had the threading “issues”.

      One of the things I was curious about with Livefyre (as mentioned in the post) was how my community would “react” to a velvet rope “sign-in” option. The last thing I want to do is lessen the experience and enjoyability that (I hope) visitors here get.

      However, it seems to have been less of an issue than I thought it had the potential to be, so that’s been nice. And with the Google and LinkedIn approaches coming soon, that should mean less of a barrier, while still “protecting” the blog and blog readers.

      Which is nice. :)

  18. Dom says

    Love livefyre, when Jordan first demo-ed it for me I was really excited and it seems to really be coming along well. Best of luck with it!

  19. says

    Excellent review, Danny. You’ve definitely covered a lot of bases with it and answered some questions that new users may have, which is great. It’s really hard to jump back into a conversation after leaving a comment on a blog with a traditional commenting system (really, how many posts do you return to after commenting?). LIvefyre’s a new way to start checking back.

    • says

      @Sushi Thanks Sushi (and I see you’re interning at Livefyre, cool).

      Unless you use the plug-in to subscribe to comments, or sign up to a comments RSS feed, vanilla WordPress isn’t always conducive to continued conversations. Looking forward to seeing how Livefyre grows this.

  20. says

    I added livefyre to my site last week and have already been thoroughly won over it creates a much more conversational response to posts and lends itself more to the blogger answering questions and interacting with their audience

  21. says

    Danny – I’m glad you addressed the CommentLuv issue in this post because that is one thing I love, love, love, love having on my own blog. I’m hoping that Livefyre can work things out with Andy, because then I would def switch over. Being able to see where the conversations are taking place (Twitter, FB, etc) and the reduction of spam are two attractive reasons to switch over.

    • says

      @mmangen If LiveFyre gets comment love and an effiecient “trackback” system then I’m sold. My only gripe with all of the 3rd party comment systems is that they all leave out one thing or another. I love Disqus for its track backs and integration in social media but it doesn’t support comment luv to my knowledge. If LiveFyre gets this right then that will be my #1 choice.

    • says

      @JermaineYoung LOL your comment about 3rd party systems leaving out one thing or another is exactly how I feel about Twitter clients. I want the “Holy Grail”!

    • says

      @JermaineYoung @mmangen Thanks for the feedback. We’re working on a CommentLuv solution and we’re continuing to add features all the time. If you have any other requests, let us know so we can add it to our list! We want to cover all the bases and give you the features you want. Thanks again!

  22. JonHearty says

    After using @LiveFyre for a week I am impressed not only as a blogger but as a commenter. I wish more blogs had it! Not being able to comment with just a name and URL weeds out trolls and forces relevant comments.

    • says

      @JonHearty Agree completely, Jon, and it’s just one of the reasons I’m starting to feed it over to my other sites. Hopefully once it’s out of beta and more people get their hands on it, it’ll pick up really quickly. I heard nothing but great things from folks who were treated to a run-through at the recent BlogWorld Expo. :)

    • says

      @regis @JonHearty I’ve used a ton of systems (WordPress core with plug-ins, Disqus, IntenseDebate, Facebook Connect, Echo) and I can’t see anything that competes.

      With WordPress core, you have to add plug-ins to get the functionality of Livefyre. Also, I had a special interactive, live Q&A session on my blog a couple of days ago, and it was a huge success that WordPress comments could never have offered the same results:

      http://dannybrown.me/2010/12/10/livefyre-future-of-blog-comments/

      For me, the options and possibilities with Livefyre outstrip any other system (core or otherwise). But that’s just me – everyone’s different. :)

  23. PhilipNowak says

    Great post Danny. I integrated Livefyre into my personal blog recently and am looking forward to testing it out. It definitely has some annoying quirks, but I do like the potential virality as a result of the social network integration and real-time comment stream.

    Switching topics, are you using the Sharedaddy plug-in for your social bookmarking icons at the bottom of your posts? Additionally, can you share how you created the “Mashable-esque” floating social bookmarking icons on the side of the blog post?

    Thanks!

    • says

      @PhilipNowak Hey there Philip, thanks, and glad you enjoyed the overview. :)

      Have you spoken with either @jennalanger or @JKretch about the issues you’re having with Livefyre? They’re usually pretty on the money and have been amazing support-wise when I’ve had issues (even when they haven’t been Livefyre’s fault). I agree, hearing about the upcoming features (and the new ones they just released, like the social network integration) makes me pretty excited to see how the platform evolves.

      Both the social media sharing options (bottom of post and floating sidebar) are powered by the Digg Digg plug-in:

      http://www.mkyong.com/blog/digg-digg-wordpress-plugin/

      The configuration I have is Floating Enabled and Normal Enabled (with After Content for the Normal configuration). It’ll make more sense if you activate the plug-in, you’ll see what I’m on about :)

    • says

      @PhilipNowak @JKretch Hey Philip, as you know we’ve added a ton of features since you installed and we’re continuing to work on the product with help from people like @dannybrown Feel free to send any feedback my way (jenna at livefyre dot com). Thanks for giving the details on the Digg Digg plugin, I’ve tried several sharing plugins and I can’t find one I really like. I’ll give this a go!

    • says

      @dannybrown Danny, thanks for the info on Digg Digg. I will definitely check it out. @jennalanger Jenna, thanks for following up with me. You and the rest of the Livefyre crew are lightning fast with your response time. I really appreciate that and look forward to checking out the new features that Livefyre rolls out.

    • says

      @PhilipNowak Agreed, Philip – I’ve been extremely impressed with the way @jennalanger and the livefyre team are always “there’ whenever they need to be (and often when not).

      Digg Digg has a lot of great options for placement of the buttons – I might look at hard coding for when my blog revamp is done (to keep plug-in calls down), but for now I like the options if gives.

  24. says

    You say that since installing Livefyre, spambot comments have been eliminated. What about human spammers, writing about pharmaceuticals and sex? Do they come through? How often are you spamming regular comments?

    • says

      @ariherzog If you have a determined spammer, they’ll still get through. Though I don’t seem to get any pharma or sex spammers anymore – more “Use this number 1 website traffic tool” or some other crud.

      As an example, over at For Bloggers By Bloggers where I have the standard WordPress comments system with Akismet, I’m cleaning out about 20+ spam comments that have been caught in the filter every day.

      Here, where I’m using Livefyre, I have zero in the filter (with the exception of possible spammy backlinks). So from a spam point of view, Livefyre delivers in spades.

      But it’s the social interaction and the genuine (from what I’ve found) encouragment to build a conversation that I’m consistently being impressed with.

      Now, if only livefyre can get a Recent Post option as well as the true social comments integration (and @jkretch has mentioned this is on the way), I’ll be 100% happy camper 😉

  25. says

    I tried it on my blog in september too, and I thought it was not really fast. Also after jaiku was bought and killed by Google, and same destiny happend to Friendfeed, I think I’m going to really on myself with free software only.

    • says

      Hi there Ernie,

      It was mainly a design thing. At the minute (as far as I’m aware), the CSS coding that Livefyre allows you to do isn’t enough to style the comments as they are now with the vanilla WordPress system.

      Also, I really like the CommentLuv system along with the ease of commenting for readers (who don’t have a Livefyre, Twitter or Facebook account).

      I’ll be keeping an eye on Livefyre (and using it for specials, like the interactive David Garland chat a few weeks back), but for now, vanilla WordPress it is. :)

    • says

      Hi Regis,

      Checked your post out, thanks – curious, aren’t you doing the same thing as Livefyre and requiring some form of registration to comment on your blog?

      Say I don’t have any of the accounts at the bottom of your post – then I can’t leave a comment. So same as Livefyre, no?

  26. says

    I’m torn between Disqus and Livefyre (though I see now that you’ve abandoned Livefyre since this post). I tried to compare Disqus, IntenseDebate, and Livefyre in this post: http://fatwalr.us/2011/05/compare-commenting-systems-disqus-vs-intensedebate-vs-livefyre/ . I’d be interested to hear what people think about these systems. I’m curious about what social components Disqus might integrate in the future if they begin to lose people to Livefyre for these reasons…?

  27. neono says

    Wow another company trying to capitalize on the hard work that goes into building a successful blog. You build the site, attract the community, write the content… so Livefyre, Disqus, etc can reap the benefits. Spam sucks, but a little trolling can be healthy and promote more comments.

    you can just follow the conversation without even checking the blog post out.

    You have one of the best looking sites around, so why would you praise this feature? Don’t you want people to check your blog posts directly so they see your other posts and click your sponsors? *scratches head*

    • says

      Not sure what sponsors you’re on about, “Neono” – no ads or sponsors on this blog.

      You’ll see that I’m using the WordPress standard commenting system now. Not because I dislike Livefyre, but because I’m waiting on a couple of features to be implemented.

      Healthy debate is great in the comments, yes, but trolling? Don’t think you’ll find many bloggers who actually like trolls… 😉

      • neono says

        It’s so great getting fast replies by the author. Thanks for that!

        You don’t have ads per sae, but you do advertise (your twitter/rss/Bonsai/ebook/etc). Most sites have ads of some type and anything that promotes commenting externally (and not actually visiting the site) is not something that is good for bloggers.

        Yes trolls can be bad, but comments are comments, whether they are from trolls or not. Maybe trolls don’t add value, but neither do all the link leeches who leave generic “love it” comments just to have their site linked. By the way, ask YouTube what trolling comments have done for their company 😉

  28. says

    Just want to drop a thanks for this post. Was very helpful. Currently evaluating whether to implement disque, livefyre or just keep with the current wordpress comment system.

    • posterpie says

      @Aaqil I was thinking the same way like you said. But then if livefyre would enable “guest” commenting then they would loose the edge. I mean the sole system works on connecting real people with real content. I know what you want to say that many times people just dont want to register to leave a comment, so in that case we will loose them…. Well this is only a start from the livefyre, hopefully they will innovate something new. Who knows in future, just like cell phone number portability, we will have comment system portability too….

      • says

        @posterpie@Aaqil Guest commenting is on the next update. Combine that with all of Livefyre’s other great features, and for me they’re head and shoulders ahead of anyone else. :)

  29. says

    @Aaqil I’ve actually found that to be the complete opposite – comments have increased, due to the social nature of the platform.

    But if anyone prefers guest commenting, Livefyre will be releasing that option soon.

  30. says

    Really i am totally agree with your point because i am also using live fyre commenting system for blog comment and getting better result from it.just i want to say thanks for sharing the best article with us.

  31. b.nijhoff says

    I really like the LiveFyre comment system and I use it now for like 3 weeks and my blog already changed I get more comments. Livefyre is great because it’s easy to use and really easy to install. Keep on the good work!

  32. posterpie says

    I am new to livefyre. But I have seen a cool feature in Disqus that they show “reaction” based on how many times the perticular article was shared on social network like twitter. I wonder if this feature is also there in livefyre or not? It would be interesting to see feature on livefyre!

    • says

      @posterpie They don’t currently, although they go one step further with the SocialSync option that brings Twitter and Facebook conversations to the comments. I feel this is better than the Reations, since you can get that information from Tweet buttons, Facebook Like buttons, etc.

  33. 50sQuiff says

    I’d be more persuaded if the comments actually refreshed in real time rather than just giving me some indication that a new comment has arrived. Why should users have to constantly manage the comments process?

    • says

      @50sQuiff They do update and refresh automatically. Once a new comment is posted, it immediately appears without any need to refresh. The notification option is mainly for live Q&A’s like the ones I’ve had here, and they allow you to jump from comment to comment seamlessly.

  34. says

    I actually really like LiveFyre.

    I think the like and listen features are good for drawing attention and gaining social involvement.

    What was the reason you stopped using them? Something we should be wary of?

    • says

      Hi Rob,

      It wasn’t really down to any major bad reasons. The main thing was it was still a little buggy (big spacing between the end of the post and the start of the comments, although this seemed to only occur on certain theme designs).

      Additionally, I like the way my designer coded the comment section to flow with the rest of the blog.

      Having said that, I’m currently in the process of defining changes in my blog’s design with a new designer (looking to set live mid-to-end April), and there’s a good chance Livefyre will be back up and running then. :)

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  36. says

    It is really great that I have found this informative article. With your help I have found the problem, which has that application. Thanks a lot for sharing this great entry and I will be waiting for more great and useful information from you in the nearest future.

  37. says

    A very good article on Livefyre, I recently installed it on my blog.  I seem to like the community.  A person told me when I had Commentluv that is why many people come to your blog to leave links.  I said you can still do that, but personally I want readers not people who want to personally benefit.

  38. Danny Brown says

    Cheers guys, always happy to share great stuff and continuing to be impressed with Livefyre so far (especially the community outreach). :)

  39. LD Jackson says

    I am in the process of finishing the import of my blog comments into Livefyre. I am anxious to give it a try.

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