TOTAL SHARES 66

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.
TOTAL SHARES 66
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137 Comments on "Why I’m Loving the Livefyre Comments System"


LD Jackson
1 year 7 months ago

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

Danny Brown
1 year 7 months ago

LD Jackson I think you’ll like it, LD – this review was written way back in the early days of the platform. The new version 4.0 is pretty awesome. :)

Danny Brown
2 years 8 days ago

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

Rayzel Lam
2 years 2 months ago

I still prefer disqus dispite of tons of blog post praising livefyre.

Ethical Behavior Boy
2 years 4 months ago

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.

Boat Parts
2 years 5 months ago

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2 years 9 months ago

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newbajajpulsar
3 years 4 days ago

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RobSprak
3 years 12 days ago

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?

3 years 11 days ago

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. :)

50sQuiff
3 years 3 months ago

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?

DannyBrown
3 years 3 months ago

@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.

posterpie
3 years 4 months ago

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!

DannyBrown
3 years 4 months ago

@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.

b.nijhoff
3 years 4 months ago

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!

photo frames
3 years 6 months ago

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.

Aaqil
3 years 6 months ago

@DannyBrown Yeah it looks beautiful, users would love to comment.

DannyBrown
3 years 6 months ago

@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.

Ari Herzog
3 years 6 months ago

@Aaqil Yet, here you are.

Aaqil
3 years 6 months ago

sad thing, guests cannot comment. Will lose commentators.

sparklecleanerz
2 years 11 months ago

 @Aaqil Make your mind up -_-

posterpie
3 years 4 months ago

@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….

DannyBrown
3 years 4 months ago

@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. :)

Ari Herzog
3 years 7 months ago

@DannyBrown …and switch over you did.

My latest conversation: http://ariherzog.com/about-ari/

Clean Cut Media
3 years 8 months ago

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.

3 years 8 months ago

I took a look at vanilla WordPress versus third-party options over at Ari Herzog’s blog:

http://ariherzog.com/comparing-blog-commenting-systems/

Hopefully might help? :)

Clean Cut Media
3 years 8 months ago

thanks Danny. I did read through the comments and ended up on that site as well. It’ll just come down to whether I want to test it out or not. My only hesitation is the forcing users to login, but the social aspect is what is drawing me in.

3 years 8 months ago

I hear you, it’s one of the reasons I stopped using. But I met the Livefyre guys at BlogWorld this year, and they have some cool updates that I think you’ll like, and will probably see me switching back over. :)

neono
3 years 9 months ago

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*

3 years 9 months ago

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
3 years 9 months ago

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 ;)

Luke
3 years 10 months ago

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…?

3 years 10 months ago

Hi Luke,

I offered my take over at Ari Herzog’s blog:

http://ariherzog.com/comparing-blog-commenting-systems/

Régis
4 years 1 month ago

I gave a second try to Livefyre and I also think these third-party commenting systems bring more drawbacks than benefits. I think that smooth authentification and vanilla WordPress comments works good http://regis.decamps.info/blog/2011/01/livefyre-out-back-to-vanilla-commenting-system/#comment-45265

4 years 1 month ago

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?

Ernie
4 years 1 month ago

I’ve noticed you stopped using LiveFyre on your blog, and I’m curious as to why you did so. Thanks!

4 years 1 month ago

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. :)

regis
4 years 2 months ago

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.

DannyBrown
4 years 2 months ago

@regis Hi Regis,

Since September, the system has been hugely optimized and is a lot faster.

ariherzog
4 years 3 months ago

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?

dannybrown
4 years 3 months ago

@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 ;-)

markdotentest01
4 years 3 months ago

this is a test, will delete

markdotentest01
4 years 3 months ago

this is another test..

markdotentest01
4 years 3 months ago

testing, will delete

PhilipNowak
4 years 3 months ago

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!

dannybrown
4 years 3 months ago

@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.

PhilipNowak
4 years 3 months ago

@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.

jennalanger
4 years 3 months ago

@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!

dannybrown
4 years 3 months ago

@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 :)

Mic
4 years 4 months ago

LiveFyre is the best

JonHearty
4 years 4 months ago

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.

DannyBrown
4 years 2 months ago

@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. :)

regis
4 years 2 months ago

@JonHearty I wonder why do you think it is better than the WordPress commenting system, for instance?

JonHearty
4 years 4 months ago

@dannybrown Yes the @LiveFyre team is great! Every new blog that utilizes it helps out every other blog that does! see Metcalfe’s Law: http://jonhearty.com/2010/10/19/how-metcalfes-law-affects-your-community/

dannybrown
4 years 4 months ago

@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. :)