Two days ago, I watched something very cool happen on this blog.
Using the Livefyre comments system as the platform, and the always awesome David Siteman Garland as the sacrificial guinea pig (or bunny!), I carried out an experiment on where I see the true strength of blogs – the comment section.
Because Livefyre is a real-time comments system, it’s more like a chat function as opposed to your standard comment options (whether core comments or other third-party systems). You get live updates, new comment alerts, real-time chat functions and much more. Think of it as comments on steroids (thanks, Philip!).
So what was the experiment, and why was it so cool?
Seeing the potential of Livefyre (I’ve been using it for about three months now), I wanted to show just how interactive both it, and the blog comments the system powers, could be. And what better way than a live, real-time Q&A with one of the most lively and passionate guys on the web?
So that’s exactly what happened.
Formatted like a chat show but with the questions and answers via blog comments, the experiment saw David come online for an hour and answer any questions asked of him in the comments of the blog post.
These answers included following your passion to start a business, making that business a success, building your online presence, being a trusted resource and how to gain collateral and support for your non-profit.
It was uncharted waters for blog comments, and could have been an unholy mess. But I think it’s safe to say that, instead, it was a huge success.
With Livefyre rocking the comment updates and alerts, as well as David knocking it out the park with the speed of his response, it showed what the future of blog comments is.
- True real-time alerts and updates.
- Instant back-and-forth interaction.
- Interview-style conversations.
- Social integration, with the ability to invite friends from Facebook and Twitter into the conversation.
Not only that, but it showed just how well a system like Livefyre complements the blogging experience. It encourages dialogue, and showed that – even in beta – it’s the most interactive comment system around. Basically, Livefyre is what blog comments were built for.
It also showed it could handle a ton of calls to its service. During the Q&A session, which lasted just over an hour, the following numbers are indicative of how successful Livefyre and David were at showing the system off:
- An average of three comments per minute coming into the post.
- Just under 200 comments in the space of 70 minutes.
- A constant of 60+ people in the Q&A at any given time.
- 292,500 impressions on Twitter for the experiment.
- 5,310 impressions on my Facebook Page.
- 1,015 page views in 70 minutes from Google Analytics.
The post is also continuing to grab interest after the event, from the very positive feedback that was generated both in the comments section on the day, and online (Facebook, Twitter, email) from people that either attended the Q&A on the day, or simply watched the instant updates and alerts as they came through.
For a comment system on a blog to generate so much activity and interaction speaks volumes, both of the system itself and obviously the guest that made it such a blast. My thanks to both David Siteman Garland and Livefyre, for showing that blog comments can be as real-time as Twitter and as valuable as a great business seminar.
Somehow, I don’t think I’ll look at blog comments in the same light ever again.
As part of the experiment, David provided two signed copies of his book for the best questions. The first one goes to Genevieve Lachance for this question, and Philip Nowak for this one. I’ll be in touch soon for your mailing addresses!