Livefyre comments system

So, if you’re a regular reader of this blog (and thank you!), I think I owe you an apology for any dizziness I may have caused you in the last couple of months.

As a regular visitor, you’ll know that I’ve been experimenting with what comment system to go with – native WordPress (in use for the last couple of weeks), Disqus (in use for about 6 weeks prior to that), or Livefyre (in use again now, and a system I’ve raved about many a time).

The reason for this was simple – user experience here is key. You take the time out of your day to come and spend some time here, when you could be choose from a million other blogs at that given time.

For that, I thank you. And to extend that thanks, if you like, I want to try and make your stay here as enjoyable and user-friendly as I can.

That’s the reason behind choosing the Genesis framework and the Optimal child theme (affiliate links). Since activating them a few months back, folks have been kind enough to comment on the easy navigation, and the responsive design makes it very easy to read on mobile browsers.

That user experience extends into the comments – I want to encourage you to share your thoughts, and extend the conversation beyond the post and with each other.

This is kind of where native WordPress comments falls down, and leaves both Livefyre and Disqus ahead. All you need do is compare a post where there are a lot of comment threads, and you can soon get lost with native WordPress, wondering who’s replying to who.

Not so much Livefyre and Disqus, where you can clearly see the thread and who the conversation is aimed at.

And, for a while, I was thinking of sticking with Disqus as I experimented with the new 2012 version – it’s very slick. Community comments, popular conversations elsewhere and a beautiful interface make it a very tempting platform. And yet…

Here we are, back with Livefyre, and this time it’s for keeps, for a few simple reasons.

Livefyre Support is Awesome

If there’s one area that Livefyre excels at, it’s their customer support and community support team. It must be a culture they have over there – from Jenna Langer to Jeremy Hicks, and current Community Manager supreme Dhara Mistry, Livefyre clearly encourages interaction at a very high level.

While I was experimenting, I had some issues on switching Livefyre back on, due to a minor conflict with Disqus and some WordPress avatars. I also couldn’t fully sync comments over that have been left during my activation of Disqus.

Step up Livefyre, and Dhara and her team of engineers.

Dhara Mistry

Click image to enlarge

They worked way beyond what any support would normally offer and ensured all the glitches were fixed. Not only that, Dhara kept me up-to-date at every touchpoint, and even recommended I hold off until they locked down a fix for my specific needs.

All this while rolling out a brand new version of their commenting system, as well as fielding questions and support tickets from users with Livefyre currently installed on their sites.

This kind of service and constant communication is a huge factor for me when it comes to any business, and the fact Livefyre don’t even charge the majority of its users, yet still offer that kind of support? I’m sold.

Livefyre Is The Natural Evolution of Blog Commenting

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a rabid fan of Livefyre since it launched, and was one of the early users of the platform.

I love its real-time chat system as well as the social media integration of conversations from Twitter and Facebook, as well as the ability to share across multiple networks.

But that was Livefyre back then – the recently-released beta version of Livefyre 3 shows you exactly where this platform is heading, and I love it. You want your blog comments to be truly social and interactive? Check out what Livefyre has for you.

Social Comments Integrated

Livefyre social comments

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With the previous version of Livefyre, they already had a pretty cool way to bring conversations from Twitter and Facebook into your comments section. If someone tweeted about your post, and added extra commentary, or it was shared on specific Facebook Pages, these would be pulled into the post at the end of the comments.

Now, however, they fall neatly into the comment stream itself, based on timestamp. And, if you reply back via the comment, it goes back to Twitter automatically, to answer the person that shared. Further conversations continue to fall back into your comments – very cool.

Rich Text Editor

Livefyre rich text editor

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One of the biggest “gripes” of the previous version of Livefyre was the inability to make your comment more dynamic. While the likes of WordPress and Disqus allowed you to drop HTML in to add bold, italic or other font edits, Livefyre was stuck with its standard font.

Not any more. Now you have a rich text editor that allows you to choose bold font, italic, underscore, insert a hyeprlink, bulleted lists and numbered lists.

Additionally, and one that a lot of commenters and bloggers were asking for, is the ability to edit your comment if you make a mistake. However, this only works if the blogger with admin duties enables this feature on Livefyre.

It may be small changes, but these features make comments more dynamic and highlight the parts that need to be highlighted.

Livefyre Supports Rich Media

Probably one of my favourite new features is the way Livefyre 3 truly turns your comments into a fully-fledged multimedia experience.

Normally, when you leave a comment on other blogs that don’t have Livefyre, and you want to show a video or image, you have to grab the link to YouTube or Flickr, and then the reader of your comment has to click through to see what the video or image is.

Not with Livefyre.

Instead, they keep your readers engaged on your blog by embedding the rich media directly into the comments area.

Livefyre rich media embed

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Currently supported platforms include YouTube and Vimeo (video), Flickr and Instagram (images), Slideshare (presentations), SoundCloud and Spotify (music), animated GIFs from MySpace and Wikipedia (the articles appear in-stream).

To show this media content, simply grab the URL of its parent page and drop alongside your comments, and Livefyre does the rest. It’s pretty damn cool and can make for a very entertaining comments section.

Livefyre and Multi-Site Admin

One of the new features that came out before the current beta version of Livefyre 3 was the revamped admin area for bloggers.

Livefyre Site Moderation

Click image to enlarge

Now, instead of having to hunt through reams of comments to filter one out, you can search directly by username, IP address, if it was a user logged in via Twitter or Facebook, keywords, and much more.

You can choose to do this while having all your sites open, or just one domain at a time. You can also quickly check if any comments have been filtered into pending or spam, ensuring all comments you want approved are done so.

It’s a slicker version of the previous admin area and a very welcome addition to the product.

So Is Livefyre Perfect?

Is anything? Okay, I know, glib answer and I apologize, because we all know Jessica Alba is perfect… Moving on!

As I mentioned, Livefyre 3 is currently in beta, so the version being used on blogs currently is one that will experience some hiccups as the platform moves into a wider public release.

Some of the current glitches, from my own use and conversations I’ve seen online, include:

  • The SocialSync tagging doesn’t always work the way it should, meaning you can’t tag your friends on Facebook and Twitter (by using the “@” symbol and then typing their name until it appears). For a social commenting system, this is a core part of Livefyre’s appeal.
  • Sometimes it looks like there’s no comment box, whereas it’s just Livefyre rendering. The load time has been improved from the previous Livefyre, but could sill be optimized further.
  • Styling Livefyre to suit your blog design requires CSS, and not every blogger is comfortable with this. The advantage of Disqus in this respect is it inherits the font, style and design from your blog, so should match up every time.
  • It’d be great to see your commenters’ activity across the web without having to click on their profile. A lightbox when hovering over the username would be great, and encourage commenters to visit other blogs in the Livefyre family.

In fairness, the last two are personal choices as opposed to glitches, but I feel they’d make the platform even more complete than it is currently, and its current iteration is pretty damned impressive.

So, Livefyre Is Here to Stay Then?

As I mentioned at the start of the post, if you’ve felt a little dizzy recently with the comment system changes, I apologize. But it’s the last time it should happen.

I’ve been an early supporter of Livefyre and the platform has continued to grow way beyond its potential from its early days. That continues to be the case as new features and slicker processes get added, and it’s definitely my commenting platform of choice.

Mind you, I have to take my hat off to Disqus – they’ve really upped the game with Disqus 2012, and the interface and integration is very slick. Plus, they also sent out a very fun Welcome package of Disqus goodies – thanks, guys!

But, I have to say, Livefyre just feels what a comments system should be – live, interactive, media-rich, socially-enabled and much more. Simply put, it feels like home.

And, as a blogger, that’s all I can ever ask for from a comments system. Here’s to the conversation.

Update: After feedback from my readers, I switched to Disqus 2012. You can find the full feedback here.

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314 comments
GobaCartel
GobaCartel

a good comment option as it is fast, multimedia enabled commenting, comment feedback, easy intigration etc..

GobaCartel
GobaCartel

a good comment option as it is fast, multimedia enabled commenting, comment feedback, easy intigration etc..

Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

...and Livefyre left as quickly as it arrived (in the greater scheme of things). It's amusing, Danny, and I'm as equally to blame as you, that we praise certain tools and apps saying they are so awesome -- and we then remove them for other tools and apps. I call that progress.

8-Bit Dave
8-Bit Dave

I think DISQUS is really good but I have had problems trying to install and sync up my comments.  I have never had a problem with Livefyre and like you said the support is top notch.  I use Livefyre at my site.

I do wish that more sites would use @Livefyre.  

8-Bit Dave
8-Bit Dave

I think DISQUS is really good but I have had problems trying to install and sync up my comments.  I have never had a problem with Livefyre and like you said the support is top notch.  I use Livefyre at my site. I do wish that more sites would use @Livefyre.

Jonathan Bowker
Jonathan Bowker

Hi Danny, is it possible for users to register as users on your site as well as LF when they register to make a comment. The reason I am asking is because I would like to grant my users access to private areas of the site and double registration is a pain.

Jonathan Bowker
Jonathan Bowker

Hi Danny, is it possible for users to register as users on your site as well as LF when they register to make a comment. The reason I am asking is because I would like to grant my users access to private areas of the site and double registration is a pain.

Latest blog post: Tweet Streams

Mike Brady
Mike Brady

I get a "pending" comment right after I hit the send key when I comment on some sites that use livefyre. This seems to be automatic, with no effort to read what I wrote. How can I work around this , so I can get back to blogging.Any help here woukd be awesome. Thanks for your time.....

soulhuntre
soulhuntre

Is it ironic for anyone else that this post has @disqus as the tool in use and not @2b5b396aae0ae945c9b29605a77edb4d:disqus ?

stock market tips
stock market tips

Thanks for sharing this information. I found it very informative as I have been researching a lot lately on practical matters such as you talk about..

K.David
K.David

very nice blog here. I can agree livefyry support is ubiquitos. Allready waiting WP-Plugin becomes production ready.

222
222

test

Andrea
Andrea

Now what?? Changed again?

Equipe TV No Ar
Equipe TV No Ar

Why on my blog the Rich Text option does not appear?

Equipe TV No Ar
Equipe TV No Ar

Why on my blog the Rich Text option does not appear?

Ethical Behavior Boy
Ethical Behavior Boy

Danny Brown You mentioned a lot of good points.  I installed the system yesterday for some of the same reasons you mentioned.   My readers are concerned about their links being lost, I am sorry about that.  I think it is a good experience for my blog and readers. We will see. I am looking for more livefyre blogs, drop my blog to let me know about yours,  I return comments.  http://www.ethicalbehaviorboy,com

Ethical Behavior Boy
Ethical Behavior Boy

@Danny Brown You mentioned a lot of good points.  I installed the system yesterday for some of the same reasons you mentioned.  

My readers are concerned about their links being lost, I am sorry about that.  I think it is a good experience for my blog and readers.

We will see.

I am looking for more livefyre blogs, drop my blog to let me know about yours,  I return comments.  www.ethicalbehaviorboy.com

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

I think that's the beauty of blogging and owning your platform, Ari - it allows you the experimentation to find the best mix between personal "wants" and reader experience. Though I do miss Livefyre... :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Blog post to follow - I crowdsourced and listened to the votes. :)

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

Ethical Behavior Boy Danny Brown Just visited your site Michael and your comment area only shows as a thin bar. I've seen this problem on a few Livefyre sites and it was the main reason I switched back to native WP comments.

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

@Ethical Behavior Boy @Danny Brown Just visited your site Michael and your comment area only shows as a thin bar.

I've seen this problem on a few Livefyre sites and it was the main reason I switched back to native WP comments.

Dhara Mistry
Dhara Mistry moderator

@Equipe TV No Ar Hi there, we received your email, and we'll be in touch with you shortly. Appreciate your patience in the meantime :)

Ethical Behavior Boy
Ethical Behavior Boy

wmwebdes Thanks for visiting my site and the notifications, I will work on it with customer service.  thanks

andrea_
andrea_

wmwebdes Can you post it here? It would be interesting to see:)

Ethical Behavior Boy
Ethical Behavior Boy

wmwebdes andrea_ ok, thanks.  You are probably right, I am sure it is a glitch.

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

andrea_ Never got to the bottom of it with Livefyre - I just reverted back to native comments. The thing was you couldn't reproduce it at will and most people assumed it was the browser, but I saw it on IE and FF - never tried it on Chrome, which is what I use now. I know that IE is rubbish, but lots opf people use it in the UK. At the time I saw it on a few sites, but I've not seen it for some time. I sent Danny a screenshot just to show that I wasn't going round the twist.

andrea_
andrea_

wmwebdes I wonder if it just a matter of the widget taking a bit longer to load. Now that I think about it, just the other day one of my readers said something similar, but we couldn't reproduce it and nobody else said there was a problem. Don't know...

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

Ethical Behavior Boy wmwebdes Just been over and left a comment - all was fine that time.

Ethical Behavior Boy
Ethical Behavior Boy

wmwebdes Thanks for your help, it seems like there are two different versions.  I am still new so maybe it will work itself out.

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

andrea_ wmwebdes Ethical Behavior Boy Yes.. the problem was always intermittent and when I reported it to Livefyre they reproduced the problem in  both IE and FF.

andrea_
andrea_

Danny Brown I am on a mac as well, but using an Italian keyboard. Strange... I don't have this problem anywhere else, but on LF3. Very odd indeed...

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

andrea_ Ah, got it - what settings do you have your keyboard on? I'm US English on a Mac, using Firefox 15, seems okay. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

andrea_ Sorry, mate, not quite sure what you mean re. "keyboard" - is this the box when commenting?

andrea_
andrea_

Danny Brown , no, I mean the keyboard I use to type this message:) For example if I press the double quote key (which I am still trying to locate...) I get @.  It is fine on Chrome or Safari, but not on FF15 (for some reason...)

andrea_
andrea_

wmwebdes Ethical Behavior Boy, huh? I can see it perfectly well here... It must be either a problem with the browser (FF15 here) or a caching issue...

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

wmwebdes Ethical Behavior Boy Yep, that's Livefyre 3.17, versus the newer version. However, I can see it fine when I click through to the site. Funnily enough, the older version does seem more stable than the new beta version on this blog. Hopefully Livefyre 3 will work out its quirks soon and be just as solid. :)

andrea_
andrea_

Danny Brown, have you had problems with the keyboard ans LF3? I have made the switch, but my keyboard is kinda mixed up... (I can see it here as well...). For example... where is the double quote key? :D I have told Dhara and she is looking into it, but I was wondering if you have heard of anybody with the same problem.

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

Ethical Behavior Boy Danny had the same problem on one of his sites some time ago, but I've not seen it for ages. Are you using an old version of Livefyre?

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

@andrea_ Never got to the bottom of it with Livefyre - I just reverted back to native comments.

The thing was you couldn't reproduce it at will and most people assumed it was the browser, but I saw it on IE and FF - never tried it on Chrome, which is what I use now.

I know that IE is rubbish, but lots opf people use it in the UK.

At the time I saw it on a few sites, but I've not seen it for some time.

I sent Danny a screenshot just to show that I wasn't going round the twist.

andrea_
andrea_

@wmwebdes I wonder if it just a matter of the widget taking a bit longer to load.

Now that I think about it, just the other day one of my readers said something similar, but we couldn't reproduce it and nobody else said there was a problem. Don't know...

Ethical Behavior Boy
Ethical Behavior Boy

@wmwebdes Thanks for your help, it seems like there are two different versions.  I am still new so maybe it will work itself out.

andrea_
andrea_

@Danny Brown I am on a mac as well, but using an Italian keyboard. Strange...

I don't have this problem anywhere else, but on LF3. Very odd indeed... 

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@andrea_ Ah, got it - what settings do you have your keyboard on? I'm US English on a Mac, using Firefox 15, seems okay. :)

andrea_
andrea_

@Danny Brown , no, I mean the keyboard I use to type this message:)

For example if I press the double quote key (which I am still trying to locate...) I get instead @. 

It is fine on Chrome or Safari, but not on FF15 (for some reason...)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@andrea_ Sorry, mate, not quite sure what you mean re. "keyboard" - is this the box when commenting?

andrea_
andrea_

@Danny Brown, have you had problems with the keyboard ans LF3?

I have made the switch, but my keyboard is kinda mixed up... (I can see it here as well...). For example... where is the double quote key? :D

I have told Dhara and she is looking into it, but I was wondering if you have heard of anybody with the same problem.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@wmwebdes @Ethical Behavior Boy Yep, that's Livefyre 3.17, versus the newer version. However, I can see it fine when I click through to the site.

Funnily enough, the older version does seem more stable than the new beta version on this blog. Hopefully Livefyre 3 will work out its quirks soon and be just as solid. :)

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

@Ethical Behavior Boy Danny had the same problem on one of his sites some time ago, but I've not seen it for ages.

Are you using an old version of Livefyre?