A couple of weeks back, I sent an email out to my subscribers asking about blog comment systems.

The main gist of the question was centered around which option readers preferred – the WordPress native system, or third-party options like Livefyre and Disqus.

The reasoning was simple – while I might provide the original content, I firmly believe that the real magic of a blog post comes in the comments afterward. It’s where new ideas can be formed; feedback given; and new friendships and relationships forged.

Simply put, content may be king but community is the whole royal courtyard.

The results and feedback from that email showed that, while WordPress native was the simplest option, people did prefer the more social aspects of Livefyre and Disqus.

Out of these two, the majority of votes went to Disqus. Reasons included:

  • The ability to answer directly from your email notification
  • Better sign-in experience on mobile browsers
  • The community aspect of knowing what your commenters were saying elsewhere and the ability to join that conversation
  • A better way to track all your comments elsewhere

While some answers preferred Livefyre for its ability to integrate social conversations into the comments, there were also concerns re. mobile reading, and a more cliquey feel to Livefyre communities (though personally I would say that’s more down to the blogger and their interactions versus the system itself).

With that feedback, it was clear that – despite my love of Livefyre – readers preferred the approach to comments Disqus takes. Hence the reason it’s back on the blog after a trial run of the new version earlier this year.

Now, you could say that it’s my blog and I can run whatever options I want on here. And that’s true – but it’s also missing the point.

A blog without a community is simply a news channel. A community without interaction is simply a dead zone waiting to go somewhere else. A dead zone is the path to oblivion for a blog.

This blog has always been about your voice and interaction too – you bring different points of view and great ideas all the time. Why would I want to limit that?

So, thanks for being here and thanks for the feedback on how you wish to be here – here’s to continued conversations.

Update 19 March 2013: After experiencing some issues with Disqus – slow load time (particularly on mobile browsers), comments disappearing and filters not working properly – I’ve reinstalled Livefyre, with its new version 4.0.

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Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
73 comments
Danny Brown
Danny Brown

PhilCooper Interesting, haven't heard of Viafoura until now, thanks Phil. There are so many comment systems being created, it's hard to keep up. I do prefer the functionality of Livefyre, though, it's the only third-party system I would ever use, if I didn't want to run native comments. Cheers for the heads up!

PhilCooper
PhilCooper

I encountered Viafoura for the first time today at SFGate.com, who used a different in-house system until a couple of months ago.  Having used Disqus on other sites for many years now, I was immediately put off by Viafoura:

1. Can't delete my post.

2. Can't edit my post, not even for a limited time.

3. Can't add emphasis (bold, italic, underline, strikethrough) with HTML tags or with buttons in the Viafoura interface.

4. No "Dislike" or vote-down feature, even though some comments sorely need it.

5. No "Cancel" button to close the dialog box.  One must delete all the text in the dialog box and reload the entire Web page.

There are probably more issues, but that's what I found in the first 15 to 20 minutes of using Viafoura.  Considering the company has been around for several years, those are some serious deficiencies in their system.  If I were running a company's Web site, Viafoura would be a non-starter.

PhilCooper
PhilCooper

I encountered Viafoura for the first time today at SFGate.com, who used a different in-house system until a couple of months ago.  Having used Disqus on other sites for many years now, I was immediately put off by Viafoura: 1. Can't delete my post. 2. Can't edit my post, not even for a limited time. 3. Can't add emphasis (bold, italic, underline, strikethrough) with HTML tags or with buttons in the Viafoura interface. 4. No "Dislike" or vote-down feature, even though some comments sorely need it. 5. No "Cancel" button to close the dialog box.  One must delete all the text in the dialog box and reload the entire Web page.   There's probably more issues, but that's what I found in the first 15 to 20 minutes of using Viafoura.  Considering the company has been around for several years, those are some serious deficiencies in their system.  If I were running a company's Web site, Viafoura would be a non-starter.

lloydprogroup
lloydprogroup

We recently added livefyre on one of our insurance blogs because we are interested in feedback from our readers. So far we have been happy with it. I will look into disqus based on your readers comments.

lloydprogroup
lloydprogroup

We recently added livefyre on one of our insurance blogs because we are interested in feedback from our readers. So far we have been happy with it. I will look into disqus based on your readers comments.

eduturns
eduturns

Hi Danny, thanks for the great posts on commenting systems. I actually just came across your website in my seemingly never ending pursuit to make a decision on which commenting system I'm going to use for the WP site I'm about to begin building. I see that you have gone from LiveFyre to Disqus then back to LiveFyre. I'm curious to know if you're happy with your final decision to switch back to LiveFyre? 

Would love to hear your final analysis/comparison of the two, as your 9/19 and 10/27 blog posts were both very informative. Would be great to hear some elaboration on the contrast in performance such as the difference in page load speeds you were seeing while using each. 

Also, to sort of echo @Online Strategies sentiment, there is definitely something to be said for the fact that TechCrunch has chosen to go with LiveFyre. Thank you for mentioning that. As one of, if not the most popular and heavily trafficked WordPress sites on the web, I'm tempted to go with LiveFyre based on that fact alone. 

One last thought though, seems to me that LiveFyre ought to up the font size in the comment editor by at least a point or two. I'm young with perfect vision and all and I find it to be rather small. But who knows, perhaps that plays a factor in performance optimization. In which case I would say, keep it small!

eduturns
eduturns

Hi Danny, thanks for the great posts on commenting systems. I actually just came across your website in my seemingly never ending pursuit to make a decision on which commenting system I'm going to use for the WP site I'm about to begin building. I see that you have gone from LiveFyre to Disqus then back to LiveFyre. I'm curious to know if you're happy with your final decision to switch back to LiveFyre?  Would love to hear your final analysis/comparison of the two, as your 9/19 and 10/27 blog posts were both very informative. Would be great to hear some elaboration on the contrast in performance such as the difference in page load speeds you were seeing while using each.  Also, to sort of echo @Online Strategies sentiment, there is definitely something to be said for the fact that TechCrunch has chosen to go with LiveFyre. Thank you for mentioning that. As one of, if not the most popular and heavily trafficked WordPress sites on the web, I'm tempted to go with LiveFyre based on that fact alone.  One last thought though, seems to me that LiveFyre ought to up the font size in the comment editor by at least a point or two. I'm young with perfect vision and all and I find it to be rather small. But who knows, perhaps that plays a factor in performance optimization. In which case I would say, keep it small!

Online Strategies
Online Strategies

LiveFyre is the best. Techcrunch recently shifted their blog commenting to this great comment platform. It's real time and offers an array of features.

health insurance
health insurance

Hi Danny, I love disqus for blog commenting because it easier to use and easier to follow.

Corinne Rodrigues
Corinne Rodrigues

I always learn from you, Danny and this post is another example. Do I have your permission to quote a line of this post on my blog - with a link back to you, of course?

Catherine
Catherine

Oh..the lessons of life - the art of listening to others echoes!

Kat Lessin
Kat Lessin

Hi Danny

I second the time management, stronger relationship building and zero spam with Disqus. Thank you for being such a fantastic example, showing us not just telling us that community is everything.

Kat Lessin
Kat Lessin

Hi Danny I second the time management, stronger relationship building and zero spam with Disqus. Thank you for being such a fantastic example, showing us not just telling us that community is everything.

The JackB
The JackB

I have been playing around with the idea of switching commenting systems again. CommentLuv has been very good, but it hasn't had the same ability of stimulating conversation that other systems do.

I like DISQUS, but I haven't been real happy with the support. LiveFyre is very good about that and I appreciate it,

You are right about listening to the community.

The JackB
The JackB

I have been playing around with the idea of switching commenting systems again. CommentLuv has been very good, but it hasn't had the same ability of stimulating conversation that other systems do. I like DISQUS, but I haven't been real happy with the support. LiveFyre is very good about that and I appreciate it, You are right about listening to the community.

Kellye Crane
Kellye Crane

Love this, Danny! Impressed by your willingness to switch gears - shows your commitment.

The majority of my community has always been vocal about it's dislike of Livefyre, which is why I've been Disqus from the beginning. Do you know what a lot of people hate? The points. Which I think is funny, because I never even notice the points! Another good example of the fact that we can't extrapolate our personal impressions to others.

Personally, I like to see the "real" comments all in one place, without social media convos interspersed throughout. So I, too, like your change. Thanks for listening!

Kellye Crane
Kellye Crane

Love this, Danny! Impressed by your willingness to switch gears - shows your commitment. The majority of my community has always been vocal about it's dislike of Livefyre, which is why I've been Disqus from the beginning. Do you know what a lot of people hate? The points. Which I think is funny, because I never even notice the points! Another good example of the fact that we can't extrapolate our personal impressions to others. Personally, I like to see the "real" comments all in one place, without social media convos interspersed throughout. So I, too, like your change. Thanks for listening!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hi Billy, yeah, I experimented with that when I was testing previously, wasn't a huge fan. It brought a lot of content in that was nowhere near related to this blog. So I just switched it off and had related content from my own blog only - big difference. :)

Billy Delaney
Billy Delaney

I just went with Livefyre. I don't like the way Disqus started putting in links to things that were supposed to be related, that I might like? I found that annoying. So I went the other direction. Who Knew... I have been banging around for a year or so, learning and figuring things out. So, I will drop in here again to see how the comments works out for your community. As always nice to say hello to a fellow Kelt... Billy

Billy Delaney
Billy Delaney

I just went with Livefyre. I don't like the way Disqus started putting in links to things that were supposed to be related, that I might like? I found that annoying. So I went the other direction. Who Knew... I have been banging around for a year or so, learning and figuring things out. So, I will drop in here again to see how the comments works out for your community. As always nice to say hello to a fellow Kelt... Billy

Jim Connolly
Jim Connolly

Hi there Danny.

I'm glad you're using Disqus - I find it easier to use and easier to follow, than LiveFyre. The downside is you can expect to see me commenting here more frequently ;)

It took me no time to read the comments here and get a real feel for what people were saying.

I'm hoping a few other of my fave bloggers also make the move, as I'd like to comment on their blogs but find it too time consuming and 'cliquey', with LiveFyre.

Thanks for all you do, my friend.

Jim Connolly
Jim Connolly

Hi there Danny.

I'm glad you're using Disqus - I find it easier to use and easier to follow, than LiveFyre. The downside is you can expect to see me commenting here more frequently ;)

It took me no time to read the comments here and get a real feel for what people were saying.

I'm hoping a few other of my fave bloggers also make the move, as I'd like to comment on their blogs but find it too time consuming and 'cliquey', with LiveFyre.

Thanks for all you do, my friend.

Jim Connolly
Jim Connolly

Hi there Danny. I'm glad you're using Disqus - I find it easier to use and easier to follow, than LiveFyre. The downside is you can expect to see me commenting here more frequently ;) It took me no time to read the comments here and get a real feel for what people were saying. I'm hoping a few other of my fave bloggers also make the move, as I'd like to comment on their blogs but find it too time consuming and 'cliquey', with LiveFyre. Thanks for all you do, my friend.

Tim Baran
Tim Baran

Wow, Danny, I know how much you like and advocated for Livefyre, so this was a surprise to see. Major props for putting the community first. All about community. FWIW, I much prefer Disqus.

Tim Baran
Tim Baran

Wow, Danny, I know how much you like and advocated for Livefyre, so this was a surprise to see. Major props for putting the community first. All about community. FWIW, I much prefer Disqus.

Brian D. Meeks
Brian D. Meeks

I'm partial to Livefyre, but I really like it that you listened to your readers. Disqus is good, too.

Brian D. Meeks
Brian D. Meeks

I'm partial to Livefyre, but I really like it that you listened to your readers. Disqus is good, too.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@PhilCooper Interesting, haven't heard of Viafoura until now, thanks Phil. There are so many comment systems being created, it's hard to keep up. I do prefer the functionality of Livefyre, though, it's the only third-party system I would ever use, if I didn't want to run native comments.

Cheers for the heads up!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hi Corinne, for sure - and thanks for being here too, always good to see you in the comments, miss. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hey there Kat, thanks miss, and double thanks for being here, appreciated!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

It was very much a toss up between the two, mate, and you're right, Livefyre community support has always been top notch. i must admit, while they don't seem to be as active out front, the support from Disqus via email is excellent, so seems they've definitely listened to feedback.

But, as long as the community has their preference, then that's always going to play a big factor, like you say. Cheers, sir!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

It was very much a toss up between the two, mate, and you're right, Livefyre community support has always been top notch. i must admit, while they don't seem to be as active out front, the support from Disqus via email is excellent, so seems they've definitely listened to feedback. But, as long as the community has their preference, then that's always going to play a big factor, like you say. Cheers, sir!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

It's also ironic, given the Disqus voting up/voting down system. :)

But yeah, I hear you - I used CSS to remove the points system since it could be pretty intimidating arriving at a post where people have thousands of comment points, while you're arriving with the standard 5 points. Once I did that, I found folks more willing to comment.

Cheers, miss!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

It's also ironic, given the Disqus voting up/voting down system. :) But yeah, I hear you - I used CSS to remove the points system since it could be pretty intimidating arriving at a post where people have thousands of comment points, while you're arriving with the standard 5 points. Once I did that, I found folks more willing to comment. Cheers, miss!

Billy Delaney
Billy Delaney

Well, I'm really only getting going. I have time to play around with it. I liked disqus, but I don't want the "you might like this" on the bottom of the page. All I want is to generate a conversation and allow a platform for people to respond. Getting ready to get out and about. Any other suggestions?

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Dammit, I knew there was a reason I should have left Disqus off... ;-)

What I like about Disqus is the My Disqus section - I can keep up with convos elsewhere on blogs I follow, which is a nice little time-saving feature. Nice to see them implement that in this update.

Cheers, sir!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Dammit, I knew there was a reason I should have left Disqus off... ;-)

What I like about Disqus is the My Disqus section - I can keep up with convos elsewhere on blogs I follow, which is a nice little time-saving feature. Nice to see them implement that in this update.

Cheers, sir!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Dammit, I knew there was a reason I should have left Disqus off... ;-) What I like about Disqus is the My Disqus section - I can keep up with convos elsewhere on blogs I follow, which is a nice little time-saving feature. Nice to see them implement that in this update. Cheers, sir!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Cheers, mate. The way I look at it, this blog wouldn't be whatever it is without the community, so it'd be foolish (to say the least) to ignore their feedback. Definitely one of the benefits of using your list wisely. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Cheers, mate. The way I look at it, this blog wouldn't be whatever it is without the community, so it'd be foolish (to say the least) to ignore their feedback. Definitely one of the benefits of using your list wisely. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

You can certainly do that with Disqus, with the "Just Comments" option. Livefyre is great for a more social media-led readership (they're more used to the tagging via Twitter and Facebook option).

There's also a new comment system out you might want to look at called Viafoura:

http://viafoura.com/

In beta at moment, startup, looks interesting alternative.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

You can certainly do that with Disqus, with the "Just Comments" option. Livefyre is great for a more social media-led readership (they're more used to the tagging via Twitter and Facebook option). There's also a new comment system out you might want to look at called Viafoura: http://viafoura.com/ In beta at moment, startup, looks interesting alternative.

Jim Connolly
Jim Connolly

What is spam like with Disqus, Danny?

Do you get much?

Jim Connolly
Jim Connolly

What is spam like with Disqus, Danny?

Do you get much?

Jim Connolly
Jim Connolly

What is spam like with Disqus, Danny? Do you get much?

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Back at you, sir, and look forward to hearing how it goes!

Billy Delaney
Billy Delaney

Like you I really like Disqus. Didn't know you could only have comments. Mostly due to changing my blog from a social experiment to what is now more permanent, That and your good help I'll let you know how I get along. All the best...

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Zero to little, mate (or the other way round, I can never tell!). It works in conjunction with Aksimet, so it's really good. Plus I can whitelist and blacklist users if I do get spam, to keep them from coming back (which, in fairness, Livefyre offers too).

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